It’s a well-known fact that the majority of streaming music is put up as background to something else. And that something else is usually sex. So condom company Skyn, in an admirable attempt to cut out the middleman, has set up a new Alexa skill that lets you skip the guesswork, put on some music and get right to the romance. But can an app really offer the ultimate (or even passable) playlist for seduction?
If you’re unfamiliar, Alexa is Amazon’s personal voice assistant, and powers its Echo devices. Alexa, in addition to the abilities it ships with, can have apps (which Amazon insists on calling “skills”) added whenever you want. Skyn’s skill lets you say “Alexa, set the mood,” choose one of five playlists, and (hopefully) get it on. (That song is not on the playlists, just in case you were wondering.)
I have a personal stake in Skyn’s success. My inability to properly score any event, let alone a romantic one, is a running joke. When I was first dating the woman who would become my wife, we retired to my room and, since streaming music services at the time were largely de facto pirate radio stations mixing metal anthems and theories on how jet fuel couldn’t melt steel beams, I’d set my iTunes to random and proceed to get busy.
The problem? My taste in music trends less to sexy, stylish jams and more towards… well, hear for yourself. I’ve reconstructed exactly what the random function decided to inflict on us that night.
Yes, I had the Pokemon theme. Worse, it was in Hebrew, which in my defense is really hilarious when you download it in college, drunk, listen to it once (also while drunk), and then promptly forget that such a thing exists and allow it to squat in your music folder forever. I have never, ever lived this playlist down. I fully expect my wife to engrave “Accidentally Used Pokemon Theme For Sexy Times” on my tomb. At the rate technology advances, it might play softly over the gentle grassy hills where my corpse lies, my soul eternally cursing Apple while the music urges me to catch them all in a language I’ve never spoken.
I could use Spotify or Pandora, but here my inherent cheapness thwarts me with advertising. Ads, in of themselves, are not sexy, and for reasons unknown to me, every streaming music service I use is convinced that I’m interested in a baffling mixture of monster truck rallies, political scare ads, and herpes medication. So an ad-free skill that actually had some curation and didn’t rely on my taste for Scottish pastoral techno and Deep South surf punks was a great relief.