This was the first song that frontman Kevin Barnes wrote for False Priest. However, after deciding it would be better served by a female singer, he offered the tune to his pal Beyoncé's younger sister Solange Knowles for her own album. Barnes told Spin magazine: "When I wrote a new song called 'Sex Karma,' I thought it would be cool if it appeared on her record. I sent it to her and for a while that was the plan. But I really liked it and changed my mind, and we decided to record it as a duet. Which works because the lyric 'You look like a playground to me, player,' is funny for a guy to sing. I didn't know if I could pull that off."
Barnes and Solange's duet was inspired by one of the Of Montreal frontman's favorite partnerships - the late-'60s collaborations between Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. "The thing I love about Marvin and Tammi is that there's a sort of feistiness between them, a sexual energy, but they're always trying to restrain themselves, even though the chemistry is so great," Barnes told Spin. "Whenever I perform with Solange or Janelle [Monae, another collaborator on False Priest], it's that same sort of feeling, this excitement just to be onstage with them."
Barnes admitted he cribbed one of the lyrics from his young daughter, who coined the line, "You look like a playground to me." "Yeah, I kind of stole that lyric from her," he said. "When she said it she was 3. Whenever she's singing, I always listen because she comes up with some amazing ideas."
L.A. superproducer and film-music composer Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) added a Mighty Wurlitzer, one of the biggest pipe organs in the world to this track. "We went to this church that had one, set up a bunch of mics, and [Brion] played all this crazy stuff on it," Barnes recalled. "It was a really magical experience."