Sneezing sign of arousal?

Watch out, sneezing could be signal you're feeling aroused

Marie Claire Issues and Campaigns: Sneezing
Marie Claire Issues and Campaigns: Sneezing

Watch out, sneezing could be signal you're feeling aroused

You thought it was down to a speck of dust or bright sunlight, but the simple sneeze may in fact be a sign of sexual arousal, say experts.

Yes, you heard it right, that not very attractive bodily function could be a tell-tale sign of excitement. Two British doctors have investigated the phenomenon after hearing of a middle-aged patient who had sneezing fits every time he thought about sex.

This prompted the medics to dig for further evidence to support their theory and, via internet chat rooms, they unearthed 17 other cases – of both men and women – who suffered the same problem.

The study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine puts the phenomenon down to a mix-up in brain circuitry.

The researchers, Dr Mahmood Bhutta and Dr Harold Maxwell even discovered three people who claimed to sneeze after orgasm, fuelling their findings.

Dr Bhutta believes the strange sensation could be more common than first realised and may be inherited.

He said: 'It certainly seems odd, but I think this reflex demonstrates evolutionary relics in the wiring of a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system.

'This is the part beyond our control, and which controls things like our heart rate and the amount of light let in by our pupils.'

He added: 'Sometimes the signals in this system get crossed, and I think this may be why some people sneeze when they think about sex.'

Although only two papers have been written on the unusual occurrence, Dr Bhutta believes the issue could be more widespread, however people are too embarrassed to admit having the problem. One physiological reason for sneezing when aroused was submitted by consultant Andrew McCombe, who explained that during arousal the autonomic nervous system sends signals which trigger changes in the genitals of both sexes.

However, the nose also contains erectile tissue, which can become engorged during arousal, therefore creating the need to sneeze.

So next time someone sneezes in your presence, think twice!

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