- Potential mechanisms
- When sex brings on a desire to sneeze, not snooze
- ‘Peegasms’ May Not Be Real—but These 4 Weird Ways to Orgasm Actually Are
- These Are Some of the Most Unusual Ways People Say They’ve Achieved Orgasm
- We asked a sexologist if the theory about sneezing and orgasms was true — here’s what she said
- Texas girl has mystery disease where she sneezes 12,000 times a day
So why may sexual ideation or orgasm trigger sneezing? And does this serve any function? Without experimental investigation we can only surmise, but analysis of existing literature may provide theoretical support.
One possibility is a psychiatric response, with the sneeze representing a forceful emission of sexual tension, but sneezing is reflex and not volitional (although psychosomatic sneezing has been described, typically in teenage girls32). Another possibility (in keeping with the theories of Fliess) is a humoral mechanism, whereby nitric oxide released to cause genital tumescence enters the bloodstream and causes engorgement and irritation of the nasal mucosa too. However, this would take a long time to be affected, and studies have shown that in penile erection, nitric oxide is released locally but does not enter the systemic circulation to an appreciable extent.32
It seems that a neurological rather than a humoral cause for this phenomenon is more probable because of the immediacy of the response. Here, the other recognized unusual causes of sneezing may provide a clue as to the cause. The most frequent and the most investigated of the ‘unusual’ triggers of sneezing is light (i.e. the photic sneeze reflex), but the cause of this is still unknown. Everett who was the first to investigate the phenomenon suggested several theories.6,28,34 The first is that the eye responds to bright light with photophobia via output to the first trigeminal nerve (ophthalmic) and this may cause an inadvertent response in the second division of the trigeminal nerve (maxillary). This maxillary nerve stimulation suggests there to be a source of nasal irritation, which triggers the sneeze reflex. However, although triggering of other branches of the trigeminal nerve is known to induce sneezing, there is no evidence that this is more frequent in the population affected by the photic sneeze reflex. The second theory is that light leads to lacrimation, and the tears produced drain via the nasolacrimal duct to cause irritation of the nasal mucosa in sensitive individuals. However, this would take a long time to be affected and seems unlikely to cause the almost immediate sneezing response that is observed. A third theory proposed by Everett is of ‘parasympathetic summation’, whereby parasympathetic neuronal output to one organ is indiscrete and accompanied by parasympathetic output to other organs. Here, parasympathetic nervous system pupillary miosis in response to light also leads to parasympathetic mediated secretion from the nasal mucosa, triggering sneezing. It seems to us that sneezing in response to sexual ideation or in response to orgasm may also be an effect of parasympathetic summation and support the latter of these theories.
It is known that the neurones that will subsequently form the cranial outflow of the parasympathetic nervous system originate in the vagal region of the embryonic neural tube, in a region not too distant from the putative future sneeze centre. Although there is a separate sacral region of the neural tube for formation of sacral parasympathetic outflow, recent ablative studies of vagal neural crest cells in the chick embryo suggest that the vagal centre plays a central role in all parasympathetic innervation.35 Furthermore, the parasympathetic system is phylogenetically old and is not arranged somitically. There is evidence of persisting links between different components of the parasympathetic nervous system, whereby stimulation of one parasympathetic response will lead to other parasympathetic responses. For example during sleep, bradycardia and hypotension may be accompanied by penile erection. These interconnecting pathways have not been researched in depth, but there is evidence of descending projections from the parasympathetic nucleus of the eye (the Edinger-Westphal nucleus) to the brainstem36 which would support the notion of aberrant stimulation of extra-ocular parasympathetic pathways in response to light.
We note that all of the reported triggers of sneezing that arise independent of a nasal trigger have parasympathetic outflow as a common variable. For the photic sneeze response there is parasympathetic activity to cause pupillary constriction in response to light. When the stomach is full there is parasympathetic activity to stimulate gastric peristalsis and acid secretion. When there is sexual ideation, there is parasympathetic outflow to cause venous dilation leading to penile or clitoral tumescence. At orgasm, although ejaculation may be sympathetically mediated, there is also parasympathetic activity to effect secretion from glands producing components of male or female ejaculate (Table 1).
Hypothesized parasympathetic efferents as a trigger for sneezing
|Trigger||Parasympathetic efferent response|
|Gastric fullness||Gastric acid secretion|
|Sexual ideation||Genital tumescence|
We surmise that the key to understanding all unusual triggers of sneezing is that parasympathetic nervous system outflow is interconnected and indiscrete, in what Everett termed ‘parasympathetic summation’. Thus, any trigger that stimulates a parasympathetic response will mean that efferents from the relevant parasympathetic nucleus will also project back to their embryonic origin at the vagal parasympathetic nuclei, which may in turn stimulate other parasympathetic responses. This may include a response to the parasympathetic greater superficial petrosal nerves, which relay via the pterygopalatine ganglion to effect nasal secretion and consequent irritation. This nasal irritation will then result in a sneezing response ( Figure 2).
Hypothesized parasympathetic summation as a trigger for sneezing
The finding that both sneezing in response to light and in response to fullness of the stomach are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern suggests the possibility of a genetically determined aberration in parasympathetic neuronal embryogenesis as an explanation. We have reported sneezing in response to sexual ideation or orgasm, and it is possible that this too could be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. It may be difficult to know, because in general, parents and children are unlikely to discuss such phenomena with each other due to social inhibitions.
We report here that sneezing in response to either sexual ideation or after orgasm is an under-reported phenomenon, and may be much more common than expected. We surmise that a mechanism of parasympathetic summation is the cause of this unusual response, and that this mechanism may also account for other reported unusual causes of sneezing – exposure to light and fullness of stomach. Further investigation in this field may help us to understand the sneeze reflex in more depth, and also allow us to give explanation and reassurance to the possibly significant number of people affected by this curious phenomenon.
That patient, who was a middle-aged man, had no other symptoms. He said he’d had those sneezing fits immediately after thinking sexual thoughts throughout his adult life.
Bhutta and his colleague decided to do a little research, and they figured that since the condition might be embarrassing, it might not get reported — except in Internet chat rooms.
So the researchers googled “sex, sneeze, OR sneezing” twice in 2007, and came up with reports by 17 people — men and women — who reported sneezing right after thinking sexual thoughts, and reports by three people of sneezing after orgasm.
Long before the Internet — back in the 19th century — there were reports of rare people who sneezed when sexually excited, but “there was no credible reason given for the phenomenon,” Bhutta’s team writes.
Bhutta’s paper doesn’t settle why some people sneeze when they think sexual thoughts or when they have an orgasm. But the researchers suggest that sexual thoughts or orgasm might trigger the body’s subconscious nervous system, which could lead to sneezing in some people.
The report appears in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
When sex brings on a desire to sneeze, not snooze
MEDICAL MATTERS:Do you sneeze after sex? No, not snooze, but sneeze. It sounds most odd but there is a growing amount of medical literature linking sneezing with orgasm and even with thinking about sex.
Researchers are quick to point out that there is no link between post orgasmic sneezing and any form of psychiatric illness.
They say the phenomenon is much more common than expected and speculate it may be caused by stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Sneezing is a reflex that has developed to clear the nasal passages of particles, infectious material and other irritants. Despite being a widespread phenomenon, comparatively little is known of the neurological pathways involved in the reflex.
In the human brain the lateral medulla, located close to the spinal trigeminal tract, is thought to be the likely location of the sneezing centre.
Apparently, eyebrow plucking, which involves the stimulation of non-nasal branches of the trigeminal nerve, can trigger sneezing.
There have also been reports of two families who reflexly sneeze after meals. And I am one of about 25 per cent of the population who sneeze after looking at sunlight.
However, this phenomenon cannot be linked with trigeminal nerve stimulation and is known as a photic sneeze reflex. Of course some bright medic couldn’t resist coming up with a suitable acronym for this and so we have the Achoo syndrome: the autosomal dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst syndrome (autosomal dominant is a reference to the apparent genetic inheritance of the trait).
But what could be linking the nasal and genital areas in humans? In the late 1800s a Dr Fleiss, a close friend of Freud, developed his theory of “nasal reflex neurosis”. He suggested the existence of erectile tissue in both the nasal and genital membranes. But he was never able to explain how the erectile tissue of these distant sites was linked.
After he developed a somewhat fanciful theory linking the nose with menstruation, his ideas were discredited.
Stimulation of the body’s parasympathetic system seems the most likely explanation for the phenomenon. All of the reported triggers of sneezing that arise independent of a nasal trigger have parasympathetic outflow as a common variable.
For the photic sneeze response, there is parasympathetic activity that leads to constriction of the pupil in response to light. When the stomach is full, there is parasympathetic activity to stimulate movement through the stomach and acid secretion.
When there is sexual ideation, there is parasympathetic outflow to cause venous dilation leading to penile erection or clitoral tumescence. At orgasm there is also parasympathetic activity to bring about secretion from glands producing components of male or female ejaculate.
As yet there is no anatomical explanation showing how nerves in the nose are linked to nerves in the penis or clitoris.
The best scientists can come up with is some genetically induced fault in the development of the parasympathetic nervous system in the embryo.
As various researchers point out, the phenomenon of sneezing after sex does not cause disease and so there is no need for those who experience it to see a doctor.
In addition it is socially embarrassing which is another reason why it is probably under-reported.
One group carried out a search of internet chat rooms in 2007 and found 17 people of both sexes who experienced sneezing after thinking about sex and three people after orgasm.
While acknowledging the non-scientific basis for their research, they said: “It appears the sneezing occurs immediately upon sexual ideation, or very soon after orgasm. It also seems that the two phenomena do not occur in the same person, ie that these are two distinct entities: sneezing with sexual ideation or sneezing with orgasm.”
Sneezing after sex opens up the possibility of a whole new post-coital dialogue. Although it has to be said that “bless you” sounds a lot less seductive than “how was it for you, darling?”
‘Peegasms’ May Not Be Real—but These 4 Weird Ways to Orgasm Actually Are
Nothing brings quite the sense of relief as that moment when you sit down on the toilet, unclench your bladder muscles, and pee after holding it in for hours.
But is that relief so amazing, it’s actually orgasmic? That’s what some people online are claiming, and they’ve even dubbed it a “peegasm”—a shivery sensation running up their spine as they finally empty their very full bladder.
Urinating after a long wait might feel good, sure. But it isn’t an O. “An orgasm, if we’re really getting down to it, is a quick contraction of the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles, and I don’t think peeing would actually stimulate that,” says Holly Richmond, PhD, somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist in Los Angeles.
RELATED: These Are the Moves That Really Make Women Orgasm, According to Science
Peegasms aside, we started thinking about some of the other unusual types of climax we’ve heard about—orgasms that have nothing to do with stimulating the clitoris, which is what most women need to hit that high note. Here are 4 bizarre orgasms some women really experience.
Nipples are packed with nerve endings, making them two of the most sensitive spots on your body. So sensitive, in fact, some women can orgasm just from having their nipples touched and kissed. “For some women, there’s just more of an integration between other erotic, sensual body parts and the pelvic floor or clitoris,” Richmond says.
If you’re wondering why this has never happened to you, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s a rare sexual response, and many women would rather their partner leave their headlights alone anyway.
The middle of a workout might not be the most ideal time for an orgasm. But some exercises, such as hip thrusts and pelvic tilts, can bring one on. Seriously. “It’s a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, which is exactly what happens during an orgasm, and if you do it enough, it can stimulate orgasm,” Richmond explains.
RELATED: We Asked 8 Women What an Orgasm Really Feels Like to Them—Here’s What They Told Us.
If you thought you needed to be awake to orgasm, think again. “Some women can have an orgasm during an erotic dream while sleeping,” ob-gyn Sherry Ross, MD, previously told Health.
Ever caught yourself drifting off into a sensual dream? This causes increased blood flow to the genitals, similar to the boost in blood flow that happens during sex when you’re awake. And since you’re asleep, you’re in a state of deep relaxation, which opens the door for an O. Though your body isn’t being physically touched, “orgasm exists in our minds just as much as it does in the clitoris or any other part of our bodies,” says Richmond.
We know anal play isn’t for everyone. Yet a minority of women who indulge in it can climax from anal stimulation alone. The clitoris is often thought of as a nub, but it actually extends deep into the pelvic floor, close to the anus and rectum. “There is a possibility for some people that during anal sex, there’s still some kind of stimulation to the clitoral legs,” Richmond says.
If you’re looking to shake up your sex life, it could be worth giving anal intercourse or anal play a go. But before you do, be aware of the risks that can accompany backdoor action, and use plenty of lube as well. Safety isn’t something you can do without.
These Are Some of the Most Unusual Ways People Say They’ve Achieved Orgasm
The way the average person achieves orgasm probably seems intuitively obvious: genital stimulation, of course. That’s not always the whole story, though. It turns out that genital touch isn’t always needed in order to climax. Orgasms can result from a wide range of activities—and those activities don’t necessarily have to be sexual in nature. According to a new study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, there are seemingly endless ways people can potentially reach orgasm.
The study involved a analysis of responses to an email on the website postsecret.com, in which the author described having an orgasm while exercising. A total of nine hundred and nineteen people replied, most of whom described various ways they had also reached orgasm without any sexual stimulation.
A large number of respondents (23.7 percent) said they had also experienced exercise-induced orgasms. Among the many exercises linked to orgasm were “horseback riding, biking, ‘sitting and jumping on a Pilates ball.’” While these exercises likely involved some genital friction or pressure, not all of them did—some people also mentioned things like core abdominal exercises, roller skating, swimming, and weight lifting.
Several respondents (10 percent) described orgasms that occurred while riding in a vehicle, from cars to buses to planes to rollercoasters. Often, the orgasm resulted from a particularly bumpy ride. In the words of one participant: “I kept my old Ford pickup for two years pretending to try and get the suspension fixed, but it was too enjoyable from the vibrations when I wore too tight jeans.”
About seven percent described orgasms resulting from other bodily functions, especially urination and defecation. For example, as one participant said: “When I have really bad gas pains and have to poop I sometimes have an orgasm and they are strong. One time it happened in a meeting at work with several others and I had to look down and grip the arms of the chair I was in. I was throbbing so hard.”
More from VICE:
Less commonly, people described orgasms resulting from stimulation of non-genital body parts, like their feet, mouth, and ears. Orgasms from foot stimulation seemed to be more common than the others, though. While they often resulted from foot massages, others reported a range of experiences: “I once got one from sticking my feet out the window of a moving car. The wind tickled them and I had a weird orgasm that started in my feet.”
Still others reported having orgasms while breastfeeding, using drugs (especially marijuana, ecstasy, and LSD), reading, listening to music, giving birth, scratching an itch, and sleeping. Perhaps most fascinating to me—as someone who studies sex for a living—were the people who reported orgasms from eating. One person said they orgasm every time they eat a “perfectly ripe cherry tomato,” and another said they orgasmed when they ate tuna—something about the texture of tuna in their mouth apparently really does it for them.
I was also fascinated by the people who reported orgasms while experiencing a lot of pain, such as while getting a tattoo or body piercing, or even while being in severe pain from a kidney stone or dental procedure. In the words of one person: “The most intense, surprisingly unexpected one was when I got a tattoo on my foot. The pain was awful and when it was done the tattoo artist started rubbing the gel on my foot. Something about the juxtaposition of the intense pain immediately followed by the intense pleasure was too much. I’m not sure if he knew what was happening, but he rubbed my foot until I was done.”
This research is limited in that we don’t know how often people experience these types of orgasms or how common they are in the general population. Likewise, we don’t necessarily know what the driving factor is in many of these cases. For example, some involved multiple things, such as listening to music while driving in a car, which makes it unclear whether it was the music, the ride, or some combination of both that triggered the orgasm. Also, some described these orgasms as occurring in the presence of others, while others were alone, so we don’t know how much other people matter in all of this, either.
There’s also the fact that we’re dealing with self-reported data. In the absence of physiological or neurological data, we don’t know whether these orgasms are physically the same as orgasms resulting from genital stimulation. (Clearly, we need more orgasm research.)
Limitations aside, the results of this study suggest that orgasms don’t seem to be an experience limited to sex or stimulation of the genitals. Instead, they appear to be a multisensory experience that can potentially arise from many different kinds of stimulation. If true, this means we’ve probably only scratched the surface when it comes to understanding when, how, and why people might have orgasms.
Justin Lehmiller, PhD is a research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and author of the blog Sex and Psychology. His latest book is Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life. Follow him on Twitter @JustinLehmiller or Instagram @JustinJLehmiller.
We used to think there were only a few ways to orgasm—sex and masturbation being the big ones, so to speak. And we were fine with just those! But as it turns out, we just weren’t thinking creatively enough. A quick Google search reveals all sorts of peculiar accounts of people orgasming from mushrooms, roller coasters, and—well, we won’t give away the rest. Here are some of the strangest ways we’ve ever heard of people orgasming.
1. Smelling mushrooms
Seriously. According to a study in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms (perhaps the second-coolest publication to work for, after Glamour), over half of women orgasm after sniffing a Hawaiian tropical mushroom called Dictyophora. BRB, buying a flight to Hawaii.
2. Riding rollercoasters
Multiple videos on YouTube purport to show women orgasming from the vibrations on rollercoaster seats. There’s some debate over whether that’s actually what’s going on, but when one of them legitimately says, “I’m gonna have an orgasm,” it seems pretty likely that it actually happened. A trip to the amusement park is a time-consuming and perhaps needlessly expensive way to pursue a climax, but it’s definitely a thrilling one.
Well, this could ease the pain of going through labor: Some women report orgasming while they gave birth. The phenomenon is rare but not unheard of. In one survey, midwives reported that of the 206,000 births they’d assisted, nine of them involved orgasms, 668 others induced orgasmic sensations, and 868 involved sexual pleasure. It makes a certain amount of sense, since the same areas are, uh, stimulated.
4. Working out
This one’s surprisingly common: 10 percent of women have experienced a “coregasm” induced by ab exercises. Which is great news, considering we were looking for another compelling reason to hit the gym.
There’s actually a group of people who practice “thinking off”—orgasming by very vividly imagining the sensations in their bodies. If you don’t believe it, check out this episode of TLC’s Strange Sex. It looks pretty darn convincing.
Some people on the antidepressant clomipramine develop the ability to orgasm from yawning. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry reported four such patients, and according to a 1995 Telegraph article, five percent of the drug’s users experienced this side effect. However, it was more common for them to have trouble orgasming, so the downsides seem to outweigh the benefits.
We asked a sexologist if the theory about sneezing and orgasms was true — here’s what she said
There’s a theory that if you sneeze six or seven times in a row, the sensation can be like a mild orgasm.
We decided to do a little digging and while we discovered a few forum threads and blog posts where people swore it was true, there was no scientific research to back up their claims.
There were, however, other curious instances involving sneezing and “sexual ideation” — orgasms.
One interesting case was a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association of 1972, describing a 69-year-old man who complained of severe sneezing immediately following orgasm.
It’s the wrong way around, but still suggests a connection between the two. And it was researched by surgery registrar Mahmood F Bhutta and consultant psychiatrist Harold Maxwell in a paper submitted to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2008.
The pair surmised that a “mechanism of parasympathetic summation” was the cause, and that this mechanism may also account for other reported unusual causes of sneezing, such as exposure to light and fullness of stomach.
Still, this doesn’t explain the theory that sneezing multiple times can feel just like an orgasm.
So we reached out to sexologist Vanessa Thompson from The University of Sydney and asked her whether this was true and if not, why the myth persists.
Here’s what she said:
This myth commonly does the rounds and people say that sneezing a certain number of times in a row is equivalent to an orgasm.
The number of times you are supposedly required to sneeze varies. I think for some people sneezing might feel good but for most it is plain annoying. The couples I see are arguing about who has to, rather than who gets to, clean the sneeze-inducing dust ridden corners of the home. I don’t think this would be the case if sneezing was remotely like an orgasm.
I also don’t think any of my clients that wanted more sex would be too impressed or satisfied if I suggested they take up sneezing to compensate for their lack of sex.
Sneezing and orgasms both produce feel-good chemicals called endorphins but the amount produced by a sneeze is far less than an orgasm and there is no cumulative effect with sneezing so no amount of sneezing is going to feel like an orgasm. If sneezing was the equivalent to orgasms I imagine we would see a lot more pepper sales and a lot less brothels.
The other thing that sneezing and orgasms have in common are that they are both involuntary reflexes.
While sneezing is not really like an orgasm, sneezing can be brought on by sexual arousal in some people. This is believed to be as a result of crossed wires in the autonomic nervous system. The nose surprisingly also contains erectile tissue which may become engorged when someone is sexually aroused thus triggering a sneeze or two.
Unfortunately consecutive sneezes won’t leave you feeling like you’ve had an orgasm but you may want to check with your doctor about allergies.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.
Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Claim: Sneezing seven times in a row is the same as an orgasm.
My younger brother has come to me asking if it’s true that if you sneeze eight times in a row you’ll have an orgasm. Never having sneezed eight times in a row, and unwilling to make myself sneeze to find out I ask you.
I’ve heard this legend from three different people, apparently 10 sneezes is equal in pleasure to one orgasm. If this is false, I’m not surprised, but if it’s true, pass the pepper.
say those in the know, is a protective reflex of the nose that is quick, involuntary, and powerful. This unrestrained physical response is usually triggered by the body’s perception of something needing to be expelled from the nose, but can also be set off in some folks by exposure to bright light (photogenic sneezing) or even by combing one’s hair too hard.
Since the mid-1990s, we have been tripping over a claim that sneezing a specified number of times in rapid succession either produces a physical sensation comparable to a sexual climax or triggers an actual orgasm. Depending on who you hear this “everybody knows” tidbit from, the number of nasal explosions said to be required can be six, seven, eight, or ten — in common with many other bits of “x number of times” beliefs, the figure confidently asserted as rock-solid fact by the one sharing the information changes with the teller (e.g., the number of LSD trips that triggers a determination of legal insanity, or how many seconds dropped food will remain germ-free after it hits the ground, or the number of men whose seminal offerings were discovered in food that sickened a
The belief that a magic number of sneezes will produce an instant of sexual satisfaction is false. (Had it been true, those afflicted by allergies would be the happiest people on earth, and they’re not.) While sneezing and orgasm are regarded as somewhat akin in that both produce powerful bodily convulsions, one doesn’t feel like the other.
Possibly contributing to the confusion is a statement oft attributed to sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer: “An orgasm is just like a sneeze.” However, what the good doctor actually said was: “An orgasm is just a reflex, like a sneeze,” meaning that both are involuntary actions, in the same way that your leg’s swinging up when the doctor taps your knee with a rubber hammer is a reflex response.
A divination rhyme from the United Kingdom suggests that the number of sneezes governs what will happen to us:
Once, a wish
Twice, a kiss
Three times, a letter
Four times, something better
Claiming the saying’s “something better” refers to sexual pleasure requires a willful misreading, though.
Other widely believed things about sneezing include:
- You can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze. While it is impossible for most people to keep their peepers from shutting during the process, some rare folks are capable of it. (By the way, about those not physically wired that way, Muriel Simmons of the British Allergy Foundation said: “If you sneeze while driving at 70 mph, you will travel 300 feet with your eyes closed.”)
- If you did manage to sneeze with your eyes open, your eyes would pop out of your head. Er, no. As discussed above, some people do manage to sneeze with their eyes open, and they don’t go blind from it. Eye sockets are made of bone, they aren’t connected to the nasal passages, and there are no muscles behind the eyes that contract when you sneeze, so there’s really no mechanism involved in a sneeze that could force your eyes out of their sockets. Even if there were, human eyelids aren’t particularly strong, so simply closing your eyes during a sneeze wouldn’t be sufficient to keep them in their sockets if a sneeze truly had enough power to dislodge them. (In any case, some people — due to circumstances such as birth defects or injury — do not have eyelids. Were the “eye-popping” rumor true, all of those people would have to spend their lives in constant mortal fear of sneezing.)
- It’s possible to break a rib by sneezing. The jury is still out on this one, although we would suspect somewhere across all recorded history there must have been someone this happened to.
- Holding in a sneeze can cause damage your hearing. Halting a sneeze in progress by pinching your nose could result in the rupture of an eardrum, as you are rerouting the force of the expulsion into the eustachian tube (which connects the back of the throat to the middle ear) and then to your eardrum.
- Your heart stops when you sneeze. No, it neither stops nor pauses.
The final word on sneezing and sex goes to Dr. Mark McMahon, a San Francisco dentist who doubles as a standup comic: ”Sneezing is better than sex. It’s a mini-instant orgasm. You keep your clothes on, you don’t get involved, you can do it in public and when you’re done, perfect strangers bless you.”
Barbara “which is nothing to sneeze at” Mikkelson
Last updated: 9 February 2006
Caen, Herb. “Is It Friday Yet?”
The San Francisco Chronicle. 22 February 1991 (p. B1).
Evans, Richard. “Sneezy Does It.”
Wales on Sunday. 8 July 2001 (p. 21).
Snopes.com Since 1994
Help Supercharge Snopes For 2020
We have big plans. We need your help.
AS all sexually proficient men and women are well aware, a good sneeze is the equivalent to one eighth of an orgasm. The sensory pleasure of eight successive sneezes would result in a glorious sensation akin to the most mind blowing of orgasms, yet such a streak of sneezes remains elusive to the average person; until now that is.
Allow WWN to guide you through the essential tips for achieving ‘the sneezegasm’. Once you’ve mastered it, you won’t know yourself and may have to buy a new pair of trousers (in case that reference isn’t clear you will need a new pair of pants because of all the intense ejaculating you’ll be doing in them).
Step one is to jump on eBay and search out a, what else, Japanese invention known as the ‘snuzzle muzzle’. Retailing at €19.99 this muzzle covers the nose and has a special slot to place pepper or freshly cut grass in, substances which are known to bring about sneezes.
We should add, it is recommended to carry around bright and near-blinding lights with you at all time, which can encourage a sneeze along to climax as it forms in its infancy.
It is very important to resist the first crest of a hint of a tickle of a temptation to sneeze. A mistake so many make is to throw all their weight behind that first sneeze when they first anticipate it is about to culminate. WRONG. Be patient, resist it a little.
Let it build as your eyes tighten, it is now time to begin the phase known as ‘sneeze arousal’.
Your body will sense your cat and mouse game with your initial sneeze and it responds by sending yet more lovely itches and twitches with more mucus. It is now time to strike.
After the first successful sneeze, don’t ‘want’ it too much, that usually scuppers the momentum, just let it wash over you as too much eagerness can result in just one massive sneeze. If you have timed it right, a second one will come along instantly, you’re 25% of the way there.
If you’re not rolling around the floor in a pool of your own juices while doing an impression of an epileptic fit than you’ve done something wrong and didn’t follow our instructions properly. But, if you have, well, it’s time to light a cigarette.
Doctors stumped by girl who can’t stop sneezing
Houston tween suffers from strange condition
For more than three weeks, a 12-year-old Texas girl has been sneezing constantly— at a rate of 20 times per minute.
Katelyn Thornley, of Angleton, Texas, is sneezing up to 12,000 times a day, Fox26 reported.
“I’m constantly in pain with my abdomen, my legs are weak, I can barely eat,” Thornley told the news station.
At first, she thought she was allergic to something, but the sneezing hasn’t stopped.
According to Fox26, no medication has worked, but the only time the seventh-grader doesn’t sneeze is when she sleeps after taking Benadryl. Listening to The Beatles helps her relax.
The family has visited six physicians and they’ve ruled out viruses and allergies, but say it could be a stress-related reaction.
“Anything you talk to her about that irritates her— you can see it spike and continuous sneezing,” Thornley’s father told Fox26 . “It’s easy to trigger.”
At the request of Fox26, Dr. Mered Parnes, a neurologist from Texas Children’s Hospital evaluated Thornley on Friday.
“One of the things could be and that it looks quite a bit like, are tics,” he told Fox26. Tics are brief, repetitive movements and vocalizations and those parts of her presentation fit, he said.
At her appointment, Thornley described tickling feelings in her nose before sneezing but that are relieved with sneezing, which is typical with tics.
Tics commonly start in the head and neck, with actions like blinking, sniffing and facial grimacing, Parnes said, adding that her case isn’t out of the ordinary.
Medications can help, Parnes told the news channel, but tics only need to be treated when they’re bothersome.
Thornley hopes for a cure soon.
“Sometimes I wish I could leave my body for a little while so i could watch myself sleep and be at peace because even in my dreams, I sneeze,” she told the news channel.
Texas girl has mystery disease where she sneezes 12,000 times a day
“I just am constantly in pain with, you know, my abdomen and my legs are hurting because I’ve been weak and I can barely eat,” Katelyn told ABC, “It’s not fun at all.”
Doctors have no idea what is causing the sneezing or how to stop it, and have ruled out a virus and allergies.
She said that the sneezing only stops when she is sleeping, and that is after she has taken Benadryl and listened to music to relax.
Miss Thornley said: “Sometimes I wish I could leave my body for a little while so I could watch myself sleep and be at peace because even in my dreams, I sneeze.
“I don’t care what they do, I just want it to stop.”
She sneezes up to 20 times a minute Photo: Fox26
The illness has also made her leave school until it gets better and has prevented her from playing her beloved clarinet.
Dr Mered Parnes, a neurologist from Texas Children’s Hospital, saw the young woman last week and told Fox 26 that she may be suffering from a tic.
This is similar to what people have when they suffer from Tourette’s.
• 15-year-old schoolboy develops test for Alzheimer’s disease
• Sitting disease is killing us – and exercise doesn’t help
There are two types of tics, short-lasting sudden movements, known as motor tics, and uttered sounds, known as vocal tics.
Dr Parnes said medication can help, but they are only advised if the tic becomes unbearable.
Her parents are now asking for anyone with any expertise in this field to please come forward and help their daughter live a normal life again.
Some people sneeze three times in a row; Katelyn Thornley sneezes 12,000 times a day.
The 12-year-old from Texas started sneezing constantly about a month ago and now sneezes about 20 times a minute. She’s been unable to go to school because of her condition.
“It just started in little spurts,” Katelyn told CBS DFW. “I just started sneezing. I thought it was like, oh, I’m just allergic to something.”
RELATED: Why Some People’s Sneezes Smell Like Vomit
Now, she says her abdomen is constantly in pain from the effort of sneezing and her legs hurt. She’s also weak and can barely eat.
Katelyn has seen six doctors so far, who have ruled out allergies as well as a virus and all are stumped as to what might be causing her sneezing.
The sneezing does stop, however, when Katelyn falls asleep—which happens only after she takes Benadryl and listens to the Beatles.
Her story is eerily similar to that of Lauren Johnson, a 12-year-old who made headlines in 2010 for her constant and inexplicable sneezing. Lauren also sneezed up to 12,000 times a day and only stopped when she was sleeping.
Four months after her sneezing started, it stopped.
RELATED: Do Sneezes Really Have Something to Do with Orgasms?
Lauren was diagnosed with pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections, a.k.a. PANDAS, Today.com reports. She was given a treatment called intravenous immunoglobulin, which boosted her immune system and eventually caused the sneezing to stop.
Tanya Murphy, M.D., a professor in the departments of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of South Florida who has researched PANDAS, tells WomensHealthMag.com that the condition usually presents itself as a dramatic and overnight onset of severe OCD (severe worries and compulsive behaviors) or tics.
It can also be accompanied by temper tantrums, high anxiety, phobias, and trouble with handwriting.
“The cause of PANDAS is the strep bacteria that causes strep throat,” she says. “However, not all people with the infection will have symptoms of a sore throat. In the case of PANDAS, the symptoms are thought to be due to an autoimmune reaction to the brain where antibodies meant to fight strep mistakenly attack the brain.” She says the flu and walking pneumonia have also been reported as a cause of PANDAS.
Murphy says that Katelyn’s constant sneezing would be an unusual symptom of PANDAS—however, she’s not ruling it out. “Her presentation is not typical of tics or PANDAS, but it is possible,” she says. “It may be worth checking her infection history to see if there is a connection and doing appropriate tests.”
Luckily, Murphy says most children’s symptoms will improve once the infection and autoimmunity are treated—with a few weeks or, in some cases, a few months.
RELATED: You’re Gonna Be Totally Grossed Out By This Crazy Germ Fact
Can this happen to adults, too? Murphy says it could happen, but PANDAS is much less likely to begin when someone is a grown-up.
Women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., says that it’s possible for adults to suffer from chronic sneezing due to other issues like allergies or a disorder. “Some people have an immune-mediated hypersensitivity which may trigger excessive sneezing,” she says.
So while it could happen to you, it’s pretty unlikely. Phew.
Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.