Mankind has been looking for ways to improve their sex lives for about as long as they’ve had sex lives. The history of aphrodisiacs goes back thousands of years and every ancient culture had its preferences. Oysters, chocolate, strawberries, the horn of some random animal; you name it, people have tried it. But there is some science involved here, too. Some things really do offer a boost, even if it doesn’t work for humans, or it’s not even intentional.
10. UV Light
UV rays from the sun are dangerous and can cause cancer, so we’ve all been told for years to wear sunscreen. Research in 2021 put our need to protect ourselves from those harmful rays in jeopardy when it came to light that they also do a good job of boosting the libido of both men and women.
Ultraviolet radiation affects the human endocrine system, which in turn is responsible for the production of sex hormones. It increases testosterone in males but the effect on females is profound as well. When test subjects were exposed to UVB radiation, they noted an increase in sex drive across the board, as well as increased male aggression.
The exact way UV rays cause your endocrine system to increase the production of sex hormones is not known. Women who are exposed become more receptive towards males and their attractiveness is rated as having increased. It also increases the estrus phase and even follicle growth.
9. Cotton and Wool Pants Increased the Sex Drive of Rats
You may have heard that, as a man, you can make some wardrobe changes if you want to potentially increase your fertility when you’re trying to have a child. Boxer shorts apparently keep your undercarriage at a more reasonable temperature, thus potentially raising your sperm count compared to if you wore briefs. But is that all clothing can do for you? The answer is no. At least not if you’re a rat.
Lab experiments have shown that if you put little pants on rats, you can increase their sex drive while also establishing the plot for what would surely be a hilarious YouTube video. Specifically, the pants need to be wool or cotton. Polyester pants will have the opposite effect.
The hard-hitting research deduced that the reason for this change in behavior is potentially rooted in the fact that rats wearing polyester pants seemed to generate more static electricity which was likely interfering with their genitals.A charge was actually measured in the rat’s genitals But the rats in cotton and wool pants suffered no such effects and, in fact, had increased urges compared to pre-pants levels.
8. There’s a Cricket Aphrodisiac Virus
In what sounds like it somewhat borrows the plot of the movie It Follows, there is a virus out in the world that has, as a side effect, increased libido. Those afflicted become more sexually active and more promiscuous which is a benefit to the virus itself since it transmits through sexual contact. They have more sex with more partners and the virus spreads further and further, reproducing and growing as it goes.
Luckily for us, the virus is not one that affects humans. Instead, it’s a cricket virus. It may sound not entirely terrible at first, but you should also know that the virus, known as iridovirus, turns the insides of the crickets blue and will kill them within a few weeks of infection. So while it seems like there may be an initial upside, it’s definitely not worth it in the long run.
The virus itself has been known for years, and the fact that it caused the cricket’s internal organs to swell until they died was well established. But it wasn’t until 2014 that a researcher noticed an observable increase in sexual activity among the doomed insects and put two and two together. The infected males initiated a mating song more than three times faster than normal once infected. Maybe they knew they were on a clock.
7. A Sonic Boom Caused Crocodiles To Initiate Early Mating
When an aircraft breaks the sound barrier, it creates a sonic boom, that loud explosion of sound the moment the plane is suddenly faster than the very sound it produces. It’s a cool phenomenon and you can see all kinds of videos of it on YouTube. For most of us that sound is nothing more than an interesting scientific curiosity. But if you’re a crocodile, it may be a lot more.
Back in 2010, there were reports that Israeli fighter jets creating sonic booms had caused some havoc on a local crocodile farm. The owner of the farm observed male crocodiles attempting to initiate the mating season earlier than usual which he attributed to the noises. It was his belief that the sonic boom was similar enough to the loud and somewhat terrifying mating calls of the crocodiles that they had mistaken it for other males encroaching on their territory. With 100 crocodiles at the farm, this likely caused quite a disturbing scene.
6. O-Shots and P-Shots Inject a Patient’s Own Blood Into Their Genitals
If you’ve never heard of an O-Shot, you can at least take some educated guesses based on what you’ve already heard on the list regarding what it might mean. Touted as something of a female equivalent to Viagra, the O-Shot is a libido booster for women that has been around for a number of years now though it seems to have fallen by the wayside in the last half decade.
Back in 2014 it was still in clinical trials and promised to intensify all aspects of sexual experience for women from libido to arousal to orgasm. The procedure involved taking the woman’s own blood and then separating the cells from the plasma. Platelets were isolated, purified and concentrated, then re-injected into the genitals where they would begin working immediately.
A similar procedure, called the P-Shot, has been performed more recently on men with claims it shows benefits over a 6 month period. In this case it’s just said to treat erectile dysfunction rather than necessarily boost libido. However, it is being marketed as increasing sensation and restoring confidence and intimacy.
The results of the O-Shot, which you can have done at various clinics and spas even today, have been questioned by medical experts.
5. Tiramisu was Invented In Italian Brothels to Motivate Clients
If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine or desserts in general then you’ve probably enjoyed tiramisu at least once in your life. The dessert is traditionally made with coffee-dipped ladyfingers,a whipped, sweet layer of mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder. You can use sponge cake instead of ladyfingers and sometimes coffee liqueur is used. A well made tiramisu can be quite tasty and, as it happens, it was meant to make you feel pretty sexy as well.
While determining the origins of some foods is difficult, this is not the case with tiramisu. It can be traced right back to Italian brothels in Treviso where it was served to clients to give them a little pick me up during their sessions. The name literally translates to “pull me up” or “pull it up” so take from that what you will.
Given that the dessert was made with generous amounts of sugar and alcohol, you can imagine how it might serve to give a boost to brothel patrons who needed both real energy and perhaps a shot of liquid courage to keep themselves motivated. The women would have liked it as well since customers who stay around longer are going to have to pay more.
4. Some Parkinson’s Treatments Can Cause Hypersexuality
Have you ever seen a commercial for medication and noticed that part where they list the side effects? Most medications have pretty standard side effects. Some can get very serious. And a few are just really weird, like the increased urge to gamble. This is usually associated with drugs called dopamine agonists, which are used to treat things like Parkinson’s Disease.
Along with gambling and compulsive shopping, hypersexuality is another side effect of these drugs that some patients may experience. It’s been estimated that it affects 2.5% to 3.5% of patients but the number may be higher due to people not wanting to report it.
All of these side effects are related to impulse control which is altered as a result of how the drugs can interact with certain patients’ brain chemistry. Because of this, patients need to be monitored closely by their doctors and treatments may need to be altered.
3. An Appetite Hormone Increases Sex Drive in Mice
Right now in your stomach you have a hormone called ghrelin. It’s mostly known for increasing your appetite and letting your brain know you’re hungry. It also regulates caloric intake and body fat. And it will also increase the sex drive in mice.
Though the research wasn’t able to indicate whether the effect was the same on humans, the idea was that the hormone has an effect on your brain’s reward centers. You feel hungry and you eat and it’s like a little reward for your brain. Sex kind of works the same way and the hormone stimulates the brains of mice accordingly.
When given a supplement of the hormone, mice put more effort into finding a partner and increasing their sexual activity. In female mice it was shown to increase the number of times the mice had sex as well as how long the act lasted.
The hope for the tests was that, if the same effect is observed in humans, treatments for issues like sex addiction could be devised as a result.
2. Nerve Damage Can Lead to Never-Ending Sexual Arousal
The human body is a curious and confusing thing sometimes. How everything connects and works can be thrown right off thanks to a single accident. Then you end up like Joleen Baughman who was in a car accident, damaged a nerve in her pelvis, and ended up with persistent sexual arousal syndrome.
While it sounds like a punchline, the reality of the condition is actually pretty horrifying. The sensation is never ending. That means Baughman was never able to relieve the feeling and was dealing with swelling that never subsided and constant pain because she was sensitive to any stimulation. Medication proved unable to offer any kind of relief and giving in to the urges and having sex made it feel even worse.
1. Rabies Can Cause Hypersexuality
Rabies is not a pleasant disease. Most of us know it only as a disease that affects animals and makes them froth at the mouth and act crazy. Take it a step further and maybe it’s the basis for a horror movie like Cujo. But real life rabies is pretty terrifying, and it needs to be treated quickly. According to the CDC, once clinical signs of the disease appear it’s almost always fatal.
While common symptoms include confusion, agitation, hallucinations and delirium, there are less common symptoms as well. One of those is an increased sex drive.
In one case, a woman bitten by a dog developed an increased libido that lasted for three days but no other symptoms at all. Shortly after her symptoms included hydrophobia which contributed to her death within seven days.
Fifty-five cases have been recorded since 1970 and almost all of them have affected men. Men tended to suffer from different sexual symptoms while hypersexuality was the main sexual side effect in the few women studied. None of the victims received necessary treatment and they all died within one to 15 days.