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Science Idle

Pumpkin Pie increases Male Sex Drive 173

Dr. Alan Hirsch, Director of Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center, says the key to a man's heart, and other parts, is pumpkin pie. Out of the 40 odors tested in Hirsch's study, a mixture of lavender and pumpkin pie got the biggest rise out of men ages 18 to 64. That particular fragrance was found to increase penile blood flow by an average of 40%. "Maybe the odors acted to reduce anxiety. By reducing anxiety, it acted to remove inhibitions," said Hirsch.
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Pumpkin Pie increases Male Sex Drive

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  • I brought some pie today! What... Headache? Oh, nevermind.
    • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

      On the other hand, I send the link to my wife saying "baby, I bet I can convince you to make more pies"


      • Re:Hey honey... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by severoon ( 536737 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:17PM (#34324934) Journal
        ...and tryptophan puts us to sleep. So, isn't it upsetting the Order of Things when we eat the turkey and ~then~ the pie? Shouldn't it be the other way 'round?
        • I thought the turkey day tryptophan thing was a myth/urban legend and it was really just the amount of food eaten + blood going to the stomach or something to digest it...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by shawb ( 16347 )
            It's a half truth. Eating lots of turkey will indeed make you sleepy due to the tryptophan content. However, this only works if you don't eat any other proteins... and there is a fair amount in the rest of the food. As far as a Thanksgiving dinner in toto goes, it is indeed the overeating that makes you sleepy. A little bit from rerouting resources to digest those 3,000 calories (no really, that's the AVERAGE calorie load in an American Thanksgiving feast) and a fair amount due to insulin shock from all
            • Re:Hey honey... (Score:4, Informative)

              by shawb ( 16347 ) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:01AM (#34328100)
              Oh yeah, I forgot that there is irony in part of the mechanism behind how insulin shock leads to drowsiness. Insulin triggers uptake of a large number of amino acids into muscle tissue. One of the few amino acids whose uptake does not increase is... tryptophan. This leads to a higher ration of plasma tryptophan levels, so it is then preferentially transferred across the blood/brain barrier. This then allows higher than normal production of serotonin and melatonin, which then depresses the sympathetic nervous system leading to drowsiness. So, it is tryptophan that triggers the drowsiness, but not necessarily dietary intake.

              Eating turkey or other high tryptophan foods within a moderate sized meal will not, however lead to drowsiness. The other amino acids contained in the food ensure that the relative ratio of tryptophan doesn't increase enough to cause drowsiness. Eating turkey by itself can cause enough of a spike to lead to drowsiness.

              Of course the whole thing is probably even more complicated than that, and I'm sure you'll find that there is a perfect storm of factors involved that lead to thanksgiving post-prandial somnolence. Working hard all day to get things just right, travel, kids running around, rapidly declining sunlight levels, stress of upcoming shopping madness, eating by candlelight, a warm fire and heat turned up a little bit for guests would all add on to any dietary induced slumber. And then there's watching the Lions get beat yet again.
        • Well, your comment makes sense, I know I have to eat the pie before I get the turkey.

    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

      How do you know you married the right woman? When she complains about having a headache AFTER sex, rather than before ;-)

    • Re:Hey honey... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @04:16PM (#34322406)

      FTA: "Every odor we tested aroused the participants," said Hirsch. ... "Nothing turns a man off."

      Now, what pie will arouse women? THAT'S the pie I need.

      • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @04:20PM (#34322474) Journal

        I believe baby powder was the odor most arousing to women, although you could probably use fresh babies if you don't have any powdered.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It's not pie you want, it's Cheesecake. Trust me.
      • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @05:00PM (#34323028)

        Reminds me of this Rorschach test. "What do you see here?" "People having sex." "And this one?" People having sex" "And the next one?" "The same".
        You seem to have a very dirty mind?
        - Me? You are the one showing me all those dirty images!

      • "Now, what pie will arouse women? THAT'S the pie I need."

        I tried to bake some using known-effective fragrances, but burnt money doesn't taste very good.

        Oh well, back to the bus station with the leftover Halloween candy. :(

        • You're doing it wrong! You should have used gold leaf. That would be edible, and it sends the message 'I'm so so fucking loaded I eat gold for dessert!'
      • Now, what pie will arouse women? THAT'S the pie I need.

        I don't think you can make a pie out of currency.

      • I am not sure about the pie thing, I do know most of them can smell a 100 dollar bill a mile away.

      • as well. Not sure where this article came from as i've been buying pumpkin scented candles for a while and getting a lot of "praise" out of them ;)
    • Pumpkin Pie increases Male Sex Drive

      Fuck that. Mr. Scientist, please find me something to increase female sex drive! That doesn't cost a fortune, I mean.

  • I know the plural of anecdote is not data.

  • The main problem is that after eating turkey, potatoes, squash dressing, pies, more pies that the optimal freedom of movement required for a good romp is going to be quite impeded.
  • uh huh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @04:09PM (#34322278)
    So everyone remember that as your mother serves you pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving in two days.
    • My mother's dead, you insensitive clod!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'll try to remember, but the lingerie she wears tends to make me forget thought in general.

    • So everyone remember that as your mother serves you pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving in two days.

      Paging Dr. Freud, you have a patient to see you now. O_o

  • "Maybe"?

    Maybe the pie was "accidentally" baked with a very special ingredient?

  • one flaw... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by arikol ( 728226 )

    this is about AMERICAN men.
    Not men in general, American men.

    As I see it there is a possible (or even probable) confounding here in that a possible alternate cause could be conditioning. Do American men often get laid on thaksgiving? What feelings does the smell of pumpkin pie evoke? For me, none whatsoever. I've never smelled or tasted pumpkin pie.
    If so, then the smell of thanksgiving may be triggering their conditioned response.
    Science reporters, learn science so you can report what is needed (like what co

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cobrausn ( 1915176 )

      "Oh, you're a scientist? What do you research?"

      "Well, today I measured penile blood flow of a bunch of guys who were smelling pumpkin pie to compare it to penile blood flow of those who weren't."

      Science fail.

      • That’s just my heart pumping harder in anticipation of all the artery-clogging food I’m about to eat. Increased blood flow everywhere... now hands off my junk!

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by spun ( 1352 )

          That’s just my heart pumping harder in anticipation of all the artery-clogging food I’m about to eat. Increased blood flow everywhere... now hands off my junk!

          You flying this holiday season? Then I'm afraid it will be hands all over your junk.

    • Well, if there is any truth to the movie, I would say that warm apple pie would cause even more of such reactions.

    • American women usually spend all morning cooking the meal, and then American men spend all afternoon/evening sleeping. Doubt there's much sex going on after stuffing themselves silly with all that delicious food. Possible, but definitely not the norm.

      • Actually, after visiting the US, I'd say the food there is abysmal. For something edible, you need to look into something italian/chinese/etc.

        The rampant obesity there comes from quantity not quality.

        • Then you probably only ate at McDonalds or Denny's and are basing your opinion on ignorance. Like anyplace on the planet, there is crap and gems. Sometimes it takes effort to find the gems.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by KiloByte ( 825081 )

            No, I never been to a McDonalds there -- or rather, I entered one, saw a monstrously dirty place that stank and quickly ran away. Heck, in a backwards place like Poland McDonalds are safe food, among the better fast food places, priced so the poor can't afford to eat there (or at least couldn't ~10 years ago, things change fast) -- yet in the US they seem to be the lowest of the low.

            My sample comes mostly from going out several times with people from that university I've been to for the summer, and trying

            • So you spent a month in one city with university students (hardly culinary experts) and you judge an entire country based on that? Genius!

            • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

              Funny, the authentic German foods I've tried I found disgusting. I detest authentic Italian, French food is pretty but tastless, and I fail at understanding how the English haven't all starved to death. Same with the authentic Indian restaurants. I do like the authentic Chinese restaurants, and I find the Mexican places to be fair to middlin'.

              You don't think that it might have something to do with being socialized to the type of food you grew up with? Nawh! Much better for your karma to bash American f

            • So McDonald's should be priced so the poor can't eat there (or so you seem to suggest), and then you complain about the average American food?

              Duh. You can just buy the stuff that the poor can't afford, and everyone wins. Alternatively you can do a bit of research (this new "internet" helps a lot) and you can find, at reasonable price, both excellent things in great variety (in a bigger city), or at least some great local specialties (almost anywhere).

              In my experience as a student in a big city, it does seem

        • by Shakrai ( 717556 )

          Actually, after visiting the US, I'd say the food there is abysmal.

          What, you couldn't be bothered to drive the five minutes from your hotel to find something other than Wendy's/McDonald's/Burger King? I've been all over the US and each region always manages to have a specialty that you can't find anywhere else in the world. If you think American food is abysmal then you didn't look real hard.

          For something edible, you need to look into something italian/chinese/etc.

          Italian-American food != Italian food. I have been to both places. I'll take the American take on pizza (particularly from the Northeast) over anything I tried in Italy. Mind you

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          According to Michelin, there are more three star restaurants in New York than Rome. In any case it is pathetic that you think you can judge and an entire continent-spanning nation of hundreds of millions based on whatever handful of random restaurants you happened upon. Grow up.
          • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

            He didn't try a handful of "random" restaurants. He tried a few restaurants within walking distance of a university. I don't think any of the best restaurants in my city are anywhere near any university. The available clientel doesn't seem to be able to afford or care for real food.

            • I know of a few good restaurants near the University of Washington and Seattle University, but there too if you're motivated by price chances are you get what you pay for.

              Just the thought makes me homesick for The Continental on University (and makes me want to punch all the dicks on Yelp who can't even spell fucking 'tzatziki' but think they know shit about Greek food and sully The Continental's ratings). That and Taste of India on Roosevelt... my wife and I used to go there practically just for the chai
              • But no... now I'm stuck on the East Coast where apparently only three people know how to cook fish.

                The problem is that good fish is so expensive here; it's easy to get priced out of restaurants that know how to do it well.

                I live in central-northern NJ, quite a bit inland... and there are at least 5 restaurants near me with good fish... if you're willing to pay $40 a plate. Down the shore, there are good fish spots that are cheaper, but I'm not going to drive an hour just for dinner.

                So do what the rest of

                • Cooking fresh fish is a lot of work... and I spend 3 hours a day commuting, I don't have the energy. However your correlation seems correct, the few places I've found that know what they're doing are ~$20+ a plate. But then at prices like that you'd damn well better know what you're doing.

                  You ever get out to Neah Bay and have some salmon fresh and still warm out of a Makah smoker? That stuff is as good as the salad in When Harry Met Sally. You will not find salmon prepared better anywhere in the world, an
        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          If you can't appreciate a simple roasted turkey with stuffing and a side of potatos, I feel sorry for you.

        • "Actually, after visiting the US, I'd say the food there is abysmal. For something edible, you need to look into something italian/chinese/etc."

          You obviously have never been to or stayed in New Orleans.

          Definitely GOOD food down here...

          Heck, where I live, there really hardly is any commercial fast food places near where I live....Only like one Burger King within miles of me, but plenty of good local restaurants of all kinds, ethnic and NOLA style stuff.

          I very rarely eat fast food, or even at ANY chain r

        • by tibman ( 623933 )

          I'm not sure if there is such a thing as "American Food" ? It's all stolen from other Countries and Cultures.

          Good food can be found in most non-franchise diners/grills/pub/deli/cafe. Franchised restaraunts are nearly identical to each other.. so if you find a meal you like from a franchise store, you can pretty much find that exact meal in the surrounding towns/states.

          My time spent in Germany is similar to yours. Most of the food was good. But there was also little variation and each place had virtually

          • by epine ( 68316 )

            I'm not sure if there is such a thing as "American Food"? It's all stolen from other Countries and Cultures.

            Amazingly, you can trace the theft of cuisine all the way back to cultures without writing, then the trail goes cold. Originality is nine parts mists of forgetting. But I think you can fairly credit America for Tang and Velveeta.

      • Well you are both right. Married Men and women don't get laid on thanksgiving, if ever at all. Maybe twice a year, or three if you spend money on Valentines.

        However, all the teenage and young adults will spend thanksgiving with their families and invite their significant other over for dinner.

        After meeting the family - there is usually some break up sex.

        Like the GP said, conditioning.

    • Re:one flaw... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ellis D. Tripp ( 755736 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @04:22PM (#34322506) Homepage

      "Have you ever noticed that you never get laid on Thanksgiving? I think it's because all the coats are on the bed."

    • Someone with mod points mod this insightful right away!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The MAZZTer ( 911996 )

      What feelings does the smell of pumpkin pie evoke? For me, none whatsoever. I've never smelled or tasted pumpkin pie.

      Then how can you say it doesn't evoke any feelings?

  • This is gourd news for men with erectile disfunction!

  • If I had a pumpkin on top of me, I too would be pissed as hell about not having any head for 30 years.

  • If the parents and in-laws didn't come in each Thanksgiving the August 20s would probably be a lot like November 14th.
  • Everyone knows pumpkin pies are sluts.
  • Cultural? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <agnosticpope@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @04:38PM (#34322732) Journal

    What'd be an interesting follow-up is whether this is because of the odor itself or what it reminds us of. Do the same study where no one eats pumpkin pie and see if the effect is the same.

    The author's hypothesis seems to suggest the former, but that's what science is for.

  • The only time I have pumpkin pie is when I'm with my family on Thanksgiving. That's a very disturbing Pavlovian response.

  • by Nexus7 ( 2919 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @04:50PM (#34322882)

    It's the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender that scores significantly higher than anything else (in this test).

    Pumpkin pie & lavender 40% increase in blood flow
    Next highest is 20%
    Pumpkin pie alone 8.5%
    Single highest smell is orange at 19.5%. Even vanilla is 8.5%.

    • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @05:00PM (#34323034)
      Lavender contains high levels of phytoestrogens, so high that a bath product that overconcentrated their lavender extracts was causing peripheral precocious puberty in children and was acting like topical HRT to males. For some reason I can't paste the link into this box (it's a chrome/slashdot problem), but if you search for lavender precocious on google the second result details the occurrence. In any case, this endocrinological aspect may be the key to interpreting the results.
  • I'm seventeen. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex.

  • How high on the scale? If no arousal is 0 and watching pr0n is 100, where does it stand?

  • So does waking and sleeping.
  • How new can this news be, is there's already a pumpkin pie & lavender perfume on sale on EBay?

  • How the hell do you measure how boneriffic a boner is? Seriously. And does the pie increase sex drive, or are we secretly all harboring a fetish for pie eating? Maybe the secret is men should have sex with pies from now on. I've never tried it, but I do know pumpkin pie is delicious. Or maybe pumpkin pie works for this purpose because it's generally given out during Thanksgiving, which is supposed to be a place of calm, and what not. Or, pie brings happiness. Does pie make you happy? It makes me happy. And
    • by thewils ( 463314 )

      ...there must be some other kind of stimulus that they're missing. Maybe the chick serving them pumpkin pie is cuter than the other girls. Maybe the pumpkin pie reminds them of their mothers? Hey Oedipus - want another slice of pie? Sproing!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by recoisiche ( 1864820 )

      How the hell do you measure how boneriffic a boner is?

      With a Plethysmograph []

    • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

      Mmm, just like warm pumpkin pie...

  • I've heard of this as early as 15 years ago. Has no one else heard this before?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @06:56PM (#34324686)

    Given this new information, you should never eat pumpkin with your relatives, it may give you the urge to pump-kin.

  • There is only one food item that has ever aroused me: cinnamon. Many of my male friends feel the same way about that spice. Perhaps it's the abundance of cinnamon in most pumpkin pie that's the culprit?
  • The last thing geeks need to do with their sex drive is increase it. You might as well tell some desert nomads that salty chips will increase their thirst.

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