Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/24/us_smells/

Pumpkin pie could prompt Thanksgiving sexual free-for-all

Black licorice, doughnuts also fingered as sexual stimulants

By Joe Fay

Posted in Bootnotes, 24th November 2010 13:33 GMT

The US will become a seething mass of unbridled passion tomorrow, as millions of American men succumb to the penile enlargening properties of that traditional Thanksgiving dish pumpkin pie.

A US academic has disclosed that in a study of the effects of assorted fragrances on "male sexual response" the smell of warm, smooth, creamy pumpkin pie trounced other supposed passion arousers. (The study isn't exactly new, but appears to be giving some relief to Americans otherwise traumatised by the idea of being felt up TSA operatives on the busiest travel day of the year.)

Dr Alan Hirsch, and his team at Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Center measured the increase in penile blood flow in the sample of 31 men when tempted by 24 different odorants. In addition, six combinations of the most well liked were also chosen.

The results showed that the downhome combination of lavender and pumpkin pie increased penile bloodflow by a whopping 40 per cent. The next best result came for the heady combination of doughnut and black licorice which pumped up the volume by 31.5 per cent. The cake on cake pairing of pumpkin pie and doughnut produced a 20 per cent spurt amongst the men, taking third place, with orange just behind delivering a 19.5 per cent boost in their zestiness.

Languishing near the bottom of the top 10, Lily of the Valley, a traditional ingredient in lady splash, managed a comparatively poor 11 per cent increase in penile blood flow, barely ahead of buttered popcorn which produced a 9 per cent pop-up.

Hirsch and his team speculated on why the odours had such a pronounced effect. It could be they're simply relaxing, that they make men more alert to sexual cues, or that they may prompt "nostalgic recall".

"The odors could induce a Pavlovian conditioned response," the team suggested, "reminding partners of sexual partners or their favorite foods."

Or both, given this is the land that teachers its youngsters that having sex is like warm apple pie. This theory is probably as accurate as it is troubling.

Hirsch adds that homologous studies on vaginal blood flow have also been carried out.

We're guessing the results will be released in time for Christmas and will show that American women find the most erotic combination to be eggnog and roasted chestnuts. ®