Tracking down the infamous orgasm mushroom

Last year I posted about a Hawaiian mushroom that allegedly induces orgasms in women who sniff it. Christie Wilcox, a writer for Discover, read the post and went on a mission to track down and test the mushroom's effects on herself. It's called "Expedition Ecstasy: Sniffing Out The Truth About Hawai‘i’s Orgasm-Inducing Mushroom" and it's a great read.

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As the story goes, one day, [John C.] Holliday [author of the paper, "Spontaneous Female Orgasms Triggered by the Smell of a Newly Found Tropical Dictyophora Desv. Species"]needed an x-ray, and ended up politely chit-chatting with the x-ray technician in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. “She said ‘What do you do?’, and I said ‘I am a mushroom scientist’, and she went, ‘I have to ask you: my mother and I like to go out and sniff mushrooms. Do you think we are crazy?'”

She was reluctant to explain why she and her mother did this, but eventually, she admitted to Holliday that she got a kind of euphoric effect from the smell. “It did not sound real but worth looking into,” Holliday told me. “I talked them into taking me out on their little adventure, and a group of girls on Saturday morning and I went out to Lava Tree State Park and found them. Found one, that is it—they are not common. That one got used up. I took photographs of it, and I posted photographs all around that area, and I put a reward out for this.

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Daily orgasms can greatly reduce risk of prostate cancer

One out of seven men will get prostate cancer. Unfortunately, most of the risk factors have to do with age, race, and family history, so they are not modifiable. But new research suggests that daily orgasms will reduce the risk of prostate cancer by over 20 percent.

From The Telegraph:

The study data showed that the participants who ejaculated more than 21 times a month were at a 22 per cent lower risk of getting the disease. As for how men achieved ejaculation, it is not a requirement to have a sex partner. Whether it be sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, or masturbation, all are beneficial.

From an interview with Dr. Jennifer Rider of Harvard Medical School, who conducted the research:

The current study is the largest prospective study to date on ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer. It includes 18 years of follow up of almost 32,000 healthy men, 3839 of whom later were diagnosed with prostate cancer. We asked men about their average monthly frequency of ejaculation between the ages of 20-29, 40-49, and in the year prior to the questionnaire (1991). We find that frequency of ejaculation throughout life course is inversely associated with risk of prostate cancer at all three of these time points. For instance, men who have an average monthly ejaculation frequency of 21 or more times/month at ages 40-49 have a statistically significant 22% reduction in risk of developing prostate cancer compared to men with a frequency of 4-7 times/month, adjusting for multiple dietary and lifestyle factors, and prostate cancer screening history.

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Update on the orgasm-inducing Hawaiian mushroom

A few readers have expressed doubt about the orgasm-inducing mushroom I mentioned yesterday. It was in reference to an article titled, "Spontaneous Female Orgasms Triggered by the Smell of a Newly Found Tropical Dictyophora Desv. Species," which appeared in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms (Vol 3. p. 162, 2001)

Here's a link to the PDF of the article. The article, written by John C. Holliday and Noah Soule of Next Laboratories and Aloha Medicinals in Hawaii says:

...there are significant sexual arousal characteristics present in the fetid odor of this unique mushroom. Indeed, nearly half of the female test subjects experienced spontaneous orgasms while smelling this mushroom.

None of our readers have, as far as I know, sniffed the mushroom, but they do know their way around Snopes, and they have kindly provided a link to the site's page, which says the mushroom's orgasmic power is UNPROVEN:

Our research did not turn up any other scientific studies about this orgasm-inducing and unnamed Dictyophora species, and the one extant study is itself a bit flimsy. Halliday and Soule conducted a “smell test” in 2001 involving 16 women and 20 men. Six women reportedly experienced spontaneous (but not “earth-shattering”) orgasms while smelling the fungus, and the other 10 (who received smaller doses) experienced an increase in heart rate. What caused the spontaneous orgasms? Halliday speculated that the fetid odor of the mushrooms may have had “hormonelike compounds present” that had some “similarity to human neurotransmitters released during sexual encounters.”

While Halliday’s study is certainly intriguing, it’s somewhat short of representing a rigorous scientific standard: it’s a single, decade-old study that was conducted with a very small sample group and published in a minor journal, one which has not since been replicated or vetted by other researchers in the scientific community.

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This tropical mushroom gives women spontaneous orgasms from sniffing it

A study from the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms reports that Dictyophora, a mushroom that grows on lava flows, induces spontaneous orgasms in about 1/3 of the woman who sniff it.

From Wikipedia:

According to a 2001 publication in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, the smell of the fresh fungus can trigger spontaneous orgasms in human females. In the trial involving 16 women, 6 had orgasms while smelling the fruit body, and the other ten, who received smaller doses, experienced physiological changes such as increased heart rate. All of the 20 men tested considered the smell disgusting. According to the authors, the results suggest that the hormone-like compounds present in the volatile portion of the gleba may have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released in females during sexual activity. The study used the species found in Hawaii, not the edible variety cultivated in China.

Image: Ajaykuyiloor/Wikipedia

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Woman who had 5-6 spontaneous orgasms a day in her foot

Dr. Justin Lehmiller reports on Foot Orgasm Syndrome (FOS), in which people experience orgasms originating in their feet. Read the rest