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Caffeine: Sex Potion for Females?

Study: After a Shot of Caffeine, Female Rats Sought More Sex
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 13, 2006 -- Caffeine may put females in the mood for sex, a new study shows.

In the study, female rats that got their first shot of caffeine before mating were quicker than uncaffeinated females to scurry back to a male rat after sex.

The caffeinated females weren't just looking for company. "It looks as if they wanted to have sex again," researcher Fay Guarraci, PhD, tells WebMD.

Might caffeine also rev up women's sex lives? Maybe, but it's too early to say, says Guarraci, an assistant professor of psychology at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

The study, titled "Coffee, Tea, and Me," is due to appear in an upcoming issue of Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior.

Consume Caffeine, Crave Sex?

Guarraci isn't advising women to use caffeine as an aphrodisiac -- at least, not yet.

"My caution in terms of directly applying the caffeine or the coffee before sex to enhance your sexual drive or motivation would be that in this experiment, we gave only one dose of caffeine to animals who had never had caffeine before," Guarraci says.

"Most of the time, women drink coffee on a daily basis or ingest caffeine in cola beverages," she observes.

It would be interesting to see if regular caffeine use had the same effect on female rats, Guarraci says. If she knew that to be true, she would "be more confident in saying that it would be something useful for women to consider," she says.

Still, she notes the current study's results "might be something to think about for women who don't ingest a lot of caffeine, who usually have a low level of caffeine in their diet."

Female Rats Returned for More Sex

The caffeinated female rats weren't exactly shy.

"The way we measure their interest is they go back and revisit the male after they've just had some sexual interaction with them," Guarraci explains.

That's a normal behavior for female rats. In this study, speed and motivation mattered.

The caffeinated females "would go and visit faster, and they would stay with the males until they received sexual stimulation before they left," Guarraci says.

"It wasn't just that they wanted to be around them. It seemed to be particularly relevant to the sexual interaction, the stimulation they would receive," Guarraci says.

Caffeine didn't affect how quickly the female rats left their partners after sex, the study shows.

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