Nothing you do during your teen years is truly safe.
Drop your tray in the canteen and you might as well be dead socially (at least for the next few minutes until the whoops die down).
Even sneezing is oddly taboo around young people, who will critique your unique brand of nasal dust expulsion, and then implying you’re getting sexual pleasure out of it.
Here on Getting Freaky we look at strange sex stories you may have heard growing up, and one you’re bound to have come across is that a sneeze is equal to one eighth of an orgasm.
According to my other learned scholars at the local comp, the more you sneezed, the closer you were to achieving the big O.
While it does come across as a juvenile idea, plenty of people would admit to the fact sneezing provides a feeling of relief, which women and men agree can also be how an orgasm feels.
There’s the initial build-up, followed by a dramatic release.
So far, so similar. Some people also suffer with something from called honeymoon rhinitis, which causes them to sneeze uncontrollably or become congested after sex – or sometimes someone will sneeze simply from thinking about it.
This is likely because the genitals and nose both contain erectile tissue which can engorge, although not enough is known to be sure how the two parts link.
A friend of Freud, German otolaryngologist Then Fliess, believed that all sorts of things could happen if you focused on the nose, and that it was the cause of everything from menstruation problems to psychological issues.
He was dismissed on a number of things, but his theories about the link between sneezing and sex have been reported long since his death.
A report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine surmised that there may be a few different reasons for the link; one being that the sneezing reflex comes about as a physical release post-orgasm, and the other being that the automatic nervous system gets its wires crossed and sends signals to both the nose and the genitals during sex or sexual thoughts.
Sneezing during or after sex, however, is the opposite way around in terms of a reaction, so although it establishes a connection, it doesn’t quite answer our question.
There is research stating that sneezing releases endorphins; hormones that relieve pain and make you feel good.
Orgasms are also reported to release endorphins in your body.
The amount of endorphins released in each act is unknown, but it’s believed that in sneezing it would be significantly less.
Also, given that sex also releases oxytocin and dopamine amongst other hormones, it’s unlikely that the two feelings would be even in the same ballpark (although understandable why they could be easily confused).
In terms of the idea that having eight – or six or seven or any number of – constant sneezes could have a cumulative effect on par with an orgasm: Unfortunately not.
Sexologist Vanessa Thompson of the University of Sydney told Business Insider: ‘there is no cumulative effect with sneezing so no amount of sneezing is going to feel like an orgasm.’
As science progresses, we may find a more in-depth insight into our automatic nervous systems that gives us an answer as to why sex and sneezing linked in any way.
The thought is that it may have come about from Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who said in the 80s, ‘an orgasm is just a reflex, like a sneeze’.
People have potentially misquoted this, and the legend has continued that they’re the same.
In the meantime, it’s better to get a vibrator than a feather with which to tickle your nose. Until next week, freaks.