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Popular Drink Works Like Female Viagra?

Want a little more excitement in the bedroom? Give that lady a cup of coffee.

So far this only works in rats, but something as simple as caffeine could be the female version of Viagra, according to researchers from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. In the first study to ever examine the interaction between caffeine and sex in females, the team determined that moderate doses of caffeine definitely affect sexual behavior in female rats, making them more interested in the males.

Study leaders Fay Guarraci and Stacey Benson gave 108 female rats a moderate dose of caffeine before a mating test to determine if the caffeine had any effect on female mating behavior. They found that caffeine shortened the amount of time it took the females to return to the males after receiving an ejaculation, suggesting that the females were more motivated to be with the male rats.

Of course, there is a catch. While it is tempting to speculate that caffeine exposure could also affect sexual motivation in other female mammals such as humans, Guarraci cautioned that may not be the case since most humans consume moderate doses of caffeine on a daily basis. "These rats had never had caffeine before," she said. "In humans, it might enhance the sexual experience only among people who are not habitual users." That is, it appears caffeine would only stimulate the libido of women who don't usually consume caffeinated beverages and therefore are not immune to its sexual powers!

Even if the female Viagra isn't just as simple as drinking a cup of coffee, the study will add to our understanding of the relationship between the brain and behavior. "Understanding the circuits that control this behavior will help us understand how the brain works and what part of the brain mediates motivation because sexual behavior is a motivative behavior," she said.

The study findings were published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior.
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