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Sex! Wine! Italians!

Posted 05/09/2011

Many people, myself included, secretly wish they were Italian. In fact, I’ve been told that Italians themselves divide the world into two groups–Italians and those who wish they were. And perhaps, after reading the results of this medical research, you’ll wish that you too were Italian.

That, or at least pour yourself a nice glass of red wine at dinner tonight.

To begin, the interest level of most physicians in published medical research of specialties other than their own varies widely. To keep current, doctors generally confine their reading to their own field. Exploring the medical journals of different specialties can range from really compelling (psychiatry) or visually instructive (dermatology) to pretty boring (urology).

And it’s that last category that, to me, sets the ho-hum standard. Either a patient pees well or he doesn’t. Maybe another leaks urine when she laughs. It’s not funny in the least, but even urologists laconically refer to themselves as glorified plumbers. However, the Urology Department of Italy’s University of Florence medical school does itself proud with its research on women, red wine, and vaginal lubrication.

Gathering data on 800 women living in Tuscany and their drinking habits, researchers sorted the group into red wine drinkers, white wine drinkers, and teetotalers. None of those surveyed had a history of any sexual disorders. Using a standardized questionnaire called the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the three groups were asked about several aspects of sexual health. It turned out all three groups were equal in terms of sexual arousal, satisfaction, and orgasm.

However, when it came to libido (i.e., your unbridled desire for sex) and vaginal lubrication,  red wine drinkers stormingly led the pack.  The researchers had no specific explanation for this but were willing to make some educated guesses.  Red wine is a major component of the Mediterranean Diet, which we know improves circulation and blood flow throughout the body. People of both sexes who live by this very healthful eating are simply more fit, thinner, “vital,” and therefore, probably more sexual.

Also, it’s helpful to keep in mind that in all species, from primitive non-vertebrates to reasonably advanced vertebrates like ourselves, “red” is the universal color of sexual attraction. Animal researchers have shown that when a male of a species is artificially colored red, it will attract the mating interest of a female. One interesting study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that women perceived men as more sexually attractive when the men were clothed in red or photographed with a red background. “Red” did not influence a women’s idea of a man as pleasant, likable or a good future partner, just plain sex.

Hoping this health tip will help you along on your ever present quest to…

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD


8 Comments


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  1. Lana says:

    HILARIOUS!

  2. Mery Krause says:

    Love the sex tips. I’ll be drinking lots more red wine and buying several red shir s for Dan. Maybe moving to Italy is in our future. Thanks for the info……..mery

  3. Ann Raven says:

    The men who read this will buy a red shirt!

  4. ernie says:

    Could this explain the origin of that adage: “Better Red than dead?”

  5. Gina Pera says:

    Hi Dr. Edelberg,

    I’ve always thought the Jewish and Italian people share much in common!

    Keep up the great work with your blog,

    Your longtime fan,

    Gina Pera
    100 per cento Toscana

  6. Shari DuBrow says:

    And the reder the wine the better! have to share this with my FB peeps!

  7. Gina says:

    The title says it all!

  8. [...] collection of data from Tuscany, Italy shows that red wine has an affect on one’s sex life. In this study, researchers from the Urology Department of Italy’s University of Florence medical school [...]