Social media users claim drinking caffeine can lead to better orgasms. Some are even displaying “proof” of longer orgasms in videos utilizing orgasm-tracking apps.
Experts say that this claim is not backed up by evidence and that drinking too much caffeine can detract from sexual performance and negatively impact overall health.
People are consuming excess caffeine to achieve better orgasms—and are posting about it on social media. One TikTok video, with nearly 1,500 comments, asks, “Did you know drinking coffee before sex will make your orgasm 50 times more intense?” Another TikTok video with almost 7,000 comments claims that drinking coffee before sex will increase the intensity of an orgasm by 50%.
On Instagram, user @annaisaverage—Cofounder of Lioness Health, which sells “smart vibrators for smarter orgasms”—put the theory to the test, utilizing the company’s orgasm-tracking app. In her video, she shares that after consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine, her orgasm lasted 21 seconds, while her non-caffeinated orgasm lasted 11 seconds. She also says that her “pelvic floor movements were a lot more intense” and “jittery.”
Instagram users shared their questions in the comment section. For example, @shewillbemine asked @annaisaverage, “How does one calibrate for the obvious confirmation bias? Creating anticipation before attempting the experiment would sully the results. What you need is a placebo that looks and tastes like caffeinated drinks. Scientific [m]ethod people, come on.”
Commenters questioning the trend may be onto something. Nicole Prause, PhD, a sexual psychophysiologist, tells MDLinx, “Not only is there no evidence that caffeine enhances orgasm, but there is [also] no scientific reason to believe it could. Orgasms are a reflex, so they are very consistent within a person and highly stereotyped (eg, contraction patterns). While the experience of an orgasm can vary—such as higher intensity and greater prolactin release—with the longer arousal periods associated with partnered, as compared to solo, orgasms, there is zero link with caffeine,” she explains.
Dr. Prause goes on to say that this link between caffeine and orgasm is very unlikely, as caffeine increases sympathetic tone, like heart rate. “This is the opposite of what occurs in the period leading up to the physical climax,” she says.
But that doesn’t mean a modest cup of Joe should be off the table entirely. “It is possible [that] caffeine could enhance sexual arousal,” Prause says, “but that is different from orgasm and also has never been demonstrated.”
In short, Dr. Prause thinks that the claims about caffeine leading to greater orgasms come down to one thing: the placebo effect. She notes that consuming caffeine in an attempt to achieve greater orgasm may not even be worth it: “Caffeine is a low-risk substance, but high doses can cause serious cardiovascular complications—and there appears to be no benefit to orgasm for this serious health risk.”
Jeff Lundgren, CMHC, CST, an AASECT-certified sex therapist and licensed clinical mental health counselor, agrees that caffeine could offer a placebo effect of sorts—one that might potentially boost mood and lift psychological barriers. “This helps caffeine consumers approach intimacy with greater enthusiasm,” Lundgren tells MDLinx. “However, excessive caffeine intake can lead to adverse outcomes, such as increased sexual anxiety or heightened sympathetic nervous system response, both of which can diminish sexual performance,” he continues.
“If clients find caffeine beneficial for sexual performance, I often advise them to refrain from consuming it during the afternoon or evening when sexual activity commonly occurs. While caffeine may offer immediate benefits, its potential to disrupt sleep can ultimately impair sexual performance,” Lundgren says.
Catherine Karnatz, MPH, RD, a Rhode Island–based dietitian and the creator of Nutrition Education RD, says that MDs should remind patients that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises against consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Patients should know that drinking too much java—as well as other caffeinated beverages—may lead to other health issues, including dehydration, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and caffeine dependence, Karnatz adds.
Before jumping into the bedroom hopped up on two venti coffees, patients should hold off. “More research on caffeine's potential role in sexual stimulation is warranted before making concrete conclusions,” Karnatz says.
Social media’s impact on health and wellness
The caffeinated orgasm claim is yet another example of how social media can play a key role in the dissemination of health misinformation. “Social media is most commonly grossly inaccurate with respect to sexual health information,” Prause says. She stresses that many influencers on Instagram and TikTok consistently share sexual health information that is “medically inaccurate and [that] does not reflect any research-supported treatments for sexual difficulties.”
Prause adds that she often detects misinformation in influencers’ discussions around sexual disorders, including by those who make false claims and charge high fees for so-called treatments.
In fact, Prause says that she worked on an article published in Nature (focused on male patients) that found that a significant proportion of social media users don’t even consult their physicians regarding the health information they find online.