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All senses play role in sexual arousal

Updated: November 6, 2012 9:54AM

A recent study led by music psychologist Daniel Mullensiefen found a surprising link between sexual arousal and music.

Mullensiefen and his researchers surveyed more than 2,000 people regarding how music influences their sex life, and they found that music’s impact actually was quite notable. More than 40 percent of the survey respondents reported that music played a larger role in their sexual arousal than the touch of their partner.

Of course, while music could never replace the love or physical touch of a partner, it apparently can play a very large role in helping us to connect with our sexuality and unleash our inner sex gods and goddesses. So whether your music of choice is Metallica or Al Green, it seems that playing your favorite tunes can help you to rev up your libido and maybe even get your partner in the mood, should you play her music of choice!

The study is important because it helps to illuminate how all of our senses help to contribute to our sexual pleasure. Touch might seem like the holy grail of sexual enjoyment, but the truth is that all of our senses work together to create the perfect orchestra of pleasure and excitement.

The sense of taste has long been considered part of the sexual experience. While science has yet to prove whether aphrodisiacs really help increase sexual feelings, an Italian study found that women who consumed chocolate on a regular basis enjoyed a better sex life than women who did not, including increased levels of desire, arousal and satisfaction.

Scent also plays an important role in our sexual experience, and numerous studies have shown which smells can be the most sexually powerful. You might think that an old standby like Chanel No. 5 or other pricey fragrances are the sexiest scents, but Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago discovered quite interesting evidence to the contrary.

Hirsch and his team had a group of participants sniff numerous different scents and then tracked sexual arousal post-sniff. Surprisingly, scents of cucumber and licorice had the biggest impact on sexual arousal for men and women.

So, the next time you want to win over your date, try lighting a licorice-scented candle or using cucumber body wash. Every little bit helps!

Of course, sight also is important, especially when it comes to bold colors. A new study from the University of Rochester learned that women are strongly attracted to the color red. Researchers showed pictures of men in varying shirt colors to almost 300 women, and time and time again, women believed the men in red to be the most powerful, attractive and sexually desirable.

And, red isn’t the only color that can help to fire up our sexual arousal. But, forget 50 shades of gray! According to a British survey, people who use the color purple in their boudoir have sex more often than people who use other colors (on average, the purple lovers had sex 3.49 times a week).

As you see, when it comes to sexual pleasure, there is so much more to our enjoyment that meets the eye — it’s also about what meets the ears, nose and more! Our senses play a major role in our sexual pleasure, so tantalize yours to help keep your sex life as passionate and colorful as your bedroom itself.

Dr. Berman is the star of “In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN and director of

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