The next time you're slyly flirting and your victim gets an uncontrollable fit of sneezes, pat yourself on the back for maybe causing impure thoughts.
According to Dr. Mahmood Bhutta, an ear, nose, throat specialist at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, sneezing can be brought on by thoughts of sex. The doctor had a patient who said he sneezed everytime he thought about sex. Everytime. This little physiological oddity triggered Bhutta to investigate the matter further to find out if this was a trend—or merely just one poor man's bizarre reaction.
He assumed such a quirk wouldn't be something you'd go into a doctor's office to specifically ask about, so Bhutta did a little poking around in chat rooms. He was surprised to see how many anonymous people said they had the same sexy sneezing. He found the condition was much more common than one would initially think, with some even reporting increased sneezing after orgasming.
The next step was finding out why, and while researchers aren't 100% sure, Bhutta hypothesizes this may be a result of some "evolutionary wiring."
"It certainly seems odd, but I think this reflex demonstrates evolutionary relics in the wiring of a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system. This is the part beyond our control, and which controls things like our heart rate and the amount of light let in by our pupils. Sometimes the signals in this system get crossed, and I think this may be why some people sneeze when they think about sex." he said.
Another example of sneezing getting wrapped up into something completely unrelated, is when one in four people sneeze after looking directly into the sun. Researchers think this is genetic, as is sneezing when one's stomach is full.
We'll never say the words 'God Bless You' the same way again.