Putting the “O” in Mushroom


Cultural Staff Writer | Kalila Bell | kb740513@ohio.edu

Women everywhere can rejoice; a breakthrough in medical science has been discovered and it reportedly comes with a side of cosmic orgasms. Every news site from Maxim to Popsugar has picked up a story on this orgasmic organism. The organism is no longer than a few inches, resembles another known sexual stimulator, and its cousin can be found at the local food market. An orange head PHALLUS INDUSIATUS, also known as the Long Net Stinkhorn, is a tropical mushroom that has everyone hot and bothered.

Sound too good to be true? Well, in fact, it may be, due to some recent findings. The first being that the buzz around the Stinkhorn is based off of a 14-year-old study conducted by scientist John Holliday and Noah Soule. Another being that the overall results of the study are inconclusive.

“There’s no actual proof that this mysterious mushroom does anything [spontaneous orgasm] of the sort,” said Bec Crew of sciencealert.com. “All we’re going off is a one-page observational study.”

Behold: the Long Net Stinkhorn, aka the Orgasm Mushroom. Source: Sciencealert.cm
Behold: the Long Net Stinkhorn, aka the Orgasm Mushroom. Source: Sciencealert.cm

The one-page study was published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms in 2001 titled, “Spontaneous Female Orgasms Triggered by the Smell of a Newly Found Tropical Dictyophora Desv. Species.” It outlined the findings of the Long Net Stinkhorn experiment and introduces the background of the “female aphrodisiac” in its native home in the islands of Hawaii, on top of 600-year-old lava flows. The rest of the report goes into the carryout of the experiment, which is what many in the science community are having a problem with.

“I think it is flawed on many levels,” said Don Hemmes, professor of biology at Hawaii University.

The study executed did have a small pool of participants with a 16:20  female to male ratio. Also, of the 36 participants, 6 females experienced an arousal, similar to that of an average orgasm.

“36 people is too small a sample size to prove much of anything,” said Crew.

Crew continued to note how the report is flawed for its lack of follow up, leaving the findings inclusive.

“The results of an experiment cannot be seen as definitive until they are reproduced under a different set of conditions,” stated Crew.

Amongst lack of scientific procedure, the study also did not note the unit of measurement to gauge the orgasm. It also gave no proof of the effects, other than a blanketed statement. Overall, the whole study was flawed, especially in failing to follow scientific method.

The story on findings of the orgasm-inducing mushroom is turning into fable more than non-fiction, and unfortunately, the cosmic orgasm may have to come from a more natural process than from an exotic mushroom. But if anything was learned from the experiment, it was of the finding of a new strain of PHALLUS INDUSIATUS, native to the woodlands in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia, according to mnn.com. And who knows, maybe some impressive cologne will come of this fascinating discovery.