The first day is reserved for just feeling gross.
March 13, 2019 5:26 PM   Subscribe

[T]he sick hornies are a well-documented but little understood phenomenon in which people describe feeling extra horny when they get sick. Don’t believe me? Check out this reddit thread with dozens of people agreeing that this is for sure A Thing. Or this one. Or this one. Or this one. (It seems to be a big concern.)
Sophia Benoit ponders in GQ Why people went to do it when they are ailing: "So, You’ve Got a Case of the Sick Hornies"
posted by Going To Maine (63 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite


 
word to the wise, if we're talking basic head colds here, the sick person shouldn't be on top
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:35 PM on March 13 [37 favorites]


My guess is that hanging out in bed in the daytime is something people mostly otherwise do when they are having sex, so being in bed at weird times reminds them of sex, even just subconsciously, and they start to get horny.
posted by lollusc at 5:47 PM on March 13 [9 favorites]


hahahahah I can relate to this sometimes. For me part of it is that I just wanna be taken care of and feel better. Though my options for that are limited (being single) and there's only so much masturbation can do.
posted by divabat at 5:54 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Incidentally, "Extra Randy and the Sick Hornies" is the name of my neo-swing brass band. Our first album is Only He Who Is Running Knows.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:55 PM on March 13 [43 favorites]


Any communicable illness which altered your behavior in a way that made it more likely to be passed on would have a selective advantage over a comparable illness which didn't.

Years ago , I read a study which claimed that a population of rapists had much greater than expected rates of STDs, and I've tried to to find it a few times for a comment like this, but so far in vain.
posted by jamjam at 6:02 PM on March 13 [7 favorites]


You know, this very much used to be a thing for me when I was younger, like from my teens into my late twenties, but then it faded. Whenever I mentioned it to friends they looked at me like I was crazy, so it's nice to know I wasn't alone.

Maybe your testosterone or adrenaline increases when you're sick, some chemical is elevated to fight the infection and it tickles the horny part of your brain. When you're sick you're also unusually present and aware in your body and all your nerve endings are extra sensitive, so maybe that's part of it too. But when I'm sick my body just feels freaking disgusting and I want to escape it. I think that was more what it was for me, a desperate need to escape the sickness and do something with my body that was more fun than just sitting there oozing snot.

On preview, jamjam's comment is pretty spooky because it suggests that our illnesses may be making us horny to spread themselves. That's some Cronenberg shit, right there.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:10 PM on March 13 [7 favorites]


“Not tonight honey, I don’t have a headache.”
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:10 PM on March 13 [54 favorites]


This is a thing in our home. I go with the boredom theory myself, combined with just wanting to do something that will make you feel better.
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 6:19 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


I mean, who doesn't get hornt up by Bob Barker and F-Troop reruns?
posted by bondcliff at 6:23 PM on March 13 [9 favorites]


The "sick hornies" sounds like unicorns with tummyaches. This is the best you can do, internet?

You could have gone with Netflix and ill, or sneezin' and sleazin', or even flu flu snu snu. Come on! Fever beaver! Infection erection! Th' old Theraflu wanna-do! They write themselves!

I'm just saying show some goddamn creativity, you sick fucks
posted by phooky at 6:32 PM on March 13 [164 favorites]


Fever orgasms are so stretched out and floaty. The endorphins make for a crazy drawn out feeling.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:33 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


I can confirm that this is a thing after pelvic surgery too. I'm currently in full-on hysterectomy-research mode and was just reading on HysterSisters that it's very common to have a huge surge in libido and even orgasms in your sleep while recovering from hysterectomy. And I just had pelvic surgery that was not a hysterectomy and experienced the same thing. I really don't think it was boredom or being in bed. I've experienced that and this was something totally different and super intense.
posted by HotToddy at 6:33 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


The last thing I want when I have sinus pressure, a headache, and difficulty breathing, is increased heart rate and panting. I just don’t get this. At all. When I’m sick I don’t even want to be conscious. Anything that reminds me I’m alive is a bad thing.

I mean, I appreciate the knowledge that this exists, because it’s a big fanfic trope and I always wondered if the writers who used it had either A) never been sick or B) never had sex because the thought of those two things together made absolutely no sense. The more you know...
posted by greermahoney at 6:34 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


I mean, who doesn't get hornt up by Bob Barker and F-Troop reruns?

It just feels like the right answer is "A synth, that's who!"
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:38 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


show some goddamn creativity, you sick fucks

Uh........hankie panky?
posted by hydrophonic at 6:54 PM on March 13 [57 favorites]


HotToddy, yes, I experienced this and it was TORTURE. I even wrote an Ask about it because I was so incredulous that something so minor ("minor": but was laparoscopic and the incisions were basically TINY) could cause such a change, and I couldn't do much about it. IME, the worst kind of sick hornies are when your pelvis goes through some stuff, and a doctor specifically warns you not to do the thing you so badly want to do.
posted by witchen at 6:59 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


I could imagine a hypochondriac with this condition living a very confused existence. Brings a solipsistic edge to faking an orgasm.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:04 PM on March 13


Orgasms are good at temporarily clearing up congestion in the sinuses (as well as elsewhere) so you could think of it as a natural decongestant.
posted by emjaybee at 7:16 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Kinda relatedly, I feel like there's some sort of connection between heavy snoring, breathing difficulties via illness, morning wood and auto-erotic asphyxiation, but I haven't ever looked into it.

...shit, this isn't my sockpuppet account!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:18 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


After a while of blowing your nose to no avail you just want to shoot some gunk out of somewhere
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:19 PM on March 13 [15 favorites]


Sometimes I come to metafilter and learn far too much about humanity.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:31 PM on March 13 [35 favorites]


Anecdotally I have noticed that many plants when they are dying or cut do their best to flower. I have always felt it was an attempt to reproduce before they die. Maybe this is a similar phenomenon?
posted by iamnotangry at 7:35 PM on March 13 [13 favorites]


Strength and beauty destined to decay
So cut the rose in full bloom

Till the fearless come and the act is done
A love like blood, a love like blood

posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:40 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


On my phone “sick hornies” looks like “sick homies,” so I found this confusing.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:03 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


I go with the boredom theory myself

Maybe there is an evolutionary advantage: when your health starts to fail, lock in that healthy lover, give them a reason to help keep you alive. It could get worse, you know, so better show what you got now.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:11 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


I think this is mentioned in Thomas Mann‘s Magic Mountain, so it‘s not exactly a new discovery. I thought at the time it was mainly about a bunch of kids with nothing to do stuck on a mountain, but maybe it‘s the tuberculosis (talk about ‚coughing up a lung‘...)
posted by The Toad at 8:12 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


This was a scene in Judith Krantz's 1986 I'll Take Manhattan. The protagonist lives in the dictator's building.....JK seems liberal in her early 2000's memoir; I have no idea what her opinion of him is now.
posted by brujita at 9:01 PM on March 13


I'm fairly convinced that I've noted people (including me) getting more prone to carelessly touching things when they're sick (at least with cold/flu like things). Which has led me to think that highly successful viruses may have side effects that benefit their proliferation other than things like coughing and sneezing. If a virus, by virtue of some random mutations, happened to have the side effect of making us more likely to carelessly touch things, kiss, or have sex, wouldn't it have a competitive advantage?
posted by treepour at 9:03 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


I've read about people who get horny during earthquakes. As iamnotangry said about plants above, I've assumed this is a subconscious desire to pass along the genes before rigor sets in. And the same with the sick hornies.
posted by bryon at 9:06 PM on March 13


Can confirm.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:15 PM on March 13


I..I thought being sick was a chance for free hallucinations but wait, there's more! The very thrifty side of me is pleased.

Personally, I thought it was the little death before the big one.
posted by jadepearl at 9:21 PM on March 13




rub one out for the sick homies
posted by idiopath at 9:50 PM on March 13 [10 favorites]


When I feel like this, I try to channel that energy into working on a fiber arts project, because that makes me a sick horny weaver.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 9:53 PM on March 13 [30 favorites]


I laughed at that way more than I should have.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:00 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


I actually used to use the phrase "sick horny" to describe the state of being so horny it makes you kind of sick. Like, one of those lonesome nights when you're all pent-up and frustrated and masturbation isn't doing it, and you feel almost feverish with this need to fuck already. I think I got the phrase from a Ben is Dead article where a woman described being in such a delirium of sexual frustration that she ended up doing something inappropriate with her dog. (I know, ew.)

A friend once described a grotesque stomach flu experience as "almost... sexual," complete with that Goldblum-esque pause, and somehow I knew just what he meant. There's nothing less sexy than a stomach flu, but when you're all clammy and gasping and fluids are shooting out of you all over the place it can be kind of like sex's evil twin.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:02 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: sex's evil twin
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:09 PM on March 13 [6 favorites]


After a while of blowing your nose to no avail you just want to shoot some gunk out of somewhere

Oh baby, that’s jizz I swear.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:46 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


There's a similar phenomenon in the plant world: pruning fruit tress (ie, cutting off a bunch of limbs to put the fear of death in them) causes greater fruit abundance.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:47 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Huh. Don't think I've ever felt extra frisky when ill, but I have noticed it happening when I get extremely tired—like sleep deprived with that sand-in-the-veins feeling where everything gets both fuzzy and sharp kinda tired. I always assumed my body was just pulling out all the stops to get me to go to sleep.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 11:05 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


My first boyfriend got this and you know what? Sex kind of can do wonders when you need a fever to break asap.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:12 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Never experienced, but the hung over hornies, good god.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:34 PM on March 13 [6 favorites]


Uh, I heard that some people, when they are extra tired after an all-night work session, can experience something like this too.

(The last time I got really sick, if you told me by cutting off my dick my sore throat and coughing would go away, I'd have had the scissors in my hand within seconds.)
posted by maxwelton at 1:42 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


I'm with Greermahoney, I do not experience this. At all. As soon as I get sick all sexual feelings die, I am entirely un-moved by any and all sexiness. I also really don't want to have sex with sick people.

I guess I'm programmed to stop the spread of disease instead of having a last hurrah attempt at children?
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:51 AM on March 14 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm sitting in the opposite bench as well. But my libido is a very delicate flower and basically anything out of the ordinary makes it run screaming out the door and on to the nope bus. Stress, illness, the feeling that someone could conceivably hear, Mars in retrograde. These threads always give me such an intriguing peek into the lives of the horny.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:49 AM on March 14 [9 favorites]


After a while of blowing your nose to no avail you just want to shoot some gunk out of somewhere

how do I reverse-favourite a comment, mods, help
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:56 AM on March 14 [15 favorites]


Honestly, when I’m just a little bit sick I am way less inhibited so I am more productive, creative, and yeah sexual arousal can be a thing. I think it’s just your brain letting loose all of your mental hang-ups.
posted by Young Kullervo at 4:02 AM on March 14


phooky: show some goddamn creativity, you sick fucks


Perhaps an injection of penis-cillin?
posted by dr_dank at 4:52 AM on March 14 [3 favorites]


If I'm ill enough to be in bed during the day, I'm too ill to fuck, and also not an appealing prospect because of the snot and sheets soaked in cold sweat and so on.

I believe in the horniness-brought-on-by-fear-of-death theory though. Post-funeral sex is definitely a thing (for the living, I don't recommend it if you're dead).
posted by Mocata at 5:02 AM on March 14 [2 favorites]


@Greg_Ace:Incidentally, "Extra Randy and the Sick Hornies" is the name of my neo-swing brass band. Our first album is Only He Who Is Running Knows

At every gig, it's SOP to query the crowd for a willing volunteer named Randy (ID required for proof!). He is that show's designated "extra Randy" and gets a tambourine or cowbell or whatever and sits in for the duration.

In the event of multiple valid Randys, a Test of Skill, Rock/Paper/Scissors, or some other pre-defined competitive event will decide the winner du gig.

If no valid Randy is available, alternate names/persons will be considered per whatever consensus is acceptable.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:13 AM on March 14 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: an intriguing peek into the lives of the horny
posted by Going To Maine at 5:49 AM on March 14 [6 favorites]


“Not tonight honey, I don’t have a headache.”

You jest but sometimes I find an orgasm will cure a headache. Other times it makes it 10X worse. So the question is: "Do you feel lucky, spunk?"
posted by srboisvert at 5:59 AM on March 14 [9 favorites]


Post-funeral sex is definitely a thing (for the living, I don't recommend it if you're dead).

I wish MetaFilter would stop it with the careless shaming of ghouls and other abhuman blasphemies. Gibbering horrors have needs, too.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:08 AM on March 14 [10 favorites]


I've often found that this can be part of the process of getting better when I'm sick. My best guess about it other than the miswired "reproduce before death" thing is that being sick puts me in a state where I'm really aware of my body in a way that is similar to pleasure and I'm often having awesome fever dreams, including fever sex dreams, so I'm in a fuzzy mental state and it's easy to just float off mentally and go from there to masturbation.

I've had other weird body experiences where for a moment or two I will get my signals crossed and experience the edge of pain as some kind of pleasure, once including a serious allergic reaction and more often related to living with chronic pain.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:20 AM on March 14


I was very, very ill in my mid-20s - bad viral infection with associated horrors like liver inflammation - and my boyfriend at the time wanted to have sex. I was all...WHY, I AM GROSS AND FLOPPY... but ever since, it's been a way I want to help myself feel better. I'm very thankful to have had some open-minded partners.

[Also menstrual cramps are not "being sick" but be not afraid of the period sex, it helps me the most. YMMV of course. #menstrualmarch]
posted by wellred at 6:42 AM on March 14 [2 favorites]


I totally have this. Also when hung-over.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:14 AM on March 14


Yes, an orgasm can sometimes help with certain types of headaches.
posted by Ber at 8:21 AM on March 14


The best explanation I heard is that when you’re feverish, your body feels a bit like the flush and arousal during sex. That makes sense to me.

(But doesn’t explain the hungover hornies, and that’s gotta be related, right?)

I also just wonder if enough of your ego/executive functioning is impaired that impulses which might otherwise be tamped down are running rampant. I know when I’m sick, my thinking isn’t always it’s best. So, maybe?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:55 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


Huh. Don't think I've ever felt extra frisky when ill, but I have noticed it happening when I get extremely tired—like sleep deprived with that sand-in-the-veins feeling where everything gets both fuzzy and sharp kinda tired. I always assumed my body was just pulling out all the stops to get me to go to sleep.

I maybe get a little of this when I'm sick, but I also came in to say that the sleep-deprived hornies is what I experience the most. It can be a problem for a chronic insomniac.

I also just wonder if enough of your ego/executive functioning is impaired that impulses which might otherwise be tamped down are running rampant. I know when I’m sick, my thinking isn’t always it’s best. So, maybe?

This is my bet for the primary reason behind this sort of thing. It explains sick, tired, and hung-over.
posted by Caduceus at 9:14 AM on March 14


Extra Randy and the Sick Hornies" is the name of my neo-swing brass band.
What's sad is this probably isn't even a top 5 questionable name for popular neo-swing brass bands from the late '90s.


Also I don't get these.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:41 AM on March 14


Orgasms are good at temporarily clearing up congestion in the sinuses (as well as elsewhere) so you could think of it as a natural decongestant.
Yeah, and you're* going to need a Kleenex either way, so you might as well have some fun, right?

* If you got a certain type of apparatus.
posted by klanawa at 4:25 PM on March 14


I like to fast-forward through the vomit shots.
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:37 PM on March 14


Sick Monica
posted by OldAndTired at 11:19 PM on March 15


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