A bout of sneezing can give a lot more away than the fact that you've got a cold, says a researcher, who claims that going "atishoo" can also be triggered by sexy thoughts.
Dr Mahmood Bhutta, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, launched the study after seeing a patient who suffered "uncontrollable" sneezing fits every time he had a sexual thought.
Although his reaction was disbelief, Bhutta, a registrar at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, said that he decided to probe further on the Internet.
He scoured chatrooms looking for examples of conversations about sneezing and sex by typing both keywords into Google - and he had a surprising number of hits.
Seventeen people of both sexes reported sneezing immediately they thought about sex, and three had the same experience after an orgasm, reports the Daily Express.
The study has been published in the latest issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Bhutta says: "I was surprised by how many people reported the same reflex in Internet chatrooms. 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, 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.
"I think this may be why some people sneeze when they think about sex."
Bhutta believes the bizarre response to sexy thoughts may run in families.