A popular urban legend suggests that hot sauce, when applied to the anus, leads to an immediate and long-lasting erection.

Is this a recipe for pain, a useful sexual stimulant in a pre-Viagra world, or both?

Playing the pain game
The chemicals in hot sauce that cause the painful burning sensation are capsaicinoids, a family of hydrophobic organic molecules found in chili peppers. The pain generated by capsaicinoids follows the same biochemical pathway as a tarantula's venom — that's fricking scary.


Capsaicinoids generate a feeling of heat when they come in contact with exposed mucous membranes in the body. These mucous membranes lie within the lips and mouth, as well as the nostrils, eyelids, and ... the anus.

Application of hot sauce to the anus should result in intense pain and inflammation as it does with the mouth and lips. So it would seem that a sustainable erection is unlikely unless you are turned on by burning sensations.

A seed of possibility
A large number of nerve endings terminate in and around the anus and perineum, so stimulation of the area will likely lead to a response, but a multi-hour erection is a bit of a stretch in logic.


Capsaicinoids would lead to an increase of blood flow in the area around anus. However, that's still a long way from increasing the amount of blood flow to the penis and sequestering the blood so as to lead to a long term erection. If hot sauce worked in this manner, applying it directly to the penis to increase blood flow to the member would work. Don't try that.

Any erection developed from the application of hot sauce would likely be caused by stimulation of the anus or prostate. If a hot sauce bottle entered the anus and stimulation if the prostrate occurred, an erection could follow. That said, long term irritation of the area with hot sauce would possibly lead to scarring. Scar tissue paves the way for fistulas if an anal gland is blocked in the process.


If you're willing to smother your anus with Tabasco sauce like it was a hot wing in order to obtain an erection, you definitely have the intestinal fortitude necessary to talk to your physician about a prescription for an erectile dysfunction medication.

Even if the application of hot sauce did lead to a sustainable erection, Viagra and Cialis are certainly more reliable and less painful methods of obtaining a tumescent member.


Top image by pixelthing/CC. Additional image by theaxis96/CC.