Do Vegetarians Have Better Sex?

executive summary
PETA recently ran a superbowl ad that not only drew criticism for being overly sexual, but made a pretty big claim: that vegetarians have better sex. But do they really? collected evidence both for and against the claim and weighed in with our opinion.

hot facts
Here we collect evidence for the rumor that vegetarians have better sex.
  • For
  • Against
  • Non-Conclusive

  • Do vegetarians really have better sex?

    Do Vegetarians have better sex?

    PETA says "yes" in an ad banned from the Super Bowl.

    The ad was deemed "too sexual". The network stated the ad, "depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." The ad (see below for yourself) is in fact overtly sexual. Even I, a sexologist, saw what the Super Bowl censors where uncomfortable with. Not that it wasn't a visual treat. Lovely images of super-skinny, model types dressed in lingerie lick pumpkins and rub eggplant down their waxed and tanned legs. It looked good. But the tag line that thrust out in white lettering to cover the screen was what offended me.


    I ran to my sources to see what I could find about the subjects. Is that true? I was a vegetarian for 20 years, and I certainly believe in the ethical treatment of animals, is that why I have great sex?

    Perhaps I was missing. As it turns out, not so much.

    There is not much research on this, but there also is no clear evidence to support the claim that vegetarians have better sex. Here is what the studies say:

    1. Evidence Vegetarians have better sex: Inconclusive

    Hormones levels, especially testosterone, a determinant of sex drive, don't differ all that much between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. 

    2. Evidence Vegetarians have better sex: Against

    a. Zinc deficiency have been found with vegetarians and zinc is an important part of testosterone levels, which affects sexual arousal and reproductive function.

    b. Overweight women were found to be equally, if not more, sexual than skinny girls.

    3. Evidence Vegetarians have better sex: For

    PETA claims that: "... vegetarians are, on average, fitter and slimmer than meat eaters. Also, heart disease and obesity—both linked to meat consumption—can slow someone down so much that sex can give them a coronary. And the consumption of meat and dairy products is linked to impotence: The cholesterol and saturated fats in meat and other animal products restrict the flow of blood to all the body's vital organs—not just to the heart."

    It is true that heart disease and diabetes are both linked to sexual dysfunction and higher weight gain, which is associated with meat eaters. Vegetarians may be in better shape but they may be vegetarians because they are more aware of their health.

    All in all there is no direct link to vegetarianism and sexual performance. Perhaps they were referring to starving super-models vegetarians.