Flowers and Sex

Flowers and Sex

By Emmeline Peaches, 11.11.2019

It is said that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet but, then again, this was spoken by a teenage gang member who engaged in accidental joint suicide alongside his lover, Juliet, so can we really trust flowers when it comes to love?

Thankfully, the answer is ‘Yes.’

Flowers have a long-standing history when it comes to love, sex, and romance, and the time-old tradition of delivering flowers to a loved one is just one example of the link between botany and our affections. 

In this article we’re going to look at some of the odd ways that flowers have intersected with human romance and courtship over the years and, hopefully, give you a few ideas of how to use flora for fornication in your own love life. 

Giving Flowers as Gifts

The idea of giving flowers as a romantic gift is so classic nowadays that it’s practically Hallmark, but the act has a lot of tradition in human history and is worth looking in to.

Evidence suggests that we have been giving flowers as gifts to each other in the Western world since the 18th century, fuelled by a discovery of the language of flowers in Turkey. 

The Victorians were especially smitten with the idea of giving flowers as gifts and a Victorian individual would know exactly what was intended with each gifted bouquet. 

This translated in to the Victorian art world too – where ‘reading’ a picture’s symbols was a large part of appreciating a painting. Take Ford Madox Brown’s Stages of Cruelty, for example. In this painting a cruel young lady grows up to be a cruel lover and this is shown, in part by the flowers. 

When younger she beats a dog with a stem of love-lies-bleeding, which symbolised hopelessness to Victorian audiences. As she is older a man vies for her affection from inside some lilac bushes (which symbolized first love) which then spiral up to some bindweed (a sign of extinguished hope). The lady herself has a geranium in her clothing – a sign of deceit. 

Moral of the story? Never pursue a person wearing geraniums, and certainly don’t gift them to a lover!


The language of flowers, as developed by the Victorians, is known as floriography and you’d be surprised at just how many different meanings flowers can have.

If you want to practice a bit of modern floriography yourself when giving a bouquet then here are some common love-based symbols:

Almond blossom: Hope

Balloon Flower: Endless love

Bird of Paradise: Symbol of faithfulness

Calla Lily: Incredibly beauty

Camellia (White): You’re adorable

Chrysanthemum (Red): I love you

Coxcomb: Unfading love

Dahlia: Elegance

Dill: Lust

Forget me Not: True love

Gardenia: Sweet love

Gloxinia: Love at first sight

Hearts Easr: You occupy my thoughts

Honeysuckle: I love you

Iris: Passion

Lady’s Seal: Be my support

Lady’s Slipper: Win me

Lavender: Devoted love

Lily of the Valley: Happiness returned

Marjoram: Joy

Mistletoe: Kiss me

Morning Glory: ‘Affection’

Peony: A happy marriage

Phlox: Our lives are entwined

Primrose: I can’t live without you

Rose (Red): I love you

Rose (White): Unity

Rose (Pink): Perfect happiness

Rose (Orange): Fascination

Rose (Assorted colours): You are my everything

Satin Flower: Sincerity

Spanish Jasmine: Sensuality

Tulip: Love and passion combined

Tulip (White): We are worthy of each other

Violet: Faithfulness

Viscaria: Care to dance?

Water Lily: Purity of heart

Zephyr Flower: Sincere love

Zinna: Lasting affection

Who To Gift Flowers To?

Flowers have long been given to women in the Western world, but does this have to be the way?

Studies have shown that, although many men won’t admit it, they are also quite partial to receiving flowers from their partner too. 

Flower choice is very important to men, however, and you’re much more likely to get a positive reception if you pick something best suited to their tastes.

If in doubt begin subtly asking the male in your life what sort of flowers he has liked. If he shows no interest whatsoever then he might not be the kind that accepts flowers as gifts. If, however, he has a few favourites then you might want to surprise him sometime. 

Alternatively, many men appreciate being given an office or home offering that is less floral and a bit more neutral when it comes to botanicals. 

Consider gifting a bonsai tree, a cactus, or a succulent to your male lover. This still allows them to share in the joy that comes from receiving flowers without feeling a threat to their masculine identity. 

It’s a shame that such a perceived threat still exists nowadays but baby steps.  

Flowers and Sex

If Georgia O’Keeffe is anything to go by, some flowers are just inherently sexy. Orchids, tulips, and similarly phallic and clitoral floral offerings have an obvious visual appeal when it comes to the art of seduction, but the link goes beyond the visual. 

Lavender, for example, promotes relaxation and the release of feel-good hormones which can facilitate intimate sexual encounters. It is often used in massage oils for this very reason. 

Chamomile flowers are also known for their relaxing qualities and this has long classed them as an aphrodisiac too.

Morning glory’s scent has been shown by some researchers to intensify vaginal contractions in female participants and the Poppy flower’s dopamine release in the body, alongside its bright red colouration, has led many individuals to accredit it to a better night in the sack (and a good night’s rest afterwards). 

So There You Have It!

When it comes to flowers there are many elements that make them the perfect arrangement for a loving and romantic night in together.

So, don’t delay – buy your loved one some flowers right now and see what blossoms from there. 

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