The Smell of Sex: Can Pheromones Get You Laid?
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Whether it’s the first flicker of sexual attraction, or deep in the throws of passion, it’s a good bet that when you’re in the moment, you’re not worrying about the chemistry of desire.
I kept thinking: What’s going on? What’s different? Because I definitely wanted to be able to repeat the experience.
It didn’t even occur to me until the following morning the whole thing might have been thanks to the pheromones in the massage oil. And while I never really believed in bottled aphrodisiacs -- except maybe Jack Daniels -- I had to admit something out of the ordinary happened. So, I decided to do some research to find out if it was a fluke or the real deal.
James V. Kohl, author of the award-winning treatise: “The Mind’s Eyes: Human Pheromones, Neuroscience, and Male Sexual Preferences
and co-author of “Human Pheromones: Integrating Neuroendocrinology and Ethology,” who is considered by many to be the foremost internationally known authority on human pheromones, says, “The chemical signals we send have a direct effect on hormone levels in other people.”
But what about mind, the will and emotions? We are humans after all, not just animals. Says Kohl, “Most actions are based on unconscious effects, animal behavior, where something causes a hormone to change without thought, when we start to think about it we have the option of behaving like an animal or thinking it through.” In other words, while something about another person may turn our heads and pique our interests by way of pheromones, these chemicals are not necessarily effective enough, in and of themselves, to be responsible for a continued relationship with them.
There are some scientists who discount the theory that humans even have pheromones, let alone whether these chemicals play a roll in sexual desire. But there is a lot of evidence that we do. In aby researchers at the University of Chicago, scientists were able to regulate the menstrual cycles of a large group of women. Since the length of women’s menstrual cycles and the release of their eggs are both regulated by pheromones, it was the first real proof that we do produce and react to them.
Other studies claim that women smell sexier to men during ovulation, or even that the nose “knows” who is the right partner for us. Oh, and male armpits can actually turn some women on thanks to substance in a male sweat (androstadienone) that subconsciously attracts females. Who knew? There’s also data to suggest that heterosexual men and women respond to the pheromones of the opposite sex, while homosexual men and women respond to the pheromones of the same sex. And then there are pheromones that are unisex that can be used to make you seem more attractive and approachable to others regardless of gender or orientation.
Lust in a Bottle