pheromones ~ can you smell the love?

Something that intrigues the bageesus out of me is pheromones, and just how much they subconsciously affect ones attraction and desire (or lack thereof) towards another. Whether or not you’re aware of it, they play a monumental role in sexual behaviour and whether or not you dig someone.

Think of a time…when you have absolutely LOVED someone’s smell. Even when they were sweaty, or hadn’t showered after getting home from work or sport training, their natural smell was like a perfume or cologne to you. Did their odor or scent just turn you on, or smell pleasant to you…or perhaps you couldn’t smell anything at all?

Now think of a time…when you have absolutely DESPISED someone’s scent. Their breath made you cringe. Their BO was sour. You simply did not enjoy getting too close to them because according to your nostrils, quite frankly they stank.

It’s Science!

Derived from the Greek word pherein (to transport) and hormone (to stimulate), pheromones are basically scented sex hormones, or chemicals, released by living organisms to send a message to a member of the same species (i.e. yes I am available for sex, or no I am not). So, in a nutshell, if you feel a surreal, unexplainable connection with someone, it could be, literally, chemistry.

In personal experience, I can remember going on a date with a guy where pheromones came into play (and not in a good Las Vegas way). He ticked all the right boxes – successful, attractive, independent, fun – but I despised his natural bodily smell, and it wasn’t due to cleanliness because he frequently showered and used deodorant! His body odor, breath, taste, sweat and even the way his cologne mixed on his skin all just eeked me out, repulsed even if I may. I dreaded a goodnight kiss, and his cologne gave me a splitting headache. It was all just a giant turnoff! It felt like a genetic cue that he was not the right one for me or perhaps not the best DNA combination for procreating. Besides, I couldn’t help it…no matter how much fun we had, how physically attracted I was to him or how many nice dinners we went on…I couldn’t get my head around his overall smell, scent and taste. It stunted all desire!

Research has shown that potential sexual partners tend to be perceived more attractive if their MHC composition (set of genetic cells/molecules) is substantially different. This behavior promotes variability of the immune system of individuals in the population, thus making the population more robust against new diseases, and even going to the extent of preventing inbreeding. Crazy huh!? And in the animal realm, boar pheromones are sprayed into the sty, and those sows that exhibit sexual arousal are known to be currently available for breeding. Even sea urchins release pheromones into the surrounding water, sending a chemical message that triggers other urchins in the colony to eject their sex cells simultaneously.

Diet & Emotions

Although pheromones are our natural, innate scent, they can also be substantially affected by what we consume. If one drinks heavily, smokes, takes drugs and/or eats junk food – this will significantly impact their secretions in their breath, genitals and sweat glands, hence affecting who we attract or repel into or out of our orbit. If our body is toxic and we live on a highly acidic diet (meats, coffee, alcohol, white carbs), then our pheromones will mimic this.

On the flip side, the healthier you are – eating lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholesome foods – the sweeter you will smell. If you have a highly alkaline diet (read here for Sarah Wilson’s wicked alkaline recipes), your breath will be nicer, your sweat will be sweeter and your cum/genital secretion will even be better smelling/tasting (read here to explore how to make your cum taste better for your partner – smoothie recipe included!)

Pheromones can also change from internal & emotional factors. In Louise Hay’s book ‘You Can Heal Your Life‘ she mentioned a woman who had terrible breath. Although this woman was studying to be a minister and on the outside her demeanor was spiritual, beneath this was a raging current of anger and jealousy that exploded every now and again. Her inner thoughts were expressed through her breath and she was offensive even when she pretended to be loving. I believe this example to be so true. No matter what we consume, our true scent is seriously impacted by our inner thoughts and feelings. Have you ever done a speech or presentation, maybe a performance or an exam and been so nervous that you sweated profusely and it smelt different in your armpits…like stronger? It’s because you had increased fear, anxiety and stress radiating out of your pours – changing your pheromones!

Real life stories

“My ex-boyfriend was a hairy guy but he never smelt. He always smelt so good, like sweet. Even after he had showered it was as though his cologne didn’t rub all the way off, but I believe it was his pheromones / body odour that I was attracted to. I remember lying with my nose in his armpit and loving it.”

“Some of my past partners have loved giving me head. My ex used to pull out after I’d come and give me head because he said when I came it tasted like a ‘lollie’ and he loved it. But then I’m sure there were some that perhaps didn’t like the taste so much. So I think it’s really interesting that some people we are more attracted to in that way than others.”

“I was married for longer than a decade and prior to the marriage ending, was so repulsed by the smell of my partner, that i simply couldn’t be in her presence. How much of the ‘smell’ was a result of the tenuous state of the relationship i will never know, but it was obvious, overpowering and memorable. I recall it being so strong though that it confirmed in my mind that i was not with the right person.”

“Genitalia.. I have tasted some awful penises. Sometimes for the obvious reasons where they’re not clean or just been to the bathroom. But others that just taste sour or pungent. Others are like a big juicy popsicle dipped in Lindt chocolate. My boyfriend’s ALWAYS tastes amazing, no matter how dirty he is!”

“There’s this guy I work with and he smells bad, I mean really bad and I feel terrible for him but can’t help but think there’s someone out there that likes his smell. I love my fiancés smell and I’m sure others don’t like it.. This might be a strange statement for some but I think it’s natural attraction at its best.”

“I remember being with two different guys that wore the same cologne but it smelt better on one of them. I think this is because his bodily scent blended with it so much better, or it was his underlying pheromones that I was attracted to.”

“I had a previous girlfriend that in most respects was a wonderful person; strong confident personality, very womanly, intelligent and knew how to hold her body. Oral sex was a disaster though – the smell of her pussy was such that i would almost gag (and i’m a big fan of giving a woman head) every time i went down on her. It was so pungent that i am sure it ultimately led to or strongly influenced the demise of the relationship.”

“I have been in past relationships where i can track the changes in body smell through the menstrual cycle. Its not surprising that a woman’s smell would change with hormonal/pheromone changes given that it would seem only natural that a woman would ‘attract’ or ‘repel’ a potential mate during that period based on when she was most fertile (think survival of the species etc..). In longer term relationships, could get to the point of knowing when she felt horny and when she didn’t based on whether i found her smell attractive or not. Seems logical but also substantiates that attractiveness is much more complicated than merely someone’s looks. Tests around how potential partners view facial shape changes with the menstrual cycle confirm that man are more attracted (based on facial recognition and shape) during periods when woman do not have their menstrual cycle so why would it not be the same for smell??”

“I think there’s an interesting cultural match in the whole pheromones topic. We can smell the difference in Asians or Indians or Pakistanians. And we smell odd to them. It’s like our pheromone balance is (most of the time) better suited to like-cultures. And this is the process of evolution and to keep our race growing. There is a smaller percent that cross-breed to keep the world diverse and multi-cultural, but strong cultural bonds I believe are evident between those of like-scented people.”

“My ex would prefer to go down on me after a sweaty yoga session or a long day at work. She liked the way I tasted and smelt all the time, anytime, and would be disappointed if I had showered!”

So what’s the big fuss?

Pheromones play such a pivotal role in choosing a partner (consciously or subconsciously), whether we are aware of it or not! There is a reason you are or aren’t attracted to one’s body scent – and I’m not just talking about after a sweaty gym session, post-sex or even after a thorough shower! If you are put off by their smell, it means they are not the right or ideal biological match for you. Yes, not every person you meet you’re going to be thinking about biology and procreation or whether or not you’re going to make babies, but it’s in our genes to think this way and it certainly factors into it in the grand scheme of connection and chemistry.

So my say is don’t waste your time on someone if you’re not completely digging their pheromones…besides you’re the one who is going to have to wake up and smell their morning breath every day! Observe your nostrils’ reactions to another’s scent (body, skin, hair, breath, feet, genitals etc,) and go beyond just perfume and cologne. On the same token, don’t rely solely on your nose to select your life partner. Obviously attraction and visual cues as well as values, personality, things in common etc. still count for a substantial amount, however never underestimate the importance of smell.

Ask yourself:

Do you enjoy the smell of your partner’ natural scent?

Does your partner’s breath, sweat, smell or genital secretion/cum turn you on or gross you out?

Can you communicate to your partner how you feel about their smell?

If you’re single, is there someone who you walk past every day, catch the lift with or simply know of whose smell you melt for? MAYBE YOU SHOULD TOTES ASK THEM OUT!

What are you consuming on a daily basis that impacts your own scent?

Enjoy, sniff sniff!