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Scents, Sexual At tractions and its Science


This is why your body spray was not delivering the flocking ladies desperate to ravage your bare ass.

It’s complicated! That is probably one of the simplest ways to describe sexual motivation and attraction in humans. It is unusual. For us humans there is love and then there is sex. Unlike other animals we are not pushed to engage in sexual acts by our internal innate drive. We have sex because we think it is pleasurable. Our sexual behavior is influenced by a couple of factors like our sexual orientation, pursuit of erotic pleasure, attraction to our partner, and to a certain extent, the culture in which we exist. When we focus on attraction to our partners, there’s the visual and intellectual attraction, which are obvious but we tend to underplay the role of scents and smell in the attraction we feel towards another person. So if there are times when you find your self unable to explain why you find (mind you, not think) someone really hot, it probably has something to do with the compound called pheromones that the person is giving off. The adage that, “It is all in the chemistry”, may have a point after all!

So, what are pheromones?

Pheromones are chemicals produced by glands that are in the armpits, genital and navel regions of our bodies. These chemicals are clear and odorless and find their way out of our bodies onto our skin through the sweat pores. So basically, when you sweat, you’re letting the world (especially the sex you are attracted to) know who you are and what you have to offer. So pheromones are not mood enhancers or confidence builders (though your confidence and arousal would probably skyrocket if you knew you had just the pheromones to turn them on ;)). They are sexual attractants not on the blatant ‘that-guy/ girl-smells-so-sexy’ kind of way but at an unconscious subliminal level. Inexplicably a person gets drawn to you. Creatures of God, from mice to moths to men all send out these chemical signals to entice mates. These don’t work in the straightforward Cupid’s-arrow-type of way. There are a suite of chemicals that our bodies emit which can subliminally sway potential partnerings.

Your signals in the form of pheromones make a direct impression on the behavior center of the other person’s brain (male/female).

How do pheromones make a sexual response happen in other people (of the opposite/same sex)?

First of all the glands in our armpits, genital and navel areas produce the pheromones, which are sent out of our bodies via sweat. This is dispersed to the air all around aided and abetted by the body hair in the pubic, armpit and facial regions. These compounds now reach the noses of those around you. Remember, the sweat begins to stink only when it mixes with bacteria. So if you keep yourself clean then your body odor will not be a turn off and your pheromones can work their magic! Anyways, once your pheromones hit the olfactory system (nerves in the nose to hypothalamus) of the other person it does a total bypass of the rational brain signals and heads straight for the emotional center of their brain called the hypothalamus. Your signals in the form of pheromones make a direct impression on the behavior center of the other person’s brain (male/ female). If this information you communicate to the other person says that you are healthy, fit and fertile, then you are in. That is a positive thing and a sexual response comes your way in form of flirtations, provocative eye contact, a move in your direction ….. you get the point. That is the chemistry between two people. Though we have to keep in mind that just because you have an amazing physical chemistry it does not necessarily mean that sex will be great or that you will fall in love. Neither is it a sure thing that your love/lust will last. You have to work on that! Practice makes perfect and you will constantly have to excite each other and be on top of the game.

Also, when you are attracted to a person’s natural smells, then biologically speaking your genes are very diverse from those of that person. What this means in terms of human survival and health is that, the immune system of the offspring will be more robust. So you sire stronger children ensuring the continuation of your genealogical line. Here’s something that may initially sound counter productive, if not weird. If you want to get the ball rolling with a woman for whom you have been having the hots, take her to visit a female friend/relative who is currently lactating (i.e. still breast feeds her baby) or has a breastfed baby. She will definitely feel an increase in her sexual motivation and desires. Stick around and you are bound to get lucky!! Pheromones don’t just work on opposite sex stimulations and sexual attraction. There are some pheromones that stimulate others of the same sex to unconsciously want to be in a similar situation as theirs. To get back to the earlier example, a breastfeeding mom releases pheromones that trigger the motherly instinct in other women, who feel more inclined towards sex because that is the way they get to be moms. Here’s another piece of trivia which can be used totally to your advantage, a woman will be most sensitive to your pheromones when she is at her most fertile. So, when you are getting close to someone there is no harm in figuring out her monthly cycle. The more you know the higher your chances of getting lucky.

The reality is that each person has a unique pheromone combination, which is like a fingerprint, one of a kind.

Pheromones have been used in perfumes/fragrances to supplement the pheromones of the wearer and to attract women and men. Many companies and fragrances claim to help the wearer enhance their sexual appeal to the opposite sex (like The Axe Effect). The reality is that each person has a unique pheromone combination, which is like a fingerprint, one of a kind. So even though products claim to enhance your desirability, it would seem straightforward that in order for a person to be attracted to you they need to be attracted to your pheromones. Like I mentioned earlier, pheromones are important in sexual attraction but they are not the begin-all and end-all for sex. Relationships, whichever kind, need constant nurturing, experimenting and respect. Enjoy!

Chari is a Public Health consultant who has a special interest and work experience in the field of reproductive and sexual health. She also hosts a radio program on rvlradio called turn it on.

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