The Scent of Sex

Contrary to popular belief, the key to attracting the opposite sex does not lie in one’s face, hair, skin or physique. It doesn’t have much to do with how wealthy you are either. Personality does matter, but it isn’t the primary prerequisite. The chief ingredient of a healthy sexual magnetism lies in a discreet and mysterious hormone called the pheromone.

In the 1800s, scientists observed the mating habits of animals and deduced the presence of a ‘mysterious scent’ that drove the corresponding animals of the opposite sex wild with desire. The most commonplace example of this phenomenon is when a female dog comes into ‘season’ – she exudes a scent that the male doggies of the neighborhood cannot resist. They chase after her in packs, and the owner of the female dog is advised to keep her indoors – safely tied. Similarly, an experiment conducted, highlighted the fact that when male cockroaches are exposed to any object covered with a female cockroach sex-hormone, they attempt to mate with the said object.

It is easy to attribute such primitive mating responses to the animal kingdom. However, when one is asked to imagine a human being behaving in such an instinctive manner – one simply cannot picture it. How unorthodox it would be if women started behaving like the girls in the Axe ads – losing all self control upon catching a whiff of a desirable male hormone. It is downright scary to imagine men chasing after a single woman like a bunch of hounds chasing a lady-dog in heat.

However, in 1986, a prominent scientist of Pennsylvania discovered the existence of similar sexual hormones in human beings. These hormones (pheromones) are produced only after the individual hits puberty. The male sex hormones are androstenone and androstenol – these are produces by both men and women in varying degrees. The female sex hormones are called copulins and their production is exclusive to women. These hormones are produced and secreted near the armpits and genitals. The scent of these hormones are picked up by the vemeronasal organ located just inside the nose – this organ then relays the information about the presence of the scent to that part of the brain which triggers sexual arousal.

The production of pheromones in the female body peaks at the time of ovulation. This is the time when a woman’s hair, skin and scent are at their best so as to seduce men. Pheromones indicate the health and nature of one’s immune system. Studies have shown that when it comes to picking a partner, we always opt for the partner whose pheromones are complementary to our own (i.e. the individual whose immune system is complementary to our own.) This ensures that any child borne to the partners inherits a healthy immunity.

Pheromones are present in great abundance in an individual’s underarm area. The smell that we refer to as BO is actually the thing that contains within it the power to make us irresistible to the opposite sex. Our cavemen forefather’s considered this scent the hallmark of their sexuality, but in our hygiene obsessed world with grooming being a very important part of our socialization – we willingly stifle the pheromones. It is ironic that in our quest to smell desirable, we willingly and unknowingly stifle the very hormone that makes us physically attractive.

The pheromone does not only make us more attractive to the other sex. However, they play an important role in determining our social life. Studies have shown that individuals with stronger pheromones are always listened to; they are always well liked and popular within their social circles. Moreover, the employability rates of those who exude strong pheromones are almost always higher. It is funny to think that after all we do to educate ourselves and improve our efficiency, the employers go for the one with a stronger under-arm odor!

Unfortunately, we cannot control the production of pheromones in our own body, but it is reassuring to know that factory-manufactured pheromones are now available at drug stores. Moreover, the ever-so-considerate cologne companies are now adding some standard pheromone samples into their aftershaves and deodorants. However, since different pheromones react differently with different individuals (owning to the body heat of the said person) it is advisable to keep experimenting. You know you are on the right track when after years of being a social flop, you suddenly transform into quite a ‘babe-magnet’…

Rayman Gill

[Image source:]