The Role Of Smell And Smells In Human Sexual Attraction

A

Anonymous

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#31
DerekH said:
I've noticed several times, over the years, that when I come to know a person of the fairer sex well enough (not necessarily intimately....), there comes a time of month when they smell.... different.

:confused:
Like dried blood...?
 

DerekH16

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#32
Inverurie Jones said:
Like dried blood...?
Sorry to dissappoint you, but no.... just different, i.e., not how they normally smell....

Anyone else notice this?
 

rynner2

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#33
Yes, I have. Bit out of practice now, though. (You get funny looks if you go round sniffing all the women in the bus queue...)
 

CygnusRex

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#34
Chanel are wasting their time

Smelling out your perfect mate Dec 20 2004

Paul Carey, Western Mail

WE may all think that we choose our perfect partners based on their appearance, personality or even the size of their wallet, but research by a Welsh expert reveals the key to finding your soul-mate is the way they smell.

Professor Tim Jacob, head of the smell research laboratory at Cardiff University, claims that in finding our perfect partner, we are reacting to the subtle odour we are all born with.

He claims this phenomenon is nature's way of ensuring that children are born with the strongest immune systems possible to fight off disease.

And when it comes to finding your husband or wife, the research reveals that opposites do attract.

"This is a subtle smell - it's not the sweaty body odour someone has after doing hard manual labour for a few days without washing," he said.

"This is an inherent smell that we all carry - you can't change it by washing or perfume."

In a review, commissioned by the decongestant manufacturer Sudafed, Prof Jacob has found that every person is born with a certain odour-type, which is dependent on their immuno-type, or immunogenetic status - the body's own defence mechanism against disease and illness.

Odour-types are not the same as pheromones, which some believe play an important role in social and chemical interaction.

Sniffer dogs use odour-types to distinguish individuals, but research has also revealed that humans not only use smell to distinguish between individuals but we actively select our mates based on odour-type.

Unlike any of the other senses, smell has direct access to the more primitive parts of the brain, which are linked to mood, emotion and memory - brain-imaging techniques have shown that smell can activate parts of the brain without being consciously perceived.

The main source of human odour is the apocrine - sweat - glands, which are found around the nipples, sternum, genitals, underarms, hair follicles, cheeks, eyelids, ears and scalp.

When people kiss they are also "tasting" a person's odour-type, which in turn will help determine whether that person could be their perfect mate.

Prof Jacob said there are thousands of different immuno and odour-types, but rather than seek out people with a similar smell, humans prefer to bond with people with a different odour-type, to ensure any children born as a result of their union will inherit two different immuno-types, bolstering their natural defence systems against disease.

Research has shown that women prefer male odours that are different from their own genetic makeup - the smell from men with the same genetic make-up was found to be unpleasant.

Marriages between people with similar genetic make-up are not as frequent as expected and a high degree of genetic similarity between parents could even increase the chances of miscarriage.

"Diversity is key - nature is trying to bring together two people who will provide immuno diversity to their offspring, therefore the child will have the benefit of both parents and increased disease resistance," he said.

It is thought that women are most sensitive to smell at ovulation - an ideal time to smell out their perfect partner.

Prof Jacob added, "Smell is the most underrated of the major senses. It's one of the most important senses we have, but most people do not understand the true significance of smell.

"Smell can trigger memories, evoke disgust, pleasure or change our mood, it can act as a warning or can be a sign of illness.

"We are now beginning to understand the mechanisms by which smell can influence our first impressions of potential partners.

"So the sensory shutdown associated with a cold or flu infection can have more far-reaching consequences than had ever previously been considered."
Source
 

Electric_Monk

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#36
I'm sure I've read all this stuff years ago. Except that time round they were also saying it was a mechanism to stop incest ;)
 

elffriend

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#37
Well as I am still single then I guess I must be giving off the wrong kind of smell :shock:
 

MrRING

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#42
Foot Stink Sexuality

I ran accros this interesting article and it got me to wondering:

THE FOOT FETISH

The foot fetish is the most common of all fetishes, so common, in fact, that it should probably be considered part of the "norm." Humans may very well be predisposed to eroticizing feet because feet have apocrine sweat glands... the same type of pheromone-producing sweat glands shared by armpits and the genital region. These smells play a huge role in sexual attraction for most mammals and humans are no different. It's quite possible that when proto-humans walked on all fours in the African veldt, foot odors were used to mark our paths and indicate our health and sexual availability. Unfortunately, in our culture feet have become taboo -- they symbolize dirtiness, animalness, ugliness and all of the things that we must keep under control and keep invisible... and maybe that's part of their appeal.

(snip)

There are so many variations on the foot fetish that they can be hard to count. While most straight male foot fetishists prefer small female feet with high arches, some want smelly feet with callouses -- feet that have really been lived in. There are gay male, straight female and gay female foot fetishists as well.

Of course, the foot fetish overlaps with the shoe fetish and its subfetishes. Shoes are simply containers for all of the foot odors, as well as psychologically powerful as symbols of power and status. Some shoe fetishists have very speicifc ideas about what types of footwear excite them. Though the most common are women's high heeled shoes, even espadrilles, sneakers and clogs have their fans. Several websites are devoted exclusively to women's loafers with metal taps on the heels and toes. Among gay male shoe fetishists, there are jackboot fans and motorcycle boot fans. In these cases, as in many others, the foot fetish is combined with a leather fetish.

(snip)

Another subset of the foot fetish is the pantyhose and stocking fetish. Panyhose and stockings are perfect receptacles for foot stink, and "cook" the smells to a heady ripeness. To hear a panyhose fan wax lyrical about his fetish is akin to listening to a wine connoisseur discuss the aromatic "bouquet" of his preferred Bordeaux.
http://www.deviantdesires.com/kink/kinkmain.html

So, is it possible that foot stink really used to be one of our most prominent human mating ritual, pre-civilization? Also, I know that me and my brothers all went through a short period during puberty where our feet stank to high heaven for seemingly no reason... if this was a common occurance for most people in puberty, could this "super foot stank" have been some kind of mating musk?

Or just stinky feet?
 

rynner2

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#43
Interesting ideas here, although I must admit that feet have never turned me on!

In fact, my ex had very unpleasantly smelly feet (a fact I like to repeat on about every third thread!) 8)

(Mind you, both of us were into professional sailing back then, which involved a lot of welly boot wearing..)
 

ignatiusII

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#44
Had a friend back in my university days, who had a major foot fetish. Come the summer months, when most of the females on campus took to wearing sandals, he was literally drooling at the veritable conucopia of exposed female foot flesh. My tastes in female anatomy run well above the ankles however, and as such I could never quite understand his prediliction for what is probably one of the uglier parts of the human body. My views to the contrary were roundly ignored by my friend. ''man - don't you think that's HOT? girl's feet - and they SMELL!" ''Um, er, no, actually, I don't. Kinda gross. And why does the smell turn you on?'' ''Don't you get it, man? they aren't supposed to smell - but they DO!'' Different strokes, I guess. Eww.
 

lopaka

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#45
I'm not sure where to post this, frankly, but FWIW (and note, as always seems to be the case in these studies, the numbers are tiny):

Gay Men Respond Differently to Pheromones

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 10, 2005; 7:59 AM

WASHINGTON -- The sexual area of a gay man's brain works a lot like that of a woman when exposed to a particular stimulus, researchers say.

In an experiment, men and heterosexual women sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone. The homosexual men's brains responded differently from those of heterosexual males, and in a similar way to the women's brains.

"It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Witelson, who was not part of the research team, said the findings clearly show a biological involvement in sexual orientation.

The study, published in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was done by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

They exposed heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived from male and female sex hormones. These chemicals are thought to be pheromones _ molecules known to trigger responses such as defense and sex in many animals.

Whether humans respond to pheromones has been debated, although in 2000 American researchers reported finding a gene that they believe directs a human pheromone receptor in the nose.

The brains of different groups responded similarly to ordinary odors such as lavender, [ :D lopaka] but differed in their response to the chemicals thought to be pheromones, lead researcher Ivanka Savic said.

The Swedish researchers divided 36 subjects into three groups _ heterosexual men, heterosexual women and homosexual men. They studied the brain response to sniffing the chemicals, using PET scans. All the subjects were healthy, unmedicated, right-handed and HIV-negative.

When they sniffed scents like cedar or lavender, all of the subjects' brains reacted only in the olfactory region that handles smells.

But when confronted by a chemical from testosterone, the male hormone, portions of the brains active in sexual activity were activated in straight women and in gay men, but not in straight men, the researchers found.

The response in gay men and straight women was concentrated in the hypothalamus with a maximum in the preoptic area that is active in hormonal and sensory responses necessary for sexual behavior, the researchers said.

When the female hormone estrogen was used, there was only a response in the olfactory portion of the brains of straight women. Homosexual men had their primary response also in the olfactory area, with a very small reaction in the hypothalamus, while heterosexual men responded strongly in the reproductive region of the brain.

Savic said the group is also doing a study involving homosexual women, but those results are not yet complete.


In a separate study looking at response to body odors, researchers in Philadelphia found sharp differences between gay and straight men and women.

"Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odors and in the perception of and response to body odors," said neuroscientist Charles Wysocki, who led the study.

It's hard to see how a simple choice to be gay or lesbian would influence the production of body odor, he said.

Wysocki's team at the Monell Chemical Senses Center studied the response of 82 heterosexual and homosexual men and heterosexual and homosexual women to the odors of underarm sweat collected from 24 donors of varied gender and sexual orientation.

They found that gay men differed from heterosexual men and women and from lesbian women, both in terms of which body odors gay men preferred and how their own body odors were regarded by the other groups.

Gay men preferred odors from gay men, while odors from gay men were the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women in the study. Their findings, released Monday, are to be published in the journal Psychological Science in September.

The Swedish research was funded by the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Karolinska Institute and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation. Wysocki's research was supported by the Monell Center.

___

On the Net:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org

Karolinska Institute: http://info.ki.se/index_en.html

Monell Center: http://www.monell.org/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00181.html
 
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OneWingedBird

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#46
Didn't they do this in The Bullshitters? Where the Body and Doyle kcockoffs keep snogging then blaming it on being injected with the 'gay serum' by the KGB, or something like that...
 

gattino

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#47
Pheromones in a bottle..

I notice ads for pheromone sprays etc still appear in the back of the Fortean Times.

I've no idea what I mean by etc. But by pheremones of course I mean
those unsmellable smellies that are meant to make the wearer sexually inrresitable. "scientifically proven!" These have appeared from time to time in experiments on tv shows for the last 15 or 20 years...but with such infrequency for somethign with such an extraordinary claim, that it begsthe question...DO they work? Or have they long since been poo-pooed (pardon the aromatic pun) as wishful thinking?

Has anyone here ever tried them? Is there an official scientific consensus on these bottled products? Will someone take me to dinner on Saturday?
 

IamSundog

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#48
I've never tried bottled pheromones because I already have to beat the women off with a stick.
 

uair01

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#49
In the book "Spam Kings" one of the big spammers sold this stuff.
I guess that's all that needs to be said ...

But what's really Fortean is that there must be a lot of desperate single males who decide to try the stuff. (When I was a single male I was pretty desperate too ;) )
 

IamSundog

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#50
One has to assume that there's no such thing, or that they don't work, because otherwise they would be a billion dollar industry.

Has anybody here read the short story "Bitch" by Roald Dahl? Incredibly funny story about a pheremone that works EXTREMELY well, on men, and a plot to use it to publicly embarrass the U.S. President.
 

uair01

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#51
IamSundog said:
Incredibly funny story about a pheremone that works EXTREMELY well
There's a well known book called "The perfume" where the perfume-designer gets eaten alife by a crowd, because he has developed a totally irresistible perfume. Forgot the name of the author ...
 

rynner2

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#52
A woman's body odour can help her attract men when she is at her most fertile and repel them when she is not, scientists have said.
According to a report in the journal Ethology, when a woman is at the most fertile part of the menstrual cycle her armpit odour is at its mildest.

But when she is having a period, and not ready for pregnancy, the smell changes to an acute, repellent odour.

The researchers studied 12 women who wore armpit pads for 24 hours a day.

A number of primate species display changes during their fertile period, but the majority of scientists believed that this was not the case with humans.

Subconscious cue

The 12 women were restricted from eating certain foods and from using deodorant or hormonal contraceptive.

They provided odour samples on the armpit pads, which were then presented to 42 men, who sniffed them and assessed the attractiveness of the scent.

"Axillary odour from women in the follicular phase was rated as the most attractive and least intense," the study's leader Dr Jan Havlicek, from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, said.

"The results suggest that body odour can be used by men as a cue to the fertile period in current or prospective sexual partners," he added.

A previous study by the same team suggested that women subconsciously prefer the aroma of dominant men when they are at the most fertile stage of the menstrual cycle.

Then the researchers asked 48 men to assess how dominant they felt.

The men then wore cotton pads in their armpits for 24 hours, which were subsequently presented to 65 women.

Those who were ovulating rated the "dominant" men as sexiest, but there was no similar pattern among women at other stages of their menstrual cycle.

A woman's body odour can help her attract men when she is at her most fertile and repel them when she is not, scientists have said.
According to a report in the journal Ethology, when a woman is at the most fertile part of the menstrual cycle her armpit odour is at its mildest.

But when she is having a period, and not ready for pregnancy, the smell changes to an acute, repellent odour.

The researchers studied 12 women who wore armpit pads for 24 hours a day.

A number of primate species display changes during their fertile period, but the majority of scientists believed that this was not the case with humans.

Subconscious cue

The 12 women were restricted from eating certain foods and from using deodorant or hormonal contraceptive.

They provided odour samples on the armpit pads, which were then presented to 42 men, who sniffed them and assessed the attractiveness of the scent.

"Axillary odour from women in the follicular phase was rated as the most attractive and least intense," the study's leader Dr Jan Havlicek, from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, said.

"The results suggest that body odour can be used by men as a cue to the fertile period in current or prospective sexual partners," he added.

A previous study by the same team suggested that women subconsciously prefer the aroma of dominant men when they are at the most fertile stage of the menstrual cycle.

Then the researchers asked 48 men to assess how dominant they felt.

The men then wore cotton pads in their armpits for 24 hours, which were subsequently presented to 65 women.

Those who were ovulating rated the "dominant" men as sexiest, but there was no similar pattern among women at other stages of their menstrual cycle.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4614842.stm
This is important information, and not to be sniffed at! :D
 

escargot

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#53
Then the researchers asked 48 men to assess how dominant they felt.
Right, so they tracked the women's cycles, padded them up, had blokes sniffing away, wrote all this down - and then ASKED the blokes how 'dominant' they felt? :shock:

I wonder which of the men owned up to not being 'dominant'.
In the context of that experiment, that would be like admitting to wearing frocks at home. :lol:
 

amester

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#55
I don't see how any armpit could be an aphrodisiac, no matter what time of the month! :?
 

rynner2

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#56
I once heard of a guy who kept a handkerchief in the front of his undies.
If he ever got the chance to offer a girl a hankie, he would use that one - and he reckoned he enjoyed considerable - er - romantic success with this ploy!

Pheromones, eh? You can't beat 'em!
 

stu neville

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#57
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight...

I'm just trying to picture all these women willing to accept a hankie off a bloke who's just been grubbing around in his pants for it.


Cornwall's a funny place, mind you...
 

rynner2

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#59
stuneville said:
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight...

I'm just trying to picture all these women willing to accept a hankie off a bloke who's just been grubbing around in his pants for it.
Probably had some ploy like always wearing a loose jacket, or maybe just a trouser pocket with the end cut off, so he appeared to produce the hankie from his pocket.

(Perhaps he was also a stage magician - they're always producing hankies from strange places! :D )
 

Anome

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#60
I've heard of people using a handkerchief kept in their armpit to subdue unfriendly dogs, which suggest a slightly less...crude...way to attempt the feat of seduction.

Of course, there's always the possibility that the lady will balk at the smell of a sweaty hankie, no matter where it is kept.
 
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