When it comes to attraction, there are a plethora of things to consider, from the people that can make you quiver with excitement with their intelligence, humor, and ideas to those who are experts in body language and touch. But, there is always that something. A certain I-don’t-know-what that can also play a crucial role in attraction. It’s not something we can feel or touch, but it’s certainly there.
We are, of course, talking about pheromones, our chemical messengers. The senses that we as humans use in determining our partners are vastly different. While we mostly rely on visual cues, there are also chemical factors that make the attraction a bit more mysterious. So, let’s take a deep dive into the topic of pheromones and learn what sex benefits it might have.
What Are Pheromones?
Pheromones are chemical factors the body secretes into the environment. The central belief is that their job is to invoke a social response in others, especially with the goal of attracting a mate. There are many examples of that in the animal kingdom. And they all show how crucial odor cues can be in communication, hunting, and mating.
Animals rely on scents in various ways: when finding a mate, marking territory, attracting prey, and even warning other animals of their danger/toxicity. The most common way to do that is by urinating. However, there are many different methods of doing it. Some examples include scent glands found on the neck/face, hooves, and scrotum/anus.
However, the role of pheromones in humans still remains to be discovered, especially since human adults do not have the organs which process pheromone signals, such as other animals do. However, we have a sense of smell, and we can detect pheromones that way, although this sense is not as developed in humans as in the other animal species.
How Pheromones Affect Our Mood?
We are relying on our sense of smell from the moment we are born. In fact, mothers can easily differentiate the smell of their babies’ clothes from others after a week of giving birth. Furthermore, breastfed infants can also distinguish their mother in unknown groups women. In other words, members of the same family unit might all have the same smell signature, which can serve for recognition. So, it’s not entirely inconceivable that pheromones can affect our daily lives in ways we still cannot fathom.
It is possible for humans to detect pheromones in all kinds of bodily secretions. However, the most notable response is, apparently, to axillary sweat. Furthermore, some of the steroidal compounds are actually more present in male sweat and detected by women more easily, in varying sensitivities, depending on the individual. We are talking about androstenone.
Some research has shown that applying tiny doses of mixtures with the same pheromone on the upper lip actually improves mood and concentration. Furthermore, other research indicates that a woman with a more positive and susceptive mood to capturing sensitive and emotional information has a higher chance of sexual satisfaction. In short, there could be beneficial effects of the pheromones on both arousal and sexual desire.
What Is the Purpose of Pheromones in Humans?
Humans strive for connection and companionship. When selecting a mate, you may unknowingly also choose them due to pheromones. Studies showed that the presence of pheromones increased the chances of getting rated more attractive.
In women, a healthy sexual response depends significantly on the senses, with touch being the top one. However, we mustn’t forget that time your friend said: “I don’t know what drew me over to him; the attraction was just there immediately.” Well, maybe he was just that good with emitting androstenone, who knows? We also know that women can more easily detect it during their ovulation. The reason behind that may be just what you think — to find a partner to mate with more easily.
While looking for a partner, pheromones may play an apt role in sexual attraction. Notice how body odors are received much differently by different people. Some may find someone’s body odor sexy and attractive, while some wouldn’t. Health also plays a significant part in this, so when your mate “smells healthy,” there is a higher chance of being attracted to them. That is a simple response to the desire to produce healthy and strong offspring.
When Do We Usually Release Pheromones?
The conception can happen only in the fertile window. With the pheromone theory in mind, the cycle starts there. That is, a woman in her fertile window can secrete pheromones (androstenol) that subliminally help attract males, who are also releasing their “attraction” pheromones.
Certain studies have shown that female body odors during ovulation are deemed more pleasant than those of women who are currently menstruating. So, in conclusion, we can say with a healthy dose of certainty that the release of hormones is a recurring, cyclical event, where one response triggers the other.
There is still a lot of research up ahead when it comes to pheromones and behavioral responses to them. Some of the sex pheromones we have mentioned have proven to be existent and having some benefits in attracting a mate. The presence of the pheromones from axillary sweat, however, still needs further exploration.
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As the study methodology of the pheromones matures, we will get more conclusions and concrete evidence. As for now, we have to rely on some unconventional methods that produce varying results that caused a divide in this field of research. Some believe these chemical signals are crucial, and some claim it’s all just a fairy-tale. Luckily, we still have the in-betweeners on our side who are willing to take a careful approach and try and find a fine line between pure animal attraction and imaginary pulling forces.