DTF? Your Nose Knows
People communicate in a variety of nonverbal ways. One of the most interesting avenues is via chemosignals: chemical signals transmitted in bodily secretions, like sweat. For example, we can literally smell fear, although our awareness of that communication pathway is largely subconscious.
Once science figured this out, the next perfectly reasonable, totally obvious question was, “Hey, can we smell when a woman is turned on?”
The answer appears to be yes.
For this mini-meta study, the researchers needed some horny women and a handful of guys willing to sniff their sweat. (That had to have been an interesting classified ad.) Sure enough, 11 women and 24 men volunteered to be lab rats.
The females were instructed not to wear perfume or deodorant. Also, they weren’t allowed to be in the test if they were using chemical contraceptives. The scientists were worried that the pill might inhibit these natural chemosignals and negatively affect their sex drives.
To begin this weird study, the women first had cotton pads taped to their armpits, then they cycled on a stationary bike for three minutes at 80% intensity.
Next, they were divided into two groups. Each group watched a different film clip and answered questions afterwards.
- Group one, the neutral-condition group, watched part of a boring documentary about bridge building. None reported feeling titillated. Sorry, History channel.
- Group two watched a 20-minute clip from an erotic movie called “9 Songs” which featured unsimulated sex between its male and female stars. It also had a plot, but who needs that, right? So the researchers edited out everything but the sex scenes. Sure enough, the clip really buttered their love biscuit. All the women reported feeling frisky after viewing it.
The cotton pads were collected from both groups, divided up, and presented later to the sweat-sniffing males in randomized order.
In short, all the men rated the armpit sweat of the aroused women as more attractive. As a result, the men experienced an uptick in their own “sexual motivation.”
The same men didn’t feel any tingling in their special parts after smelling the sweat from non-aroused women.
The researchers concluded that, “…men are sensitive to the olfactory signals of sexual arousal released by women. This research suggests that these signals released along with corresponding visual and auditory expressions of sexual interest can produce a stronger overall signal that increases sexual motivation.”
In other words, concupiscent women release a particular scent via their sweat that men can sense. When men register that signal, they get pretty turned on too.
Science is fun sometimes, isn’t it?