Pheromones and Sex Drive: The Role of Scent in Human Attraction
Pheromones are chemical compounds secreted by the glands that are released into the air and detected subconsciously by other organisms via the sense of smell. Despite their subconscious nature, pheromones can strongly influence behavior, including sexual attraction. This holds true for many species of animals, plants and even bacteria. Messages sent via pheromones are most often sexual in nature, though this is not always the case. For instance, ants secrete pheromones to create a trail for other ants to follow to a food source.
Pheromones were discovered in 1959 when researchers found that female silk moths release a powerful pheromone called bombykol that can attract males from kilometers away. Since this discovery, science has fully recognized the importance of pheromone communication in animals. However, only recently have researchers found evidence that humans also make use of these chemical messengers.
Human Pheromones: The "Fact or Fiction" Debate
Scientists do not wholly agree on the nature or even the existence of human pheromones. There are, however, multiple studies that suggest they do in fact exist. You may have heard of the oft-quoted studies that indicate women who live together in close quarters experience synchronization of their menstrual cycles. Some believe that this may be because the women's bodies are communicating with each other via pheromones; after all, how else could this phenomenon be explained when the women don't have conscious knowledge of the other women's cycles?
Another pro-pheromone piece of evidence is that newborn babies seem to be guided to their mother's breast by scent, before they even know that nourishment is to be had there. Research has shown that tiny glands in the nipples release a special scent molecule that can be considered a human pheromone.
Lastly, there have been numerous studies showing that both men and women respond more favorably to the scent of an attractive person's sweat, even when they have no clue whose sweat they're smelling. Fertile and healthy people with healthy, balanced hormones have more appealing sweat, and this may suggest that being fertile and healthy helps you produce pheromones that are more likely to attract mates and incite sexual desire in others.
Pheromones and Sex Drive
Your luck in love may be strongly influenced by the pheromones you produce. Scientists acknowledge that human pheromones, if they exist, must be much more complicated than the simple compounds used by animals. Different pheromones may serve different functions; we often associate pheromones with sexual attraction and libido, but there is also some evidence that we can also detect fear in others through pheromones.
Certain pheromone signatures are more attractive than others because they indicate properties like fertility, strong immune systems and genetic compatibility. Making use of the connection between pheromones and sex drive could make or break your success in attraction and relationships.
Optimizing Your Pheromone Signature
You may have seen some of the purportedly pheromone-containing colognes and perfumes available on the consumer market. However, these sprays do not have real scientific evidence to back up their claims of making you more attractive to the opposite sex. Any perceived advantage from using a pheromone spray is likely just the placebo effect. Instead of resorting to slathering on artificial scents, strive to become more attractive on a primal level by helping your body to produce more of its own pheromones:
- Because your pheromones are secreted at least partially through your sweat glands, they are present to some degree on your skin. You can preserve your natural attractive scent by only bathing as much as you need to, while also using a milder soap and using warm, not hot, water. Bathing that is more gentle may help keep your pheromones at their natural level.
- Get plenty of exercise. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Exercise helps your body to function properly in virtually every aspect and it also has the added benefit of keeping your hormones balanced. Because your pheromone signature may change depending on your hormone levels, optimizing your hormones is one of the most basic ways to maintain vigorously healthy pheromones.
- Take a zinc supplement, up to 45 mg per day. Zinc is required to produce testosterone, and your immune system also depends on it. If you maintain a strong immune system, your pheromones may reflect this.
- Pheromones and sex drive may be linked due to your pheromones' reflection of sex hormone levels in your body. Natural supplements including tribulus terrestris, maca, ginseng, fenugreek and fennel can help you optimize your sex hormone levels.
- Up to 10 mg per day of DHEA is recommended for both men and women who want to keep a youthful, healthy hormone signature. This is because DHEA is used by the body to make both androgens and estrogens, both needed for proper pheromone production.