Thanks to an animalistic biological process, pheromones get your heart pounding with lust. This got me thinking about how science could improve your intimate moments…
Imagine. A Christmas party. The music is pumping, the thick atmosphere charged, and the heat evaporated your perfume hours ago. As the music changes to something slower, you catch someone’s eye across the floor. Exchanging smiles, you connect with them and they come over. It feels natural to dance closer and you start to move together. You can feel the exchange of warmth between your bodies and heat of attraction leaves you breathless.
What just happened? The immediacy physical attraction is hard to pin point. Many scientific experiments have tried to explain what is happening. Although we are understand a lot more, it’s still not clear. The biology of attraction is complex. As we are not lab rats – or rabbits – the process is difficult to replicate in more controlled conditions.
The proliferation of appearance based dating sites would suggest that looks continue to be number one priority. Regular features, unblemished skin, and an inviting smile can mean the difference of swiping left or right. But this obsession with superficial attractiveness is misleading. It’s only when we are in close proximity to someone that we feel that mysterious pull.
The existence of pheromones has recently been called into question again. And in my view, wrongly. Whether humans are like any other mammals and use these odour signals to communicate has long been an area of research. Pheromones are external chemical signals which influence the behaviour of others around them. They are primarily a ‘sex scent’ but animals also use them to leave messages or warnings.
On the other hand, hormones are the mysterious internal driver in procreation signals. We know that parts of the brain respond when exposed to oestrogen, testosterone and their powerful combinations. The vomeronasal organ is just inside the nasal cavity and once it has detected pheromones, it stimulates the limbic region of the brain. This area of the brain is responsible for such emotions as lust, ecstasy and sexual desire.
This human hormone and pheromone interaction with the brain’s scent receptors is the main reason behind a lot of perfume research. Many perfumes say that they make you irresistible to the opposite sex. Blurb from pheromone scent products says that ‘they can help you find love, respect, confidence, and can even help you advance your career’. However this got me thinking about other potential uses.
Imagine if your favourite toy got you feverish with excitement, not just because of how it looked or how it felt. Manufacturers are offering increasingly sophisticated sensory enhancements. For instance, warmth and lubrication. But what about scent?
In the past the scent of new sex toys have been off-putting. In the interests of non-toxicity, many of them are now excluding phthalates, which means that they don’t have that strong plastic smell. If your lube contained female pheromones, could it help increase your sensory pleasure? Is there potential to connect with your sex toy in a different, more subtle way? As scientific research delves deeper into attraction and human biology, it will be possible to find new and innovative applications for new knowledge.