(Lindsay Dodgson) Someone’s scent can be a lot more revealing than you might think. It turns out we may be able to smell fear, and even aspects of someone’s personality. But all of this is probably subconscious.
by Lindsay Dodgson, May 30th 2018
Smell plays a role in seduction, too. Some research has shown how a man’s scent can make them more attractiveto women — if his diet consists of more fruits and vegetables rather than refined carbohydrates, that is.
Also, the way a man smells can impact the amount a woman drinks when she is around him, as one study showed that women who smelt male pheromones were more likely to drink more than women who sniffed water. The researchers concluded it could be because of the cultural link between drinking and sexual activity.
Speaking of sex, men with a poor sense of smell have been found in some research to have fewer sexual partners, but the actual reasons for this were unclear. That is until a new study, just published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and spotted by BPS Digest, found that people with a keener sense of smell may find sex more enjoyable.
In the study, a team led by Johanna Bendas at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany analysed the smelling abilities of 42 women and 28 men aged 18 to 36 with “Sniffin’ Sticks.” Then, they were asked a few questions about their sexual desire, experience, how often they had orgasms, how pleasant they found sexual activities, as well as frequency and duration of their sexual encounters.
Overall, there was no significant relationship between how sensitive their olfactory sense was and sexual desire and performance. However, those with a better sense of smell did report finding their sexual relations more pleasant, and women with more sensitive noses were significantly more likely to orgasm during sex than those who struggle to smell things.
In the paper, the authors write how sexual arousal could be increased because “the perception of body odors such as vaginal fluids, sperm and sweat seems to enrich the sexual experience.”
But external factors could be at play too. The results don’t account for causation, merely the correlation of sense of smell and enjoying sex. Also, female participants were not asked about where they were in their menstrual cycle — which research has shown can have an impact on both sense of smell and sexual arousal.
About the Author
Lindsay Dodgson is a reporter at Business Insider UK who covers subjects like psychology, science, relationships, and lifestyle. She has a degree in zoology and an MA in science journalism from City University.
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