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Sex Pheromones
What Are They And Do They Work?

Sex pheromone products such as sprays, candles and creams are a growing industry. They promise all kinds of success when it comes to attracting a partner. Yet, do they really work?

In this article, we will explore what sex pheromones are, what they do and if they can help attract a sexual response.

Presenting a comprehensive look on the topic of pheromones is a challenging one. There has been more controversy than agreement between many who study them and with a variety of variables it proves to be a difficult topic to cover in simple terms. Below you will find an overview on pheromones with multiple points of view to provide you with as much information on the topic that is currently available.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.

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What Are Sex Pheromones?

The word pheromone (pronounced fera-moan) comes from the Greek words pheran (to transfer) and horman (to excite). Pheromones are the most primal form of communication as they are chemicals that are excreted to send information from one member of a species to another of the same species. Pheromones in the animal kingdom can provide a variety of messages such as alerting to danger, physical location and sexual cues.

Sexual pheromones are natural airborne hormones that the body produces to attract a sexual partner. Scientific research has shown that while you can't see them, they are quite powerful and can make you feel attracted to another person without consciously knowing why. Pheromones have been shown to create a chemical reaction in the brain within a matter of seconds and can in turn, influence people to feel a strong emotional and physical response.

Where On The Body Are Pheromones Sensed & Excreted?

Pheromones are detected by the organ just inside your nose through what is called the vomeronasal organ (VNO). It is here that humans can detect trace amounts of pheromones and in turn stimulates the limbic region of the brain, also called the 'Seat of Emotions'.

Pheromones are released throughout glands all over the body, however, they tend to concentrate in six areas in both men and women-

1) Underarms

2) Nipples

3) Genitals
4) Mouth

5) Eyelids

6) Ears

Pheromones, Menstrual Cycles & Sexual Attraction

Women who spend a lot of time together know that their menstrual cycles will inevitably synchronize with one another. That is because pheromones are detected from one woman to another and it allows them to be fertile at the same time. In turn, women increase pheromone output when they are most fertile and ovulating to attract males. The bottom line is that it allows women to stay competitive with one another for sexual suitors.

Scientific studies have shown that women engage in sexual intercourse about six times more frequently at the time of ovulation. In turn, women are also more sensitive to male pheromones when they are ovulating.

Pheromones have been speculated to allow both men and women to determine the most physically compatible mates in order to create the most healthy offspring. It is thought to be why certain people smell better than others to someone. Those people that smell good to you are theoretically better genetic matches.

Certainly there are many factors that determine an ideal partner beyond pheromones, however for the purpose of this article, we will only focus on that aspect.

Birth Control Impacts Pheromone Detection

Italian scientists have confirmed that birth control appears to affect a woman’s sensitivity to smells which may impact her selection of a partner.

In one study, Psychologists found that women who were taking birth control tended to be more attracted to men that displayed overtly masculine physical qualities such as strong jaw lines and prominent cheekbones. Women who were not taking birth control were likely to be attracted to more sensitive men without traditionally masculine features.

Because birth control pills block the natural process of ovulation and does not allow women become pregnant, they may be subconsciously attracted to "macho men," rather than to men who are more likely to make a sensible long-term partner.

Pheromone Studies-

There have been many studies on pheromones and much controversy. What we do know is that human pheromones are very real and they do impact human responses. What is currently uncertain is understanding what levels of pheromones have the most positive and negative affects, what are all the types of pheromones humans respond to and if humans react to plant and animal pheromones and how.

Study Using Male Pheromones-

Researchers have demonstrated in one clinical experiment that male pheromones triggered a subconscious sexual response in women when they sprayed the pheromones on one chair in a waiting room. The other chairs were not sprayed. It was found that the women were more likely to sit in the chair that was sprayed with the pheromone then any of the others.

In another study, identical twin brothers were used where only one was sprayed with pheromones. Women reported that they found the pheromone sprayed twin brother more sexually attractive than the other.

Do Sex Pheromone Products Work?

One of the biggest questions about this topic is do pheromone products work? The truth is that some have shown to provide results and others have not, however, the catch is that it may not be based on the pheromones they claim to contain.

We will explore this in more detail below but before we go there, the most important thing that we can tell you about these products is that there a great deal of hype about them and we encourage you not to get fooled by many of the false claims they make.

Companies that market pheromones have nicknamed them such things as Love Potion # 9, scents of Eros, and aphrodisiacs. They are often sold as perfumes, lotions, colognes, oils, lubricants and candles. In women they are supposed to mimic a 17-24 year-old fertile woman as females have been shown through studies to smell best when they are most fertile. In males, they are supposed to mimic a similar age range.

Claims Of Pheromone Manufacturers

Do not believe the absolute claims that any pheromone seller claims. As you well know there are no infallible guarantees in life. Watch out for companies that make false promises such as these-

Arouse, attract, seduce any one you want.
Attract someone even when they are resistant.
Meet more beautiful people more easily.
Make a great impression every time you meet someone.
Increase your masculinity or femininity.
Have sex whenever you want.

The Key Ingredient To Most Pheromone Products

Alpha-Androstenol (5alpha-androst-16-en-3-ol)-

Androstenol is a sex pheromone that possesses a musky scent. It is primarily found in human sweat glands. Many manufacturers use a chemical derivative of Androstenol that is found in truffles, which are related to mushrooms and are known as hypogenous fungi.

The problem in using this is that humans primarily respond to human pheromones which are already created by your body. Some critics of pheromone products argue that humans, like insects and animals will only be attracted to human pheromones.

However, it has been shown that humans do respond sexually to scents derived from plants and foods, therefore, it may be possible for there to be a sexual reaction from the Androstenol found in truffles. Studies have not confirmed this therefore, it is not proven and is still a matter of theory. Those in the fragrance industry continue to work on blending scents that create positive reactions in humans and we will cover what the natural scents are later in this article.

Warning To Consumers Using Products with Animal or Human Pheromones

Some companies go as far as to actually put animal or human pheromones in their products which is controversial. Using animal pheromones may not chemically attract a human.

If a company is using human pheromones, then you may essentially be putting on someone's urine or sweat. In addition to being fairly revolting to most people, it would be counter productive to put on someone else's pheromones as nature has designed us with a specific chemical make up to attract a partner that is appropriate for us using our own natural pheromones.

Androstenol Effects-

Pheromones have been shown that they can alter people's impressions of people. Typically in studies where the pheromone with Androstenol was used both men and women were judged to appear more sensitive, positive, intelligent, sexually attractive, approachable, friendly and confident.

Additional Reasons Pheromones Are Effective

Psychological Influences

These products promote positive thinking by the user and tend to boost self confidence. This in turn makes the wearer more attractive to those they encounter and may influence how they are perceived.

The Power of Fragrances

The fragrance industry is a billion dollar industry that sells everything from scented personal products such as perfume, cologne, and deodorant to scented soap. IN addition home fragrances and deodorizers are everywhere. Humans respond favorable to many scents and these do have an impact in how someone is perceived.

Creative Uses For Sex Pheromone Products-

  • Women and men use it on themselves to appear more attractive and invoke positive as well as a sexual responses from others.

  • Both sexes use them on bed sheets and in their environment to make others feel more comfortable in their home. Some spray them on their home air filters

  • Sales people use them on themselves and promotional materials including mass mailings to create a positive response from customers.

  • Businesses use them to scent their environment through air filters and on chairs, etc. to create a positive environment. Some dance clubs and other similar business have been known to pump scents such as cotton candy into their air to encourage a festive mood as well as the mating instinct.

Other Ingredients In Pheromone Products

The following are a list of popular ingredients in pheromone sprays. Whether or not they are effective is still up for debate-

Androstenone Epoxyestratrienol
Androstanone Tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone
Androsterone Oxytocin Analog

Consumer Warnings Regarding Sites That Promise Results

Beware of websites that offer you "honest reviews" on pheromones and appear as though they are not selling the products so you can trust the information they provide. Many of these web sites are affiliate sites, which means they simply list the highest paying affiliate programs (programs that pay them when their referrals convert to a sale) and make money off of you that way.

We have seen web sites that actually blacklist companies that do not offer affiliate programs as a way to deter you from buying from them and rave about how wonderful the sites are that pay them the most for your business. An easy way to see if they are doing this is to look at the referring URL when you click on the link to the web site they are referring you to. If it has an affiliate code attached to the URL or does a redirect then it is most likely someone just doing some clever marketing. This applies for any product, but is especially true with pheromone products.

Do Sex Pheromones Affect Children?

Because children are not sexually developed, the only effect that pheromones may have on them is that they may feel more positively about the person wearing them. There has been no evidence that would show cause for alarm that a child would be sexually stimulated from them.

The truth is that pheromones will only enhance feelings that someone would already have for you based on their connection with you. Children, in that case would not feel sexual arousal toward a parent, so there is no need for concern about that.

Situational Factors On Scents & Pheromones

The effect a scent has on us depends on the way it is presented. If you were to smell the smoke of a camp fire it may bring you a feeling of relaxation because you may associate it with a camping trip. Whereas if you smelled the same smell if a forest fire burned your house down, the smell would inspire fear and grief. You cannot dismiss the power of the environment and circumstances when it comes to exploring the influence of scents and pheromones.

Just as in the example of one's perception of the smell of wood burning would vary in different situations, so does one's interpretation of pheromones. For example, if a woman would detect the pheromone Androstenone in a male who was gentle and caring then she might perceive him as a strong male whom could offer her security. However, if she detected it and the male presented as aggressive or threatening, the detection of the same pheromone would make him seem even more intimidating.

Do Fragrances Sexually Attract?

The most effective fragrance is one that mixes well with your own body chemistry. First sampling a perfume and allowing it to merge with your own body oils for several minutes before smelling it is a good place to start. Then once it has had time to mix with your own scent, make sure it is one you enjoy. Then asking unbiased people that you already like to give you an honest assessment is a great way to confirm that it is a pleasing scent in general.

A scent of an associative memory can also trigger romantic feelings. For example, the scent of a certain perfume or cologne that a partner that you already have been attracted to can trigger a sexual response in someone even when the partner is not there.

According to a study from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, men’s colognes actually reduced vaginal blood flow. In the study, foundation director Al Hirsch came to this conclusion by placing surgical masks scented with 10 different aromas and hooked the women up to a vaginal photoplethysmograph to determine what scents turned them on. The women responded most to a mixture of cucumber and Good ‘n’ Plenty candy and were most turned off by men's cologne, the scent of cherry and barbequed meat.

Why Many Fragrances Mimic Food-

When you eat, as much as 90 percent of the flavor comes from the aroma and it has long been known that many smells of food are not only enticing but can stimulate positive moods. Research shows that certain preferred scents lead to sexual arousal in men and women.

The following are some of the most popular scents that have been tested and have shown that they have a tendency to evoke sexual responses. The scents in some cases have shown to stimulate sex hormones and have estrogenic compounds.

Scents Men Preferred On Their Partners-

Bananas Vanilla
Cinnamon Buns Strawberries
Pumpkin Pie Basil

Scents Women Preferred On Their Partners-

Cucumbers Fennel
Anise Ginger
Licorice Hot Peppers

Pheromone Products -

If you want to try some pheromone products fused with scents that are well known for their positive and sexual effects you may view some of the ones that our customers have told us they enjoy here-

See Popular Pheromone Products

Body & Bed Pheromone Spray Talc

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