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Pheromones are subconscious and silent sex cues that can help you feel attracted to someone, or send you running.

 

Pheromones are mysterious chemical signals that are released into the air by humans and animals alike. They are used to send subconscious messages and have been linked to everything from ovulation cycles to physical attraction. Some perfumes and colognes containing pheromones are marketed to people who are looking to attract the opposite sex.

However, while the science of pheromones is still relatively new, it seems that there is no way to exactly duplicate your own personal pheromones. They are as much a part of your genetic makeup as your hair color or your skin tone. In fact, researchers have recently discovered an olfactory nerve that they believe is the route through which pheromones are processed. Cranial nerve zero, as it is called, bypasses the olfactory area of the brain where scents are normally processed. Instead, it is linked straight to the area of the brain that processes sexual cues and creates attraction. Turns out, nerve zero isn’t a typical scent sensor; instead, it seems to be used to interpret sexual cues from potential mates.

But what are these sexual cues, and what exactly is nerve zero looking for? For one thing, we are more likely to be attracted to people whose scent is dissimilar to our own. Family members often share similar chemicals, so our attraction to differing chemical makeup suggests that sexual cues evolved to protect close family members from procreating together. On the other hand, pregnant women have been shown to be more drawn to people with similar chemical makeup, which might be due to the fact that during this crucial time, women are more apt to seek out family members than potential mates.

Furthermore, couples who have high levels of chemicals in common are more likely to encounter fertility issues, miscarriage, and infidelity. The more dissimilar your chemical makeup is from your partner’s, the better chance you will have of successfully procreating and staying together.

So how can you create the scent that will keep you and your partner in the land of happily ever after? Unfortunately, you can’t. Perfumes and colognes can’t fool nerve zero — the scents that humans and animals are attracted to are intangible and instinctive. Even the most expensive designer perfume can’t fool Mother Nature. When it comes to sexual attraction, nature’s nerve zero knows best.

However, if you are taking a hormonal contraceptive, you might be bucking an evolutionary tide. Women who are on the pill are more likely to be attracted to men with similar chemical makeup — most likely because their bodies are fooling them into believing they are pregnant, and so much like actual pregnant women, their nerve zero leads them to kin, not mates. So if you were on the pill when you met your mate, you might possibly experience a diminishing attraction when you cease taking it.

Only time will tell what role nerve zero plays in future sex research, but one thing is for sure: love is in the air!

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Pheromones Give Off Sexual Cues

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Smell reigns supreme in matters of the heart.

 

Everything from your first boyfriend’s cologne to the familiar smell of your mother’s house is uniquely encoded in your brain as a “scent memory.” It explains why a chance whiff can instantly take you back to another place and time, maybe even evoking a memory you never knew existed.

Past Smells

Might Equal Present Attraction to being decoded. Watch out!

Believe it or not, undetectable odors may actually turn us on to and off from mates, favoring those with whom we are reproductively compatible. A study at the University of Bern in Switzerland found that women preferred the  smell of men who reminded them of former lovers and who would give them the best chances at conceiving. (They smelled their T-shirts, in case you’re wondering; however, the fascinating finding lies below the level of conscious smell.)

It’s a concept known as major histocompatability complex, or MHC. MHC, basically, is the reason that women unknowingly prefer the scent of men with whom they are best suited to mate, at least immunologically speaking. Basically, the more a man’s and woman’s immune systems differ, the better their children’s odds are of surviving.

You Can’t Fight Pheromones

Women sniff out the best mates via pheromones — the undetectable scents that drive a range of reproductive behaviors. Humans have denser skin concentrations of the scent glands that release pheromones than almost any other mammal. As a result, pheromones are slinging at least some of Cupid’s arrows. However, don’t put any stock in thosepheromone perfumes on the market. They don’t work.

Showing some skin is a far better mating strategy in more ways than one: Dancing close, as well as kissing, puts you in even closer proximity to a beloved’s imperceptible smell.

But beware: Studies have found that women on the pill experience hormonal changes that can interfere with this law of “scent attraction,” leading to trouble picking the right partner and potential problems with infertility down the line. Once off the pill, some women may find they have a different “sense” about their mates. Also, pay attention to a partner’s smell when he is free of cologne and laundry detergent. You may learn something about your compatibility!

Bring the Aromatic Smells of the Kitchen to the Bedroom

That being said, there are a variety of aromatic delights that  can give your love life a boost. Try burning some essential oils by your bedside to evoke a new ambience. Exotic, sexual scents include vanilla, patchouli, and ylang ylang. Experiments have found that the scents of pumpkin pie and lavender increase blood flow to the male reproductive organs by 40 percent! The smell of licorice and doughnuts increase it by 32 percent. For the ladies, licorice combined with the scent of cucumber did the trick. So whether you channel Betty Crocker and actually cook, or fake it with one of those excellent candles on the market, put these scents to work the next time you’re entertaining your sweetie. And I hope your sex is good & plenty!

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

The Nose Knows How to Help Us Find and Keep a Mate

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Attraction results from the unique information gathered by all our senses.

Did you ever wonder what attracts you to one sort of person over another? What causes that feeling of alluring familiarity with someone you have just met…someone to whom you are inexorably drawn? Why can someone have everything you think you want, yet leave you feeling flat? Dr. John Money, a world famous sexologist from Johns Hopkins University, invented a concept known as “love maps” that helps explain why we feel that certain pull toward someone without knowing why.

But just what is a love map made of? It’s a product of early childhood experiences delivered to us via the five senses, then activated later on by those very same senses. For instance, you walk into a crowded room and someone catches your eye. Or you feel the pangs of attraction when someone is wearing familiar cologne. If the senses are like paint to a canvas, a love map would be the complete landscape. The legend to your love map looks like this:

Sight: Studies show we tend to be attracted to people who look like our parents and even ourselves.

Smell: Pheromones, the smells that fly below the conscious radar, alert us to compatible mates and make us feel lustful, without quite knowing why.

Sound: The words of parents, teachers, and peers we admired (and certainly those we had crushes on) in early school days shape our emotional needs and self-image.

Taste: Food is a powerful metaphor for sex. Our real appetite and our sexual appetite are related in more ways than one. Freudian oral fixations abound.

Touch: We develop a craving for intimacy that is based in part on how we were touched and cuddled as children by our parents.

A love map may be what triggers the right hormones and neurotransmitters for romance. In fact, different circuits in the brain are lit up during lust and love. The picture of a brain in love is far more complex than that of a brain in lust. You don’t just want sex; you want the person because he affects you in a way that is hauntingly familiar.

Love maps may alert us to who’s the best fit, romantically speaking, but it doesn’t mean finding your soul mate makes love easy. Relationships take work! The chemicals at play in the early days of lust and attraction fade over time for every couple, no matter how much their maps coincide. However, you can recapture that feeling of euphoria by injecting some novelty back into your relationship.

Whether it’s a trip to an exotic location, bungee jumping, or ballroom dancing, the idea is to engage in new experiences together. Force yourself to leave behind that sense of predictability about what comes next. Thrill-seeking restores the thrill!

It works inside the bedroom too. Pretending you don’t know each other leaves room for surprise. Pushing yourself to change up a tired sexual routine restores the electricity of each other’s touch.

Love is often described as an experience that sets the body and the mind ablaze: The neurons are firing “we’re interested!” and the hormones are saying “we want to mate!”

The strongest electricity occurs when all five of the senses are activated, and that ushers in the sixth sense of sex: attraction. That’s when your love map really lights up!

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

The Chemical Symphony of Attraction