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Pheromones: what are they and how do they influence our sex life?

Pheromones: what are they and how do they influence our sex life?

January 22, 2022

Romantic dinners, intimate and fascinating conversations in which seduction fills everything, sophisticated ways of finding attraction in the intelligence of the other ... It seems that human sexuality is one of the most subtle creations of nature, one in which everything what is related to reproduction is precisely what matters least of all.

However, it is still true that, rational or not, we are still part of the animal kingdom. And in the world of animals There is a chemical element that influences sexuality, also in our case: pheromones .

What are pheromones?

Pheromones are chemical substances generated by living beings that are used to generate reactions in other individuals, of the same or another species. They are, so to speak, the raw material with which some forms of life establish a communication with others.


Of course, the pheromones is a very simple and primitive communication, which even has problems to fit into what can be understood by non-verbal communication. On the one hand, this transmission of information, but does not use semantics or signs that can be processed cognitively . In fact, the whole process is automatic and not conscious (and no, not in the way that Sigmund Freud would have imagined it).

In it there are no possible interpretations. A chemical signal is simply received and reacted accordingly, almost always in a predictable and stereotypical manner. So that, Pheromones are like pieces that can only fit with a way of life in a certain way.


This definition is very broad, but in practice one of the most important roles of pheromones has to do with one very specific: that of reproduction.

Pheromones and the couple search

When human beings seek a partner (stable or punctual), the search for information about the people among whom they doubt themselves rarely has to do with the analysis of discourses and verbal messages. Non-verbal communication, such as gestures and postures, have a great influence, because they are expressed through aesthetics and physical appearance.

The exterior of a person is not everything, but it is a layer of reality that natural evolution has taught us to appreciate a lot, because we have gone developing ways to find relevant information on possible partners over millions of years, before we developed the ability to use language.


Pheromones are part of this primitive packaging that we tend to judge in the first place before trying to analyze the way of thinking and feeling of people. Its importance has to do with the following points:

1. They give an idea of ​​sexual compatibility

Pheromones make a lot of sense from the point of view of reproduction because, unconsciously, they give us an idea about the characteristics that a common son or daughter would have. Specifically, pheromones express aspects of the immune system of those who secrete them, and it has been seen that in many animals there is a tendency to prefer individuals with an immune system more different from their own . In this way the offspring have a more complete and comprehensive.

2. Indicate the presence of the state of sexual activation

Pheromones induce to direct one's behavior towards sexuality (either to feel attracted to someone or to feel the opposite), but they also tell us about the degree to which the person who segregates them shows a predisposition or not to have sex.

3. They give information about the ovulation cycle

This has been proven in non-human animals, and there are some signs that it could also be met in our species. In fact, it has been possible to register how the smell of women who are ovulating makes men's testosterone levels rise. Something similar has been seen in women, who through the smell could detect possible "competition" when detecting ovulation of other .

This does not have to have too much from the point of view of how sexuality is lived in modern societies, in which sexuality and reproduction have been separated, but for the selection of species it is very important.

Studying pheromones in humans

What is known about pheromones is, basically, thanks to research in biology with non-human animals. The clues about the role these chemicals might be having in the reproductive and affective behavior of humans is unclear, because its effects are difficult to register in a species as sophisticated as ours .

After all, It is easy to see how pheromones act in small animals and with a nervous system less developed than ours, but as the complexity of behavior and the influence of society and culture increases, the role of these chemicals is blurred and hidden after many layers of convoluted psychological processes.

Just as it is not the same to investigate about memory experimenting with chains of neurons than to do it with living human beings performing complex cognitive tasks, the study of pheromones in humans will need to be developed over many years to give us detailed explanations on how this element affects us.


Do Humans Have Pheromones? (January 2022).


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