Pheromones for Dummies?
The Sex eZine - Pheromones

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By Charles Alexander Moffat - 1999.

The world revolves around sex. Its more true than people know. The world does not really revolve around money, because money is merely a means of getting what you want.... and what do people want? Sex.

And you wonder why porn, Viagra pills and sexy car companies make so much money.

With the understanding now that the world really revolves around sex, being one of the three things that human beings are meant to do (eat, sleep and fornicate), we can now determine that everything we do, with the exception of striving for the money to put bread on the table, is somehow tied to sex.

Money is tied to sex.

And which part of our population is the most obsessed with sex? Why its the same part that visits the malls the most..... teenagers and young adults. Sexual obsession is the biggest part of their psyche.

Even the religious ones are obsessed with sex, but not in the normal way. In some cases they view their sexuality as a bad thing, a sin just to have naughty thoughts. They try to repress their own feelings and sexual needs. They’re obsessed with suppressing their sexuality. Either way, they’re still obsessed with sex.

Next we have to understand WHY teenagers and young adults are so sexually obsessed.

The name is Pheromones baby.

Yeah baby...

Pheromones, that little understood way humans communicate with each other without knowing it.

Do you know anything about aromatherapy? Well, pheromones goes on the same principal.

Smell (olfaction) is the least understood of our five senses and yet is perhaps the most powerful. The olfactory membrane is the only place in the human body where the central nervous system is exposed and in direct contact with the environment. When an olfactory receptor cell is stimulated, an impulse travels along the olfactory nerve to the limbic portion of the brain (sometimes referred to as the reptilian or old brain) where memory, hunger, sexual response or emotion is evoked. Before consciously knowing we are in contact with an aroma, our subconscious mind has already received and reacted to it.

What does that mean for us?

Well, if you are into aromatherapy, that means scented candles and incense (or even scented shampoo) can be used to incite certain feelings or moods.


Lavender promotes concentration and meditation (prefect for exam crunch time!).

Bergamot promotes a balanced sunny attitude.

Black spruce: optimism and upliftment.

Cedarwood: Calming, stabilizing, harmonizing, comforting.

Chamomile: Sedating, nurturing, soothing, calming, reassuring.

Coriander, Frangipani, Ginseng, Jasmine, Narcissus, Patchouli, Rose, Vanilla however are all aphrodisiacs.....

Which is how we get back to pheromones. Pheromones are aphrodisiacs in the purest sense, perhaps more so because they are the really hormones that are released for the sheer purpose of attracting people of the opposite sex.

Viagra and chocolate are ingested aphrodisiacs, we all know that, but our sense of smell is surprisingly powerful in its ability to elicit moods from us. Especially where the pheromones are concerned, because they appeal to humans on an one to one basis. The pheromones usually originate (radiate....?) from the sexual glands.

Have you ever wondered where the male cologne MUSK comes from...? It comes from the sexual organs of muskox. Can you believe that? People actually hunt muskox for their sexual organs, because the musk is such a powerful aphrodisiac. And why is that? Apparently the pheromones from muskox are actually almost identical to those of humans.

Bad luck for the muskox, wouldn't you say?

Thankfully we haven't started harvesting humans for their sexual organs.

Have you ever seen the television show The Kids In The Hall? There's one skit in which one of the characters decides to skip wearing deodorant and goes to work.... His sweat turns out to be a powerful aphrodisiac that his boss ends up marketing as a perfume, and later as shampoos and bodywashes, etc.... The whole thing makes him into a millionaire and all he has to do is run on a treadmill constantly while they collect his sweat. Its all very disgusting actually.

Back to the teenagers. Because this is the time in their life that humans are MEANT to be fornicating and reproducing, they are also the group that radiates the most hormones. They cannot really help it either, they are walking sexual magnets.

Ever went out on a date and you suddenly feel very buzzed and feel the urge to kiss your date very passionately? That’s because both you and your date’s hormones are working overtime. Imagine it if you will, when you go on a date, and the whole preparing for the date, you are already pretty excited. The hormones tend to build up and the adrenaline starts pumping.

The next thing you know the two of you are madly kissing each other in public and wanting nothing more than that moment to last forever.

Pheromones are a drug, that much is certain. Just as chocolate is a drug.

On an offshoot of this topic, you remember the Greek Myth of Narcissus? The young man (an Adonis of sorts) who fell in love with himself and wanted nothing more than stare at his reflection all day by a pond where flowers grew? If you remember above, Narcissus is listed as one of the aphrodisiacs, and that’s the flower that was named after this young man.

There might actually be some truth to that story. A young man who sniffed the narcissus flowers too much and ended up falling in love with himself?

Gay men are usually regarded to be narcissistic too, which is something of interest. In love with their own bodies? Could it be possible that the pheromones effect gay men in a different way, perhaps in a fashion that they are own pheromones are on quite constantly, they get used to it and as result the pheromones cause themselves to be attracted to only people who have male pheromones..... namely other males.

That’s an important distinction. Male pheromones are meant to attract females and female pheromones are meant to attract males.

If a man or woman is raised is some fashion, or perhaps was born with something different in their olfactory sense of smell, then that may indeed have effected how they react to pheromones, and as a result made them gay, lesbian or bi.

Its one possibility amongst many.

Its interesting to note that musk and cologne is reputedly quite popular amongst the gay community here in Toronto. Is there any truth to that? You tell me.

When Disney corporation made the movie Aladdin and called the princess "Jasmine" did they realize they were promoting a popular aphrodisiac? Who knows. Its possible, considering that she's obviously the biggest sex symbol in the movie (asides from the dancers with the silk scarves...).

Next on my agenda, there is a number of new soft drinks out there and available... Ones specifically designed because of their smell and certain chemicals inside them that are meant to work as aphrodisiacs and also stimulants in order to promote more activity. They are becoming popular at raves and downtown dance clubs.

Which is frequented most by whom....?


Teenagers are also the most sexually repressed group of people. Between parents and teachers, and other adults, they are being told sex is bad.

Meanwhile the commercialism and their own pheromones are yelling SEX, SEX, SEX and MORE SEX....

You get on the bus and right away you see an ad for Sex for Life and Viagra Alternatives...?

We're back to the money again. A private investigator show (I think it was either Magnum PI, or V.I.Warshawski) once said the line follow the money and you will find the reason. In this case all money seems to lead to sex. Whether its Viagra for old men or condom machines at high schools.

Teenagers (and the more sexually active and sometimes obsessed adults) are a major part of the North American workforce, but more importantly a large part of the consumers are teenagers. With such a large portion of society being obsessed with sex, its no wonder that SEX SELLS.

In conclusion to this fun-filled essay (of sorts) which does not really have a thesis which I hope you enjoyed, I predict that in the next couple of years some pharmaceutical company will likely come out with some kind of "Sex in a Bottle" drug, which will undoubtedly be really popular with both the teenagers and the impotent old men because it will be able to promote orgasms with a single drink.

Society is sick sometimes.


A pheromone is any chemical or set of chemicals produced by a living organism that transmits a message to other members of the same species. There are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology. Their use among insects has been particularly well documented, although many vertebrates and plants also communicate using pheromones.

Insect pheromones of pest species, such as the Japanese beetle and the gypsy moth, can be used to trap them for monitoring purposes or for control by creating confusion, disrupting mating and preventing them from laying eggs. Bombykol is a chemically well-characterized pheromone released by the female silkworm to attract mates.

In mammals and reptiles, pheromones may be detected by the vomeronasal organ, or Jacobson's organ, which lies between the nose and mouth, although some are detected by regular olfactory membranes.

Terence McKenna proposed in his book "Food of the Gods" the controversial idea of exopheromones as chemical signals between members of different species, as opposed to among conspecifics. He suggested that certain chemicals produced in abundance in various hallucinogenic plants and fungi, such as dimethyltriptamine and psilocybin may act as pheromones produced by one species (the vegetal) waiting for absorption by various others (for example, early primates or hominids). In this way a kind of ecological pheromonal system may be at work among species and ecosystems that have coevolved closely for long stretches of time.

The term "pheromone" was introduced by Peter Karlson and Adolf Butenandt in 1959, based on the Greek pherein (to transport) and hormon (to stimulate). They proposed the term to describe chemical signals from conspecifics which elicit innate behaviours soon after Butenandt characterised the first such chemical, bombykol.

Territorial Pheromones

Laid down in the environment, these pheromones mark the boundaries of an organism's territory. In dogs, these hormones are present in the urine, which they deposit on landmarks serving to mark the perimeter of the claimed territory.

Trail Pheromones

These pheromones are common in social insects. For example, ants mark their paths with these pheromones, which are non-volatile hydrocarbons. Certain ants lay down an initial trail of pheromones as they return to the nest with food. This trail attracts other ants and serves as a guide. As long as the food source remains, the pheromone trail will be continually renewed. The pheromone must be continually renewed because it evaporates quickly. When the supply begins to dwindle, the trailmaking ceases. In at least one species of ant, trails that no longer lead to food are also marked with a repellent pheromone.

Alarm Pheromones

Some species release a volatile substance when attacked by a predator that can trigger flight (in aphids) or aggression (in bees) in members of the same species. Pheromones also exist in plants:certain plants emit alarm pheromones when grazed upon, resulting in tannin production in neighboring plants. These tannins make the plants less appetizing for the herbivore.

Sex Pheromones

In animals, sex pheromones indicate the availability of the female for breeding. Many insect species release sex pheromones to attract a mate and many lepidopterans can detect a potential mate from as far away as 10 km. Pheromones can be used in gametes to trail the opposite sex's gametes for fertilization. Pheromones are also used in the detection of estrus in sows. Boar pheromones are sprayed into the sty, and those sows which exhibit sexual arousal are known to be currently available for breeding. Male animals also emit pheromones that convey information about what species they are, and their genotype.

Epideictic Pheromones

Recognized in insects, these pheromones are different than territory pheromones. According to Fabre (translated from French), "Females who lay their eggs in these fruits deposit these mysterious substances in the vicinity of their clutch to signal to other females of the same species so that they will clutch elsewhere."

Aggregation Pheromones

Produced by one or the other sex, these pheromones attract individuals of both sexes.

Other Pheromones

This classification, based on the effects on behavior, remains artificial. Pheromones fill many additional functions.

  • Nasonov pheromones (worker bees)
  • Royal pheromones (bees)
  • Calming (appeasement) pheromones (mammals)

    Human Pheromones

    Some commercially-available substances are advertised using claims that the products contain sexual pheromones and can act as an aphrodisiac. These often lack credence due to an excessive marketing of pheromones by unsolicited e-mail. Moreover, despite claims to the contrary, no defined pheromonal substance has ever been demonstrated to influence human behaviour in a peer reviewed, published study.

    Nevertheless, a few well-controlled scientific studies have been published demonstrating the possibility of pheromones in humans. The best-studied case involves the synchronization of menstrual cycles among women based on unconscious odor cues (the so called McClintock effect, named after the primary investigator).

    This study states that there are two types of pheromone involved: "One, produced prior to ovulation, shortens the ovarian cycle, and the second, produced just at ovulation, lengthens the cycle". This is analogous to the Whitten effect, a male pheromone mediated modulation of estrus observed in mice.

    Other studies have suggested that people might be using odor cues associated with the immune system to select mates who are not closely related to themselves.

    Pheromones in humans are postulated to be produced by the apocrine glands. The apocrine glands become functional after reaching puberty which, some believe, could contribute to people developing a sexual attraction for others at that time. Pheromone detection has also been proposed to be the reason why a person can sense "chemistry", or feel an instant attraction or dislike when first meeting someone.

    Using a brain imaging technique, Swedish researchers have shown that homosexual and heterosexual men respond differently to two odours that may be involved in sexual arousal, and that the gay men respond in the same way as women. This research suggests a possible role for human pheromones in the biological basis of sexual orientation.

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