There is much mystery and wonder in human attraction, but there is also a great deal of science that has underpinned the discovery that certain chemicals that we emit can act as powerful attractors to the opposite sex. These were first termed as “pheromones” back in 1959 by Martin Luscher and Peter Karlson after the first active pheromone compound was found by Adolf Butenandt to excite the silkworm moth.
The word pheromone itself derives from a combination of two Greek words, phero (which means to carry or transport) and also hormone (which means to stimulate). So taken together it means a substance that is capable of transport outside the body and which then in turn has a direct stimulating effect on the hormonal response of the recipient.
That is the technical jargon. The human side of this, as most adolescent males will be able to tell you, is a substance that creates a sexual desire and fervor in the opposite sex. In the same way that alchemists sort valiantly for the Philosophers Stone that would allow them to turn lead into gold, later chemists have sought to both understand the chemical mechanisms of human desire, and also to try to discover the substances that trigger it.
It would of course be extremely convenient if the same pheromones that work on a silkworm moth, or in later studies bark beetles, worked on humans. But the transport mechanisms that work to excite insects are not the same as humans, and so new and different research has had to be undertaken to find the pheromone attractants (such as Athena Pheromones) that set men and women’s hearts aflutter. Learn more about top pheromones for men | Pheromones-Planet.com.
Given the importance from a biological perspective of attracting a mate you might assume that this problem would long since have been solved. And if you were to look in the back pages of any men’s magazine then the truth is that there are all manner of products that claim to have unlocked the secrets of pheromones and their ability to turn someone else’s heart to jelly.
But the truth is that until recently there was no firm evidence for a chemical compound that consistently worked, and these magazine products were generally nothing more than chemical compounds that had at best been shown to have an effect in animals such as pigs, but which lacked critical scientific data in humans, or at worst were little better than a scam intended to pray on the weaknesses of randy men.
The Work of Dr. Winnifred Cutler and George Preti
It is only in the last twenty-five years that creditable research has emerged that casts new light on the quest for human pheromones that actually work, and it was a biologist, Dr. Winifred Cutler (who would later develop ‘Athena Pheromones‘), and a chemist, George Preti who first published work in a mainstream scientific journal (“Hormones and Behavior”) to back up their work into natures elixir of attraction.
Dr. Cutler was a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-1980s when alongside George Preti she carried out research into the role that sweat from the underarms of men can play on influencing the menstrual cycle of women.
This was first prompted by earlier research that she had done in the 1970s which had showed that menstrual cycles of women who had regular sexual intercourse with men was more regular then females who had only occasional, or sporadic sexual encounters with men; which led her to question why this was, and what the causal factors behind these facts was.
The actual study that she used to get to the bottom of this in 1985 itself illustrates the sometimes bizarre nature of scientific experiments, because the men were made to wear pads under their arms which would collect their sweat. Then three times a week this male underarm sweat was then wiped onto the top lip of seven women to see if it would affect their menstrual cycle.
All in the name of science
These seven women fell into two distinct time frames for their menstrual cycle, either a period of less than twenty-six days or a period of more than thirty-three days.
The reason why this is significant is that scientists have found a close-correlation between certain lengths of menstrual cycles and fertility levels. And so when, after approximately three months, the women’s menstrual cycles seemed to have changed to be close to the optimum time frame (from a fertility perspective) of 29.5 days, then the researchers knew that they were potentially on to something profound.
The conclusion that was drawn from this initial research was that there was some substance in male underarm sweat that was acting as a human pheromone to encourage human fertility.
The reason why this was profound was that it meant both that there was a symbiotic relationship between female fertility and the men around them, and also that there was some substance within male sweat that had a pheromone effect and which could bring about a physiological change in women.