A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior has found that a woman's sense of smell is linked to sexual satisfaction and that women with a keener sense of smell are more likely to orgasm. More intensely, at that. You're probably thinking, "Damn, I want that," and we don't blame you. The researchers gave participants questions regarding sexual desires, experiences, and performances. Topics extended to orgasm frequency, sex frequency, and how long sex might last on average. The results? Men and women who had a better sense of smell had better sexual experiences, and women, in particular, reported having more orgasms during sex. Here's why.
What's Going On?
"The primary way in which smells influence our sexual perception of others is based on pheromones. Animals use pheromones to either identify their prey for food or to find a mating partner for procreation. Many animals have poor eyesight, so using the sense of smell or sensation of body heat helps them navigate outside," Dr. Damian Sendler, a sexologist, told POPSUGAR. "Since people evolved from primates, a lot of the traits that we typically find among animals are innate to our behavior, instincts, and the psychology of being," he explained.
"Since being present is key to orgasm, someone who is able to take note of distinct smells may also have an easier time being 'in the moment.'"
"In addition to the evolutionary trait of being able to 'sniff' out a great partner, someone who has a keen sense of smell may be more generally in tune to their body and their surroundings. Since being present is key to orgasm, someone who is able to take note of distinct smells may also have an easier time being 'in the moment' and connected with their body's sensations," she noted.
If your sense of smell is strong, you're likely more alert to all of your senses, touch included. When you're with a partner, you may also be more aware of what they're doing to keep the mood going and the ways you find them attractive (including how they smell). "And when you take in what those senses are telling you, you force yourself to be present," she added.
It Even Plays a Role in Who You Have Sex With
Smell is basically a survival mechanism, which explains why it influences our decisions, which extend into the bedroom. "For instance, a stinky partner alarms us as filthy or contaminated. When we see someone as contaminated with germs, we are less likely to find them physically attractive, and we indeed are less likely to want to have sex with them," Sendler explained.
So, it is natural for us not to feel so in the mood when our partner smells bad. "For one, seeing someone's scent as problematic is an aesthetic feature, but we also identify it to be dangerous to our well-being," he explained.
Yet a smelly scent can make that orgasm great, too, depending on the person. "Poor smell is not necessarily a reason for poor sex. For instance, in the kink community, there is a subculture of 'ripe' players, which includes individuals who tend to meet for sex after a long day of sweating, dripping urine, and passing gas," he said. "The main point of sexual stimulation here is the strong smell of manliness, the sweat that got produced through all day's activities," he explained.
What's more, women often report being attracted to "musky" smell because it makes their man seem more masculine. "There's a domination factor here — a manly smelling man can cause greater sexual arousal for some women," he said. No matter your scent preferences, it will lead to one intense orgasm and heighten that experience for you.
How to Use It to Your Advantage
Work that sense of smell in the bedroom. "In addition to appreciating the natural scent of your partner, incorporating other pleasant smells into the bedroom is a great way to set the mood. Try lighting a candle or using massage oils with relaxing scents, like vanilla or jasmine," Sinclair said. Bonus tip: when you limit one of your senses, the others become stronger. "Try blindfolding each other to accentuate your sense of smell and reach a higher sense of embodiment," she added. Whatever type of scent gets you going, play it up.