Men Can Smell When A Woman Is Sexually Aroused, New Study Finds

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Of all the ways to determine whether someone is turned on, scent may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But according to new research from the University of Kent, it's one of the many states we can detect through smell.

Namely, men can tell the difference between the smell of women who are aroused versus women who aren't, and smelling arousal actually piqued the sexual motivation of the men.

Previous research has shown that other emotional states like sadness and fear also have scents, and these findings indicate arousal isn't an exception.

Testing the smell of arousal.

Psychologist Arnaud Wisman, Ph.D., conducted three experiments involving sweat samples from aroused or non-aroused women. He hypothesized that men would be able to tell the difference.

The participants, all men, smelled these samples, and the subsequent findings supported Wisman's theory. And not only that but the results introduced the possibility that women release a detectable "chemosignal" when aroused, and that chemosignal may pique arousal in men.

In the first experiment, for example, men reported finding "aroused sweat" more appealing when rated on a scale of one to seven, with seven being "very sexy," which could explain the increase in arousal seen in the men.


We sniff out a lot of other things, too.

Wisman notes, "Sexual interest may entail more than meets the eye and we hope that the current findings encourage further research to examine the role of sexual olfactory signals in human connection."

It certainly entails more than vision, given this research. And within this study, some of the previous research mentioned other areas influencing both how people smell and how it affects arousal. Everything from physical health to fertility to fear can be subconsciously smelled. One study back in 2011 even found men can be turned off by the smell of women's tears.

All in all, the chemosignals we give off in various emotional states are not only detectable, but we end up acting on these detections through things like sexual interest, disgust, empathy, and more, when we smell them on other people. And while the detection may be somewhat unconscious, it's fascinating to think our senses may be better at reading people than we might assume.

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