Grab Her by the Nose

Laura Moore

Pheromones have sexual-attraction possibilities

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Q: I lift, so I’ve got a good body, and I’ve been told I have a great personality, too, but the ladies don’t seem to be flocking to me. I’ve been reading about some new products that are made from pheromones that guarantee women will be drawn to a guy like moths to a flame. Do they really work?

A: Believe it or not, there’s validity to the claims made by some manufacturers. For those of you who are unfamiliar with pheromones, here’s a crash course:

Pheromones are chemical substances produced by an animal and serve especially as a stimulus to others of the same species for one or more behavioral responses—especially in sexual attraction. The chemical substance is a by-product of hormones excreted through the skin and acted upon by bacteria. That produces the animal’s own chemical scent, which isn’t detected by the normal sense of smell.

How do pheromones work?

Some years ago researchers discovered the presence of a small organ in the nose of many animals (known as the VNO), which detects airborne pheromones. They bind with receptors in the VNO and send messages to the brain that affect behavioral responses. Pheromones don’t elicit conditioned responses but, rather, spontaneous ones.

For example, if a man has sex with a particular woman regularly over a long period of time and on every occasion she wears a particular perfume, gradually that scent will acquire the power of stimulating (attracting) the man all on its own. It’s then very likely that that man will perceive any woman wearing that perfume as attractive. That’s a pheromonelike reaction, but it’s not a pheromone reaction. It is a conditioned reaction.

Pheromones don’t depend on associations with prior experience to do their work; they use the VNO. Expert opinion is divided on the VNO presence and functioning in humans, but the theory is becoming much more accepted among scientists these days. Furthermore, I have yet to see any reputable study showing that pheromones have no effect on humans—so there.

A number of human pheromones have been isolated and studied. Pheromone researcher Bruce Boyd has identified three human pheromones that have been found effective for attracting members of the opposite sex: androstenol, androstenone and copulins.

Androstenol and androstenone are pheromones created on the skin when chemicals in human sweat interact with common bacteria, and they’ve both been observed to influence human attraction. Building muscle also ensures that you have more testosterone—and more testosterone means you excrete more hormones to be converted into pheromones. That means you’ll naturally attract more women. A number of studies seem to indicate that women in public places (movie theatres, restaurants and so forth) choose to sit in seats that have been sprayed with the pheromone androstenone more often than they choose seats that haven’t been sprayed.

Copulins are strictly female substances found in vaginal secretions that have been shown to elevate male testosterone levels (directly linked to increased sex drive) and to positively affect perceptions of female attractiveness in males. Copulins are at their highest concentration when a woman is ovulating.

Do pheromones really work when it comes to attracting the opposite sex? ABC News conducted an informal test of synthetic pheromones in a singles bar, using two sets of identical twins, one male and one female. One member of each pair was given an unscented pheromone spray, while the other was given witch hazel containing no pheromones. The subjects were placed in different sections of a popular bar in New York City and told not to make the first move. The men received about equal attention from the opposite sex, but the sister who was wearing the pheromones was approached by 30 men; her no-pheromones sister had only 11 “hits.” ABC newsman Bill Ritter was quoted as saying: “We cannot deny what we saw happen in the bar.”

The Medical Tribune reports, “Topical application of synthesized male pheromones increases the sexual attractiveness of men to their partners. The odorless, clear alcohol-based liquid contains a chemical copy of ‘the natural substance given off by healthy virile men in their 20s that makes them so attractive to women,’ said researcher Winifred Cutler, Ph.D., president of the Athena Institute for Women’s Wellness, in Haverford, Pennsylvania.


A Bodybuilder Is Born

Ron Harris

A Bodybuilder Is Born

Randy had been training with me for just more than a week, and he was learning a lot in the gym. Still, I knew that at least half the battle of building the kind of physique he wanted would not be waged at the bench press or squat rack but at the dinner table. We had just finished working chest and triceps and had slugged down our postworkout shakes. I told him to go home, shower and meet me at Grassfield’s, a local restaurant that served healthy fare in large portions. When I eat out, nothing pisses me off more than waiting a half-hour for my food only to get a plate that looks like a kiddie meal.

Top 10 Diet Fallacies

Ori Hofmekler

Top 10 Diet Fallacies

In the conclusion of his myth-busting exposé, Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, tackles the final five controversial beliefs about nutrition.

 Fallacy 6                   

The best way to

control your weight  

is to count calories.

 Calorie counting has been widely regarded as a reliable method of weight management. Some of today’s most established diet plans use calorie counting as a principal way of controlling energy intake. Yet, in spite of its reputation and wide appeal, calorie counting fails to provide the long-term benefit of staying lean and healthy.

Q & A: Muscle-Building Solutions From the IM E-zine

Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Q & A: Muscle-Building Solutions From the IM E-zine

Q: I’ve been getting excellent results with X-Rep partials, using them at the end of a set in the semistretch position [near the bottom of bench presses for instance]. I’m in college, and my physiology professor agrees with the X-Rep concepts, but he says the X spot should be at the fully stretched position because you get more fiber action there. Why do you think it’s higher on the stroke than at the very bottom [full-stretch point]? 

Histrionics Don’t Help

Randall Strossen, Ph.D.

Histrionics Don’t Help

Some years ago I trained in a gym that had a front room for the (big, carpeted, filled with machines and mirrors), a side room for the aerobics classes (spacious, light and airy) and a back room for the weightlifters (small, dank and stuffed with three lifting platforms). The front room was all spit and polish, and the gym owner was always doing one of two things: vacuuming the rug or polishing the mirrors. Occasionally he did a third thing: cursing whoever had sneaked in the chalk and sullied his janitorial jewel. By contrast, the back room was unkempt and always smelled of Tiger Balm or dirty socks, and if you’d forgotten your T-shirt or sweats, you could probably find something on the floor that would fit. As you might guess, people often dressed up to use the front room or the side room, but dressing down would have been more appropriate for the back room.

Hardgainer Solutions

Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Hardgainer Solutions

Many researchers believe that less than half of the fast-twitch fibers are involved in any all-out set. That’s right, a set to failure is not very efficient for stimulating growth. It’s even less efficient for hardgainers, who get maybe 20 to 30 percent fiber activation because of their poor nerve-to-muscle connections. In other words, their central nervous system craps out even earlier than the CNS of other bodybuilders on any given set, leaving most of their fast-twitch fibers snoozing.