The Look of Pheromone Love
When we separate love and lust from their inhere pheromonal connection, we find other ways of viewing attracation. We might deny being drawn to someone based purely 0 how he or she looks, but the truth is that certain facial and body traits are more appealing to us than others. – A relatively new science has evolved to determine why some:
The people are considered attractive and others are not. It involve measuring body proportions, in particular the symmetry of one’ features, to pinpoint the parameters of desirability.
The book titled “The Biology of Beauty: What Science Has Dis covered About Sex Appeal.” The article cites the work 0 University of New Mexico ecologist Randy Thornhill and psychologist Steven Gangestad and includes a photograph of universally considered attractive because his face lines up; in other words, you could draw imaginary horizontal lines between various points on his face (cheekbones, jawbone, lips, nostrils outer eyes) and the vertical line created by the midpoints of the horizontal lines would form an even stretch. By contrast, singer Lyle Lovett’s mug is a jumble. His face is asymmetrical, and his overall physical attractiveness rating is lower as a result.
Let’s talk about pheromones which are the chemicals present in animals to attract the opposite sex.
Oxytocin is the “cuddle chemical,” the molecule that inspires‘ a reaction when we touch or are touched, however brieﬂy, by, someone we love. A short polypeptide hormone, oxytocin is released by the pituitary gland. In addition to its touch-related actions, oxytocin stimulates the contraction of the smooth muscle of the uterus during labor and orgasm and facilitates milk ﬂow during nursing.
Without oxytocin, our intense feelings of attachment to our children or to our sexual partners or spouses would dissolve. Our skin, which relies partly on oxytocin for its sensitivity to touch, would feel dead without this chemical. When a mother; hears her hungry baby cry, oxytocin intervenes, making her nip-,7‘ ples erect and ready to pass the stream of milk so desired by the * infant. A touch from a loved one causes oxytocin to be released 5 into the bloodstream. A glance at the object of our affections can also result in an oxytocin surge. Sexual intercourse is guaranteed QT to send the body’s oxytocin production rates into warp speed
Vasopressin the “monogamy molecule. Indeed, when it works in conjunction with the fiery male sex hormone testosterone, vaopressin has a tempering effect that keeps males’ sex drives in heck and stops them from following their hormones straight to he next attractive female. It puts the “sense” back into the man.
Like oxytocin, vasopressin is secreted by the pituitary gland constricts blood vessels, raises blood pressure, concentrates in by moving water back into the bloodstream, and is present in large quantities during REM sleep. Also called antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin aids in regulating our body temperatures and helps men and women rein in their tempers.
Testosterone is the quintessential male hormone. It makes men men. It gives them square jaws, hairy chests, deep voices, and muscular bodies. Women also produce testosterone, but in much lower concentrations.
In males, testosterone is produced primarily in the testes and the adrenals and it facilitates the development and maintenance of secondary sex characteristics.
In women, it is produced in the ovaries and the adrenals and it sensitizes the genitals and nipples to pleasurable touch. It also plays a part in a woman’s sex drive. Testosterone production tapers off during menopause, leaving some women with deﬂated libidos. One treatment uses supplemental testosterone to boost the ﬂagging sex drives of menopausal women. The average woman has some 40 nanograms (one billionth of a gram) of the hormone in each deciliter of her blood. Men, by contrast, have anywhere from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter.
A recent study by Dr. Christina Wang of the University of California at Los Angeles found that testosterone may not deserve its reputation as the male aggression hormone. Rather, men deﬁcient in testosterone display the negative attitudes (irritability, testy mood) normally associated with the presence of the hormone. Before being treated with testosterone supplements, the fifty-four hypogonadal (low-testosterone) men in Wang’s study expressed a range of negative behavior, including being overly aggressive, a trait historically associated with an abundance of testosterone. Testosterone replacement therapy improved moods of the men in Wang’s study. They became friendlier a if A calmer, not exactly the demeanor one would expect from an crease of the hormone.
Testosterone plays an important role in sexual behavior, particularly in a man. It is the hormone that jump-starts his libido giving him the drive to pursue sexual intercourse, and is also involved in the production of sperm. A vegetarian diet is to reduce testosterone levels, and a losing streak in a relationship can also cause a drop (getting fired, his wife leaving him for an other man, financial hardship).
The twelve Brazilian and nine Italian male soccer fans seated at bar watching a final play-off between their respective countries. The Brazilian team won; as a result, the South American‘ fans’ testosterone levels increased by 28 percent. The losin Italians, however, showed a 27 percent drop in their testosterone levels.
Used in the maintenance of bone density, mental functioning, and the health of the heart. In the sexual arena, estrogen helps make a woman receptive to sexual advances. It is what gives a woman her own personal body scent, and it is crucial in vaginal lubrication and the texture of the skin.
Endocrinologist Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., of Rockefeller University found that rats exposed to supplemental estrogen displayed more activity in the neural synapses between the brain’s hippocampus and the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates sexual behavior. The theory is that estrogen not only makes a woman feel and smell female but is capable of promoting sexual interest and pursuit as well.
Dopamine affects how we see and react to life. Do we experience pleasure in an embrace with a lover, in a salmon-colored sunset, or in the sugary mist of newly fallen snow? If the answer is yes, then dopamine is at work. If things of beauty and love leave us feeling as flat as old soda, then something’s wrong with our dopamine levels. Dopamine facilitates our addictions, whether to alcohol or great sex, because it sends us out in search of pleasure. Dopamine is an unabashedly hedonistic chemical. It gives us the intense pleasure of orgasms. No wonder we can’t resist its seduction.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. Be-cause of its strong effect on the sex drives of both genders, it is an important chemical in the sex, love, and lust connection.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter formed from the amino acid tryptophan, is found in the brain, blood serum, and gastric mucous membranes. It is active in vasoconstriction, stimulation of the smooth muscles, transmission of impulses between nerve cells, and regulation of cyclic body processes. University of Texas psychologist Devendra Singh notes that while a person’s face is a reliable indicator of whether he or she is attractive. D. H. Lawrence wrote, “Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness.” In the human quest for love and lust, ‘ 1 appears that beauty lies not only in the eye of the beholder, but in the genetic program that inﬂuences perception of beauty a factor in reproductive success.
Kiss Me With Pheromones
Who could deny the pleasure of a well-executed kiss? Soft meets soft, the personal space bubble opens its doors, the guard is let down. Kissing is about as close as you can get to another M, human being without removing your clothes. The romantic tingle of a kiss is undeniable. It conveniently steps in and fills the space of unspeakable passion, as Ingrid Bergman told us when she said, “A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superﬂuous.
The Romans thought so highly of kisses that they ha several words in their Latin lexicon to describe the touching of lips: an osculum is a friendly kiss applied to the cheeks, a basium is a kiss planted with a bit more affection, and a suavium is an ardent kiss reserved for lovers. Some theories say kissing evolved out of our ancient need to “sniff out” strangers, much the way animals do.
Is this why Eskimos rub noses in greeting? Animals spend the majority of their time sniffing around; in the process they receive massive doses of olfactory and pheromonal stimulation. Back when humans consciously sniffed each other (we still do it, but not as overtly), we also engaged in a subtle exchange of breath. This exhaled air is sometimes called the mana, an in, visible representation of a person’s deepest self. Edwin Dobb writes in Hmperis magazine, “Kissing was considered the only unmediated way to mingle souls, and no manner of lovemaking could be more intimate or more consequential.
Sex, Love, and Lust? The Pheromone Connection
When own a series of drawings depicting women of varying physical proportions, from underweight to normal weight to oversight, men find themselves drawn to a certain body type. This ratio doesn’t depend on a woman’s weight; if this has the desirable ratio, then she will most likely be considered attractive. The classic female ﬁgure—36-25-36—has a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7.
Why would a man be drawn to a woman who possesses the physical measurements that form the desirable hourglass shape? female with a slim waist and full hips is visibly capable of producing children, so the thinking goes. And this thinking has merit. A 1993 Dutch study of women seeking the services of fertility clinic found that the women’s waist-to-hip ratios affected their chances of conceiving. The women whose waist-to-hip raios were between 0.7 and 0.8 were more successful in their attempts to get pregnant.
Thornhill and Steven Gangestad also found that a woman’s ability to achieve orgasm is related to the symmetry of 161‘ mate’s features, and the most desirable men—and those with whom women reach orgasm more quickly—are those with the most “even” features.
Symmetry is such an important component of attraction that each year almost half a million Americans (including some fifty thousand men) employ the services of plastic surgeons. The goal is to improve the balance and symmetry of their facial features.
Humans aren’t alone in their preference for beautiful partners. Animals, too, size up the looks of their potential mates. While pheromones play key roles in the sensory lives of animals and insects, symmetry is also an integral part of the mating game. For example, a scorpion ﬂy with symmetrical wings will more easily find clues about other people—what they ate, the state of their health, their personal hygiene or lack of it. In the quest for pro- creation, kissing was, and still is, a way to rule out undesirable mates. You wouldn’t make babies with someone whose breath was foul with disease, would you?
Researchers have found that couples who kiss frequently have stronger relationships and more satisfying sex lives than their nonkissing peers. Kissing boosts feelings of security and well- being, and displaying and receiving affection can strengthen the immune system. In 1992 Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D., of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, compared the immune function of ninety newlywed couples. By collecting samples of the volunteers’ blood, she could determine how affectionate the couples were toward each other. Those who kissed and cuddled on a consistent basis had higher levels of antibodies and virus—killing T—cells coursing through their bloodstreams than did the “cold” couples.
Sex educators Drs. Bob and Leah Schwartz advise couples to “use all five senses—and even your brain—when you kiss.” But a kiss becomes more complete and ultimately more satisfying when we also take into account the subtle presence of the sixth sense. In the language of tribes residing in Burma and Borneo, “kiss” means “smell,” an allusion, perhaps, to the ability of the kiss to deliver messages to the deepest regions of the brain.
When viewed in the context of pheromones, the simple kiss takes on new significance. This is because the narrow strip of skin between the top lip and the nose, the nasal sulcus, is a pheromone powerhouse—it produces a vast quantity of chemical messengers.