If you're looking for a hack for better sex, you probably expect it to be, well, sexy. But while this little tidbit may improve your sex life, I can't say that it's going to make you feel like Aphrodite any time soon.
New research shows that one very simple — and surprising — factor that may affect your ability to orgasm: your sense of smell. That's right, being more turned on might have less to do with what's going on between your legs and more to do with what's sitting right in the middle of your damn face. Just bear with me.
Researchers from the Technical University of Dresden in Germany looked at 70 young adults, particularly looking at their sex lives and their sense of smell. They found that six of the seven women who had the strongest sense of smell also were likely to orgasm during the majority of sexual encounters, Metro UK reports. But when they looked at the women who struggled to smell, only one in seven were orgasming on the reg.
It's a small study to be sure — it would be interesting to see more research into this area — but the correlation seems pretty strong. Strong enough that some have been suggesting you may want to blow your nose before sex to make sure you're good and ready. But the question is, why would the scent and orgasms be linked?
Well, it may come down to being more tuned into your partner's smell — and their pheromones, which are a hormone that we all release. And they're powerful little buggers. "Pheromones play a major role in attraction as they can stimulate romantic emotions, sexual arousal, increased sex-hormone production, and even fertility," Takeesha Roland-Jenkins, a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic, tells Bustle. So, it may be that the better you can smell your partner, the more aroused you become. More research needs to be done, but it's fascinating stuff — and all the more reason to keep the tissues handy.
How Smell Affect Your Relationship
Smell may play a much bigger role in your relationship than you think. In addition to being linked to orgasm, science has found that your partner's smell can actually help you calm down. So there's a reason you like smelling your partner's old T-shirt.
One study from the University of British Columbia found that smelling your partner's clothing can literally lower your stress hormone levels. "Our research suggests that something as simple wearing a scarf or smelling an article of clothing worn by a loved one may help people cope with stressful situations when they are separated from loved ones," lead study author Marlise Hofer, a graduate student in the UBC Department of Psychology, tells Bustle. Not only that, they found that the scent of a stranger can make you more stressed, showing just how important it is for partner bonding. Scent can be incredibly powerful.
And if you want to keep the spark alive, smell might be able to help there, too. Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, tells Bustle the wearing a scent you and your partner both love, even just once a week, can help keep the romance flowing — it can trigger feelings and memories that will help keep your love feeling fresh.
We usually think of smell in terms of unpleasant ones — skunks, locker rooms, rotting food — but there are also all of the amazing smell out there that are incredibly evocative. I'm not going to say that clearing out your nose will guarantee you an orgasm, but it may time to starting paying more attention to an often-neglected scent. It has a lot to offer.