Does a better sense of smell translate into a more satisfying sex life? It might, based on the results of a small new study.
Researchers writing in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that people with more perceptive noses also had more pleasurable sexual experiences. And women who had a strong sensitivity to odors reported having more orgasms during sexual intercourse than did women who were less sensitive to scent.
The study consisted of 28 men and 42 women (half were on hormonal birth control) between ages 18 and 40. Odor sensitivity was determined by blindfolding participants and asking them to sniff felt pens infused with fragrance. They were then given questionnaires about three topics: sexual desire, sexual performance, and sexual experience.
The researchers found that sexual desire and performance were not necessarily associated with odor sensitivity. But there was a positive correlation between having a heightened sense of smell and sexual experience.
“A high olfactory sensitivity was associated with reports of more pleasant sexual experience” for both men and women, according to the study. Men with a higher sensitivity, however, had a more significant association with “pleasantness of sexual interactions,” suggesting that they might rely on smell more than their female counterparts.
Researchers also discovered that women with high olfactory sensitivity had a greater frequency of orgasms than women whose noses weren’t as sensitive.
“The perception of body odors such as vaginal fluids, sperm, and sweat seems to enrich the sexual experience,” researchers concluded, citing similar studies conducted in the past. “Taking this into account, we suggest that the reported relationship between olfactory sensitivity and experienced pleasantness of partnered sexual interaction may be mediated by an arousal evoked by body odors of the sex partner.”
Before you try to boost your sense of smell with the goal of boosting your sex life, keep in mind that the study only found a link between a fine-tuned sense of smell and better sex. It didn’t prove how odor can influence sex, nor did it suggest what less odor-perceptive people can do to boost their sense of smell and possibly improve their sex life.
So while it’s all pretty fascinating, if you’re hoping to have more pleasurable sex and more frequent orgasms, turn to expert-backed tactics that really do work—like masturbating more, exploring sex toys, and developing clearer communication with your partner.
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