The pheromonal debate centers on three main points: the nature and function of pheromones (how one defines pheromones); the role of Jacobson’s Organ and what is required for both the “sender” and the “receive” for pheromonal communication to occur. Because of the importance of pheromonal communication to our bonding, familial and sexual relationships, it is time to deﬁne our terms to make our argument clear.
The Role Of Pheromones
Pheromones are substances that are secreted by one species that can be detected by another member of the same species and, in the case of sexual attraction, result in physiological changes in the “receiver” that will often result in a reciprocal behavioral response of receiver to sender. This might mean ﬂirting or animated conversation or a desire to draw closer to the “sender” of the pheromone.
Jacobson’s organ, for our purposes, are represented by twin pits that lead to neural receptors that reside adjacent to the nasal septum and whose function is to detect pheromones — substances derived from our skin or glands that mingle with our sweat, and provide, with the help of bacteria living on our skin, genitalia, and hair provide the odors that are inhaled through our nose.
How Pheromones Are Detected
We believe that the function of Jacobson’s Organ is to detect pheromones. Once detected, these odors are translated via our nostrils into chemical transmitting signals that are ferried to our limbic or “reptilian brain.” It’s here where our emotions including fear and sex drive register and provoke responses that are a key to our survival.
Again, pheromonal communication occurs when a person emits pheromones that are detected and received by another person, who in turn, can respond by drawing near to the sender or rejecting him or her. While responding to pheromones we develop odors of sexual response or attractants governing intimacy, in reciprocal fashion. While this discussion has simpliﬁed a number of details, it describes the basic process we believe exists to make human pheromonal communication work.
How Pheromone Communication Works
It is a mutual stimulus response system focused on socialization, most frequently evidenced as sexual response, as dramatically demonstrated by snifﬁng and arousal seen in our pets. There are twelve cranial nerves that emerge from our upper body to supply our face and upper body with vital information.
Most of us are familiar with the optic nerves, which are necessary for vision. The importance of the sense smell is apparent in that nature has equipped us wit four sets of cranial nerves for odor detection. These are the terminal nerve or “supernumerary cranial nerve” or “zero cranial nerve” the vomeronasal (VOS), or olfactory system (A0S); the main olfactory nerve and its olfactory bulb (MOS), and the trigeminal nerve. These nerves innervate our noses and have a long evolutionary history.
Apparently our transmissions of odor may not only involve sexual interaction. Apparently, sweat collected from our axillae may signal how we feel: happy, anxious or depressed. Jacob and Mcclintock studied men and women alter their viewing standardized films that created moods of happiness or anxiety, these subjects had their axillary sweat then collected and stored in bottles for male and females. Olfactory observers could ascertain the resultant mood of the subject. it more studies of this type confirm the above, it is obvious that we have to add a new parameter to facial expression, voice, and posture as determining an observer’s response to our true romantic or sexual feelings.
When we fall in love many feelings come into play: we may be drawn to beauty, strength, intelligence,—health, vigor, or the promise of financial security. However, all these factors may be secondary to pheromone reactions impinging on our subconscious and awaiting our limbic brain to sexual desire.
No matter how virtuous the subject of our desire, or our objective evaluation of the one we love, the focus of our love transcends at a given moment our human dignity, based on our rational thinking brain. We must consider, without embarrassment, that, as part of our evolutionary heritage, our lust for the beloved is in many ways similar to the behavior of dogs aroused by a bitch in heat. while extreme, this comparison is a frank assessment and to understand the significance of love and family, we must examine our behavior In response to pheromones in a rational study to understand the influence of the vomeronaeai pheromonal system on human bonding and reproduction.
Does our emission of and our response to sexual odors, subconscious or conscious, constitute passion? Does this explain kissing, hugging and oral sex? Does this explain the difference between heterosexual and homosexual love? While as humans we have a rational brain, it is our feeling that ~ pheromones not only strongly influence our behavior but like other primal appetites such as hunger and they remind us that sexual attraction is a powerful force is as complex.
Pheromones are Subconscious
Pheromone responses reside deep in our primitive auxiliary olfactory lobes. They produce long—term memories separated from our rational perception. Analogously, our disciplined responses to sexually induced odors are similar to speech as an intrinsic element of what makes us human.
Both speech and smell are transmitted through the air. They both develop from preconceived neural circuitry, like the song of the male canary. The canary’s warbling and the child’s prattle can be inﬂuenced by imitation but the child has to be ready to let it out. Similarly, pheromonally—mediated behavior patterns reside within the brain, and like speech, are also difficult to discern until ready to emerge.
What characterizes humans is our speech, and as such, we have the ability to mold its expression. Pheromonal-induced behavior like speech, requires special stimuli to demonstrate it’s presence. Pheromones are demonstrable inﬂuences only at the chronological point in development that determines gender identity and sexual maturity. It is possible that the hidden expression of pheromonal inﬂuences must not be prematurely squandered or expressed until the right stage of sexual maturity if these odor inﬂuences are to be successfully utilized in later sexual expression. As it is only now that we can see pheromone inﬂuence as a key element in the expression of our subconscious.
Fundamentalists insist that the purpose of humans is to reproduce and populate the world for the gloriﬁcation of God. What we, as a culture, fail to see is that pheromones provide a strong compulsion to expedite our ability, indeed, our need, to fall in love and form long-lasting emotional bonds that lead to raising a family. Again, as pheromones are stimulating the area of the brain that registers primitive instincts including the sex drive and the ﬂight and ﬁght response, it is not surprising that the sexual pull that draws two people together is at once, irresistible and also, irrational.
The importance of the above in human physiology is the fact that odor response may often be hedonic, a feeling rather than a distinct sensation in that it differs from the familiar instant sensual awareness of touch.
Phermomone odor is seen as a Proustian experience, and, unlike visual experience, we cannot as readily bring back odor sensation from memory storage without external aids (Engen, 1982). It is more than coincidence that memory of our sexual experiences suffers from similar limitations that call upon us to repeat the experience resulting in an addictive phenomenon that is only poorly satisﬁed by memory.
As humans we have developed our civilization over two million years of evolution. Humans, unlike the apes, and other animals, have a hidden estrus (signaling the sexual ovulatory reproductive availability of women). Our women do not signal their readiness for copulation by visible color, as do female baboons. Instead, we feel that odor awareness of fecundity is the attracting but essentially hidden element in our sexual behavior. We act to this stimulus to pleasure and follow with reproduction based on odor clues that govern overt behavior to direct our immediate social actions that sustain our attention to each other? While women have subdued the major visible clues of their reproductive availability, do they sustain remnants of what is so obvious a reproductive odor stimulus to males as seen in dogs or cats?
Is homosexuality an odor preference predetermined by a brain “love map,” that signals sexual interaction despite being divorced from anatomic convenience and the genetic necessity for reproduction?
Is oral sex something more than reciprocal pleasure? Does it induce a sensory overload, drawing us together based on an aesthetic subconscious desire for fusion? Do we bathe in a pheromonal olfactory milieu necessary for sexual release. In terms of evolution, was this erotic sensibility directed to reproduction by putting pleasure and pheromonal stimulation as a key principle for species survival? Later, we will examine how odor preferences are central to our sexual identity, sexual preferences, and our passion for certain sexual practices, such kissing, nuzzling, and oral sex.