I Love The Smell Of Men’s Sweat & I Know I’m Not Alone

Everybody has something that inexplicably gets their motor running and for me, it’s the smell of a man’s sweat. I never knew there was a reason for it until I stumbled upon a study that made sense of it all.

  1. I can’t remember a time where that dirty, sweaty smell wasn’t a huge turn-on. For as long as I’ve been sexually aware, I’ve had some erotic connection with the smell of men’s sweat. I remember as a teenager catching the scent of a male friend’s B.O. and barely being able to hold back my arousal. It seems impossible for me to imagine the scent of a man without immediately associating it with sexuality and vice versa. Having sex with someone whose scent I didn’t find appealing seems wrong somehow, like an essential element is missing.
  2. It doesn’t apply to all men. While I do have this strong association, it’s not universal. There are some men whose scent I simply don’t feel anything towards and some I find downright unappealing. I had a long-term partner whose smell just didn’t do it for me and it was something I secretly mourned. I generally find myself much more interested in a man if his smell drives me nuts.
  3. Different situations produce different scents. Not all sweat is equal and I can pick up different types of sweat, especially after knowing a man intimately for a while. The smell of fear or nervousness is different to getting sweaty on a hot day, which is different to a post-workout aroma. I even have my favorites – I love to bury my face in my boyfriend’s armpits after a day of intense physical labor.
  4. According to science, I’m not nuts. I swear I’m not a toxic person and I can back it up with cold hard science. According to research, I’m attracted or repelled by certain men’s sweat in response to our genetic compatibility. Men whose genes are too similar to mine, won’t produce the kind of smell that drives me wild. Instead, men exhibiting different genetic traits to mine will be more likely to smell appealing in order to ensure a diverse gene pool and healthier offspring.
  5. I’m not alone either. This isn’t an unusual phenomenon. In fact, it’s hardwired into our systems. We’ve evolved to procreate with as high a success rate as possible and many of us are well on our way to doing so by listening to our guts (or our noses in this case).
  6. My nose is filtering potential partners for me. Based on this information, I think it’s safe to say I’m doing the human race a favor by only banging the guys that my nose tells me to. Not only does a man’s scent tell me about his genetic compatibility, it tells me specifically about his immune system. One study showed that women reacted most favorably to the sweaty man smell of those with dissimilar immune systems. That means passing on a much higher chance of survival to any babies they might decide to pop out.
  7. I’m down with trusting my subconscious on this one. Along with gene compatibility and healthy immune systems for any potential offspring, my scent-sensitivity is also warning me against partners that I might one day cheat on. No kidding—one study showed that women whose genetic makeup was too similar to their partners, based only on the variable of scent, were more likely to be unfaithful. I’m OK with saving myself (and any potential partners) the heartache and just trusting my nose.
  8. The pill can mess with your ability to choose good partners based on scent. As it turns out, the contraceptive pill throws a spanner in the works when it comes to sensing compatible pheromones. Research shows that women taking the pill actually chose partners with very similar genetic makeup, totally counteracting the body’s natural scent radar for the ideal father of my child. This can make for some pretty drastic side effects, like suddenly losing attraction to your partner if you start or stop taking the pill while in a relationship.
  9. Sometimes it does make things awkward. There have been awkward moments where I’ve found myself inexplicably aroused in the most inappropriate situations. Imagine catching a whiff of your workmate’s underarms and immediately losing the possibility to function as a normal human being. Yeah, it has its downsides.
  10. Luckily, most of my boyfriends have been into it. I’m very happy to report that this fetish of mine has generally been embraced by the men I’ve dated. For some, it’s been a bit of a shock to suddenly having me nuzzle up into their armpits and have a good sniff around. For others, they’ve immediately returned the favor. Whatever the reaction, it’s always become normal very quickly and I’ve even found it to be a great way to break down the barriers to intimacy. You can’t help but feel close to someone after you’ve intentionally sniffed each other’s armpits.
is an open-hearted fellow human, lover of vulnerability, workshop facilitator and blogger, and perpetual student of the universe. She blogs over at https://liberationandlove.com about the beautiful experience that is being human. Through her writings, she takes great pleasure in delving into conscious community, sexuality, communication, and relationships, and loves to help others to do the same. You can find her on instagram as @jazz_meyer or @liberation.and.love