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True Confessions of an Olfactophiliac

Onward to Osphresiolagnia: Because Sex Isn’t the Same Without Smell

Joe Duncan
Jul 10 · 9 min read

I’ve got a confession to make: I am an olfactophiliac. You’ll be both forgiven and not alone if you’re scratching your head and wondering what on earth that might be, but I’m sure you at least know it has something to do with sex. Ding ding ding! If that was your guess, you’re on the right track but before you start silently judging me, be it by laughing to yourself or balking at your screen, or even perhaps stooping your head into your hands with a facepalm to silently pray for me and my entrance to Heaven, I’ll have you know it’s a rather benign, even mundane paraphilia to have — and one I’m quite comfortable with.

You see, it all began when I was just a young boy first exploring my sexuality. The first time I explored the body of a woman, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. I was younger by a few years, she led the way making all the first moves, I was shy, aloof, distant, and…exploding on the inside. My nerves were strung tight like a tennis racket, but I was ready for some sexy adventure, even if I wasn’t sure what that meant at the time. I was both thrilled and terrified, uncertain if I’d love it or do something wrong and completely ruin the experience somehow. Ah, the joys of boyhood.

She laid before me on the ground, taking off her blue Adidas track pants and shirt, exposing herself underneath the lights that were little more than a dim flicker of the television with a movie playing to muffle any noise that might have come of what was about to transpire, which would end up being a life-changing series of moments.

My eyes winced with fear and uncertainty, and I was grinning stupidly as I plunged down into that unknown terrain of human sexuality and discovered who I really was as a sexual being. She had asked me to go down on her after a short while of fooling around on the couch and I’m fairly certain I was shaking with terror.

“Do what?!” I thought to myself. I was excited, yet pitifully afraid. Little did I know I’d soon be face-to-face with divine femininity, symbolized and personified, incarnate, her sweet vulva in all of it’s loud, beautiful, frightening, and unapologetic glory, an object that we men come to love, fear, and revere. There she was, lying before me, awaiting my response…

But let’s back up for a second because as I went down there, something magical happened. I smelt her skin, I smelt her body, I smelt her essence, and in that moment, something inside of me was transformed. I caught a whiff of the acidic stench of wafting off of her armpits, the fragrance full of what might as well be called pheromones (more on this later) hitting me in the face, like a signature or fingerprint, no two are alike, and the ones that are arousing and so crushingly arousing that my pulse speeds up a notch and I’m fairly certain that my pupils dilate as my eyes squint to focus on the subject of my invigorated and unadulterated sexuality.

By the time I made it to her vagina and smelled a bare, uninhibited woman for the first time and I was hooked like a junkie falls in love with dope on the first go-round…and I knew it. I was off to the races. Arrested, tried, and guilty as charged. My face was immersed, the tangy metallic flavor reached into my brain and tickled all of the right parts, stimulating my central nervous system in a way that I didn’t even know possible. The taste was wonderful but by God, the smell was exhilarating, electrifying even. The best high a man can have is the scent of a woman and thus it began…

When it happened, my body quivered and I begged internally for more, closer, closer, to get ever-closer to her…and she delivered. Her labia enveloped my mouth as I licked up and down and up and down at her soft, spongy flesh. Long, dark pubic hairs tickled the tip of my nose as my face became soaked through with the residue of this woman, the same mysterious substance shared by women all over.

I was a shy first-timer, all the way up until the very moment when I touched her down there, then I was overcome by an inner animal within me, unleashing in a way that I at least hope was pleasurable. In that moment, I was made into a heathen who lusted for oral sex daily from then on. Who wants to skip right to the sexual main event while bypassing the joys of foreplay with all of its invigorating sensuality involved, basking in our internal subjective experiences of one another? Not me. Think about how romantic it is to fully immerse yourself in your partner…

So much goes on beneath the surface of human sexuality that it’s hard not to sit back and be amazed by it all. From the way our scents ignite our partners’ arousal and imaginations, to the way we can unconsciously sum up who’s a good match for us, it’s all done by trillions of calculations taking place in the back of our minds all the time. And scent is one aspect of this process, an aspect that some of us enjoy to the delightful fullest.

Olfactophilia is being unbelievably, undeniably, curiously, and intensely aroused by specific smells, particularly if it’s the smell of your partner’s scent, and you get bonus points if you love the smell of your partner’s body odors. Yep. That’s me. When I’m attracted to a woman, deeply, undeniably attracted, I’ll often wake up and fall in love with the smell of her morning breath. This is a part of who I am, an inseparable part, at that. Sex is just not the same without smelling my partner, placing my chin atop their head and catching a glimpse of their hair as I dive inside of them, getting lost in one another’s sensuality.

To truly enjoy sex with your partner is to enjoy all of them. Sexuality doesn’t start when thrusting begins and finish when the climaxing is over. No, it’s a chaotic, messy, and uncertain process that ignites the flames of passion and lust within us, causing an upheaval of sensory experience and emotion, creating a cacophony of bliss and wonder. From within it, you’re never quite certain where you are. Such is the nature of attraction.

All sex begins at first contact, as our eyes catch one another, and we know instantly that something is different about that person, something attractive, something that bestirs us, unlike the others, faint smiles and eyes that pass by without notice. Oh no, something is sent ajar within us, it quakes us and rumbles in our bellies, stirring up an unbelievable mixture of excitement, fear, and joy. At that moment, we’re really alive. That’s the moment when the inner chemistries of two distinct people begin to swirl like galaxies inside of them, unbeknownst one to the other, conjuring up a whirlwind of sweet emotions and raw energy that creates a tension within us — a tension that builds and grows and hopes to be let out someday to play like children who don’t yet understand the meaning of the word responsibility.

I’m convinced that this is the point where the human orgasm truly begins, the moment we first lock eyes and make contact. Everything else after this is a continuation of this moment as if inertia carries us through to our goal. But the next important hallmark is when we smell our partner and at that point, we just “know” whether or not it’s a match. I do, anyway…but don’t you, too? Or am I alone, here?

We rely on our sense of sight so much in everyday life that there’s something vulnerable about someone’s smell, something raw and organic, something true and undeniable, something uncontrollable and of course far more intimate than anything we can see with our eyes. It’s a different kind of closeness taken in through the most underappreciated sense we have.

Chemistry plays such an important role in this process I think it’s impossible to underestimate just how much I revere it; when we look at someone we unconsciously decipher someone’s facial structure, their body structure, their glances, their mannerism, all of the minute details from their eyelids to their lips to their fingers, and our brains calculate a seeming infinity of nuances into an organic algorithm that gives us a nod, yay or nay. I sense someone’s natural scent cocktail works much the same way.

I crave the stench of my partner, good or bad, with few exceptions (that should be obvious). This is what it means to be an olfactophiliac, that we derive immense sexual arousal and pleasure from smells, especially our partner’s, and especially unorthodox smells (this has its limits, of course).

Is anyone else out there just transformed inside when they clutch their partners, wrapping them in a tight hug and smell the top of their head, taking in the scent of their hair? Or what about those of us who get highly aroused by smelling our partner’s nether-regions while we give them oral sex, pretending that we’re not enjoying it because talking about it would make it weird? It’s not too far off from our partner’s taste which I think most people can admit that they like, right? So why is this so difficult to talk about. Maybe it’s because we have more control over our smell and thus feel self-conscious about it? I’m not sure. Can we normalize this wonderful and universal experience, yet? I sure hope so.

It’s deeply romantic and carnal in a way that’s almost incomprehensible. Their composition of matter in motion instructs us on whether we should come-hither or steer clear, to dance the dance of love, lust, and desire, or to deflate and retire into ourselves and wait to find another. In fact, sex just isn’t the same without it. It’s missing something, some important aspect, like that part of me that wasn’t properly stroked beforehand — sex isn’t just visual, it’s a full-body experience or nothing at all.

This experience continued throughout my life and that young boy still lives somewhere deep down inside of me to this day. I’ll never understand those out there who try to force others to cover themselves, visually or otherwise, in an attempt to try to hide who they are, to shun or blunt the nature of the experience of them. Why? I’m assuming it’s cultural and has to do with people who experience deep guilt and shame around the subject of sex. Sex is smelly, but we all secretly love it and it speaks to the animalistic drives within us. I’ve smelled so many women throughout my life and enjoyed every single one of them. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve never been with a woman who’s vagina I didn’t find utterly mesmerizing and endearing in its own distinct way. As I said, like her own wonderful, invisible fingerprint.

I’ve experienced bold flavors, zesty tarts, acidic and metallic scents that energize, the soft powdery fragrance of hair, the tame, subtle scent of a woman’s neck. I love it all.

I think I speak for the vast majority of the human race, here, when I say that when it comes down to it, we all love the smell of the partners we’re with, so long as reasonable hygiene practices are followed. All of the shame, fear, and anxiety surrounding this issue is so bizarre to me, especially for something that’s so universally felt. In a very real way, this is what it means to be human, nothing special, just human, and doing what we were designed to do with the people we love and find ourselves attracted to in those rare moments of untainted bliss in life, where the world disappears and we find ourselves in the arms of another. And that’s the point, isn’t it? To get lost in one another in such a way that makes life extraordinary?


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Joe Duncan

Written by

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here:


Conversations about sex from all around the world

Joe Duncan

Written by

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here:


Conversations about sex from all around the world

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