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The Power of Scent & Smell During Sex

The Sweet Stench of Everything About You: Let us Embrace all of Our Senses, Shall We?

Joe Duncan
Jul 14, 2020 · 7 min read

I remember the first time she appeared before me naked, splayed with her underwear around her knees and ready for me to give her oral sex, her big brown eyes looking widely down into mine as if to communicate with my very soul. She was gorgeous, a light mocha tan complexion that had me amazed, satin-soft skin, contrasting dark hair with matching dark eyebrows to crown those gorgeous and soft, almost begging eyes, with a supple smirk and a dash of devious adventurousness, and we were soon to be off to the races. I would place my face between her warm, loving thighs and begin to give her oral sex to start things off. This has always been my favorite part of sex, the moment right before oral when the games are just beginning, and it’s been that way since I first explored oral sex back as a boy.

Now was the moment of truth. This was what I came for, to go down on her with care and precision, and to make sure she remembered me should things go awry in the future. But mostly I came to find out who she is and that encompasses the beautiful, undeniable way a woman smells as well…and I couldn’t wait to taste her in every way, but more importantly, just smell her.

The scent of a woman, her distressed hair during sex, her soft sweat that glistens with a sheen and luster upon her skin, tracing every inch of her curves to let you know it’s there and emitting its powerful and pheromonic drug.

Porn has always been rather lackluster because of this. We olfactophiliacs can’t engage with porn the same way because the scent of sex that we love so very much is perpetually absent. It must be like a blind person watching porn, the cues, and signals that our brains are waiting for just never come. Porn has always simultaneously bored and depressed me a bit for this reason — it’s incomplete and fraudulent.

It’s like, “Why am I watching these people have sex or this woman undress when I can’t smell it or touch it? Something feels off, here, something’s not quite right.”

I just crave something more, connection, closeness — even if it is the closeness of friendship, and a full balancing of the appreciation of the senses during sex. We evolved to appreciate sex as a multi-sensory activity, to me, it makes absolute sense, and is no wonder that so many would feel so depressed secretly when they watch pornography. They understand it’s a mimicry of what sex is supposed to be, a shoddy replica of the real deal.

While human pheromones haven’t been proven scientifically (yet) or even well-defined, but I know from experience that something chemical must be going on beneath the surface, especially when it comes to the way a woman smells and the way it calls to something deep in me. From the first nondescript moment when you smell her perfume to the next when she’s clutched in your firm embrace, to the next when your heads simultaneously twirl and you can smell the hot air of every single one of her exhales as your blood rages through your veins. This moment feels the most like fire.

Human attraction isn’t quite the same without the little smells, like when I clutch her head and sniff atop the crown, taking in a whiff of the hint of her hair smell. Curving around to the neck area and behind the ear, you find a stench of musky perfume and bare flesh, close enough to catch a glimpse of the hidden world that exists further down toward the armpit. Why do we struggle so hard to mask ourselves, to cover ourselves, so much that we even go as far as covering up our signature scents?

I want to smell your passion bleeding out of your pores in that invisible cocktail of you-ness, your sweat, your funk, your hair oils, all of these things contain that essential element of you, elements that drive me absolutely wild.

Let me have it, let me inhale you delightfully and take you into my mind where I can be transplanted to a world of arousal and lust like none other. Fear not, I never make it obvious what I’m doing. It’s always a silent enjoyment with a smirk that cracks out of the side of my mouth while I’m giving oral sex or passionately kissing. Making it obvious would be the weirdest thing of all.

But speaking of kissing, do you too secretly enjoy the scent and heat of your partner’s breath as they push the excited oxygen out of their lungs onto you — even into you? When kissing passionately and heads twirl with a feverous intensity, so much so that rapid breaths course from each set of lungs, one into the other? I certainly do. I love it all and always have.

Oh, how I pulse when I whiff your fragrance and feel invigorated, smelling you like we were barefoot running through the forest after the fresh dew or recently cut grass, there’s something so organic about you, something rich and vibrant that speaks to me in ways I can’t quite comprehend. And I adore it. In an artificial world, the close scent of humanness is a breath of fresh air — literally. Finally, we’re starting to see the scientific literature confirm these real and universal facts of our human existences.

Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. says for Psychology Today:

Olfactophilia (also known as osmolagnia, osphresiolagnia, and ozolagnia) is a paraphilia where an individual derives sexual pleasure from smells and odours. Given the large body of research on olfaction, it is unsurprising that in some cases there should be an association with sexual behavior. The erotic focus is most likely to relate to body odors of a sexual partner, including genital odors.

I can absolutely relate and pray to the Universe herself, with all of her beautiful and life-giving properties that I don’t catch COVID-19 and lose my sense of smell, lest I spend the rest of my life in a bizarre, real-life episode of The Twilight Zone.

Fortunately, this love affair isn’t too difficult for people to accept, as long as you’re polite about it and don’t go pinning them down just to smell them awkwardly and enjoy all of them as a unified whole. I’m absolutely and unapologetically turned on by a woman’s fragrance, every single bit of her.

Have you ever had this sentiment? Just wanting to smell your partner? You’re not as alone as you think. It’s perfectly natural, and the pheromones released in our partner’s sweat, saliva, vaginal fluid, and other secretions are powerful sex signals that can turn us on in an instant.

New scientific research has suggested that women might actually be the more visual of the two sexes, and further, what’s surprising is that men are actually quite often aroused by smells, (though this data is far from conclusive, it alludes to the possibility that men are much more than just these visual processors summing women up by abstract things like hip-to-waist ratio).

What’s more, it’s not just the smell of a woman’s armpits or vagina, a place loaded with pheromones, but even smells like lavender and pumpkin have demonstrated an increase of blood flow to men's’ penises. Still more interesting is that men who have deficiencies in their sense of smell, such as smokers and those who’ve just lost the sense of smell through, still respond to smells (measured by penile blood flow) in scientific experiments, the exact same way that people who have perfect smelling abilities respond. It’s about chemistry, not psychology.

There is some truth to the old idea of the aphrodisiac, after all, though I’d venture to say that the smell of the woman herself is the best and most arousing of all. I’ve seen many women report the exact same feeling, loving the scent of the men in their lives after a long, hard workout or a construction project that required extra effort.

Like the 19th-century philosopher Henri Bergson pointed out, it’s because we rely so heavily on our sense of sight for survival in the wild that we’ve evolved to neglect the other senses. Our entire mental framework and conception of the universe itself are characterized by this reality of human experience, that human survival is lopsidedly spatiotemporal. We must, according to Bergson, compensate for this built-in favoritism if we’re to embrace a pure, balanced experience of consciousness. We must intentionally bolster our other senses at the expense of our reliance on sight.

This sounds like a hot new kink if you ask me. Bergsonian Tantrism, anybody? Sex while approximating the most balanced and wholistic form of conscious experience possible? Where do I sign up? This sounds like my kind of good time.

How easy is it for us to forget to take a long walk and enjoy the smell of the breeze and the trees, the freshly cut grass, or the dew on the morning grass? Stop and imagine yourself doing this right now. Remember the last time you smelled one of those natural smells that you love, even if you’re indoors. For some of you, it may be a lake, for others, the scent of firewood burning. Do you feel how that transforms your inner experience, even just recalling it?

Yes, it’s unbelievable how much we neglect to include all the senses in our daily experiences. No doubt this has effects on our sex life. Perhaps we can embrace this a bit more as a culture and make it an acceptable practice along with gazing into our partner’s eyes or caressing them (something that also gets tragically neglected far too frequently). Let’s open up the world of sexuality and bask in the pleasure of all the senses, shall we?

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this story, I get the feeling you’ll love the one below as well.


Conversations about sex from all around the world

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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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