The latest aphrodisiac for women? The smell of breastfeeding (yes, really)
Forget oysters – smells associated with breastfeeding make other women sexually aroused, a report has revealed.
Researchers discovered that subtle odours created by breastfeeding mothers and their babies can raise libido by almost 50%.
Speaking at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine‘s annual conference in Washington, the psychologists behind the study said they believe the smells – known as pheromones – act as a signal, telling a woman it is time to try for a baby.
The researchers from the University of Chicago looked at how the smell of sweat, collected from the breasts and armpits of nursing mothers, affected a group of other women.
Half were asked to wipe the sweat-soaked pads across their upper lip every morning for three months. The other half were given pads drenched in a dummy liquid.
By the end of the study, those given the sweat-soaked pads found their desire for their partner had risen by around 42%, while those who were single had more sex dreams than usual.
It is thought those given the body odour pads were affected by the pheromones, which are secreted by the body to affect behaviour, including sexual attraction, on an unconscious level.
In this case, it’s believed they acted as a signal to other women that food is plentiful and the environment is safe to bring a baby into.
Researcher, Professor Martha McClintock, told the Daily Mail: ‘We found that being exposed to these chemicals sustained sexual desire during times in the cycle when it would normally be lower than other peak levels.
‘It could be used for the treatment of disorders of desire. A lot of basic research would need to be done to identify the specific compounds involved.’
So there you go.