image from Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North
Let me just clear something up for the entire world: Everybody wants to have sex. Everybody. Including you.
Okay, not everybody -- there are people who are asexual, or who find sex to be painful or traumatic or gross or wrong, or who have taken a vow of celibacy, or who haven't yet reached puberty. But, generally speaking, if you walk into a bar, most of the people there probably want to have sex with someone at some point.
Just probably not right this moment, and probably not with you.
The question, then, is: how can you tell? We can talk more freely about sex than generations past, but it's still not polite to walk up to a stranger and say, "Hey, I feel like having sex. Would you like to have sex with me?" It might even get you maced .
After all, sex is still something good girls aren't supposed to want and nice guys aren't supposed to be after. So, instead of coming out into the open and saying it, we're supposed to lure and trick each other into bed. So we have The Rules and The Game and, for the remedial class, The Axe Effect. The goal is to appear indifferent while members of the opposite gender fling themselves at you, drawn to you by a mysterious power.
And -- this is a beauty-product blog, after all -- we have pheromones. Nature's pick-up artist. Trust in a bottle. Ten years ago, pheromones were relegated to the black and white ads at the back of the magazines. Today, you can find them in hair gel.
Do they work? About as well as a baggie tied around the genitals.
In the interest of journalism, of course, I decided to conduct an experiment of my own, forgoing the baggie and instead opting for a sample of Booty Parlor Flirty Little Secret Firming Cream from Victoria's Secret. It is a bit comforting, I'll admit, to realize that not everyone who shops at Victoria's Secret is an already-firm model who has no trouble attracting the boys. The plan of action was to slather this lotion all over, head to my boyfriend's house, and see if I noticed a difference. (Sorry for not telling you earlier, dude. Journalistic integrity and all.)
The lotion smelled generic but pleasant, light and fruity. It had gold shimmer, of the variety and degree that shimmer lotions had back when I was in high school: obvious individual glittery flecks that collect on your hands and turn them obnoxiously sparkly. I had a ton of that stuff in high school! Peach-scented and sparkling, but not noticeably firmer, I headed out the door, expecting great things.
So what happened?
Two dogs started growling at me and would have probably tried to maul me had their owner not held them back. A cat hissed at me. And my boyfriend? In bed with the flu. Even if he could have detected the fruity whiff of sex appeal on me, he certainly didn't have the energy to do anything about it.
It's not enough evidence for any medical journals to accept my abstract, but it's certainly enough to make me think this stuff doesn't work. And would you want to live in a world where it did?
Aw, dang, indeed.