That smell might be telling you something. In a paper published by The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Russian scientists have discovered that women find the smell of a man infected with gonorrhea to be “putrid.” As if they don’t have enough problems.
“Our research revealed that infection disease reduces odour attractiveness in humans,” wrote Mikhail Moshkin, a professor at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Russia, and the lead author of research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The off-putting scent may be subtle, more of a chemical warning than a stench of body odour, but it does have some effect, according to experiment conducted by Moshkin and his colleagues.
The researchers had already observed that certain animals, such as mice and rats, were not as attracted to the scents of those that were infected with disease.
They investigated if humans would also be turned off by the scent of an infected person, particularly one with an STD. For the study, the researchers took samples of armpit sweat and spit from 34 Russian men aged between 17 and 25. The group included 13 young men with gonorrhea, a common sexually transmitted infection, 16 who were healthy and five who had had the disease but were successfully treated.
Then 18 female students aged 17 to 20 were asked to sniff the samples. They obtained sweat samples by dressing the men in tight-fitting T-shirts with cotton pads sewn into the armpits.
The women ranked the infected men less than half as high as healthy or recovered guys on a ‘pleasantness score’ that assessed scent. On being asked to describe the scent, the women said that nearly 50 percent of the infected men’s sweat smelt ‘putrid’.
It always pays to have a good whiff of the person you’re about to hump. I’d also say, when words like putrid come to mind about anything to do with them –their haircut, demeanor or odor– you might be best to give it a pass. Unless you’re into that sort of thing. Then have sex with all the putrid people you can find.