The Sensuality of Smell

by bruce

“As i moved my face to His pits, i drank in the aroma of a million pores of sweat, basking in the fragrance of my Master. Perhaps it reminded me of an absolute security years ago when i held in my father’s arms, the masculinity of him permeating my nostrils. Perhaps it was the sexual excitement that my Master’s scent carried to me when i was servicing Him. Whatever the reason, i craved Him and wanted to revel in His presence. He was my Master and i was His slave.”

I was pretty hesitant about setting down my opinion on “smell” because I felt that I wasn’t the best person to do it. There are lots of other, better qualified people who could something far more prophetic on the subject. But no one came forward, so my piece will have to do. And it will be based on personal experience.

There are many in the Leather/BDSM scene who are attracted to smell – in fact, smell can “make or break” a session. Depending upon the level of excitement, and the mutual attractiveness of the parties, aroma can play an important part in a scene. And I’m not talking about artificial smell: rather, natural, body generated scent. So, why all the attraction and why the importance?

Well, firstly, it’s one of our primary senses, though we don’t always recognise its significance. It is what the brain uses to determines the “outside World.” It is olfactory input that contributes to an overall impression we create about another individual – in other words, it’s a chapter of a book we read on the other guy.

Second, while we don’t have the range that other mammals do when it comes to smell (i.e. dogs have more than 200 times the sense of smell as we do, and they are guided in their daily lives by smell more than any other sense), we still can discern if somebody is interested in us or not – it all has to do with body chemistry, a combination of sight, smell, body movement/gestures, and sound (if it’s really down to Earth, touch can be a part of it too!). Ranging from the intoxicating to the offensive, smell can literally determine our mood, our outlook on people and situations.

And, third, our culture dictates that natural body smells be masked by perfumes, colognes, scented soaps, etc., essentially covering up the natural world. Depending upon how much and where a person applies these “perfumes,” it can have an enhancing or a diminishing effect upon the people they come in contact with. Indeed, everyone knows the eye watering result when ‘you’ pass by an individual who has doused himself/herself with scent. And, that same effect when ‘you’re’ in the presence of an individual who hasn’t washed in a week.

Smell can be a powerful addition or just as powerful detraction to a scene, but few realise its importance. Unfortunately, we as human beings tend to downplay our sense of smell, instead relying solely on sight to guide us (it must be our infatuation with “looking good”). Big mistake! Smell is an extremely important sense we have and we shouldn’t be ignoring it. Have you ever heard, “Remain calm, the animal can smell fear.” Or, “he just doesn’t smell right.” Both statements hit the mark right on, and it is important to realise that our smell changes when our emotions change. If you are extremely attracted to another man, you smell different. And the reverse is true too. If you’re turned off, the smell you emanate says “So what, I’m not interested!”

Now, because of our limited range when it comes to smell, we tend to consciously concentrate on sight, perhaps sound, maybe touch, without realising that smell plays an important part in our unconscious decision to “connect” or not. Whether we are aware of it, the way a person smells affects how we interact. The smell of nervousness (yes, there is a certain kind of smell if a man is nervous) tells us to be cautious, the smell of fear creates a sense of uneasiness, and the smell of excitement urges us on. Yes, we come to excitement and eroticism.

Pheromones (the scent of sexuality) also play an enormous part in our behaviour, mainly because we are either attracted to the aroma emanating from an individual or we aren’t. When you are excited by that other person playing with you, everything attracts you to him, the sight of his rippling muscles, the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand, and the smell of his body. And smell basically makes you feel more comfortable with him/her.

Actually the sense of smell is very ancient, residing in the “primitive” portion of our brain. It is NOT seated in the higher, more cerebral functions (the grey matter): rather, it is deep within us, beside the other autonomic functions we have – like heart beat, breathing, etc. Almost all other animals have that sense, and many use it as a means of defense or attack. To an enormous effect. They recognise the sense of smell to be extremely important, and our “primitive” selves do as well.

There are many kinds of smell a body produces, since we are complex creatures with a myriad of potent chemicals exuding from our pores – the right mixture can result in attraction, the wrong mixture in repulsion. Of course, I’m not talking about digestive smells, or bad breath here: rather, the smell that the body secretes onto the skin. Those kinds of smell are mainly concentrated in the groin, under the armpits, and generally any other area that has a greater concentration of pores and a higher median surface temperature. A classic example, of course, is the armpits and the wonderful smells that are generated there.

By the way, for those who are heterosexual, do you know that women are generally turned off by male scent (or at least pretty indifferent to it)? The only exception is when they are ovulating: the effect is completely the opposite and women are immensely attracted to males and everything that goes with them! Interesting, isn’t it?!!?

Of course, smells vary, depending upon what area of the body you are close to. From the heady and erotic smells of the armpits to the more musty and personal smells of the ass, the way one reacts is also dependent upon the state of arousal one is in. Given that the smells are secretions (and not excretions) of the body, and the individual is “disease free” and in good health, there shouldn’t be any problem. In fact, smelling a man in “heat” can be a very erotic experience, as I can attest to!

But I digress. Wrapping this little piece up, I just want to say that smell is more important as to quality of the encounter one experiences with another than what our perfumed society acknowledges. If both are in good health, wash fairly regularly so as to remove any stale sweat which may have accumulated, and are excited by each other, the smell of their encounter can be heavenly. It’s just another way to maximise your experience with life, and with another individual, so get out, explore and “smell!”

P.S. a person only has 5 tastes, but more than dozens of different smells. An abundance of selection you say — feast your nose on that!


SMPerspectivesVol2Iss1This article first appeared in S/M Perspectives (Vol 2, Issue 1), independently published in Vancouver by Rainfall Press.

bruce was publisher and editor of S/M Perspectives, and has written many articles intended to educate, inform and amuse those interested in the BDSM lifestyle.

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