Here is a fact: You probably smell. Maybe you smell neurotic. Maybe you smell like a high school cafeteria. Maybe, if you are a man infected with gonorrhea (not recommended) you smell “putrid.” In the latest of science’s ongoing explorations with the sense of smell, scientists in Russia got a group of guys to wear tight T-shirts with cotton pads sewn into the armpits in which they sweated for an hour, and then to present those pads for sniffing by a group of women. 13 of the sweating men had gonorrhea, 16 were healthy, and 5 had had gonorrhea but been treated successfully. Just when we thought science was getting tired, it does something like this and we fall in love all over again.
18 women sniffed the cotton pads and declared them vile.
When they were asked to characterize the scent, the gals said that nearly 50 percent of the infected men’s sweat smelled “putrid.” (To be fair, the gals also said that 30 percent of sweat from healthy men and less than 40 percent of sweat from treated men smelled putrid, but these are guys — and it was significantly higher for the gonorrhea group.)
This all goes to back up the theory that STDs make you less attractive, smell-wise, to other humans. (Also generally making you less attractive to other humans is announcing, say, in a bar, that you have an STD and can’t be bothered to treat it. Try it!)
Dating tip: If he won’t wear a T-shirt with cotton pads sewn in it and sweat for you to smell, he’s probably not your guy.
The scent of a man? It could be an STD [MSNBC]
Previously: Your Personality Smells
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 9, 2011