About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Dating By Smell?

So I was reading on the LA Times Online about a new company called ScientificMatch that, for a mere $995 and a swab of your spit, will help you find your true love via genetic compatibility. The LA Times article talks a lot about smell–apparently, we are attracted to people who smell differently from us because they have different immune systems, and a child resulting from such a union has a greater chance at survival. Choosing a mate according to the criteria used by ScientificMatch means more sex, less cheating, and (for women at least) more orgasms.

Interestingly, if you visit ScientificMatch‘s website, it turns out that women on hormonal birth control (think The Pill) can’t use their service because of the changes in your body chemistry when it thinks it’s pregnant (which is what The Pill does). Additionally, if you were not raised by your biological parents then apparently your body’s preference for smell changes and makes this system ineffective.

In any case, the way the site works is to provide you with your chemical matches based on the saliva sample you send in. Then you use the site’s “matching values” and “personal preference” tools to correspond with the people you match with, and it becomes like another dating site. Similar to EHarmony, which only shows you people that you match with according to their “deep compatibility” criteria, ScientificMatch only lets you see the profiles of people that it predicts you will experience success with. This is unlike sites such as Match.com, which provide you with freedom, endless freedom–and more chances to fuck it up all on your own.

I thought this was interesting in light of something I heard while watching 10 Years Younger on TLC the other morning (while job hunting, leave me alone, I’m applying, all right?!). One of the cosmetic dentists said that crooked teeth happen when you inherit the jaw of one parent and the teeth of another. Perhaps relying on smell a little more could help us avoid all this, I don’t know.

What do you guys think–dating by pheromones, yes or no? Of course, until the process becomes a little cheaper, it seems like it’ll be the pheromones of the rich and famous, because I certainly don’t have a grand to find out. And the BF smells fine.

  • http://www.idatewhite.com Eathan White

    That’s a interesting idea. I’m not sure what that says about my dating options. haha

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    When I first heard about ScientificMatch.com (through Harper’s), I jumped on the chance to rip on the online dating industry yet again. (I’m not a big fan) Here’s my post, “When Online Dating Doesn’t Work, Use Your DNA” – http://dadshouseblog.com/2008/03/28/when-online-dating-doesnt-work-use-your-dna/

    Tens of millions of people are doing online dating, and research has shown that most are not satisfied with the experience.

    That said, it’s a great way to set up random coffee dates and booty calls!

    dadshouses last blog post..What’s More Natural Than Nature? – Confessions of a Serial Online Dater, part 3

  • http://40ssingleness.blogspot.com/ lisaq

    More sex, less cheating, and more orgasms. Sounds like a win-win. That being said I’m not about to drop a grand when I can do my own sniff test. Do you think I’d put people off if I opened them by walking up to them and asking if I can sniff them?

    lisaqs last blog post..Wordless Wednesday Eye Candy

  • Lilly

    Sniff test! LOL!! lisaq, I like that one. I agree with everyone else that this website is a crock. However, the smell thing might be more powerful than anyone can imagine. Reference Lance’s previous posts on animalistic attraction and this fits the whole model.

    Personally, I’ve developed a keen sense of smell due to my lack of hearing and poor eyesight (however I did get LASIK and am now 20/20). So when a girl doesn’t smell good (or taste good) to me (and, yes, even when they have morning breathe because for some reason I don’t have it) it’s a huge turn-off. As far as the genetics thing, the girls who have been most unlike me genetically have been the ones I have been the most attracted to, and, consequently, the ones who smelled (and tasted) the best to me. Of course you could argue attraction before smell.

    However, I do agree with lisaq in that if you meet the person you can give them a good whiff. If they think you’re weird, fuck them, because I think it’s kind of sexy for a girl to smell me and like it. Try it before you knock it. Right behind the ear is a good place to start.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    The BF’s reaction to hearing about this site was, you mean that if I met someone off this site she wouldn’t be on The Pill? Count me out!

    Honeys last blog post..Dating By Smell?

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    I think these guys are on to something, although I wouldn’t pay a grand for the match. I’ve been sniffing girls since HS and I trust my nose completely when it comes to sexual compatibility. I had this one gf when I lived in Melbourne whose (good) smell drove me absolutely insane, like I couldn’t keep my hands off of her. That one didn’t last because she was a psycho, but the attraction was definitely there.

    On another note, I’m not into online dating where they select the partners based on whatever (eharmony, scientific match). I prefer to window shop and trust my senses and my intuition.

    Also, the hug test is the simplest way to check for smell. Just hug when you meet someone new and check’em out.

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    Smell tests and hug tests are WAY better when done in person than online. And I realize ScientificMatch isn’t “really” online dating, but it’s that dang middleman rearing his ugly head and sticking out his hand for a buck that bugs me.

    dadshouses last blog post..While Craigslist Sues Ebay, Don’t Forget Tantric Sex

  • http://themodernsavage.com Matt Savage

    It sounds interesting and I definitely like how certain girls smell but it all seems a little to scientific to me. It kind of takes all the fun out of pursuing the opposite sex, dating, and searching for the people we are attracted to.

    I like Lance’s idea. Just hug every girl or guy you meet and get a good wif:)

    Matt Savages last blog post..MySpace Dating Experiment

  • http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk NML

    This sounds like an interesting idea but a bit sketchy. Full of promise but it’s more than likely a money making scheme. It’s one of those things where they need to provide a sh*tload of success stories.

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com cheekie

    Very sketch!

    I do completely agree about the smell factor though.
    It’s that ‘can’t quite put my finger on why I am attracted to this person’ thing…

    I’ve been told that I smell good… Like cookies. lol.
    And frankly, I love the way some guys smell.
    So easy on the Axe boys, unless you want to attract flies.
    Let your natural goodness shine through a bit and you are more likely to get the hug test…

  • NancyP

    ScientificMatch’s website was worth visiting and i would love to take the hug test.

    I also wanted to turn you onto an ultra cool quiz I found at http://www.mydatingpatterns.com It tells you for real which SATC girl you are most like. It’s created by a psychologist and is the real deal. I am a Carrie (which is totally right on). I think you will love this.

  • JBP

    A couple of notes on the underlying science. There are a couple of big differentials to this. First, the selection of mates according to smell is basically a female ability. So the guy basically has to rely upon the female intuition. Second, the woman’s sensitivity changes according to her ovulation cycle. When the woman is between 10 and 15 days following the beginning of her cycle.

    Finally, a great way to test is to kiss. Actually, this is probably the biological explanation for a kiss.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I would guess being on the pill affects a woman’s ability to smell in this way, which is backed up by the fact that you can’t be on the pill to use their service. If you’re on the pill then you don’t ovulate even if you are having periods. I’ve been on the pill for over 10 years, and I’ve probably only had 1 period per year for the last 4 or 5 years.

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