The smell of gayness

I was reading and article from this month’s Psychology Today and it had a brief blurb in an article on whether “Gaydar” exists (apparently it does in gay men and women) and it referenced a study (link below) in which male and female heterosexual and homosexual participants smelled freshly washed and un-perfumed gay and straight volunteers.

Gay Men Respond Differently to Pheromones

The gay males had a strong preference for the smell of other gay males, and gay women and heterosexual males and females found the smell of gay males the least preferable. Smell is probably (relatively) the weakest human sense, and yet they were able (according to the study) to demonstrate clear preferences in gay vs straight men, and that gaymen were able to identify other gay men by smell.

Years ago Camille Paglia mentioned a theory in passing, which sounded bizarre, and for which she was roundly criticized, that part of the reason gay males congregate in public bathrooms is that the musks and pheromones released in the process of urination acts as a powerful aphrodisiac.

Is there potentially anything to this re the power of smell to attract and excite?

Then how does my gaydar work (and it does) when experiencing a man via a photo or window or tv or movie? Or when I have a cold? Or when the wind shifts?

The “gaydar” ability mentioned in the article was primarily visual and referenced the ability of gay men (and to a lesser degree gay women) to identify gay people by “look” and mannerisms. The olfactory study reference was made as a parenthetical comment of interest.

The smell part may or may not be right but this part is bull. The reason gay males tended to congregate in bathrooms is because it is private, all male, and you can do what you need without people questioning to much. That is the same reason that bathhouses were once common congregation spots for gay males.

Never overlook the obvious you make your theories.

“I love the smell of homosexuals in the morning.”
Wait, that doesn’t quite work…

It’s the smell of Santorum.

It can be purely visual. Alan Turing’s photograph is enough to set off the gaydar of people who don’t even have gaydar.

Really? He looks a lot like James Fox and Edward Fox to me. They have that air of effete aristocrats, but I never thought they looked gay.

That wikipedia bio on Turing is something to read though!

Arguably, he was the man who did the most to win The War. Look how he was treated, and why.

Sorry for the hijack. I had to say it.

I think he looks like a very pretty and darling boy who could easily set hearts throbbing if he turned on the charm. In addition to being the man who saved Britain from the Nazis. Good gravy, what was it about the 1950s and batshit insane homophobia? What’s Communism got to do with it?

Maybe I just have bad gaydar, but I don’t think that first picture on the Wiki article (assuming that’s the picture everyone’s talking about) looks particularly gay; to me he just looks like a typical 40’s British GI who got caught being photographed while laughing.

Ah, but if I smelled him…

Is it the glen plaid tie?

I mean, it’s not as though he looked like Clay Aiken… :dubious:

(Actually, that picture could look either like a gay man or a lesbian. Wonder how he smells?)

I noticed this post yesterday, and just couldn’t see his “gayness”. After giving it more thought I still don’t see it.
I’m guessing you knew he was gay and found what you thought was a picture to justify it. I don’t think it’s proof that gayness can be seen just from a picture.
I would have thought it was far more likely to notice actions or speech.

I can’t say about smell, I’m not gay and if it’s true then I probably wouldn’t notice it anyway.

I agree about the Turing picture; but Clay Aiken? Yikes!

This being the judgment, let us remember, of a lesbian. Stick to women, dear. Incidentally, he doesn’t look particularly gay to me. He’s just sort of odd-looking.

I live with a gay guy for the better part of a year. I didn’t notice any paticular homosexual smells really… But then again, he could “sniff out” gay people with quite a gift. I guess I didn’t pay attention enough.

I have absolutely no gaydar (straight male here). I see a picture like this and think this was simply how people looked and dressed, in England, in those days. Is it the smile? Or the three-quarter angle of the shot?

Though I did know that Alan Turing was gay.

Then again, this photo:

looks like plenty of young geek professors I’ve had.

The pheremone study is interesting. I wonder if they’ll try to replicate it, and what’ll happen.