Most men have a short mental list of the key things they don't understand about women. No doubt this information can be added to that list.
Male sweat makes women, ahh, horny.
Finally the mind-boggling mystery has been solved of why so many British and German male backpackers get so much sex.
A new study, by researchers at a Berkeley, California university, claims that when women sniff a chemical derived from male sweat, their hearts beat faster, they show raised levels of an essential hormone and their sexual arousal is increased.
This study purports to be the first of its kind that presents "direct evidence" that we all give off a scent that directly influences the opposite sex on a hormonal level.
The male chemical under study is called androstadienone, derived from testosterone. It's found in male saliva, semen and sweat, and it has the hint of musk :
"It really tells us that a lot of things can be triggered by smelling sweat," Claire Wyart, who led the study, said in an interview.
The researchers measured levels of the hormone cortisol in the saliva of 48 female undergraduates at Berkeley, average age of about 21, after the women took 20 sniffs from a jar of androstadienone.
Cortisol is secreted by the body to help maintain proper arousal and sense of well-being, respond to stress and other functions.
Cortisol levels in the women who smelled androstadienone shot up within roughly 15 minutes and stayed elevated for up to an hour. Consistent with previous research, the women also reported improved mood, higher sexual arousal, and had increased blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
This was the first time that smelling a specific chemical secreted by people was shown to affect hormonal levels, the researchers said.
The women had no skin contact with androstadienone.
The researchers used only heterosexual women in the study out of concern that homosexual women may respond differently to this male chemical.
There was a 50-something year old man who worked in the slaughter house of my old hometown. He went to the local boozer, went shopping, sat in the Chinese restaurant and walked the streets absolutely reeking of sweat. Not the "I've just run two kilometres and I think I need a shower" kind of pong. But a deeply noxious, shuddering, bitter, gag-worthy stench. It smelt old, because it was old.
Someone shouted out to Fred one day, as he fumigated the local bus stop, "For God's sake! Why don't you take a frigging shower?"
Fred shook his head, smiled and winked. "Nah," he said, "sweat makes a man smell sweet."
His wife was standing next him, she hugged him and nodded.
Fred was attacked in the chemist shop a few weeks latert by a woman who couldn't take that cloud of rotten tang that followed him everywhere. She grabbed a bottle of aftershave off the shelf, tore off the lid and threw it all over old Fred.
Unfortunately for Fred, the aftershave went in his eyes. He screamed and wailed, but he got the message and hit the shower that night.
But only to get the smell of the aftershave off.