Smell You Later

Can gay men find each other by smell? “The View” has an answer

Always asking the important questions, the hosts of The View took on the “science” of gaydar this week. The conclusion: all this time, gay men have been able to track each other by scent. Like bloodhounds, but for a different kind of bone.

On Monday, the hosts were discussing the UK dating show Naked Attraction, which recently came to the US through streaming platform Max. The series asks dating hopefuls to choose their potential matches based solely on their naked bodies.

Co-host Sunny Hostin jumped right on that topic. “I’m very embarrassed to admit that [my husband] Manny and I got so obsessed with this show that we binged it yesterday,” she began innocently enough. “We watched all eight episodes.”

Less innocently, Hostin went on to say that the show has already taught her so many things—like what a Prince Albert piercing is. And also, apparently, the absolutely true fact that gay men can sniff out potential partners.

“They can actually smell under their arms,” she said, “and, in a blindfold test, can tell which person is gay and which person isn’t. It was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen.”

Whoopi Goldberg, meanwhile, brushed the theory off, saying, “I know too many gay people who say my gaydar is down.”

To think—we’ve been using Grindr like fools when the solution was right under our noses. So is there any truth to the theory?

The closest thing to actual research on the subject is a 2005 study conducted by the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Originally published in Psychological Science, the researchers collected armpit samples from 24 sweaty donors and then submitted them for approval to 82 gay and straight men and women.

The study found that not only do gay men prefer the scent of other gay men, they also have a nose for straight women. While it’s not exactly conclusive proof that gay pheromones are a thing, maybe The View are on to something. Or maybe it’s just proof that gay men and straight women in Philadelphia have the best deodorant.

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