What is vabbing and why do people do it? – Chicago Tribune

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“Ask Anna” is a chronicle about sex. Due to the nature of the topic, some columns contain language that some readers may find graphic.

Dear Anna,

A friend of mine learned about vabbing on TikTok and now insists that wearing her vaginal secretions as perfume gets more attention from men, more phone numbers, and more dates. Is there any truth to this or is this a weird and unnecessary trend? — Highly ambivalent combat secretions

Dear VABS,

Thank you for drawing my attention to this important cultural issue. Although TikTok is responsible for the latest wave of Vagnel #5 enthusiasm, vabbing — aka dabbing vaginal secretions like perfume — as a concept is actually nothing new. In Tom Robbins’ 1976 novel “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”, the titular cowgirl gives a detailed account of the “art” of juicing to enhance pheromones and, theoretically, attract mates.

But what exactly are pheromones? They are chemicals secreted by animals that are received by other animals, usually for the purpose of reproduction. They include sweat, saliva, urine (the next trend?) and genital secretions. And although pheromones have been observed in many different animals, their role in humans is uncertainbecause we don’t have the organ responsible for processing the pheromone signal.

That said, smell is important for human bonding and mate selection – it’s how infants find their mother’s nipples and how, when paired with our other senses, we judge others as potential partners or not. Smell creates broader impressions about a person’s health, attractiveness, and emotional state. (We can actually feel fear, disgust and stress at the others.)

Well, that’s all well and good, but does rooting in your hoo-ha and applying the secretions to your wrists and neck make you more attractive to others?

According to Eva Garrett, who studies the evolution of smell in primates at Boston University, the answer is: not really. As she tells popular science“If anyone thinks [vabbing is] going to help them find a date or a partner, it could just be a placebo effect.

Interestingly, perfumes in general have a placebo effect, in that wearing perfume acts as a mood lifter and can signal cleanliness and social status. Additionally, according to research on the psychology of scent, the scents are “often believed to enhance sexual attractiveness.”

Since vabbing is technically an application of perfume, it can have a similar effect on the wearer’s mood, perceptions of their own attractiveness, and feelings of well-being, which likely makes them more attractive to others. Or, to put it another way, although smell influences a potential partner’s impression of you, it can also affect your impression of yourself, increasing your self-confidence, which then increases the likelihood that this potential partner is attracted to you. (A similar study was done on deodorant. Male research participants who wore deodorant were perceived as more attractive to women than those who did not, although all men were rated by video and could not be smelled.)

So if wearing Dior Sauvag offers the same psychological benefits as shelling out cash for Snooki Body Spray (remember Snooki?), then you (or in this case, your friend) just might save some cash and still spray yourself with Eau de Poussey. At the very least, there’s no real harm in vabbing, assuming a person’s hands are clean when collecting samples and their vaginal flora is healthy, i.e. i.e. free of STIs, UTIs or other bacterial infections.

But let’s face it: Wearing your own juice isn’t going to suddenly overwhelm you in a sea of ​​sex. If, however, you believe in it, it could give you more self-confidence, which tends to have positive repercussions that could then confirm your initial beliefs, thus coming full circle… asshole.

(Sorry. At least that wasn’t another vagina scent pun?)

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(Anna Pulley is a syndicated Tribune Content Agency columnist who answers readers’ questions about love, sex and dating. Email your questions (anonymity guaranteed) to [email protected]sign up for his infrequent (but amazing) newsletter or check it out books!)

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