Monday, August 29, 2011

The Transparency of Human Sex Pheromones

It looks like the emperor-has-no-clothes pushback against the concept of human sex pheromones is getting some traction in the popular press. Susan Perry, in a post at, is exceptionally blunt: “Our body odors are not subliminal mating signals.” She highlights an article in Slate by Randi Hutter Epstein subtitled “Don’t trust the hype about pheromones and sexual attraction.

Epstein’s piece spurred a raucous series of comments, including several by the tireless James V. Kohl, for whom it seems that every piece of evidence for human chemical communication is proof that the pheromone concept as brought forth in 1959 is true in its entirety and completely applicable to humans.

Perry’s piece also features a James V. Komment, which boils down to “Check out my poster about the emperor’s button: obvs he’s wearing the most beautiful, triple-stitched, silk-lined, fur-collared robe evah.”

Surprisingly, JVK is upstaged by Ross (aka Bubba) Nicholson who comment spams his latest publication, Exocrinology: The Science of Love, 2nd Edition; Human Pheromones in Criminology, Psychiatry, and Medicine.

The book’s Kindle product description from Amazon makes some startling claims:
Exocrinology The Science of Love Human Pheromones in Criminology, Psychiatry, and Medicine describes human chemical ecology, the physiology of kissing and hugging, and the passing of human pheromones to explain criminology, psychiatry, addiction pathology and pheromonal sexual orientation. The book begins with home remedies for juvenile delinquency, puberal running away, heroin and cocaine addiction, and unwanted sexual deviancies. The remedy has allowed Charlie Sheen and his Hollywood colleagues to break clear of addiction and perversion. Ellen Page of Inception and Juno fame, is now entirely heterosexual, as are Jessica Simpson and Leelee Sobieski who were earlier recipients.

Exocrinology’s epigenetic pheromones provide explanation for most of the rest of human pathology. The autoimmune disease signs and symptoms find a coherent systematic elucidation, with recommended pheromone therapies for remediation.

This day will be long remembered. Publication of Exocrinology The Science of Love will mark the emergence of modern medicine from the dark ages of psychological catastrophe and the beginning of a new era for humanity.

This book’s power to cure criminal behavior alone will provide trillions of dollars in economic benefit to humanity. Human pheromones provide the final epigenetic key to the medical puzzles of human behavior, physical and mental illness. Pheromones, their deficiencies, receptions, and excesses, accommodate the synthesis of economic, neuroanatomical, physiological, chemical, and behavioral evidence into a new theory of sociopathy and disease: the pheromone theory of love and illness. Surely this book will irrevocably revolutionize human social organization. We must use this new knowledge wisely and well. This is a book of genius. This is a book for the ages.
So who is the author of this book of genius? Here’s the About the Author section from the paperback edition of similar Nicholson opus:
Bubba Nicholson (1954-present) is the ultimate insider. As a teenager, he was instrumental in the decisions of three US Presidents to run for the office. He invented the modern meaning of the word Inclusive and the concept of inclusive democracy. He conceived the Deadbeat Dad Laws that found a state interest in enforcing alimony and child support. Nicholson proposed The HOPE Scholarships that lifted Georgia into the 21st century, with college education for millions of people. It was Nicholson who insisted Spielberg film E.T. and Schindler’s List and it was his idea to film Star Wars. He created and wrote the stories for Avatar, Titanic, Inception, Forrest Gump, The Matrix, and dozens more. Those are his speeches in Braveheart, Juno, and 300. Aside from the $1 and microcassettes for the saxophone cave solo (originally flute) in Dead Poets Society, Nicholson never took compensation for helping Hollywood, citing its ill effect on creativity. Now Nicholson’s great scientific genius is brought to bear on the greatest social and medical problems of our time. “This is why I went to medical school! Hotcho Momma!”
Mr. Nicholson should tell his publicist to take it down a notch. Then again, the rhetoric is consistent with Nicholson’s own approach to establishing authorial credibility. In the Preface to the first edition of Exocrinology, Nicholson explains why his views haven’t yet achieved the scientific renown they deserve. It is due to his “Spielberg show business association” (above) and his “youthful political associations.”
My helps to successful politicians (e.g. the Bushes (villainous fiends who murdered JFK, MLK, RFK, LBJ, George Wallace and many more), the Clintons, Julian Bond, Zell Miller, Ann Richards, Strobe Talbot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: “Privatization”, “Deadbeat Dad Laws”, “Inclusive Democracy”, “HOPE Scholarships”, “Freedom of Religion Rules in the Federal Workplace” have helped our country, but serve only to disparage me among the various science tribes.
Damn those intolerant science tribes. Mr. Nicholson sounds just like the trusted authority we need to spread the word about human sebum being the cure for crime and lesbianism. What else can he shed light upon?
The JFK assassination and almost all following American assassinations were conducted to appease Barbara Bush’s sexual lusts. [I knew it!—Ed.] Her vengeful husband, the cuckold George H.W. Bush, carried it off.
I recall meeting Bubba Nicholson when I worked at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in the last century. He had a notion about kissing being a behavioral mechanism for transferring behavior-activating sebum from one person to another. Plausible. But no way am I buying that crap about Strobe Talbot.

[Hat tip to FN reader Steve S.]


Barbara said...

Apologies to Bubba Nicholson, but he sounds cuckoo bananas. And yet somehow, Exocrinology: The Science of Love is in its 2nd edition?

Avery Gilbert said...


He is self-published so he can release new editions on whim. Not that he is climbing up any best seller lists yet.

Nathan Branch said...

The "James V. Komment" bit was particularly good. He might just trademark that.

Avery Gilbert said...

Nathan Branch:

But where is he?

BTW, the pushback has added another player: the execrable Mark Morford, the San Francisco Chronicle’s utterly predictable progressive essayist. My sense is that he likes the debunking of the human sex pheromone concept because he sees it as one less biological constraint on human behavior. Unfortunately for him, the evidence for non-pheromone olfactory influence on behavior just keeps piling up.

~x~ said...

It's interesting reading this and thinking about your "debate" about this topic with another scientist on video...I'm about to see an ex and though my shirt is a little ripe under the arms, I thought how much I always loved his scent and wondered if that were pheremones...I wonder if you don't just come to love how someone smells...

EdC said...


"...the evidence for non-pheromone olfactory influence on behavior just keeps piling up."

Perhaps a future blog could focus on the differences between the ways pheromones are supposed to work and the way olfactory influence on behavior works.


Anonymous said...

Mania is often followed by depression. I hope Bubba is ok now that his book is out

B. Nicholson said...

So many hot ad hominem condemnations, yet none among these "reviewers" admit to reading my book. Perhaps instead of burning books, you should try reading them? Read free on google or amazon.

Yes, this book of mine is more important than Principia was. We humans cannot see, smell, or taste the skin surface lipids, our perception spectrum is too narrow in each sense. Sadly for most, our cognition spectrum is also too narrow. The good economic reason for that is also in the book, but no one seems to be interested. The protocol at the end of Exocrinology The Science of Love will save the USA approximately 150 trillion dollars in net present value. It is literally, a gold mine of science. Ask Gordon at UT-Knox how I saved his kid for him.

B. Nicholson said...

Trial of the adult male facial skin surface lipid pheromone responsible for curing ADHD in a double blind cross over placebo controlled clinical trial for boys ages 6-9 hospitalized for the condition in 2013 ended not in triumph but in perplexing incoherence. The Egyptian team "didn't feel right" about the work, despite the evidence in front of their eyes that the children treated were all perfectly well. Similarly the odd responses of colleagues when I cured their troublesome perverted relative, or a volunteer drug addict in front of their eyes, only added to the conundrum. Finally, getting 8 different police forces coming to my house to investigate me finally convinced me of what was happening.
The skin surface pheromone emits "zenite gas". It's a Star Trek reference. Basically, the skin surface pheromone evaporates, or at least the smaller species among it's 735 components, and the problems lay with the sub-pheromone.
The airborne sub-pheromone was causing all the problems. A few experiments later, it became clear. The airborne sub-pheromone is responsible for the miscommunication, not me. Sniffing the skin surface pheromone took up the airborne sub-pheromone to cause stupidity/astonishment, arrogance, incompetence, suspicion, superstition, and jealousy. Jealousy, recall, is inevitable in kissing partners of anyone treated with the paternal facial skin surface lipid pheromone by mouth. Jealousy is the intuition perception of the "wrong" pheromone on the treated person's saliva. A wait of 40 days, and all thoughts of jealousy were gone. Thus, 40 days is the time it takes for the skin surface pheromone to "wear off" one's saliva.
Thus, all we need to do is use supplied air respirators to protect against any sub-pheromone exposures during collection, storage, and administration of the skin surface pheromone. Storage of the skin surface pheromone is mandatory, as is the use of oscillating fans to break up plumes of effective concentration. (SIDS is much less dangerous beneath oscillating fans, incidentally, proving that a pheromone is the culprit for that disease, likely axillary emissions of the anxious mother, so cover with petroleum jelly around a SIDS baby and keep that air circulating.)