Sweating Isn't As Big Of A Turn Off As You Think

Coming into the house soaked with sweat after a tough workout, you're probably not feeling at your sexiest. But in reality, you might actually be more attractive than ever. There are a few reasons that sweat could be steamier than you would think, from pheromones and hormones to how exercise itself can make you (or your partner) feel more in the mood.

Research supports this: A 2007 study found that male sweat could increase a woman's arousal, thanks to a chemical found in sweat — androstadienone — that can boost cortisol in women who catch a whiff (via Science Daily). "This is the first time anyone has demonstrated that a change in women's hormonal levels is induced by sniffing an identified compound of male sweat," said study leader Claire Wyart. "This male chemical signal, androstadienone, does cause hormonal as well as physiological and psychological changes in women." 

Note that you can't sit around in soggy workout clothes for hours and retain that sexy smell: After 20 minutes, the positive effects of the sweat chemicals wear off, and you're left stinky and damp (via the Irish Examiner).

How does exercise play into this?

Sweat brought on by a workout will likely have a sexier impact compared to sweating on a hot day, thanks to the other benefits of exercise. The cascade of hormones, from endorphins to cortisol to testosterone, may put you in a sexier mood, which can make you seem more attractive to others. "Workouts, especially lower-body ones, cause the body to secrete hormones like testosterone," personal trainer Nick Liguori told Well + Good. "This increases the blood flow to your reproductive organs, which ignites your libido." 

 Of course, sweat also makes your skin naturally look glowy and rosier, which can be a turn-on for some (via Self).

 And perhaps most importantly, exercise-induced sweat doesn't have the same smell as nervous sweat, which decidedly will not make you feel or seem sexier — that type of sweat comes from the apocrine glands, which aren't working overtime when you're exercising. The same is true of sweat that's built up from a few days of not showering, which smells thanks to bacteria that begin to build up the longer you go before cleanups (via Esquire). That's why you likely notice smellier sweat when gearing up for a big presentation at work versus when you come in from your morning run.