Some TikTok users say “vabbing,” or wearing vaginal secretions like perfume, helps them attract potential partners.
An evolutionary biologist who studies pheromones says there is no definitive evidence that vabbing works.
If anything, the vabbing may induce a placebo effect, the researcher told Insider.
Some TikTok users wear vaginal secretions, then DIY perfume after hearing the trick can increase sexual attraction.
The trend, dubbed “vabbing,” became fodder on TikTok after user Mandy Lee shared a now-deleted video endorsing the practice. It received more than 1 million views and comments from longtime fans who suggested it for date nights and job interviews.
This is not the first time vabbing has made headlines. In August 2019, Refinery29 published an expert from sexologist Shan Boodram’s book “The Game of Desire”, in which she recommended vaping and shared her personal experience, saying that she has been doing it for 15 years. Boodram later talked about the technique on the late night show “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” and the podcast “Talking It Out with Mike & Bryan.”
Since then, perfumes that promise to increase a person’s pheromones, chemical signals common to a particular species, have hit the market. But there is no scientific evidence that vabbing or pheromone-driven scents work for humans, Tristram Wyatt, an evolutionary biologist who studies various animal scents and pheromones, told Insider.
Scientists have yet to find pheromones in humans, let alone in their vaginas
Studies identifying other mammalian pheromones suggest that it is “highly likely” that humans also send out pheromone signals, but no researchers have found evidence of that in humans yet, Wyatt said.
Wyatt believes this is due to limited research because pheromones have no specific medical use.
Pheromones found in lobsters, mice and insects have different uses, and they are not all sex-related. In rabbits, for example, pheromones allow babies to find their mother’s nipples and feed.
In the case of mammals, finding these pheromones and their uses is difficult because they release more varied odors than other animals, Wyatt said. Since humans smell differently before and after puberty, it may signal the existence of a sex-related pheromone.
But, he warned, that research doesn’t exist, which keeps human pheromones a mystery — and practices like babbling an unproven myth.
There may be a confidence-boosting placebo effect with “vabbing”
If you want to vab, Wyatt doesn’t see a problem with that.
He said it’s possible the practice has a placebo effect. Since someone takes the time to use their vaginal juices, the new act can stick in their minds as they move around the world and convince them to act in ways that potential partners may find attractive.
“I can’t see it doing any harm, and if it gives you a little confidence, why not? The other thing is, in our current state of knowledge, we just don’t know,” Wyatt said.
Read the original article on Insider