All the more reason for you to remove your mullet and Febreeze your … entire life.
There are a myriad of ways to turn women off. These include, but are not limited to: talking to them, saying hello, generally being yourself and our personal favorite, existing. But now, a new study finds that disgust, more than anything else, is what causes a woman's hoo-ha to dry up like the well-manicured lawn of a Los-Angeles McMansion. Disgust, it appears, is even more effective than fear (the worst emotion) at eliciting the famous "I have a headache" line.
However, what's impossibly more interesting than the finding itself is how they found it out. To ascertain just how much disgust clamps legs shut, the study made use of something called an “arousometer”, a lot of pornography, and videos of people vomiting.
For the study, 76 (very brave) heterosexual women agreed to be hooked up to a “vaginal photoplethysmograph” a tampon-like device that measures blood flow to the vagina and clitoris to determine levels of arousal. Arousometers were used because they're actually much more accurate at measuring arousal than self reports; not every lady likes to admit how horny they're feeling on a 1-10 scale.
But digital tampons are just the beginning. After the arousometers were good to go, researchers showed each participant a some porn that was specifically made to facilitate female arousal by female producers. Next, in a truly inhumane twist, almost as soon as the arousometer indicated that the women were starting to enjoy themselves, the screen cut to either a scary clip showing natural disasters and rabid animals or a disgusting clip, featuring vomit, feces and decaying corpses.
Naturally, both the fearful and disgusting scenarios caused a hell of a dip in women's arousal levels. But scientists confirmed that, quantitatively, disgust is much more of a turn-off than fear.
The researchers offered an evolutionary explanation for this; rotting flesh and other gross stuff could indicate that a potential partner is sick and contagious. This is beneficial because it ensures we only procreate with healthy members of the rave or tribe or apartment complex. Fear, however, merely disrupts the arousal cycle.
Lessons learned? There's nothing to fear except fear itself and also the overwhelming body odor emanating from your pits on your little Tinder-hookup-disguised-as-a-date. Shower or die.