Pheromones and Predators

Back in the early 1980’s my dad brought home a new dog – and a changed viewpoint on animals.

He had been out on the farm, sorting the cattle my uncle raised when, upon hearing a cacophony, he looked up to see what he thought was a little red fox being chased by a pack of dogs.

Foxes are not popular animals to farmers. They kill chickens and smaller livestock so when farmers see them, they kill them. Dad knew this, but he also had a soft heart. He didn’t want the animal to suffer needlessly, so he decided that he would kill the little fox quickly to avoid the upcoming torture and moved to intervene.

When the little fox spotted him, it changed direction. It barreled straight for my father and jumped into his arms.

That was when my father realized that it wasn’t a fox the dogs were chasing, it was a tiny red female dog. She was in heat and absolutely terrified. He kicked the pack of baying males away, sheltering the trembling animal in his arms as he retreated to his vehicle. He swiped a tear away as he recounted the story.

As the little dog he named “Foxie” gratefully settled in at our home over the next few days, he accepted all of the affection she gave him. He was her hero and she was determined to show him her gratitude.

“I never thought about it before,” Dad shared as she went out of heat and became his constant companion, “but it must be terrifying to be a female animal. Your hormones change and all of a sudden males come out of nowhere determined to breed. All of the years I’ve sat by and watched it but until Foxie jumped into my arms, I never knew. But she had to be terrified to jump into the arms of a complete stranger. I thought she was going to tear me into pieces until I looked into her eyes.”


As Spring approaches our tiny town I remember that little dog. As the weather warms I see the young girls coming out to play in the sunlight. When they hit puberty, the people those young girls hang out with change. Instead of roaming the streets with other females their age, the packs become predominantly male.

It makes me wonder: do human females exude pheromones as well?

I’ve searched for that answer several times over the years. From what I can tell, the science is inconclusive. Human females can become pregnant at almost any point during their menstrual cycle so I guess to science, the point is irrelevant.

I know something happens when human females hit puberty, however. Around the time I had my first period I was stick-thin. I was more interested in play than I was in boys so I spent my summers, stringy-haired and covered in dirt, playing in the creek and wandering the hills but during this time, more and more boys wanted to play with me.

Males young and old began talking to me more, wanting to spend time with me. They would surprise me with treats and random favors. The older males that my dad considered friends would talk to my non-existent chest instead of my face. The “innocent” touches and “accidental” contacts were focused on certain areas of my developing body. The sparks I felt within at the touches were simultaneously thrilling and terrifying.

Just looking back at my own behavior I can see shadows of that little dog. At first I would be flattered and then I would get scared. When I became scared, I retreated to my dad’s side or hid in my room.

And my dad promptly banned me from leaving the yard on my own.

Now I see the young girls on social media and out in public. I hear the whispers from the elders as they watch the pattern. On every post, a pack of males call every photo beautiful. Every move that they make is followed. Even my middle daughter, who is approaching her late 20s and pregnant, is worshiped both in real life and online. The words used to describe them range from crude to poetic.

If human females do exude pheromones when they enter into puberty, would that knowledge change our society? It’s not like it is something that we could consciously control. If it exists, it is a biological process, designed to attract males and incite them to mate.

Could it be that the young girls we call sluts are simply victims of biology? Could it be that the men who pursue them are the same? Could females be exuding some chemical that makes them desirable, makes men far older than them go crazy with the urge to mate?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. They are heavy on my mind this morning because I stumbled upon a social media page that “outs” what our society considers predators. The man in the video I watched had traveled over two hours to pick up what he believed was a 14-year old girl for sex. The chat logs leading up to that encounter made it obvious.

As I watched that nonviolent confrontation it made me think back, not only to that little dog but to my own experience and that of other females. Starting around puberty, the behavior of the males around us changed and part of me wonders if, despite the fact that I want to name the men monsters and do horrible things to them, if perhaps my view of the situation is inaccurate.

What if, just what if the female body at the onset of puberty does begin to exude pheromones to attract a male? What if we are all so close to the situation that we don’t even think about it? What if the males, scenting a female that is on the verge of fertility, begins to instinctively pursue her?

And what if teenage sex and pregnancies are the result of newly fertile females, not knowing how to deal with the pursuit, finally surrendering?

Because Foxie, that little dog who ran to my dad, would have eventually surrendered. She would have exhausted herself as she ran until she was incapable of escaping. I’ve seen that happen in the past in the animal kingdom and now I wonder if that is what happens to us humans as well.

What do you think? Do you believe it is possible that pubescent females exude pheromones that attract males to them? If you set your preconceived notions of child predators and young sluts aside, can you see what I have seen? And if it is true, if human females do exude a pheromone that attracts males to them, how do we as a society deal with that? Do we leave it alone or what? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Sex, Celibacy, and Minimalism

Minimalism is the art of eliminating the unimportant to make room for the important. It is the art of eliminating the excess to focus upon the essential. On the surface, these definitions tend to make us think about stuff.

But minimalism can be applied to all aspects of our lives.

Perhaps it is because there is still a taboo surrounding the discussion of sex that causes minimalist writers to shy away from the subject. Perhaps it is because public media sticks the act and discussion of sex front in center in our media and entertainment. Perhaps minimalists don’t feel comfortable talking about sex because they believe they don’t have enough, they have too much, or feel somehow lacking.

Whatever the reason, it is time to open a discussion on the subject.

I realized this morning that it is safe to say that I have been celibate for two decades. I’ve not had sex since before I divorced. I never expected to be celibate for this long, so when I realized how long it had been I was surprised.

And if someone had told me twenty years ago that I would eliminate sex from my life, I would have laughed in their face.

I didn’t set out to become celibate. At first, I was struggling so hard just to pay the bills and keep food on the table that I didn’t have time to socialize romantically. I worked four jobs back then so I barely had time to take a shower, must less find someone to have sex with.

My life has slowed down immensely since those days. I dropped out of the rat race for several years, living on my book royalties to raise my daughter. While I re-entered the rat race after that to launch another life experiment which I eventually abandoned, I am once again living on the fringes of society in the slow lane.

I have had time over this past decade to establish sexual relationships but I haven’t. Why? I mean, I like men. I routinely admire the male physique and have no reservations when it comes to expressing my admiration. I enjoy engaging in flirtatious banter, yet I have no desire to take things farther. When pressed, I place the symbol of marriage upon the designated finger and tell people that I am unavailable.

Our modern society tells us that my decision to eliminate sex from my life is unhealthy. I have personally been informed that my decision to remain celibate is “unfair” both to the male population and myself. I have been instructed that I need to release my inner lesbian (because it’s “obvious” this must be my “problem”), and advised that I need to see a mental health professional.

I have been told these things many times over the years despite the fact that I am healthy and content. Apparently humans are supposed to “fuck like rabbits” so my decision not to is perceived as wrong. As has become my habit over the years, I nod along in agreement, promise to consider their advice, and do my own thing.

It wasn’t until this morning that I decided to analyze this decision. I hadn’t realized it had been so long until this morning. I’m not even certain what prompted the thought. Perhaps it is the fact that when I lay down at night I ask my personal diety to help me come up with writing ideas. I do not know the correct answer; I only know that I have made a pledge to discuss the first thought that enters my head upon awakening, and today that thought was about minimalism as applied to sex.

When applied to all aspects of one’s life, minimalism can help you sort the important from the unimportant. This sorting process doesn’t always happen on a conscious level; you just find yourself making decisions that, when you look back on them, are not only surprising but in-line with the goal of simplifying your life.

My unconscious decision to eliminate sex was one of them.

During my youth, my mind was filled with worry. Oh, he’s cute! Does he like me, or is he only flirting to be polite? Is he married? Does he have a girlfriend? Does he look like he might have a contagious disease? Is he gainfully employed, or is he searching for someone to support him financially? Do I smell nice enough? Has my hair gotten messy? He’s looking at my eyes – did my mascara run? OMG am I sprouting a mustache?!? Are my boobs lopsided? Is my butt too big? Do I have a matching bra and panty set? Is it good enough, or should I run to the store and buy a new set? Oh no! I forgot to shave my legs! Am I going to have to deal with another round of “put out or get out?” If we have sex on the X date, will he think me a slut? If we don’t have sex, will he dump me?

On and on the litany went. Whenever I was single, I found my mind filled with these and similar questions every time I encountered an attractive male, to the point where I spent so much time analyzing myself and the other person that I lost the opportunity to enjoy the moment.

But at some point the litany disappeared. I don’t know exactly when that happened, but at that time I unconsciously decided to drop out of the game. My stress levels dropped. Instead of worrying about the details, I focused upon the men I met as people instead of potential partners. My enjoyment of the interactions increased. As an odd side-effect, my unconscious decision to drop out of the sex scene made me more attractive. As one gentleman phrased it, it was refreshing to meet a woman who wasn’t “desperate” and who “obviously didn’t give a shit.”

But something more important happened when I made that unconscious change. By eliminating the pursuit of sex, I spent less time focusing upon my appearance. I dressed for comfort instead of male eyes. I shaved because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to. I wore cosmetics because they made me feel good instead of wearing them to make others feel good.

I started doing things for myself instead of from vanity and fear.

As I became more comfortable in my own skin, I not only freed up an immense amount of time from pursuing vanity and assauaging my internal fears, I liberated a large amount of time to think, explore, and pursue passions that had nothing to do with sex.

I dived into computers. I began to read a wider variety of subjects. Instead of pursuing a sexual relationship, I spent that time exploring myself. While I didn’t always like what I discovered, I grew immensely from each experience.

I wonder now if we pursue sex due to biology or if it has been programmed into us by society. Even now I wonder if I am somehow defective for my choice. I wonder if I should force myself to care, if I should set aside my comfy clothes, pour a bottle of dye upon my head, don my cosmetics, and go out in search of Mr. Right.

Yet deep down inside, I know that I am finally content with who I am.

Perhaps one day I will meet someone and decide to end my celibacy but for now I have realized that I no longer care if that happens or not. I have realized that there is more to life than relationships and sex. The world will not end if I sleep alone. If anything, my life has become richer as a result.

Have you ever given much thought to why or why not you pursue sex and relationships? Have you ever considered the advantages and disadvantages that come from eliminating sex from your life? For those of you who have decided to eliminate the pursuit of sex, do you ever question your decision? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


If you happen to find this post helpful, would you consider sharing it with a friend or on social media?  Thanks!

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!