Not So Str8, a new hair and body care product line for men and women, claims to be the first gay grooming line in the world. Using a blend of custom pheromones in all of their products called pherottraction, the brand aims to boost your senses and confidence, while stimulating those you are trying to attract—in this case, persons of the same sex. How does this work?
A new study published by Science Now shows for the first time how the pheromone androstadienone, a pheromone found in a man's sweat and used in the Not So Str8 products, makes other men more cooperative and generous. The Finnish evolutionary biologist Markus Rantala crafted an experiment: 40 men in their mid-20s played a computer game in which two players decided how to share 10 euros. Each participant took a turn making or deciding on offers. They then took a hefty whiff of either yeast (a control) or androstadienone, and played the game again.
The 20 men who sniffed the pheromone offered half a euro more than the control group, and accepted offers around half a euro lower. The men's hormone levels were monitored throughout the experiment to find that men with higher testosterone levels were the most generous players after sniffing the pheromone.
For gay men (and heterosexual women), it's been previously reported that when the pheromone is used (or as it states in the research, a testosterone derivative from sweat), a region in the hypothalamus is activated and it has subtle effects on attention—which is why you can find this pheromone in several men's fragrances. Not So Str8 uses high percentages of androstadienone in their blend for an even more effective result: attraction.
Testing their two products for gay men, a 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash and a forming paste, my own results did include a boost in confidence, and a few guys noticing me on a night out in P'town. But on another night, it didn't work as much. Later, on a day shooting New York street style, I did notice a confidence boost as well, but of course I had to be the one to move in and chat up the men I wanted to photograph. Though all the ones I asked did end up being cooperative.
Since results can vary based on the other scents you have on (such as a fragrance), your own level of extraversion or introversion should also be considered. I'm normally pretty introverted when it comes to meeting other men, so it's a fun experiment you can try out a couple of nights out. As for the products, the forming paste ($21.60, 2 oz) actually gives your hair a good, mild-to-average hold, and a non-greasy feel. The 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash ($23.20, 12 oz) has a refreshing citrusy smell that I found invigorating and perfect for the gym.
"It's not that our androstadienone is different than any other," says Adam Rauch, CEO and founder of LAID Brand, "it's that ours is a custom blend with five other types of pheromones from the 'andro' family. Each work synergistically to yield a greater sense of male to male attraction."
"At the end of the day though, it's about what we believe," Raunch adds, "and why we get out of bed everyday, and that belief that drives us is 'We can attract or have anything we want in this life. Be positive, and it will come back to you'.
UItimately, the Not So Str8 products might just help you feel a greater sense of empowerment, enough to let you come out of your shell and chat up a sexy stranger. And each year, the brand partners with a non-profit LGBT organization and donate a portion of the proceeds to help fight its cause. So why not give it a shot?
Andrew Villagomez is a men's lifestyle and entertainment journalist, and his blog, Vee Travels, focuses on men's fashion and travel. He tweets as @AndyVeeNYC