So I am kind of fascinated by this Pherotones thing. It’s a fake-looking site with ringtones– that’s right, little bits of music your cell phone plays– that are created by a place called the “Auditory Institute,” and claim to “spark passionate sexual responses in humans.” The site’s got a Dr. Vanderhood that you can IM (was away when I looked, but I’ve heard people have spoken with “her”), and a kitchy “As Seen On Web” icon that screams “spoof.” Or “marketing ploy.” Or some type of hoax, but I’m not strictly sure who or what they’re hoaxing.

At any rate, as a study in media, it’s awesome. I don’t really believe the tones can cause “sexual responses.” Or do I? I decided to try them out.

Testing Pherotones

What I did was I listened to each of the pherotones meant “for women” to attract men. That way, I could see if I was attracted at all to the pherotones. Since I’m not a woman, I don’t have any idea about the effectiveness of the tones to attract women. Some enterprising female blogger will have to find that out for herself.

1. “Last Kall”

It’s closing time, but don’t worry – you’re not going home alone. Just toss this flirty, playful Pherotone to the luckiest boy in the room and you’ll be going home with the kind of nice shy-guy who you know likes you, but is too reserved and classy to ever hit on you. He wants you; he just doesn’t know it yet. Remind him that the night is young.

I figured this one would be good for me. Not because I’m clubby or anything (which the track seems like it is), but because I figure I’m the “kind of nice shy-guy who you know likes you, but is too reserved and classy to ever hit on you.” It’s a bouncy little rising techno beat, but I don’t think it would work very well as a cell phone ring. It’s too muddy to be really interesting.

Rating: 2 out of 5

2. “Veni Veni Veni”

This Pherotone is not afraid to ask (inaudibly, of course) for more than enough. Crafted to find a man who takes pleasure in giving pleasure, over and over, multiple times, until all earthly desire finally evaporates from your consciousness, and you drift into a state of perfect bliss until you finally fall fast asleep. Not many men can do this. This Pherotone attracts men who love encores.

Dr. Vanderhood, you hussy! The description for this tone is at least a high PG-13! The tone itself is repetitive, so maybe that’s where they’re going with that. Personally, what I heard sounded like a chase scene to an old ’80s television show, one where the bad guy is a suit-wearin’ accountant type, running through a parking garage from a rogue cop or a misplaced urban cowboy. As a cell phone ring, it mostly makes me want to run.

Rating: 1 out of 5

3. “El Cuddlero”

Spanish is a romance language, but you won’t need words with this Pherotone designed to make an instant Bedroom Bandito out of any man in earshot. Sure that may sound “caliente,” but in practice, it’s a situation that can get a little too hot. That’s why the El Cuddlero Pherotone is unique. He knows how to spice things up, but he also understands how to cool things down after the fireworks with his sweet Spanish guitar. Ole!

Now this one I like. The name leaves a lot to be desired, though. Someone named “El-blank-o” has to be a badass, really, like El Conquistadero, or El Diablo. “YO SOY EL DIABLO, Y HOY ES LA DIA DE TU MUERTE!!” See? It doesn’t really work if you run in somewhere screaming “YO SOY EL CUDDLERO!” It just makes you think of that bear who’s always groping laundry. But the song itself is pretty good, like a slow midi Spanish riff. It’s like a Mexican soap opera theme song, and though there are a lot of weirdos on Mexican soap operas, the women (the young ones, anyway) always look pretty good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

4. “A Good Strong Man”

He thrives on commitment. He believes in you. And he’s going to rock your world. This potent Pherotone, made with subsonic texture enhancement, is a powerful lure to the secure, self-assured, successful men who know how to love a woman. Go ahead ladies, you deserve him.

Oh man, I read “strong,” and “going to rock your world,” and though it was time for a flashy ’80s rock anthem– I know a little Scorpions or Sabbath always gets me in the mood. Boy was I disappointed. This tune is so bad, Kenny G would hear it on an elevator and get off a floor early. You can just picture a Christian singer singing about how much he “loves you, Lord” over this one. This one on a woman’s cell phone wouldn’t just repel me– it’d make me wonder why she has such bad taste in music. Avoid at all costs.

Rating: 0 out of 5

And just for a control, I went ahead and tried one of the tones meant to attract women. Also, because I liked the idea behind it. Note that I did not make this up.

5. “The Wizard’s Sleeve”

Just because you are a fourth-level cleric-warrior-elf with a bag of gold, four soul daggers, and a magic fire emerald doesn’t mean you can’t also be lucky with the ladies. This Pherotone is more powerful than a 25-year-old Dungeon Master. So drop that book, turn in your 20-sided die, untuck your t-shirt and start casting your own spells for a change.

The description of this tune cracks me up for a number of reasons. First, it’s dead on (obviously). Second, it’s funny to me that the person who would really try to attract a woman with a cell phone ring probably is the same person who would roll a cleric-warrior-elf with four soul daggers. But of course the tone itself leaves something to be desired. It’s a really short midi jingle, something like you’d hear at the end of an old Saturday morning cartoon in the ’80s. Which means it reminds me of milk and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I’m not sure if that’s something women are attracted to or not, but I guess they’ll have to decide that for themselves.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2006 at 9:54 pm. Filed under general.
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