The latest "singles scene" dating craze has hit Houston. Pheromone parties are already somewhat regular fare in places like New York and Los Angeles, but it wasn't until recently, Houston Social Source hosted what they claim to be the first such rendezvous in Houston.
The idea is that some living creatures emit perceptible but not fully understood signals to potential mates. These invisible biological calling cards are called pheromones.
So recently, at Noveau Antique Bar near Midtown, men and women of all ages were invited to bring a well-worn and unwashed T-shirt with them. Those providing a T shirt also had a chance to smell other participants' T-shirts. Supposedly, the pheromones would take over at that point and love connections would ensue.
"We didn't like our matches, so we called it a night," Valerie Novy, a participant said.
In fact, we witnessed only one mutual connection by the end of the night of the more than 100 who attended. Perhaps, the true goal was just to do something different, something weird, and have some fun.
"It's just bizarre and strange and I don't really care if there is any science behind it or not," said Joanna Klein, another participant.
"There is science behind it," said Amber Neal, a professional matchmaker and event promoter.
Neal said the science behind human pheromones is in textbooks and known around the world, but the real idea behind pheromone parties is to meet new people and have fun.
Good thing she has not met Dr. Samuel Kaplan, a microbiologist, at the University Texas, Houston Medical School.
"There could be real reasons, chemical reasons why someone might find someone's T-shirt pleasurable, but nobody has provided definitive proof that human pheromones exist," Kaplan said.
Kaplan said a variety of creatures, including dogs, use pheromones to send mating signals, but he has yet to be convinced humans use the same system.
If you find someone you like during one of these parties, does it really matter?
"No, bottom line is it sure doesn't," Kaplan acknowledged.
http://www.thehoustonsocialsource.com/ hosted the pheromone party and provides Houston area singles with various opportunities to try something new.