When I was a student, back in those far-off days when we geeks were still excited about Gopher, I had a mate who bought some of that after-shave with the pheromones that are supposed to attract women. I think it was called "Endros" or something, he ordered it from an advert in a dodgy magazine and it came in an absurdly small bottle for the then-astounding price of twenty five quid. So, bathed in this stuff he sallied forth to collect his guaranteed shag-fest from the students union bar.
Nothing. Not even one of the legendarily "easy" local girls from the estate.
Which meant he was doubly annoyed that I, who had similarly zero success in attracting women, found no problems in engaging them in conversation as I unwittingly developed my "girly chat" defence against the fog.
I've seen an equivalent product marketed to transvestites, supposedly it contains female pheromones, the choking clouds of which are supposed to confuse any passing blokes into thinking that the seven foot girl with the bushy eyebrows and the blokey voice is actually a drop-dead-gorgeous genetic girl. Ooh, passing in a bottle, I'll 'ave some of that! I think I'll pass on the "admirers" though thank you very much.
It's all rubbish, of course. My money is far better spent on ladies shoes.
Personal experience has led me to be curious about how pheromones work though. Not how they work on attracting people, but how they work on a transgendered brain like mine. Let me explain. I live with my wife, a lovely genetic girl who I spend as much time with as I can. I get ups and downs of girl fog, but normally when I can control other factors like sleep and exercise an up follows a down pretty quickly.
For most of the last couple of weeks she's been away, on another continent visiting her mother. As normally happens when she goes away for a while, I crash. My brain goes spiraling into gender-dysphoria-land and I'm in trouble. I kept it at bay during the weekends by doing girl stuff, my local support group and visiting friends, but during the week I was in a somewhat sorry state.
Now you might say with some justification that I'm missing my wife and that's what does it. And it's true, I do miss her. But I'm not convinced that's at the root of the girl fog because I've noticed the same effect at other times when she's been here but for whatever reason we've not been spending so much time together. The odd occasion when I've had to spend a few days disappearing off every day to my parents place to tend to farm animals, for instance. I'm sleeping alone and not breathing in all those handy girl pheromones so I nosedive.
At this point it would be convenient to ask a tame endocrinologist. Sadly all the doctors I know tend to be specialists in arcane areas of medical research and anyway I'm not out to any of them so I couldn't ask even if they had the answer. But I have an advantage here. I'm an engineer by training, not a scientist. Which means that if there's a case in which I find something works the way I think it does, I don't necessarily need confirmation of exactly how it does it, I just need to know it works.
So here's another entry in Jenny's Book Of How To Be a Bloke Who's Transgendered and Remain Sane: spend as much time as you can with the genetic girl in your life. Something I'm perfectly happy to do.