There is a famous plant called corpse flower. As the name implies, the smell of this flower can’t be relaxing. However, when the flower blooms, thousands of people will queue up to the botanical garden to smell the fragrance.
Similarly, there are always those “unpleasant” smells in the world, but there are always people who “can’t extricate themselves” from them. The closest examples to everyday life are gasoline, chemical raw materials, coriander, stinky tofu, as the theme says, the smell of picking feet, or some people like to pick stones out of their throats. Although not uncommon, in order not to make this answer a tasty one, let alone mention it for the moment. And I have pictures of myself.
So why is it that even though the feedback from these tastes is negative, that is, first “refusing to welcome back”, then “sniffing the roses” and finally “nauseating” pleasure, people will have their own favorite “weird smell”?
One of the above respondents has answered well, and the key word is benign masochism.
Some studies have concluded 29 activities that should not be done logically at all, but some people still enjoy them. The most common ones are watching horror movies, eating hot food, watching disgusting videos, such as smallpox squeezing and so on.
The key to these activities is the safe threat, which is the “threat” to safety. It’s like when we ride a roller coaster, our physiological instinct tells us that this behavior is very dangerous, but we recognize that this activity is actually safe, and we get the pleasure of adrenal surge. Children in the biological world have similar functions in fighting with each other.
Smell of nausea is the same. Human evolution has already implanted in our genes a process for identifying dangerous signals. Nausea and stench are often thought to be corrupt and highly toxic. Instinct tells us to stay away, not close to contact. But there are odors, such as corpses in botanical gardens, and the stench of our feet. We know that this is a “threat” to safety, so smelling this odor can bring us the pleasure of benign self-abuse.
In this process, there will be a “little devil” in our heart, which inspires us to try all kinds of strange “fragrances” to know what kind of reaction we will make when we really encounter this “threat”. Many people tried herring cans that were very hot before (for example, I would like to experience how smelly they really are) simply out of this mentality.
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Rozin, P., Guillot, L., Fincher, K., Rozin, A., and amp; Tsukayama, E. (2013). Glad to be sad, and other examples of benign masochism. Judgment and Decision Making, 8 (4), 439.