the case for deodorant

Better Smell, Better Sex?

I think we can all agree that it is easier to focus on enjoying an intimate experience with a partner when both of you smell nice.  Most healthy and functional people don’t consider the scent of old shoes or a gym bag left in the back seat too long an aphrodisiac (not judging if you do…just saying).

Depending on which article you read, there are between 5 and 7 stinkiest parts of the body that need particular attention. The “big 2” most people have in hand:  the hair and the mouth.  Washing your hair and brushing your teeth have proven to be really good ideas, not just for an enjoyable evening encounter, but as a basic expectation of being in public (except for the emergency run to the grocery store in pajamas and slippers, which is allowed 4x / year).  There are a host of really good all natural options for both shampoos and toothpastes on the market today.  In addition,  natural food stores often carry several options of essential oil breath sprays that can help battle the side effect of your coffee addiction – and may even offer some anti-viral benefits.  I, for example, like an oregano oil based spray which I use before bed each evening, and before singing at church.  

The other stink zones, in no particular order, are the underarms, feet, and groin, with honorable mentions by the neck and ears.  I am going to throw in the under-boobs here as well, which while escaping most mainstream areas of attention, can (especially in later years of maturity) accumulate sweat and ‘funk’. While underarm deodorants are prevalent, there is a reason most name brand deodorants don’t strongly recommend applying them to your groin, boobs, and feet. First and foremost, many deodorants contain components too harsh for these sensitive areas of your body.  Many natural deodorants, while being free of harsh synthetic ingredients use high concentrations of baking soda as the primary bacterial fighting component, which in itself can be pretty harsh on the skin. Beyond deodorants to anti-perspirants… blocking perspiration isn’t the best idea for your body. It is accepted only as a necessary evil…a willing sacrifice of health for the sake of social acceptability.  Finally, who wants to contaminate their stick deodorant with toe, crotch or butt jam? Nobody…thats who. 

There are a couple of conventions when considering nether sweat and foot funk…application of corn starch, to help dry and contain sweat, and an avoidance of over “perfuming” the sensitive areas to cover the stink without addressing the underlying issue: fungal or bacterial odor generation.  Beyond corn starch, there are some specialty formulated talc, calamine powder blends used by runners and marketed as a better baby powder alternative.

There are, however, natural cream deodorants that offer some advantages worthy of consideration beyond use in the armpit.  Look for products with minimal baking soda concentrations, and those that use arrowroot (a common alternative to cornstarch in “gentle” baby powder alternatives). Additionally, look for creams that use mild concentrations of anti bacterial and anti fungal essential oils, and avoid synthetic fragrances. These essential oils not only offer fresh scents, but serve as a mechanism to fight the actual odor creating bacteria. Finally, cream deodorants offer a potential advantage in application.  While I would never offer to help my wife apply stick deodorant to her under arms,  I am more than willing to help in the application of a soft cream for under boob and ‘upper thigh’ area sweat.  As to foot sweat…some partners like massaging feet and some don’t.  Your mileage may vary, but it’ s worth asking.