I love how guys smell, from fresh sweat (not the same as “BO” for the ignoranti), to crotch, d!ck and butt (not the same as caca for philistines!). The right smell is 10 times more effective than Viagra. I’ve picked up great looking guys online but if they show up, like they usually do, smelling of soap and baby powder, sorry, but my stick goes south. Before meeting, I’ve tried to tell them indirectly that I don’t like soap smells, but usually they run away as if I’m going to show up smelling like I smeared a Camembert in my crotch. Am I deviant and abnormal? Will ex-gay therapy cure me of this? It seems that everybody has been brainwashed by a 50’s housewife mentality –everything in its place looking pretty. How can I tell guys what I like without having them run away?
— Sniff, Sniff
You’re scaring people off because you haven’t struck the right tone. Too direct (“I love nicotine-stained underwear!”) and they’re going to hit the delete button like a woodpecker. But too indirect and they’ll do the same thing. Why? Because the absence of information forces people to make negative assumptions.
So, be straightforward but diplomatic. Say something like, “You know how men get turned on by what they see? I get turned on by what I smell. So, my perfect sexual experience would be for you to show up showered without scented soap, cologne or deodorant. Or unshowered, but without smelling like an anchovy’s c*nt.”
Ok, maybe I’d leave out that last bit, but you get my point. Ask and you shall receive.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the great column on bad breath. But, you never addressed how to tell somebody they smell like they just rimmed a dozen dirty bungholes after smoking a pack of cigarettes. I’ve left mouthwash, floss and a toothbrush out for them but they’re clueless. And the few times I’ve been direct they get offended. Help!
— Olfactory Assaulted
There’s just no easy way to tell people their breath makes your eyes water. It’s not like you’re telling them they’ve got broccoli in their teeth, a booger in their nose, or a bat in their cave. I mean, they can look in a mirror and see that. But you can’t smell your own breath (the body gets used to its own odors) so being indirect won’t work. Neither will being direct if they think you’re being passive-aggressive or just plain insulting. Try “sharing” the problem. Don’t say, “You’ve got bad breath so gargle, b!tch!” Say, “I think we both could use a little mouthwash. Come to the bathroom with me and let’s use it together.”