I love the smell of male sweat and, when I am all reptile, their feet. Not all men, of course, but those with whose bodily odors I have the privilege of mingling intimately. I love the full bodied sharpness, the sour undertones, the hints of bitterness…every inhale a profane blessing.
And I love my own stench, the smell of deep waters and salty ocean air.
It has always seemed such an easy, free, and raw delight that I was shocked during a recent conversation when my friends squealed with disgust when I told them of my penchant for the aromatics. By their expressions, you would have thought I had just confessed to pedophilia.
“No. Absolutely not. She needs to be showered and neat down there and to smell good.”
“Yeah, I would never get into bed with a man while sweaty.”
“But, natural smells do smell good. Ever heard of pheromones?”
“Ever heard of perfume?”
And on it went. Both men and women telling me that I am crazy, that a lady needs to be showered and lotioned and properly marinated.
What was particularly surprising is that the men who were so insistent that women need to be shaved down there and smell like Bath and Body Works in order to turn them on are the same men who pride themselves on their daring sexual desires and conquests. They have boasted of orgies, of items that belong in a shed shoved into tender places, of positions that sound more surgical than sexual, and yet, a bit of sweat and some pussy hair is enough to make them go limp.
Perhaps their reaction is emblematic of our society’s paradoxical fixation on both filth and sterilization as they play out on the female form. Men want “dirty” so long as we come to them clean. To derive complete satisfaction from the marring, we are to arrive unmarked. Everything has to be shaved lest we hide something sharp in our soft tangles. Odors produced deep inside must be eradicated so we can be all surface, shiny for the feast. Spectacularly visible and invisible at once, the female body, in all its alleged modern freedoms, continues to be constructed as a hollow screen onto which male anxieties are projected. Ultimately, they don’t want their women to smell because they don’t want them to be fully alive.
I grew bored by their persistence, amused by their near-hysterical policing of female bodily borders.
“If a woman wasn’t maintained down there, I would be instantly turned off. Come on, I get that everyone sweats, but no need to bring that into my bed.”
As for me, give me your sweaty pits, your stinky toes, your stale crotch, send them to me, and I will swallow our shared air and smile.