Saturday, September 02, 2006

The scent of things to come...

It's arrived here in the UK; the scented tampon. I remember, about a year ago, the outrage of many blogger friends who were introduced to this heinous product. A flower scented vagina; just what every woman should have. Bah! And they're target-market are teenage girls - get them good and paranoid while young and insecure so they can have a lifetime of feminine hygiene issues to create new products for.

Besides, how many women let another person near their crotch during their periods? Even when having sex during a woman's period, women aren't likely to allow their partner put their face down there and go "Wow there's a hint of a lovely floral scent! She must really care about me!" I know it probably happens in some bedroom in some part of the world but I'd like to think most women reserve direct access for sans menses.

I hate marketing that purports that woman parts are smelly and must be covered up with perfumes, chemicals and soaps. Quite honestly, I don't see what the big deal is - women smell like women. Genitals have a genital smell. I do agree that one's privates shouldn't be smelling overly foul from lack of hygiene, but to tell a woman she should insert a flower scented tampon to cover up the smell of her menstruation is ridiculous. For one thing the (normal) menses doesn't have a bad smell, (I've always though it smelled like coffee) but what's perfectly normal to one person is offensive to another. I think that makes it their personal, individual issue - not a women's issue as a whole. Sure it gets sweaty down there and, just like the armpits and feet, there's bacteria that can cause unpleasant odors - nothing a wash won't fix. But why are we being told we must mask our own natural scent - natural not meaning B.O., but just the normal sweet muskiness of human beings?

We never see these types of product marketed for men, and that's where the indignity of it lies. Men have genital smells too and not all of them are attractive. Do we ever see Forest Musk Ball Balm advertised for men? Or special Sport Scent Q-tips for cleaning under the foreskin*? In fact if you Google "how to clean a foreskin" you won't find much - a lot of instructions for mothers on how to teach their son to clean their own penis but nothing for the adult male except for Wikipedia's detailed description of smegma with pictures. but even they say to simply wash with warm water...why are women told they smell so bad that they must perfume themselves when men have the exact same issues? (And that goes for cut men too, you also have funky smelling down belows, don't delude yourself to the contrary.)

It's an oral sex double standard - they should just admit this and market Minty Tampons with dental floss strings and Cherry Flavoured Cockpops (thanks LBB), Butterscotch Ball Balm and Mountain Fresh Fanny Wash - because it's the unsaid assumption that your crotch is going to be sniffed at by more than just the dog so you better make it fresh and clean - and thank the lord for companies who are able to help us by providing products to cover our humanness, our vile naturalness our bestial lineage with the fragrant bouquet of a summer meadow.

What we need are more people like Doug, people who appreciate and understand that this is life, this is real - private parts have a private scent and if you don't like it then keep your face well enough away and make space for the special person who can embrace your aromas with enthusiasm and joy and make the world a happy place.

*if you do have a foreskin it isn't wise to use a Q-tip to clean it. You've been warned.


tornwordo said...

Another sign of the patriarchy. I'd like some perfumed suppositories so that I can fart freely without offense.

I love the smell of groin without additives as long as a shower has been taken in the last day. (Though admittedly, I'm not well versed in cooter.)

Lyvvie said...

Will it have a whistle in it too so you can blow bird calls out your butt? That would be great!!

I like the picture I chose for "Thinking about" because it looks like she's sneakily double checking her bits, and in the background he's picking his butt.

Kelly said...

Um... we have had scented tampons in the US forever.. This is new in the UK?


Lyvvie said...


Em said...

I adore you for writing this post. Would that we could broadcast it to the entire emerging female market that those jerks so highly covet.

Lyvvie said...

Shucks, now I'm-a blushin'. Thanks Em.