We’d love to all think we’re in top form when it comes to getting up close and personal to someone, but the truth is, life happens: Sometimes you or your partner will have a smell going on that may get in the way and is a potential turnoff for you or your sexual partner.
The genital area has many sebaceous and apocrine glands, which make oil and sweat. It\’s also an area that can get overheated under layers of clothes and underwear, all of which can lead to bacterial growth that can cause some intense smells. There are some easy ways to help keep it under control though.
This is a common issue among young inexperienced men. “However, that smell is common and is not an emergency. It can be more common among uncircumcised men. First, they need to rule out an STD and something called phimosis, which is when the penis head becomes constricted and infected,” says men\’s health expert, Dr. Ralph Esposito.
While it’s in no way a reflection on anything you are doing wrong, there are a lot of factors that can be responsible, and a lot you can do about it.
1. Are You Circumcised?
One thing to keep in mind with regard to penis smell is that it can be an issue for uncircumcised guys. Guys with a foreskin can run the risk of their penises smelling more strongly, based on growth of bacteria or yeast undernear the foreskin, if they don\’t wash there regularly.
“Smell is from bacteria or yeast, there is no other reason to smell. It’s all about the whiff test if you smell something,” says Dr. David Shusterman, Founder and Medical Director of NY Urology.
2. Tips To Improve Your Smell
If you are about to have sex for the first time or if you\’re a relative newbie, first, do an inspection to make sure everything looks good. If there is any kind of funk, go into the shower and thoroughly wash your penis, including under the foreskin if you\’re uncircumcised.
After the shower, dry off completely and do the whiff test — run a finger or a Q-tip along your penis and penis head and then sniff it. If there\’s any smell left over after the shower, don’t have sex. Go see a urologist or your doctor, urologist preferred, and get some medication or treatment protocol. If you have a persistent smell that doesn\’t go away, definitely go to see a urologist.
Keep It Dry
“After a shower, you should make sure you’re dry down there before you put on your undergarments. Don’t wear loose-fitting boxers — put on underwear like boxer briefs that will take away liquid or moisture away during the day,” says Dr. Shusterman.
If you exercise or engage in activities that make you sweat, make sure you shower. Your sweat takes any bacteria you do have and makes it grow. “Sweat is not bad — it\’s just that it makes the area moist and grows the bacteria. The best deodorant for down there is keeping it dry. Covering up the smell is not enough, you have to keep it dry,” says Dr. Shusterman.
Get Rid Of Smegma
You may have noticed a secretion in the folds of your skin down there, especially if you are uncircumcised. That’s smegma. Smegma also called “dick cheese,” is a mixture of skin cells, yeast and sweat that can appear under your foreskin and will smell strongly. How do you get rid of it? Simply wash regularly, since sweat is the real catalyst for smegma. “Yeast is always on your skin but you can’t make cheese unless you give it the proverbial milk… which would be the water or sweat that blends with yeast to make the cheese,” says Dr. Shusterman.
Another source of a strong negative odor coming off your penis could be STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, previously known as STDs or sexually transmitted diseases. If you\’ve had unprotected sex in the past few months, you might have caught one. To be on the safe side, you should be getting tested for diseases every six months or so — or if you notice symptoms of a disease,.
There are a lot of folds around the groin areas. “It\’s important to really take your time and wash all of the crevices. Uncircumcised men need to clean beneath the foreskin as well. Regular soap should do the trick. It\’s not ideal to use an antibacterial soap, though you could if all else fails,” says Antonia Hall, a psychologist, relationship expert and sexpert and the award-winning author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life. That being said, do not ever use things like bleach or alcohol on your nether regions.
Consider Health Issues
What are you putting inside your body? Lots of guys believe or indeed do have bad ball odor. The reasons for it ranges, but a lot of it is what you are putting in your body: Are you a smoker? Do you have a heavy junk food or garlic diet? “Smoking, booze and a poor diet can make us taste and smell bad. Now may be the time to give up or seriously curtail those habits,” says Nina Helms, a sexual health expert.
Give It A Trim
Keeping neat and tidy is a good way to stay smelling your best. Pubic hair increases the likelihood of staying heated and it traps in moisture and odors. “You don\’t have to take it all away, but pruning things down can make a big difference in potential smells forming,” says Hall. So if you\’re concerned, consider manscaping a bit down there.