It never ceases to amaze me how many women and men ask me how to delicately raise the issue of hygiene to their partners. Both men and women feel challenged when they don’t like the taste, smell or appearance of their partners’ nether regions. There is nothing worse than diving in, in the heat of the moment and coming across something that is an instant turn off. So how do you broach the subject? And even more importantly how do you keep yourself in tip top shape when it comes to genital hygiene?
First off, it is important not to induce shame in your partner. We have enough sexual shame in our culture to last for generations, and if you induce more your partner will be less likely to feel sexy. And feeling sexy is important to our desire to have sex. So broach the subject gently. You might want to start non-verbally by bathing him or her. Just hop in the shower before making love, get some vibrating sponges or waterproof sex toys (maybe an adult version of a rubber duckie) and have fun in the suds. Just make sure not to get any soap inside her vagina or inside either of your anuses. If a plethora of untamed hair is your issue, set up a sexy shaving scenario, or better yet trim your partner with manicuring scissors (this won’t leave itchy stubble and some women and men love the feeling of the cool scissors against their skin).
For the issue of taste or smell it is important to note that if you aren’t comfortable with your partner’s flavor or scent, that you might want to try giving it a little time before turning away. The taste of the genitals may be strong at first, but as you continue you will often find that it diminishes as things heat up and get going. If it doesn’t then you may want to try some dietary changes. Does your partner smoke, drink a lot of coffee, or eat a lot of red meat? On days when you might be engaging with your partner romantically try preparing a lighter feast of things like pineapple juice, and fresh salads with lots of greens and fruits. Refrain from heavy foods, smoking, coffee and meat (these foods may also affect your blood chemistry and the ability for you and your partner to get fully aroused.). Another reason for a bad taste or smell may be a bacterial infection, so if things persist you may want to visit your doctor to see if there is something else going on.
In my private practice I am often surprised that most people do not pay much attention to hygiene. If you are going to expect your partner to practice this then you must too, especially when it comes to anal play. You partner is going to be much more willing to go there if everything is squeaky clean. Here is a check list to use for yourself.
Breath - Kissing for most women is the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not they are going to sleep with you. If your breath is bad you may not get very far. Try brushing your teeth or chewing on fennel (most mouthwash isn’t that great when it comes to putting your mouth on your partner’s genitals, so opt for something without alcohol.)
Hands and Nails - Please wash your hands before touching your partner’s nether regions, this can stop germs and infection. Also, check your hands for rough calluses or jagged nails and file or trim them. If you are attached to the length of your finger nails you may want to use toys for anal or vaginal penetration, but really, isn’t the pleasure worth cutting your nails short?
Hair - A little trimming can go a long way. I’m not saying that you have to shave it all off or that au naturale can’t be sexy, but trimming your pubic hair has some benefits. First, it shows your partner that you think about sex and being sexy. Secondly, it might just help you feel sexier. According to the "Sexual Teachings of the White Tigress", shaving all of your pubic hair makes you think of puberty and can help you maintain your youthful vitality. Regardless of if you shave or not, running your fingers through your pubic hair will help get rid of strays that could get caught in your partner’s teeth later on, so start there.
Genitals - A quick wash to the genital area can do wonders. Just using water is fine. And while you are splashing it on check to be sure that there aren’t any wads of toilet paper or other unpleasantries lingering about. You can use soap, just don’t get any inside of you as if may affect your natural PH.
Anal Area - Okay, this is a big one, please, please, please clean this area if you are expecting to receive any anal play. First of all, note if you have hair back there. Hair collects stuff, toilet paper and other stuff that might not be so pleasant for your partner, so make sure to check your hair and even trim it if necessary. Wash the external area with soap and water. If you want penetration you may want to do a quick enema. You can check with your own finger to be sure that you are clean. (*Note: I would advise the use of dental dams and condoms for anal play. It’s not just about cleanliness, but about health. There are parasites and bacteria that you do not want to share!)
Once you have done your grooming, you may want to take time to deliciously groom your partner. And if they don’t go for it, you may want to have a talk with them about how sexy they are and how much you enjoy bathing them. Be positive and entice your partner with creative words. If all else fails, try some flavored lubes, dental dams or condoms.