Laurie Toby Edison

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Male Genital Odor?

Debbie says:

(Laurie has a cold and is taking a few days off from blogging.)

The rallying cry of corporations is “find new customers,” and in the last decade or so, the cosmetics and beauty industries have been organizing a full-court press to bring in male customers. Since these industries thrive on body hatred, the goal is to get men to hate, fear, and distrust their bodies; unfortunately, the corporate interests are having at least some measure of success.

I can remember when female genital deodorants burst onto the scene (maybe the early 1980s? late 1970s?). The idea seemed strange at the time: what did these products do that soap and water didn’t? But I guess women use them, because they’re still around.

Now that specific market niche is expanding to include men. To do it in the tone of the 2000s, they had to start by inventing a new disease:

[NodorO] was specifically created to remove and prevent MGO (Male Genital Odors) and can be obtained immediately without a prescription exclusively on NodorO’s website.

President/CEO and NodorO Creator, Dominic Adams suffered from MGO since he was a teenager, until he realized his discovery. Adams personally tested the product for several years, which inspired him to share his discovery with the world and created NodorO. “I could not imagine my sexual life without NodorO anymore. I have no more fears of repulsing my partner due to bad genital odors.

So now we have a syndrome, with a three-letter acronym to make it sound Important And Real. But there’s more body hatred lurking in the wings:

MGO affects men of different ages. It is more likely to occur to men who are not circumcised, due to the moist environment between the foreskin and the glans, which is a favorable ground for development of fungi cells. … However, MGO can also happen to men who are circumcised.

Note how the copy is designed to make uncircumcised men conscious of potential “problems,” while making sure that circumcised men don’t feel immune.

And my absolute favorite bit:

Unlike other products such as scented oils and perfumes, NodorO does not mask or cover up the smell; it kills, destroys, removes and prevents odors. “Men have had to deal with this problem for centuries, and women had to deal with their partners having MGO.”

It’s difficult to fit three major fallacies into two sentences, but they manage. First, they manage to leave “soap” out of the possible other products–in my experience, to the extent that this is ever a problem, soap is a fine solution. Second, they sneak in a completely heteronormative assumption without ever addressing it–either there are no men who have sex with men, or they like each other’s odors, or something. Undoubtedly, if the product catches on, gay men will be the next target, with their own separate ad campaign. And finally, the “for centuries” blurs the fact that the contemporary first world urban culture is historically unique in being protected from animal odors (such as manure on the street); we’ve replaced them with hydrocarbon odors. In fact, the concept of body odor is not even a century old. (I bet the NodorO folks don’t know that the first deodorant was called Odo-Ro-No.)

By the way, NodorO’s slogan is, “Lose the odor; keep your lover.” In most situations, I personally recommend keeping clean with soap and water, and then losing the lover who doesn’t like the result.

Thanks to Lynn Kendall for the pointer.

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20 Responses to “Male Genital Odor?”

  1. Shannon says:

    I was really hoping this was a joke.

    How absurd. And personally if I had balls I wouldn’t put anything near them that destroys or kills. Really bad choice of wording there I think.

  2. Fillyjonk says:

    either there are no men who have sex with men, or they like each other’s odors, or something.

    Nono, it’s just that gay men are so impeccably clean. :)

    This is so transparent and blatant that I wonder if we can use it as an object lesson to explain to men what it’s like to go through life as a woman. “Notice how you suddenly worry that your body is offensive, and feel the need to spend money to make it acceptable or you’ll be unlovable? Yeah, about that…”

  3. lilacsigil says:

    I work in a pharmacy and you may be pleased to hear that the feminine deodorant market is nearly dead here – there’s one product in our shop and it’s used exclusively by the over-60s. (Of course, there’s no shortage of waxes, tweezer, body deodorants…)

  4. Rio Iriri says:

    Why am I reminded of that SNL spoof commercial where a hair product company came up with a new hair problem, and why can’t I for the life of me remember the name of it? HA!

    And, what, are we supposed to no longer allow any pheromones to stimulate us? Sorry, but we’re animals, and of a type that is supposed to be a little musky down there, both sexes. Are we not supposed to admit to liking that human trait or something?

    I just asked my husband about it, and he said that a woman’s musky odor down there lets him know that she is aroused. Hm, I suppose it is useful after all!

  5. Orodemniades says:

    And a new low is reached…

  6. Patia says:

    Well, I think it’s a good thing.

    Why?

    Because when men start being targeted with the same B.S. that women have faced for decades, the ridiculousness of it all becomes sublimely apparent.

  7. Jill Lundquist says:

    I wonder how many people are allergic to this stuff. How dreadful that would be, to find yourself sneezing or getting hives or some such from encountering your lover’s crotch, and, since he would be unlikely to talk about using this stuff, not to know why.

    Not to mention that smell is such an important part of sex…

  8. Rachel says:

    I don’t think it will catch on. Men don’t even use soap. No way they’re going to buy a deodorant.

  9. wriggles says:

    I hope men fight this with all their might, really it’s awful.

  10. Ron Low says:

    I’m very pro-foreskin; I even non-surgically restored mine, and I don’t think this product is all that terrible. It actually defuses one of the lame reasons that are given to cut babies.

    However, it is just an anti-fungal and fungus does not plague very many foreskins. I have a mild scent now that I have restored, even when I’m squeeky clean. My wife describes it as sweet.

    The really odd thing is how the product fine print says not to get it near anyone’s mouth. Excuse me, then what is the point of smelling so unnaturally nuetral?

  11. AnnieMcPhee says:

    It’s a ridiculous product, but so was feminine “hygiene” spray deodorant. Not to mention putting chemicals on such delicate skin that already have their own delicate chemical balance (the uncircumcised glans, clitoris, etc.) is just a Bad Idea. The smells of clean genitalia aren’t offensive and are part of sexuality.

    I really don’t think that men will have the same reaction as that, Patia. They are more likely to say “The hell? F** that, I’m not spraying my balls,” and then laugh at the idea, as opposed to getting all self-conscious and fretting over it. Though it seems nasty to accuse men of not using soap at all (as someone else did) – that’s hardly true.

    As to armpit and foot stink, well, some of us have some pretty stubborn, strong, and yes, yucky stink. I can wash my armpits to kingdom come, and within a half hour, they start smelling. In a few hours they can go to full-blown stench, though sometimes it takes more hours than others. And yes, I smell it and it’s foul. It’s not because I’m sick, either; my son is exactly the same way, whereas my husband barely gets any smell, same as my daughter. I have often wondered how people like, on the prairie, could possibly stand themselves much less have sex with each other, when they bathed only once a week, worked slavishly hard, and had no deodorant. And for some of us even bathing daily doesn’t come close to helping. In that case, I’m all for modernization. I couldn’t have sex when I’m in full blown stink, a couple hours after bathing with no deodorant. It wasn’t instilled in me, it’s just really there and really strong. I doubt people never noticed before, in older times, that they stunk. That’s why they used colognes and powders and toilet waters, or scented oils if you go back a lot further. It doesn’t seem at all a new concept.

  12. AnnieMcPhee says:

    Um, I forgot to add that yes, deodorant, if I use it after bathing, stops the smell just fine.

  13. actualguy says:

    not to disparage your mostly female comments about this, but the problem they’re targeting is real, to varying degrees, however “ridiculous” it sounds to you. let me correct a few things here.

    i’m uncircumcised, and like their ads say, that’s probably the reason i experience this. of course washing well in the shower helps…for a while. by noon i notice an odor when i take a leak (and no, it’s not urine). not overpowering, but it’s there. you’d probably notice an odor by noon if you didn’t wear deodorant, too. i’m not obsessive at all – i can work up a stink working outside for a full day, for all i care. but here’s a major difference: you don’t try to get anyone to put their face in your armpit.

    so if your pits smell, and female genitals smell…and i can verify both of those…what’s so ridiculous about thinking an uncircumcised guy might have the same problem? now i don’t know if it’s fungus, and i have no idea if this stuff works, but i noticed this years ago on my own. no one had to “sell” me on the idea. i’ve searched about it a couple times before. it’s not even a social pressure thing…i just don’t like the smell myself! worrying about it during sex adds to it, tho, that’s for sure.

    you think because you don’t know what it is that it’s imaginary and that anyone who thinks this product might help is just a poor dupe falling into a corporate trap? hop off your high horse, ladies. your enlightened minds might conquer some things, but basic biology isn’t one.

  14. AnnieMcPhee says:

    For what it’s worth my husband laughed his head off when I told him about this product. Which is about what I would expect from most men, as opposed to fretting about it.

    Actualguy, I doubt anyone doubts that an uncircumcised penis has an odor; so do female genitals. They excrete smegma and so forth. After a few hours my privates have an odor – though if I wear cotton panties (and I do) it’s certainly not noticeable to anyone who is merely sitting next to me (as opposed to armpit odor, which is.) If I’m going to have sex, I pretty much have a wash first if it’s been many hours since a shower. Do you wear cotton briefs? Just a suggestion; it helps. A wash before sex isn’t a bad thing, either. As to not wanting anyone to put their face in your armpit, speak for yourself ;)

    But really, spraying chemicals on delicate body openings is a bad idea. If this stuff isn’t supposed to be sprayed in eyes or to get near *mouths* then it certainly doesn’t sound like a good idea to put them on your fricking URETHRA! Dude, take care of your penis, don’t abuse it. I wouldn’t spray FDS on my genitals just like I wouldn’t spray deodorant in my mouth, or eyes, or in my ears. And seriously, to eliminate odor of the genitals you’d HAVE to spray it into the inner parts (the head underneath the foreskin, the folds of the lips, the opening of the vagina, etc.) because that part smells too. About the only part it might be safe for would be your pubic hair, and that is just as easily washed when you wash the inner parts. But that won’t help the rest of the smell.

    I say steer clear of this one. And I’ll steer clear of FDS too. :)

  15. chris says:

    YES……..there is such a product. JOCK SHOTZ and it works really well.

  16. Joe says:

    Wow, you people are so hostile about something that doesn’t concern you. Sometimes soap and water doesn’t cut it. Hell sometimes body wash paired with a loofah will only keep genitals smelling nice for a bit. Do you think that everyone is like you? I have to shower directly before any sexual adventure because my balls are quite pungent within minutes of cleansing. That is shaved, washed, and paired with clean underwear/boxers. Hell, as long as this product doesn’t sting, taste bad, or cause cancer, I would pay almost any price for it. That is assuming that it works.

  17. AJ says:

    I Agree with joe…Im shocked so many females are tore up abouth this..lol…Ive had a odor down there for as long as I can remember & its very bothersome. I bathe daily wear cotton boxers..etc, etc but nothing hasmade it go away. Ive accepted it as my smell but do not like it & I know partners have smelled it. ive tried several things & if found something that worked I would definitely buy it.

  18. M. says:

    ignorant people dont know about the uncut penis and the problems it can cause. its an easy joke to make fun of. luckily the people making the jokes have their own problems they have problems controlling (bad skin, cheating boyfriends/girlfriends, weight issues, etc. etc.) so i dont feel bad when people joke about the smelly penis thing cause no one’s perfect, lol.

    by the way i just came to this website to add that NODORO doesnt even work! that is all :)

  19. Rita says:

    “By the way, NodorO’s slogan is, “Lose the odor; keep your lover.” In most situations, I personally recommend keeping clean with soap and water, and then losing the lover who doesn’t like the result.”

    For such a strong judgmental critique as this one, I am shocked this righteous know-it-all suggests that one should dump their lover for not loving genital odors. This is in fact the most shallow and propagandist statement in the entire blog. A bit hypocritical, isn’t it?

    Personally, I believe someone is a bit defensive and I feel this is the worst advice possible. My boyfriend is uncircumcised and experiences MGO. I love him very much but I am frequently turned off during sex when I notice the odor. As much as I try to focus on other things, I can’t seem to stay aroused. Our sex life has significantly dwindled and I seem to be experiencing a loss of interest. Yet, I believe “losing the lover” is the last advice to give a man with a case of MGO, especially if there are potential solutions to this problem. Trying one of them for $12.99 is worth much less then a ruined relationship.

    According to this blog love isn’t worth twelve dollars and some change. Although, I would never leave my partner for MGO I would be greatly disappointed if he didn’t at least attempt to make an improvement.

    Oh, and know-it-all’s quote of “losing the lover who doesn’t like the result” is still suggesting you lose a lover over MGO, only changing which partner suggests the separation. Apparently it remains a problem one way or another.

  20. noodor says:

    I had a fishy and foul odor in my groin area for months and I tried everything, shower after shower, anti-bacterial bodywash, and jock-itch creams nothing worked.

    I bought Hibiclens an anti-microbrial liquid and the problem went away immediately. Any guys with smell in that area, I highly recommend this. Make sure to use it externally on the genitalia, not internally. Also get tested for STD’s to ensure you don’t have a more serious problem and drink lots of water and eat fruits and vegetables to assist in getting odor free.


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