I'm a hetero male in my late 30s, and this incident took place over a decade ago, but I've felt guilty about it ever since. I was at a convention and ended up having a one-night stand with a lovely woman. When I moved to go down on her, something I enjoy doing, she had a really, really, really smelly area. This woman did not have bad body odor in general; she had good hygiene. I managed to shift gears and brought her off with touch, but she pleaded with me to go down on her and I didn't. That made things awkward. I didn't say anything about the smell to her, because I know that many women are self-conscious about vaginal odor.
My sex etiquette question for you: If you're with someone, and suddenly you discover that her private parts — or his — smell like something with a passed expiration date, what is the best way to handle it? Excuse yourself from bed and grab a washcloth for them? Grit your teeth and go down anyway, in an effort to be GGG, no matter how ill it might make you?
Vagina Odors Inform Cautious Etiquette
I realize that women can be sensitive about any suggestion of unpleasant vaginal odor — we can blame those "feminine hygiene" commercials as well as all those inexperienced boyfriends who react negatively to a vagina's natural, healthy odor because they didn't get the "spice" part of the "sugar and spice" memo. But as a general rule: The people you invite to stick their nose in your crotch, twat, sack, crack, etc., are allowed to form opinions about how you smell down there and share them with you. While it's unpleasant to be told your crotch stanks, it's much more unpleasant to find your nose tucked in someone's stanky crotch.
As this woman had good personal hygiene overall, VOICE, it's unlikely that a washcloth would've solved the problem. She may have had bacterial vaginosis, the most common cause of rank vaginal odor, or an untreated case of chlamydia or gonorrhea. As hard as "Something's not right down here" is to hear, particularly for some women, you didn't do her any favors by not speaking up — sensitively and compassionately — because if she did have a medical issue, she needed to seek treatment.
I have to take you to task for your answer to Sent From My iPhone (CL, May 4). In your answer, you compared condoms and withdrawal as methods of birth control. As a former Planned Parenthood volunteer educator, I will tell you that, like withdrawal, condoms alone are NEVER a recommended form of birth control. To compare these two "methods" is a little irresponsible. In fact, condoms alone weren't even on our list of birth control methods. The good news is that condoms PLUS spermicide were on that list. When used together and properly, condoms and spermicide are almost as effective as the pill in preventing pregnancy.
Loud Mouth About Birth Control
Thanks for sharing, LMABC.