Washing off the special vagina smell
November 20, 2008 8:45 PM   Subscribe

Help me wash off that special smell that comes from going down on a girl....

Many (most?) guys and surely all girls know that there's a rather distinct organic odor that vaginas have. The problem is that it seems rather difficult to wash off the smell from my mouth area and fingers despite showers and hand-washing. It just lingers for a couple days. But I can't imagine kissing my parents if there's any lingering odor around my mouth, or without a serious fear that they'll smell this on me...which I think is pretty weird.

I'd like to be able to shake hands/kiss people/act normal right after cunning (after cleaning up).

Anyone have advice on successfully washing off this special smell?

posted by monkey85 to Human Relations (33 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It's in your nose.
posted by rokusan at 8:51 PM on November 20, 2008 [3 favorites]

Dude, it's in your brain. Anything that comes out of the vagina is water-soluble. Go shower and stop trying to brag by implication on the internet.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:55 PM on November 20, 2008 [17 favorites]

Wow, what's with all the hate? Even if the OP is a teenager, it's a legitimate question, no?

I'd try brushing your teeth and washing your hands with warm water and soap.

I think the real issue here could be on her end. You could gently suggest that she try to improve her grooming habits down there.
posted by Third at 9:06 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

[People should be able to ask poorly-phrased questions about sex stuff without getting piled on, folks. Please try to answer the question constructively and save the jokes for somewhere else.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:06 PM on November 20, 2008

What's with all the hostility? He asked a question, he deserves an answer.

I think the smell might just be lingering in your nose. It hangs around there and you constantly smell it, whereas other people won't. Sometimes washing your nose with soap can help get rid of it.
posted by god particle at 9:07 PM on November 20, 2008

Exfoliate with a washcloth, and shave.
posted by sondrialiac at 9:14 PM on November 20, 2008

Do you have facial hair? Nose hair? Does your girl keep things trim? When you shampoo your hair, it smells like shampoo. Same goes for other stuff. Either way, a nice smelling light facial scrub could do the trick (for you, not her).
posted by iamkimiam at 9:16 PM on November 20, 2008

I seriously doubt that a normal, healthy vagina would harbor an aroma powerful enough to linger on you for days despite your attempts at washing. Is it possible that you're imagining that the smell is still there because you're harboring some feelings of embarrassment/guilt/shame about performing oral sex? Perhaps you were raised to believe that sex was "dirty," etc. Since you specifically mentioned your parents, I think you're creating a worry-inducing scenario in your mind. It's the classic "OMG, I've done something naughty and everyone will know!" thing.

As a side note: If you're been performing oral sex on unhealthy vaginas (i.e. if there really is an odor that's lingering for days), you (and your partner) might want to see a doctor.
posted by amyms at 9:21 PM on November 20, 2008 [4 favorites]

You could gently suggest that she try to improve her grooming habits down there.

There isn't much that "grooming habits" will do to change the scent of genitalia -- certainly not to the extent that it would prevent an odor ("aroma") from being left behind on a partner. The notions about "feminine cleanliness" and "feeling nice and clean Down There" are just there to make women feel bad about their own parts. Unless, as amyms has mentioned, this is an Unhealthy Vagina, you're already doing what you can.
posted by rossination at 9:26 PM on November 20, 2008 [11 favorites]

beer works pretty well. while drinking a few, splash some on your face & around your mouth. not only is it a decent cleanser, its smell will also help mask the other lingering odours that are concerning you.

for extra masking power, you could smoke a cigarette or cigar after the act, if you don't do that already.

disclaimer: i do not advise anybody to take up smoking
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:31 PM on November 20, 2008

Probably unnecessary, but some rubbing alcohol (or some toner) on a cotton ball will strip pretty much anything off your skin. Might be a little drying, but should kill any smell.
posted by whoaali at 9:40 PM on November 20, 2008

As a woman who has been on both ends of this scenario, with healthy vaginas all around, I suggest the following:

If you have facial hair, shampoo it. Other than that, wash well in the shower, including in your nose. You would not believe the amount of... let's call it natural lubrication that will get inside your nose when you're really, you know, enthusiastic.

Basically, I concur with those who say it's in your nose. You smell it far more pungently than others do. If you're really worried, slap on a bit of aftershave or something and it'll mask it when you kiss your mom.
posted by bedhead at 9:44 PM on November 20, 2008

get some sort of soap that has patchouli in it..the stuff was not made to just cover up the smell of herbal "medication" or dirty hippys...and some of us (ME) think that the stuff, in light quantities is the best freakin' smell in the world.
posted by Jenny is Crafty at 10:19 PM on November 20, 2008

They can't smell it you'll be fine.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:32 PM on November 20, 2008

You can take a more rigorous approach here, if you want. First, make sure that the scent can in fact be sensed by other people. As the girl you've gone down on if kissing you evokes the scent of vagina. Simulate a paternal kiss. Naturally, you'll want to test this out a few hours after obtaining the vagina odor.

If you have a group of friends or acquaintances who are comfortable with smelling you closely, I would then recommend that you test out your smell on them. See if they notice vagina up close, at a hand shaking distance, and in a normal setting. Do this in two parts: once where there they're expecting it, and another time where they're not. That's not to say you should spring it one these friends without first informing them. I'm merely saying that you (after their agreement) will be around them at some time in the future with vaginal sent upon your face and that you will be asking if they can detect it.

If you can confirm that you do in fact smell strongly even after a few days, you can start testing out different methods of getting rid of the scent. Basically you should try each suggestion posted here until you find an optimal solution. Once again, you should try each suggestion with the girl you've gone down on, and then with a set of friends or acquaintances in the same manner I outlined for testing the scent with no attempts at removal/masking. This is the only way you can be sure that you don't smell. Most people aren't so as indiscreet as to proclaim that your odor is like one who has just performed cunnilingus.
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:41 PM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Buy some facial cleansing pads with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has a strong, clean scent and it will dry out/neutralize any sweat that's hanging out on your face.

(Although, like everyone else, I'm pretty sure it's all in your head. The smell of a healthy vagina isn't THAT strong... your parents would really have to be looking for it to notice it, even if you didn't go to great lengths to wash your face.)
posted by arianell at 10:48 PM on November 20, 2008

Seriously Mister Cheese? I'm sorry, but asking your friends if they can smell your girlfriend's vagina on your face is not the right approach here. If you are unsure, ask your girlfriend first and then see what she thinks about taking a friendly poll.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:50 PM on November 20, 2008 [9 favorites]

Nthing that you should shower/wash as soon as you can, including your nose. Use plenty of soap, and something scented if need be. If the smell still lingers, try some distilled white vinegar (available at every grocery store) cut with water, which is really good at removing odors, and at the very least will probably mask the smell for you. The tea tree oil pads aren't a bad suggestion either.

That said, the odor usually will not linger for days, so I concur with those who say it's probably in your nose and that you are unlucky enough to smell it far more pungently than others do.
posted by gudrun at 11:41 PM on November 20, 2008

iamkimiam, you're totally right. I actually had a moment where I wondered if the poster was talking specifically about a girlfriend, and how that might affect my approach to the problem, since this would probably be a bit weird to ask aloud, "hey, do I smell like your vagina?" I guess I got a bit caught up in the whole notion that you can't be absolutely sure unless you plainly ask several people, "do I smell like I've been performing oral sex on a woman." Of course, it doesn't matter if the woman involved is a random hookup or a the other half of a serious relationship. Definitely ask the girl first before polling! Being surreptitious about it totally doesn't respect all parties involved.
posted by Mister Cheese at 12:07 AM on November 21, 2008

For fingers, it's probably under the nail. Gently rake your fingernails over a bar of soap to get the soap caked under the nail, then scrub it out. Also be sure and scrub the nail and all around it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:03 AM on November 21, 2008

A couple of days? Even if you didn't wash at all, this would surprise me.

Do you tend to notice scents more than other people seem to? If so, you might have a promising career in the perfume industry!
posted by HFSH at 5:10 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Exfoliate. Gargle. Shampoo your head. Be pleased with your sex life. Stop worrying.
posted by h00py at 5:11 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also, Tiger Balm masks all.
posted by HFSH at 5:12 AM on November 21, 2008

Oh, and keep your nails trimmed.
posted by HFSH at 5:14 AM on November 21, 2008

PS. Your parents are probably doing this to. Did you ever notice?


Think of it this way, OP -- have you ever in your life come into casual contact with someone, like eating dinner or riding on the bus and thought, oh, that person's face smells like vagina? No? Because a lot of people are eating pussy and if it was something that stuck on your face no one could go anywhere without smelling it.
posted by sugarfish at 5:58 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]

Try castille soap, like Dr Bronner's peppermint.
posted by entropone at 6:20 AM on November 21, 2008

Jenny is Crafty writes "get some sort of soap that has patchouli in it"

No. That smell, even in small doses, is enough to gag half the people you pass in the street, and god forbid anyone get trapped in an elevator with you and your hippie stink oil smell.

Vag odor doesn't linger for days, monkey85. If it does, there's something wrong down there. Don't worry so much about this. Just wash up, and unless anyone says to you "damn, you smell like a vagina" you can assume that it's all in your head (or perhaps nose?)

Either that or everyone you meet is really, really polite. Odds of that are really low.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:47 AM on November 21, 2008

Nthing that what you're smelling is guilt/fear of being found out, not vagina.
posted by desuetude at 6:48 AM on November 21, 2008

I agree that this is probably in your nose or on your facial hair, if it's there at all (and it may just be imagined). Shampoo the facial hair, and use a neti pot to clean out your nasal passages.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:53 AM on November 21, 2008

Agreeing with the multitudes that it can't be smelled by others after normal washing. I cannot smell it on my husband after the fact, and I'm closer to him than anyone else. It's not like I'm used to smelling that part of myself, so I'd definitely notice. His normal "aftercare" routine is just mouthwash and splashing water on his face.

YOUR smell is likely to be much stronger than hers after the fact, so I'd be more concerned about washing off/covering up whatever you've produced, depending on where it "landed." I can definitely smell that on him if it, say, landed on his stomach. I'm so glad he never asked my username. If you ejaculated, you take a shower, period. If you ejaculated on or in her, you both take a shower. Done.

If you're going down on her after you've ejaculated inside her, then I can maybe see your concern, but a vigorous brushing of teeth, mouthwash, and scented facial soap should also take care of that.
posted by desjardins at 8:59 AM on November 21, 2008

As both a vagina owner and a vagina lover, I can confidently say that if you've showered/washed your hands, no one else can smell the vag on you.

Just think of the lingering smell in your nose as a reminder of awesome times, and have no fear. No one else can smell it if you've washed up.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:34 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]

Don't think it's really necessary but lemon juice covers a lot of smells. Just a shower or good face washing should be sufficient.
posted by Carbolic at 10:09 AM on November 21, 2008

i don't think it's hate so much as "let's stop perpetuating the frat boy type thought that all vaginas are nasty". healthy vaginas do not have a lingering smell for three days. period.
posted by micawber at 5:59 PM on November 22, 2008

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