There's something that happened to me that I'd like your opinion on. I was at a conference in November, and I met a woman who agreed to come back with me to my hotel room. We had a couple of swigs from the mini-bar, then we started fooling around. She was kind of a wise-ass, like me, so when I headed "down there" to get things going, I made a crack about how she smelled like lemons. "Oh, that's just the douche I use," she said. "You mean you prefer to smell like lemons?" I asked her. She said she did, that guys expect it. I said, well, this is one guy who doesn't, that if I wanted that lemony smell I'd smell a lemon. She said, "Well, you're the exception." Things kind of fell apart after that, and we didn't end up doing much. But I'm wondering what you think about this, Mr. Right. Are men the reason women douche? Or do women just think men want them to?
Not a Douche-Bag
Not a Douche-Bag: Ah, one of my favorite epithets: douche-bag, as in "Hey, douche-bag," meaning "Hey, lowest of the low." There's just something so disgusting-sounding about a douche-bag, like it's caked in grime (or worse). But it isn't, of course. A douche-bag is simply a pouch containing water and/or vinegar and/or various other substances, the contents to be squirted into a woman's vagina, thereby providing what advertisers like to call "that fresh and clean feeling." So, when we call someone a douche-bag, we're really saying they remind us of a beautifully scented fresh-and-clean vagina. We might as well call them a bar of soap or a tube of toothpaste. Right? Well, not quite, and here's why:
There's really no good reason for a woman to douche. On the contrary, there are several good reasons not to. Douching has been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease, to certain sexually transmitted diseases and to problems with pregnancy and delivery. It's also a risk factor for bacterial vaginosis. In other words, it sometimes leads to the very problems it's supposed to prevent, for many women douche thinking it'll cut down on infections. The largest reason women douche, of course, is for that fresh-and-clean feeling. Unfortunately, that fresh-and-clean feeling can lead to a rather stale vaginal environment, a.k.a. a breeding ground for the kinds of bacteria that would normally be taken care of by the vaginal flora swept away by your average douche.
Personally, the words "vaginal flora" fill me, not with disgust, but with admiration for Mother Nature's boundless ingenuity. She knows exactly what to put where, which secretions to secrete and which bacteria to keep around. And it's only our puritanical notion of cleanliness being next to godliness that keeps us messing with Mother Nature's handiwork. Why do we insist on scrubbing ourselves to death? What spot are we trying to out, exactly? The vagina is a well-oiled machine, for which all (relevant) men should be grateful. And we need to learn how to distinguish good smells from bad smells, natural ones from unnatural ones. A faint musky odor is perfectly natural, even desirable; it means you're alive. Lemon Pledge, on the other hand, is just weird.
Do men nevertheless prefer Lemon Pledge? Some might, but that's because they grew up with Lemon Pledge; they associate it with "that fresh and clean feeling." Others, like yourself, would prefer to sniff au naturel. Do women douche because they think men want them to? That's a toughie. Maybe they do it because they themselves want to, but one of the reasons they themselves want to is because they think men want them to. Therefore, you may have joggled that woman's brain that night, Not a Douche-Bag, got her wondering whether she's not too clean and whether too clean might not be any better than too dirty. A little soap and water beforehand, and the whole evening might have turned out differently. You'd have gotten laid, then kicked her out of bed and forgotten her name the next day.
What a douche-bag.
To buy your husband a masculine hygiene spray, write to: Mr. Right, Isthmus, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. Or call 251-1206, ext. 152. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.