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How boys and men smell, and when did deodorants become common?

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One of the things that always turned me on going through high school was how we guys smelled. I know that might sound kinky, but I really like how males smell just after physical activity, whether athletics or work. Not gross, unbathed-for-a-week smell, but a nice clean guy walking off the football pitch or baseball diamond.

One of my hottest teenaged memories is from the summer I was seventeen and a few friends and I went over to the beach. I hooked up with a guy a little older and we just clicked, and went back to his motel room and just acted like animals. The sea water and perspiration had long before washed off any deodorants we had on. When we were finished with each other the place reeked, but... that smell, of sweat, semen, salt air and sunscreen... I get aroused just thinking about it.

If i ever get time to write a story it might start off with how a certain boy smelled to another guy... whatever.

So I was thinking, when did male deodorants come into use? What was it like before the use of deodorants became nearly universal? Did everyone just accept the fact that everyone smelled bad? I know that the use of perfumes and various herbs was known for centuries, but those things would only have been used by the wealthy. Or not?

Odd question, but I'm curious.


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When I was abut 13 or 14 my granddad told a story about the first time he went to Paris on business in the late 1970's or early 1980's. Going to the office in the morning required getting on an elevator and going up four or five floors. After his first time in the elevator he had learned to take a really deep breath and hold it until the elevator arrived at his floor. The body odor was that bad. I suggested that after getting on the elevator he should have farted as soon as the door closed. Everyone would have quickly exited at the next floor. He said the smell was so bad already that no one would have noticed.

I asked why he didn't take the stairs. He said you couldn't get into the stairwell on the ground floor, and if you opened the stairwell door on any of the other floors an alarm would sound. Weird, those French they are!

Colin :icon_geek:

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...that smell of sweat, semen, salt air and sunscreen...

And there's your title.

One of the things I try to do as a writer is to remember to try to engage all the senses, and that includes taste, touch, smell, and time. An ongoing joke in my current novel is that our protagonist constantly worries about his appearance and bathes and shampoos his hair daily, while his boyfriend does virtually nothing and looks stunning 100% of the time.

Pheromones are part of the sexual make-up of our odors, but I dunno... there's a point where I go, "uh-uh -- get in the shower, I'm not gonna touch you until you're spic & span." (And that was a part of one of the last chapters, too.)

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I don't think every smell emanating from the human body is appealing, but a body clean from the shower is a turn on to me. I once had a young man who used to call me up and say he'd like to come over. In that request he always noted that he had just stepped out of the shower so my preferences must have been pretty clear to him.

Come to think of it, almost every story I write contains a bathing scene between characters. Something about cascading water and sex seems to work well together. A very tactile moment filled with wet skin and the proximity of two bodies standing in the shower.

I understand what Torsten says about the sweat of physical activity and Pecman has it right, pheromones plays a big part in inducing us to become animals under the sheets, or on top of them. These are all things to remember as we write a good bedroom romp scene.

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I havent ever felt the need to use a deodorant. I've never bought any. I suppose my friends are too polite to complain! When I was young people thought daily bathing was enough. I don't find I'm often bothered by other peoples smell. What really puts me off is the excessive scent people wear (people often call it after shave but really its cheap scent).

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Smells and showers are probably the two reasons I'll always be in and out of a gym or athletic facility of some kind!

I have to confess that the several times I have visited Europe I have stayed with family members. Near to Cirencester in Britain; in Copenhagen, Esbjerg and Skive in Denmark and near to Stockholm and Uppsala in Sweden. When I've visited the larger cities I didn't notice any bad-smelling people, but then I didn't go into any areas where there might have been people with lower sanitation standards. I've never been anywhere but Canada, Bermuda, Great Britain and Scandanavia.

My great-grandmother positively hates the French. She won't discuss it. My father says "France is a lovely country ruined by one one thing... the people who live there." His opinion of Germans isn't much better.

So..... All of the replies are excellent and informative as always here on the board, but the question I posed remains unanswered. When did male deodorants become common? All of the excellent boys-coming-of-age-in-prep-schools stories set in the 1930's. 40's, 50's... did all the boys smell badly?

I'm with Anthony on the use of men's after shave and colognes. I don't use anything like that either. I do use deodorant though.

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My strigil and flask of sweet almond oil are ever at the service of the Dude's guests. I understand that boys with blue eyes, fair skin and light hair were highly prized at the baths....

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Or, as Dolly Parton once quipped... "Honey, it takes a lot of money to look this cheap."

Don't worry Lugnutz. Scientifically applied, motor oil can be very erotic.

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