Body odor that comes with body hair, open-mindedness in bed, and a guy dating his ex-girlfriend.
This article originally appeared at GoLocalProv.com.
My wife and I are both staunch feminists, and it’s part of what originally brought us together. Unfortunately, now it’s having the opposite effect. Or, at least one particular expression of it is.
A couple of months ago, my wife stopped shaving any of her body hair. That was fine with me — I was and am supportive of that, at least as far as her appearance goes. But what I didn’t expect is that her new grooming regimen has brought with it body odor that I’m having a hard time adjusting to. She hasn’t used any kind of deodorant for as long as we’ve been together, but when she shaved her underarms, she didn’t need to, I guess. Now she definitely does. She is just rank. She has acknowledged it jokingly, but I don’t think she realizes it’s a serious problem. For me at least. We’re definitely having less sex because I just don’t feel as attracted to her. What should I do? I hate the thought of hurting her feelings or being unsupportive or, even worse, boringly conventional, but this situation as it is is not good for our relationship either.
Keeping My Distance
Dear Keeping My Distance,
The two of you have to talk about this, and I think the conversation will be easier if you try to put the sociopolitical subtext to the side and just stick to the facts: while you support your wife’s grooming choices, they’re causing her to smell bad to you and reducing your sexual attraction to her. There are only a few possible solutions:
She can resume shaving.
She can bathe more often.
You can accept this situation as the price of having a wife who is passionate about her beliefs — take the bad with the good as it were. (You may find that you eventually get used to the way she smells; at the very least, it will probably be less noticeable during the other three seasons.)
So talk with her. I’ve listed three possible outcomes, and together, you may well come up with other good ones. I have no idea what will work for your relationship, but I know the best answer will start with a conversation.
Don’t you think in a couple when one person wants to try something in bed the other person should at least give it a try? It’s bad for a relationship when people are unwilling to do this, in my opinion. My girlfriend is close-minded about these things, and I want to know how to get her to try different things.
Try It, You’ll Like It
Yes, I think people should be willing to at least try new things their partners ask them to do. But I think that goes both ways, so to speak: I think if a person really doesn’t want to do something, he or she shouldn’t be badgered about it. If you want your girlfriend to try something, just let her know you would really appreciate it if she did and if she’s not enjoying it, you’ll stop immediately. You might also ask if there’s anything you could do for her to reciprocate. She’ll say yes, no, or that she’ll think about it, and whichever it is, let that be the end of it. People talk about their sexual needs, but they’re really sexual wants. Find some things that you can both enjoy together.
I’m a sophomore in college. I had a girlfriend most of my freshman year (we met at orientation, actually), but we broke up by mutual agreement at the end of the year before we both headed home for the summer. Being apart, though, made me miss her and I started to think I made a mistake when we broke up. So I called her up to talk and much to my surprise learned that she has been seeing one of my best friends! They live in neighboring towns and I guess they ran into each other at a party and next thing you know. I’ve talked to my buddy a couple of times and he didn’t mention anything so I don’t know if it’s serious or what. But she made it sound like it’s serious enough. I am really angry, confused, and yes, hurt. Should I call him up and let him know what I’m thinking or what? But what do I say?
Dear Roles Reversed,
Of course you’re surprised, hurt and angry. But sometimes you can feel all those things even though no one did anything wrong, and that’s the situation we have here. Simply put, dating someone does not make her off limits to friends and acquaintances should the two of you split up. That’s just the way it goes. If your friend and she stay a couple when you’re all back in school, it’s bound to produce uncomfortable situations, friendships on hiatus and other relationship fallout. Again: that’s just the way it goes.
You have to remind yourself that your relationship was over and your friend did nothing wrong. If you need to put a little space between yourself and this situation, that’s perfectly understandable. But do it because it’s the best way for you to get past this, not out of spite or in a self-defeating attempt to punish them for being together. It’s fine to call him up if you want to have an honest conversation. But it’s definitely not fine if you simply want to harangue him for being attracted to someone you find attractive, too.
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Photo credit: Flickr / Maureen Lunn