Health

These Men's Grooming Products are Stigmatizing and Unnecessary

June 9th 2017

By:
Ethan Simon

The stigmatization of women's bodies has long been a windfall for the beauty industry.

By recasting typical, natural functions of the female body—like body hair, or menstruation— as shameful or abnormal, companies can then offer salves to "correct" the situation, which leads to products that are unnecessary, unhealthy and even dangerous.  

And now, these companies have men in their sights.  

Personal care companies have increasingly been eyeing men as a potential target for the stigma economy, and they're hitting men where it hurts: the balls. Thus, the emergence of special deodorants for the male crotch with names like Fresh Balls, Dry Goods, DZ Nuts, Driball, ToppCock, Chassis Man Care, and B​álla for Men—all designed to keep your crotch fresh and clean. Yup, ball deodorant. 

Crotch

Is this really necessary?

Of course not. As VICE noted, most people are never going to smell your balls at typical social distances. And if your junk is that smelly, it's probably just time for a shower. Even then, we're talking about different smells. According to George Preti, an expert on human smells that spoke with VICE, "underarm sweat has a distinctive odor. Scrotal sweat does not." It's that simple. That means that the need to eliminate scrotal sweat is no more dire than the need to eliminate forehead sweat. And while everyone's entitled to their personal preferences, you certainly don't need to be smelling like chocolate down there. 

 

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Ok, but sometimes the problem is particularly bad.

Let's say it's a particularly hot day and things are starting to feel less than fresh down there. And even if other people can't smell it, it feels bad. Wouldn't that be a time to turn to one of these products? According to the Huffington Post, the real solution is to have a better drying routine and specialized antiperspirants aren't really necessary to achieve that aim. All you really need to do is make sure you dry thoroughly after a shower. That creates an environment that's inhospitable to odor-causing bacteria. And for a little boost, talcum powder or regular old corn starch can help maintain that dryness throughout the day. 

Is this as bad for you as, say, Summer's Eve?

Probably not. The vagina needs to maintain a specific pH balance to stay healthy. "Feminine wash" products like Summer's Eve mess that up. Balls, on the other hand, are encased in skin, and thus not as sensitive to pH changes. But just because it's probably safe, doesn't mean it's necessary. 

 

 

So is this a corporate ploy to create a need, and then fill that need?

Yes. And it appears to be working. According to VICE, one of their "test subjects," an air marshal who spends many hours on commercial flights, acknowledged that sweatiness didn't used to bother him until he started using the cream. Now the slightest bit of moisture causes him to reach for the product. In his words, the product "changed my relationship with [my balls]."