Dear Father Tony:
My problem is sweat. I dread going on a first date because I know I will sweat right through my undershirt, shirt, jacket, whatever. After I sit down I'm afraid to get up because my back is like a river and my ass is drenched. Antiperspirant does nothing.
The worst is when I finally meet a guy I've been chatting with. It's only natural to give a hug instead of a handshake and it always makes them jump back a little and wipe off their hands. Gross.
Is there some way to psychologically turn off the nerves and the waterworks?-- Supersoaker
You make me wet
There probably is some kind of mind-over-body discipline, some sort of zen meditation technique, some sort of anxiety riddance training that you could acquire and practice but I certainly could not guarantee the results.
There may also be some adjustments to exercise, nutrition, supplements or body weight that might make a difference. I hope you have discussed this with your doctor, but I hope you will not end up medicated into dessication, and, by way of side-effect, thrown into a zombie-like state that would do more to offend your date than your generous pores will ever do.
I once had a drama coach in Rome (she was an un-employed British actress doing voice-overs and dubbing for Italian movies) who said that when you are nervous, there is no way to stifle that feeling. Instead, you must embrace it. You must own it. You must let it course through your limbs and shake it out your fingertips. You must say to yourself, "I am so excited. I am so nervous. Isn't it great to feel something this strongly! I love this feeling!"
Her approach is the first thing I'd recommend. Next, I would advise you to make sure you are clean and showered just before your date, but I would absolutely, whole-heartedly and emphatically insist that you apply no antiperspirant, deodorant, aftershave or cologne. Those despicable items mask your natural scent and are guaranteed to make your date less responsive. They will inhibit his ability to inhale your pheromones and respond to them. The absurd reliance on those products has been created and nurtured by marketing types who have us snookered into thinking that sweat and our own natural and clean body odor is a bad thing. Don't buy it. Unleash the real smell of you.
Several years ago, while employed as a CFO in a large office, I stopped wearing artificial scent of any kind. I became instantly more effective in my workplace negotiations. My heterosexual women employees seemed much more responsive to me, and they never knew what hit them. I should think this effect would also apply to a gay male on a first date.
I did occasionally experiment with natural essences. Once, at the St. Mark's Baths in Montreal, I arrived with a small vial of vanilla oil and another of strawberry oil (acquired at The Body Shoppe further down on Ste Catherine Street). In the privacy of my cubicle and before venturing out into the crowded playrooms, I decided to set up a test. I applied the vanilla to my right nipple and the strawberry to my left one. The results were overwhelmingly conclusive. When I then rubbed the vanilla oil into my pubic hair, the men went wild. I left a number of them passed out on the floor as if beneath the roses of Heliogabalus.
My third recommendation is that you warn your date that you are prone to the deluge when you are nervous and that he should expect this and take it as a compliment. If he is forewarned, you will have so much less about which to fret.
You should also learn to embrace your wetness as an effective tool. Let it make your skin shine and understand that once you get your date into a bed (preferably one with a liner under the sheets), he will glide into paradise.
I am reminded of a live dance performance I once attended at Jacob's Pillow, a theater near our family summer home in the Berkshires. No A/C, and maybe a hundred folding chairs set up around a wooden stage area at floor level. Those of us in the front row, fanning ourselves with our programs, were treated to an enhanced and dazzling performance by the great Peter Martins whose every gesture and leap pelted us with torrents of his sweat. At one point I gasped at his athleticism and his sweat lashed my tongue. I may have had several orgasms at that moment. Since then, the salty taste of a man's sweat has never been for me anything less than the spill of perfume from the cataracts and crevices of the gods.
Where was I? Oh yes. Love your sweat. Use it. You may be condemned to taking more showers than the rest of us, but don't use soap more than once a day. Be wet and wild, and wear black so that the wet spots don't show up as much.