Father Tony

You make me wet

Filed By Father Tony | October 30, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: advice column, body odor, gay advice

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

Dear Supersoaker:

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.


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I have to say that I think a "heavy sweater" is gross. Check with your doctor and check into Tony's recommendation of some possible diet/holistic changes.

And I have to say that I disagree.

So there you go.

Depends on the context of the sweating, if you get my hint ;)

Oh, Bil, you're so American.

About what Tony was saying about the products, it's funny b/c the first thing most Americans notice in France is that male deodorant just doesn't work. I remember when I first went to visit my brother after living in Brittany for 7 months and he mentioned the smell. I was using French deodorant, which is supposed to accentuate a smell, not cover it up.

Women's deodorant is the same there as it is here. So the boys get to have all the fun.

Your supplicant for advice should probably check with his physician to see if there is some medical reason for his profuse sweating.

Otherwise, I have to agree that a sweaty body in the kip is a delightful thing. I think fondly of 2 old boyfriends who would be as slick as seals by the end of any encounter. It was always erotic as hell. I think I have to go now and have a little moment.

It does sound like an unusually vigorous response to a situation that would make most people a bit moist, particularly given the fact that this sweating is happening at dinner or coffee rather than in the middle of doing the horizontal hula. I'm all for a cognitive re-framing of a situation in an effort to improve the efficacy of someone's coping strategies. And I'm not by any means a "throw pills at it" kind of guy. But if the copious sweating is bothering him this much, then perhaps seeing his doctor isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are some relatively easily-tolerated treatments for this condition, depending on the writer's particular clinical characteristics. Finding a doctor experienced in conservative treatment of hyperhidrosis should offer him at least a few more options. That said, the best option sometimes really is to change how you think about something...

Tony,

"Supersoaker" identifies his sweating as anxiety related. Psychotherapy (in tandem with an effective short-term drug regimen) would certainly be a way to meet his expressed need "to turn off the nerves and the waterworks."

He should also see a doctor to rule out thyroid problems and obesity as causes of his sweating.

Why "should" this individual embrace his wetness if it makes him unhappy and is, in fact, a symptom of an underlying disease process.

I believe your advice column is meant to thrive on provocative prose and I hope the strategy works for you. At the same time, since you've taken on the mantle of giving advice, I assume you wouldn't want someone to unknowingly live with hyperthyroidism just so you could recount your experiences with oiled nipples and the orgasmic properties of Peter Martin's sweat.

-Nico

Nico,

Unless I am sleepwalking this column, I do believe that I did state my hope that he had discussed this with his doctor, no?

Also, I don't need this forum to discuss sweat. My own blog handles that quite well, thanks. Advice-givers are automatically pretentious targets, so the best that one might do is to tell a story and hope that it fits a reader, as would a second-hand garment in a thrift store.

Devotedly yours,
Father T

Curtis Morton | October 31, 2008 12:45 PM

I used to sweat some when I was nervous as well (not as bad as "supersoaker," however, but bad enough), so I spoke with my doctor. He gave me a prescription for a medication called Drysol. You apply it to your underarms (or anywhere you sweat a lot) at night and wash it off with soap the next morning (you only do this once or twice a week). Also, you do not wear deodorants or anti-persprents with it. The crazy thing is that it actually worked for me. It's only about $5 for a small bottle (lasts a few months), so it won't break you to try it.

Best advice: Talk to your doctor!