alexa 'There is no single right answer on hygiene and intimacy' - Daily Nation

'There is no single right answer on hygiene and intimacy'

Saturday February 29 2020

Happy african 30s spouses sit in modern light bathroom cleaning teeth enjoy each moment together, couple in love holding toothbrush brushing tooth, morning routine lifestyle healthcare hygiene concept.

A couple brushing teeth. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK 

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It has been a while since I was called to attend a Chama meeting. I am the only male member in this women's welfare group. I am invited to the meetings to give an expert opinion on sex and intimacy matters.

I got a call from the chairperson to attend a meeting on Valentine's Day.

"There are people here who go to bed without showering; when they are sweaty and smelly, we feel this is not acceptable," the chairperson announced at the meeting to mixed reactions.

"I prefer to shower in the morning. My choices should also be respected," a woman in her mid-thirties said.

"What about those who do not brush their teeth?" another member shouted, "are you saying that it is perfect for you to have a smelly mouth in bed? No wonder some of you stopped kissing ages ago!"

The meeting was getting out of control. For once the chairperson was unable to control the members. I stood up and went to the podium and requested that I take over.


Let's first start with the issue of showering before bed: many couples find it a good practice. I have however met couples who get turned on with the natural smell of their spouses.

"Yes, I like my husband's smell at the end of the day when he has a mixture of perfume, sweat, and natural smell," the deputy chairperson quipped.

For some people, a sticky body and the smell of sweat is a turn-off. You should ask your spouse if this is the case in your relationship. You should be sensitive however since some people get offended, such a discussion can damage self-esteem. Keeping quiet on the issue, on the other hand, does not help and can kill intimacy.

"What if you have mentioned before that you don't like a sweaty body and the person does not change?" a member shouted from the back.

Well, it does not have to always be seen negatively. You can turn this whole issue to your advantage by offering to extend foreplay to include wiping parts of your spouse's body. This is romantic and also solves the problem. Combine this with showering or bathing together as part of foreplay.

There are also days when a couple does not want prolonged sex; they just want a quickie. One can withstand the smell on such occasions and this should not be a big deal.

Another issue to be cautious about is bad breath. At one time or another, you or your spouse will have bad breath.

Whether the smell is a one-off or persistent, it can hamper kissing and can generally be a turn-off. This calls for improved oral hygiene. Do agree as a couple to brush teeth daily. You can also use mouthwash on those bad days. Since the causes of bad breath are myriad, seeking medical help is important if the problem persists.

"There is also the bad breath that comes in the morning!" a member exclaimed making everyone burst out.

As part of hygiene shaving, the pubic and armpit hair is practiced widely. You should however not assume that the smooth shave is a turn on for your spouse. It is better to seek their opinion before you do the shave.

"I fought with my hubby when I waxed. He loved the hair! I haven't shaved for years since," a member revealed.

Finally, well-kept nails can be a turn on for some people. The money you spend on pedicure and manicure is never in vain. An increasing number of men are also doing their nails after they realised that their wives love them. Beautiful nails can be sexy.

"But the other day I scratched my husband badly!" a member says, "I have decided to keep short nails since."

Well, this is another point of discussion with your spouse; would he rather short nails or he is ready to withstand the scratches?

The chairperson came back to the podium. It was time to end the meeting.