Scent Intolerant

February 6, 2009
Category: Dating

Dear Kirk,

Last night I invited a guy over from the internet and was really attracted to him but couldn’t play with him because he smelled so bad – he reeked of cigarettes and body odor. Am I being uptight to expect someone to bathe before coming over?

You’re not necessarily uptight, you just have some preferences. When you’re meeting a guy, it’s safe to assume that he’ll have some preferences that are different from yours. What strikes you as a violation of basic hygiene might be the thing that makes him feel masculine and primal.

Smells are a matter of taste. There are guys who gag at the thought of a musky armpit. There are also guys who’d love nothing more than to stick their noses and tongues into a funky armpit. It’s like communion for them. There are guys who save up several days worth of stink. Maybe this guy thought you’d like it! Maybe he’s had positive responses from other men. The “no deodorant” policy has long been a staple of gay leatherman culture. There are guys who get turned on by a construction worker arriving at their house fresh from the job site, or a guy coming directly from the gym, bringing salty layers of dried sweat on his skin

As for smoking, there are guys who get really turned on by the smell of tobacco in a smoker’s beard, and there are guys who can’t kiss a smoker even after he’s brushed and rinsed.

Rather than make a checklist of  things everyone should do before meeting a new partner, I’m going to take a different approach. How can you empower yourself in this situation? First off, I’d ask him to shower before coming over if that’s important to you. And if kissing a smoker is a huge turnoff, maybe ask him not to smoke right before he comes over. Sometimes people who smoke don’t fully disclose their smoking because there is so much social judgment about it. It’s sort of like people who shave a few years off their age or make their dicks an inch or two bigger. No one wants to be ruled out.

More often than not, someone will show up again at your door carrying smells that don’t appeal to you. Give him the benefit of the doubt. I’d suggest inviting this man in, asking him if he’d like to take a shower with you. Frame it as a kind of foreplay instead of an accusation or a dealbreaker. Use that time to get to know each other’s bodies. Brush your teeth together. Get a ten pack of toothbrushes. Rinse out with a mouthwash that isn’t too insanely medicinal. It’s actually a really intimate way to start out with someone. Oh, and please be sure to put a dimmer switch in your bathroom. There’s nothing less arousing than a bright fluorescent light. It’s bad enough when you’re under those lights at Safeway at three in the morning. But in your own home, you can choose your own lighting.

To be continued…

Please send questions to Kirk Read at

Tags: Advice, Dating Tips
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This post is a daddy's godsend.

First impressions make the most impact. Why would any dude show up on a first date smelling foul is beyond me.

I, for one, can't tolerate aftershaves and perfumes.

A manly smell is just that, a scent of a clean man, his masculine musk, his erotic pleasures.

Guys, make sure you smell clean and manly, not body odor and tobacco smells.


Mega hairy muscle hugs of thanks for sharing.

Well said bufftuff, manSCENT is much better than manSTINK. A few licks of a musky armpit and chest is definitely a turn-on. Oral hygiene is a definite must with me. And after dinner, a tic tac or a listerine breath strip is required.

What kind of person is at Safeway at 3:00 in the morning?

A very terrible person, in my opinion.

Butttuff, didn't you read what Kirk said?

Some men are into man funk! Some men are into man stink!

It sounds like Butttuff was calling synthetic scents "foul" -- not natural body smells.

I'd have to agree with him.

Normally I shower before meeting someone and do not put on deodorant or cologne. Some "man scent" is okay, but not 3 days worth. Smoking is very nasty to me. I ask about that before inviting anyone over.

I'm with you Mark, "man scent" is good, a little musk can be hot, but 3 days of funk/cigarette or yesterdays alcohol is nasty. By the same token, I'm not a big fan of the heavy cologne smell. Nice fresh soap smell with a little sweat of anticipation works for me. Better yet, jump in the shower when you get there, that can make for some great fun.

And for the original post: If the guy showed up and was hot but smelled, my shower is exactly where our fun would have started.

Great post, Kirk. One man's meat is another man's poison, indeed.

and the other side of the pillow, some men are allergic to scents of any kind or type... from overly scented laundry cleaning products to body washes and soapes to smoke of any kind [even the scent of smoked meats]! and dont get me started on smegma or head cheese for those of us uncut folk... when all of the above have the capacity to leave you in a migrane-like coma for days on end with such pressure that you wish your head would explode then you become particular about your phuck partner potentials and the pool narrows. Having blacked out on at least 2 international flights from sudden onset migrane headaches due to being placed next to other patrons who smelled like bad perfume/cologne laced ashtrays, i can say that a scented man can be a dangerous thing but also a scented bedspace too whether its left over Tide residue or too much Downey, it all has potential for wrecking a fun all night time. The worst thing is a man who reeks of smoke, bad cologne and/or whose body odour and sweat mix with the residue of laundry detergent to create a potent mala aria as they walk by or are in one's strike zone.

Wash in a unscented soap, gargle with some full strength Listo for ten minutes and then rinse in tap water and have sheets, room and body that smell only of rain water and cum until the heat is on and the man sweat has blossomed to fill the air.

short of this, all of those perfume and cologne wearers should realise that it is pointless to anesthetise one's prey since that very well cannot function as desired in a comatose state brought on by the miasma of your odoured presence.

Man smell is one thing, and smoke smell is another. Not that either are bad or good, if it knocks you over where you can't even think. diff strokes for diff folks.

I guess you do need to ask specific quesitons. Find out what you need ahead of time. If you know smells bug you, ask. There is nothing wrong asking questions.

And when they do show up... give them 100% of you. They are there... you should take what you need.. and give even more.

As someone who's sensitive to synthetic scents and very fond of natural male ones - even strong ones - I have to say that I'd never show up for a first date with pungent pits unless I was <strong>absolutely certain</strong> my date was into that. Smoking a cigar shortly beforehand - not to mention during - would go into the same category.

As much as I'd prefer for men to forego any bottled scent at all, the real problem in my experience is the way some men apply them - apparently, with a bucket. My mother always told me that the only person who should be able to really detect a woman's perfume - <em>or a man's cologne/aftershave</em> - is someone they're hugging, dancing with or sitting right next to. These days it seems more common than not to encounter people leaving nearly visible vapor trails of "perfumed" pollution behind themselves - is it any wonder people like me whose eyes burn and sinuses clog go running for less polluted air? I can't wait for such ... emissions ... to be the subject of legal sanctions the same way tobacco smoke has!

Hi Kirk:
In response to the guy whom hated the foul smelling date, there is an easy fix that is about 90% effective. State in your profile, that you are very very clean and expect him to be as well. You might get an occasional nasty remark, but what the hell, consider the source and forget it. I feel the same as you and have turned away a few guys in spite of my disclaimer in the profile. As noted in other responses, many guys like everything from sweat to raunch. They usually specify same. I see nothing wrong in specifying cleanliness.

I lived and worked in a hot country for 10 years.I was a very young man,just out of my teenage years and never had used any sort of deodorant or cologne.Thankfully a friend told me!!Now I always use both.But in moderation and always a good few hours before I have a meet up with anyone.Never had anyone complain about it.Same applies to boxer shorts.It's just impossible to wear tight underwear in a tropical climate,sore crotch just doesn't do it justice!!So still wear them.Cigarettes and cigars VILE.

I smoke cigars(cuban) and I can assure you that there is a pletora of men in the homosexual subculture who are turned on by the smell and look of them.
I am upfront in my pleasures and it is a source of annoyance when I meet someone that they are perturbed by my cigar.
Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Sigmund Frued all were cigar smokers and I certainly would not tolerate the "health police" ranting on about them.
I conceed that I dislike cigarettes but then most men show the courtesy of now indulging in my presence.
Mainstream gay life has become narcissistic and moribound in political correctness.
Let men be men

Mainstream <strong>life</strong> has become narcissistic and mired in political correctness :P This ain't no gay thang, honey!

I may be a bear but I dislike honey-rots the teeth.

It really sickens me to read on an All American site like DH that someone smokes COMMUNIST CUBAN CIGARS!!! Death to liberal pinkos!!! Nuke Europe!!!!

Grow up!

Kirk's approach to self-empowerment comes off as way too fussy for me. Instead, as a vehement non-smoker and one whose pits have been called "better than poppers," I find it much more empowering to get expectations out in the open early in negotiating a hook-up. A smoker's mouth aside, his clothes and his place are going to reek like an ashtray, and I don't want any part of it. "Oh, you smoke? That's a hard boundary for me. Happy trails!"

As for funk, I'll offer my pits and crotch ripe or clean, and I refuse to have my partner smelling like the damned fragrance counter at Nordstrom. "You want your Daddy's smell on your face, huh, boy? Well, Daddy doesn't want you to ruin it with any cologne, and Daddy doesn't want to taste any on your skin!" If a boy doesn't want Daddy's scent, I expect him to say so; and if he's more attached to his cologne than the feel of a man, he's got a hard lesson to learn.

some additional comments to cigarman... your mentor sigmund freund i understand had to endure 30 mouth cancer operations during his seems his cocaine habit couldnt deaden [no pun intended] the pain of his pleasure. who knows about the other 2 gents...lemme wiki and see...
your argument that a certain number of gay men are "turned on my the smell and look of them [cigars]" is rather shallow, given that a whole gay subculture is led my the nose with a whole set of accountrements that are deemed to reflect in their warped ideology of their lost sense of "masculinity" and power. Gay men [like all men in the west] have a problem with not having a community based rites of passage paradigm from boyhood to manhood. Since gay men cannot define the taking of a women's virginity/labia as their rite of passage, they go head long for overtly covering their non interest in this mode to acting out a supermacho ideals with their aryan nation, nazi-like adoption of the leather man/uniforms and gym buffed paradigms. drag is drag aint and there is no difference between a man in leather chaps, biker vest and cap and another in rhinestones heels and chiffon except the latter will be appealing only to so-called heterosexual men primarily. Yet both are acting to cover their insecurity with a non defined rite of passage and their problematic with comprehending what their role of masculinity should be [or not.] blue is for boys, pink is for girls...right i have 4 pink shirts and will box anybody's ears in them but some men wouldnt be caught dead in a pink shirt simply because of that little ole tyme diddy and its presumed meaning.

a bit of old spice is fine but if your odour is rank enough to knock out one of my goats [and they can be pretty bad when try dont get parsley often] then you are destine to go where the goats do...

you can enjoy your smoking all you wish, just dont be a second hand bringer of cancer and if you have lesions in your mouth from your pleasure by all means disclose since i dont think i would want that buffing my manhood. i understand that sigmund had syphilis lesions on his manhood too..yikes!

You sure got that right even tho I didn't understand it. Back here in the United States of America we have a word for Cigarman and his support for socialist Cuba. TRAITOR!!!!

Lighten up merkafirst, surely we Americans are in favor of frreedom of choice? Cigarman has every right to buy Cuban cigars.

Yeah and we Americans have every right to ACT WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE when threatened. Be warned zippittydooda and cigarman!!!!

I predict wirhin 10 years we'll be palsy with cuba again and ENCOURAGED to by Cuban products.
It's all politics, not ideology

Yeah and we Americans have every right to ACT WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE when threatened. Be warned zippittydooda and cigarman!!!!

<a href=>erreauk</a>

Moderator, I detect a TROLL here. Logs is ISP and boot him/her/it.

I am turned off by cologne, but Old Spice is fuckin way hot. Reminds me of my sadisdic dad. weird huh. I much prefer a ripe man. I say if something is that much of a deal breaker, state it in your profile. No right or wrong just different preferences. I think we should respect each other enough to communicate and not expect everyone to feel as we do.

Smoking was banned in Germany by Hitler- for this very reason the smoking ban in Gernmany (especially Berlin) has been resisted -not for health reasons but for its Fascist overtones.
As for the comments on Gays wearing Nazi uniforms- these codes of dress were approriated by the Nazis for its hidden homoerotic attraction-they knew what they were doing.
Leather was worn in Europe way before the rise of Fascism.
Sigmund Freud suffered greatly in the last yearsof his life but he left the world a precious legacy.
To denigrate him as a syphillitic is purile.
Know your history

Ok we have heard all the pros and cons about odors, good and bad so i wont dwell where it since it seems we are mostly on the same page. If you havnt tried Dr. Bronners peppermint scented castile / Hemp soap I highly recomend you all not only run out and buy one for your self but pick a bottle up for your friends as well. Its a wonderful liquid soap that you can use for anything, Face, body wash, shampoo and beard you can even put a drop or two in your douche and i used to love getting fucked with in in the showers at the bathhouse./ The peppermint leaves you tingly all over and it a all natural product with several essential oils. I have been using it for 28 years and I dont feel clean if i have to use anything else. It leaves a faint but very clean peppermint smell when you first get done showering but it dissipates and just leaves a clean pallette for you to develop all your own man smells. Deoderants and anti-persperants plug your sweat glands and you end up with a noxious back log of persperation that just festers under your skin plus the anti-persperants are very hard to wash away so most guys that use them dont always really get there underarm cleaned throughly and that lead to the need for more deoderand and anti-persperant, its a vicious circle. There are times that a I need to use a light deoderant for social reasons but normally I never do and usually i get many compliments on how good I smell. Its a clean, natural smell and yeah there is a hint of man funk there at times, I am a carpenter.... a little fresh man funk is ok if it hasnt been festering for days or weeks under the blockage of anti-persperants. I also try to keep everything unscented that I can. You can buy Dr. Bronners at any fred meyer store in the health food section, its usually on the bottom shelf. any health food store or nutrition center usually carries it as well as trader Joes and the larger bottle at trader joes is nearly half the price than most other places. It comes in another scent also, I think lavender maybe but the peppermint is the one you want.
I'm Taylordawg on this site and would love to hear what you guys think about it after you try it out. Happy showering guys... its great soap in the shower. Take a friend or fuck buddy in and have fun!.... ~Ray~

Sounds nice -peppermint and hemp, what happens if you smoke it?

Yea Bronners is great stuff and if you have a magnifying glass or some reading glasses in the shower, the bottle is also some pretty entertaining reading. Great in the summer makes you feel cool.

Dr. Bonner's peppermint scented castile sopa is (to me) one of the foulest-smelling substances ever produced by mankind. I realize this is a personal preference, but YUCK, and I know I'm not the only person who dislikes it. That's the one smell that'll cause me to RUN in the opposite direction from the person wearing it.

I for one am driven mad with desire by the odor of decomposing penguin.

Apparently whenever the Holy Father breaks wind every member of the Swish Guard gets an erection.

and would this group tumescence be in response the sound of the Pope's fart, the odor, or both?

While merkafirst's comments may be a little extreme I do find that Cigarman's support for the Cuban regime smacks of disloyalty to the American Way. In Cuba as you know millions of innocent people are forced to have free universal health and education -surely nothing could be more hostile to the concept of liberty as we understand it?

I'd love to find a Red under my bed!!!!

Play your cards right, Comrade, and you could find a Red in your bed!

Eloquently stated. I would have been more vitriolic.

Thank you DiegoBear, I am the founder member of a small group of concerned citizens, "People Against Progress", who seek to eradicate liberalism and other Un American activities by any means neccessary. If you would like to join Our Crusade please let me know.

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You know I'm getting really tired of the way Kirk's blogs are being invaded by really nasty people who seem to get off on mocking him and everything we hold dear. Let me tell you this you mockers: Kirk is a really great guy who really cares about people and oh fuck I'm just so angry about how these people make fun of you I hate them I just want to get a machine gun and blow them away but Kirk you are just like Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself "Father forgive them they know not what they do" I hear you say, I love you Kirk I love you so fucking much but before I go I'm going to take some of these fuckers with m

Right on Captain! Nuke the liberal mockers!!! We shoulda nuked Cuba when we had the chance in 61. What turns me on? The smell of roasted Commie, thats what!

Sigh... as always, to each his own. Perhaps if people are a little more up front about their olfactory preferences before they get that whiff at the door....

Personally I find a little morning musk or the fresh sweat from a healthy work-out to be mighty tasty, but ancient ripe smells I prefer from a cheese, not a man. There's a big difference between a daddy bear and a camembert!

I'm sure the hysterical jingo here is meant to be humorous, and I'd be happy to violate the blockade and support socialist Cuba, but wherever cigars come from I find the smell to be utterly nauseating. Tobacco of any sort turns me off. Smelling like my mother while she was dying of lung cancer is really a buzzkill. And the artificial scents are just as bad.

Some of us have that pesky environmental sensitivity that makes us very reactive to the toxic ingredients in most artificial scents. Usually the first thing it triggers in us is the adrenaline which is why we often seem so over-reactive. But guys, if it makes us sick to smell it, what's it doing to you on your skin?

Back to the tobacco, whatever you want to smoke, drink, eat, or shove up your ass in private is your business. It's no news to any adult that anything that is sexy to some people is repugnant to others. (Can we talk about pussy? Ewww... let's not, but a lot of men do like that! Go figure!) Any smoker should also be aware that the smell of tobacco lingers and whatever you do to try to get it off you, it still permeates your skin and your breath. It is not something that goes away in obedience to your courteous efforts to be nice to non-smokers.

Worse, when you're smoking out on the street or in any public place you create a toxic cloud of stink. Have you ever noticed people running up from behind to get ahead of you? They're not in a hurry. They're wanting desperately to get out of the poisonous stink trailing behind you. And cigars are so much worse than cigarettes.... PeeeeYOOO!

Bottom line: tobacco is addictive. For most people smoking isn't a pleasant habit, it's a jones. That relief and pleasure you feel when you're sucking down the nicotine is just a fix, the postponement of withdrawal. It is the nature of any addiction to justify the jones by any convolution of logic, and to be in denial (or arrogantly unconcerned) about its affects on others.

OK, that last bit is a generalization and I know some very considerate smokers. Some I might even give a hug and a peck on the cheek. Some smokers I love. Mom smoked until it killed her. (My step-dad had to quit when he needed to lug around oxygen tanks for his emphysema.) But when it gets down to doing the dance of the two-backed beast, I don't want to get that up close and personal with the smell of a dirty ashtray, let alone the stench of the crematorium.

And Kirk... brushing teeth as a prelude to sex is not usually the greatest idea either. The abrasion to the gums makes it easier for any bug to be transmitted in oral sex. Gargle, rinse, chew gum, eat mints and chocolates, but brushing and especially flossing should be done at least a few hours before sucking face or sucking dick.

Thank you SFT for providing an island of sanity in an apparent ocean of lunacy. Free health care and education regarded as dangerous liberalism? Proposals to attack Europe with nuclear weapons? Decomposing penguins and papal flatulence? -I think I may be forgiven for thinking I had clicked on a website for the very very very disturbed. Thanks again.

by the way, who is "Kirk"?

by the way, who is "Kirk"?

<a href=>erreauk</a>

Shame on you Professor PeePee. By your contemptuous use of the expressions "lunacy" and "very very very disturbed" you insult and degrade those of us who are Challenged By Reality. You will be hearing from my Lawyers and my Psychiatrist.

Oh come on John S I am a PWRC (Person With Reality Challengement) and I wasn't offended.