When I was in sixth grade, my stepmother gently suggested that I should bathe more often.
Ours was a WASPy home in which bodily functions and feelings were not discussed openly. She began to leave silent gifts of deodorant and panty liners on my bed. Eventually, I got the idea that clean girls are nice girls.
Swiftly and surely, a chorus of cruel preteens reinforced the idea that no one likes you when you stink, and being liked is our reason for existing. The most popular girls at my school excelled at layering fruity, cloying scents--pear, vanilla, freesia. They had matching lotion and body spray. They shaved their legs every day and took showers before they went on dates.
I smelled like teen spirit. Literally. I wore Teen Spirit Baby Powder Soft deodorant and slathered my legs in Lubriderm if I wasn’t running too late. (I also applied Lubriderm to my unruly hair at the suggestion of Sassy magazine.) This did not prevent me from attracting some loser boyfriends. Also working in my favor: grunge.
Twenty years later, I’m still rocking the same sad routine: the “y’all should be glad I even bothered to shower” routine. What body wash did we buy in bulk at Costco this month? That’s what I wash with. Honey, squirt me out some Vaseline Intensive Care for my hairy ankles.
It works for me, and I have received no complaints from my sexual partners. It also doesn't hurt to have a husband with chronic sinus issues.
When I received an invitation to a Pure Romance party last month, I figured it would be a great excuse to get out of the house. Run much like a Tupperware party, the Pure Romance party allows women to purchase products in a cozy house party setting. Little did my hostess know, I was not in the market for a vibrator, as I discovered years ago that I prefer a long, drawn-out slow-jack. However, I am not one to turn down a chance to drink wine and talk about anal beads.
The party was small, and the room was a bit warm. As our consultant passed around various creams and lubricants, the air took on a stuffy, over-perfumed quality that I can imagine was similar to the atmosphere on the set of the “Lady Marmalade” video.
I quickly discovered that I was one of only two mothers in attendance. The other mom seemed desperate to connect with me, her lips pulled back in a chimpanzee-fear-smile as she showed me video of her daughter. She made a joke that we mothers only get bent over the dryer for a good buggering during the kids’ naptime.
I went into an out-of-body moment and heard myself ripping-off a Chris Rock joke about BJs. I slammed another glass of wine. Who am I again? Why am I here? My brain was malfunctioning from the sickly sweet aroma.
Then I panicked and guilt-bought $75 dollars worth of beauty products because it felt like a way to look not-cheap in front of friends and acquaintances without committing too hard to something like a ring for my husband (not the finger kind).
WHAT I BOUGHT
The shaving cream, called Coochy, is nice because it's an aerosol-free cream, but it didn’t do much in the way of reducing bumps or irritation. It also smells vaguely like a Prell shampoo or a urinal cake. The packaging tells me that it can be used as hair conditioner, and I wonder if I should just save my $20 and use conditioner to shave my legs. I’ve already got Lubriderm on my head, so why not?
My husband’s verdict: “Coochy? And you shaved your knees with it?”
Non-novelty alternative: If you like the idea of an aerosol-free shave cream, try Kiss My Face Moisture Shave instead.
The Body Dew spray oil does moisturize quite well, and I like the spray bottle. It smells sort of like carnations (an underrated floral scent) with a bit of something “off.” Like some of the carnations are mid-rot. The bottle tells me that the Dew includes pheromones, so maybe what I’m smelling is deer urine?
My husband’s verdict: “What am I feeling? Is this that horny stuff? Feels like skin.”
I really wanted to like Basic Instinct Sex Attractant because, come on. This roll-on perfume contains pheromones and also claims to adjust to your own unique body chemistry. If you really want your own signature scent, this might be it!
Unfortunately for me, this stuff (on my skin) starts off smelling like Sweet Tarts and Egyptian Goddess perfume. It mellows out and ends up with a non-descript light floral fragrance. According to one review that I read online, it might cause your partner to become semi-erect upon first sniff.
My husband’s verdict: “I can’t smell anything. You always smell nice, though. So are we doing it later?”
Non-novelty alternatives: If you like roll-on perfume, Sephora offers lots of popular scents in rollerball form.
So here’s what you probably already know: You’ll be your sexiest when you do what makes you feel good. The products that I bought at the sexy party are now in my gym bag because I don’t like to waste things, but that doesn't mean that they aren’t the right products for someone else.
I'm able to get through the day with nicely moisturized skin, and no one has commented that I stink or that they want to jump my bones. However, based on what I paid for them, I can’t help but feel a little gimmicked out of my money.
What beauty products make you feel sexy? Have you ever bought beauty products from one of these sexy retail parties?