Dec 102010

LaundryLaundry is supposed to be sexy, right? Just ask any housewife and she’ll tell you how she gets off on that spin cycle. Well, try loading the washer full of urine-soaked, cat puke-covered, spooge-stained things and see how sexy you feel. The moment that everything in the house is clean, folded, and put away I swear I’ll orgasm spontaneously, but despite sounding like a jet engine revving up, my spin cycle doesn’t move me.

And yet, this morning I pulled an armful of dirty laundry out of the basket and caught a whiff of Harold’s sweat off of one of his shirts. It went straight to my animal brain. I felt totally turned on. Images of us making love played out in my mind. I had this primal reaction of realizing that this is the scent of my man. Weird.

Actually, not so weird. I remember reading in Sex at Dawn about research done with women and men’s sweaty t-shirts, that confirmed that most women will pick the man most genetically compatible to reproduce with based on scent alone. Unfortunately, being on birth control pills interferes with a woman’s ability to choose a mate by scent, sometimes with disastrous consequences – like my first marriage, for example.

As my first marriage was ending, and Joel and I were first falling in love, one of the things I noticed most was how good his smell is. He just smells right. I can’t explain it more than that. Now I just bury my face in his neck when we hug and breathe him in.

Armpit hairHarold shocked the hell out of me on our first date when he licked my armpit. I thought he was going to poison himself on my deodorant. Over time he’s convinced me to stop shaving my pits and to stop wearing deodorant. I’m largely ambivalent, so I don’t mind pleasing him. I have certain limits. I shaved for an Indian formal dinner that we attended and I put on deodorant when I’m flying or going dancing or something. If Harold wants to get his kink on by smelling me, I’m okay with that.

The scent thing even happens at random. Last night the man behind me in line at the grocery store reeked of body odor. He wasn’t at all attractive. I should have been appalled. But I wasn’t. He smelled kind of good, even though I knew he shouldn’t. Logically, I can assume that he would be a good genetic match for me and just walk away.

Lots of other things smell sexy. Different scents appeal to men and women, but I commonly hear that scents like vanilla, citrus, musk, lavender, jasmine, cinnamon, and licorice attract people. Currently, I’m drawn to the scent of fresh laundry. The spin cycle is coming up and I’ve got a few things to fold.