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THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

September 20, 2018

How to Prevent Embarrassing Hygiene Problems on a First Date

We’re all guys here. Let’s be honest for a minute. If not for the prospect of sex, most of us would happily live our lives stewing in filth of indescribable nastiness. It’s just how we are. That’s why it’s so important that we find a holistic approach to dealing with hygiene. Without a checklist, may of us would overlook something simple and show up to a first date in all of our disgusting glory. This list might look long, but it’s actually easy, and it’s designed for each step to reinforce the others. Follow this guide, and you’ll be ready for a first date. Here's how to prevent embarrassing hygiene problems on a first date.

Moisturize Your Lips

This is an easy starting point. Ideally, you’re going on a first date because you find the other person attractive. That means you might be hoping for some physical stuff, and that usually starts with kissing. This isn’t rocket science. If your lips are cracked and white (or worse have dried blood), you won’t be getting action. It’s gross. You can be honest about it.

Now, getting lip softness perfect is actually impossible. Preferences vary, and some people like ruggedness, even in lips, more than others. But, discolored lips are always bad.

Go Shopping

There are two reasons to get some new clothes for a first date. The first is because most guys let their wardrobes fall apart between shopping sprees. There’s a good chance your favorite or most comfortable clothes are old and grungy. New threads will appear and smell cleaner. There’s no way around it.

The second reason to get new clothes is psychological. They’ll feel cleaner and fresher to you, and that will subconsciously push you to work harder on your hygiene. You can use that mental momentum and really get after things to present your best self.

There’s one thing to remember here. You don’t absolutely need a brand new suit for every first date. Casual dates are perfectly fine. The idea is to make sure you have something that isn’t old and worn. 

How To Prevent Embarrassing Hygiene Problems on A First Date

Manscape

Since you just generated a little extra motivation, you can put it to good use. Manscaping is your best friend in the dating world. For starters, it makes you look more attractive (assuming you do it right). There’s not enough time in this blog to cover it all. Do some research.

Manscaping is about more than looking good. It will also make you feel cleaner (like the new clothes). That’s good for your confidence and finding that perfect swagger that makes you more irresistible. Perhaps most importantly, manscaping gets your body hair under control. This gives body odors less ability to cling to you, and it’ll help you smell like someone your date wants to be around.

Avoid Razor Burn

This mostly applies to managing your facial hair, but if you do get after it on the manscaping, it can apply there too. Combatting razor burn can be tricky. The best defense is to use good timing. If you can do your shaving a full day before the date, it gives your skin plenty of time to rebound from irritation. That said, a lot of guys will grow stubble too fast for the day-old trim to still look good.

So, remember a few key tips. First, shave with the grain. Sure, going against the grain can get you that super smooth finish, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to result in itchy, red or blotchy skin as a result. You can play around with stuff when the stakes are lower. Before a date, go with the gran.

The other key tip is to find a good aftershave. There are plenty of skin treatments that take the edge off of razor burn, and they’re worth the investment. Also, if you’re manscaping, find a different aftershave for your nuts. That’s a fire nobody needs in their pants.

How To Prevent Embarrassing Hygiene Problems on A First Date

Get an Electric Toothbrush

Obviously, you need to have good breath. Mints or gum are useful there, but since you’re above the age of five, you should understand how to use those. The thing is, they have their limits. You need a genuinely clean mouth, and an electric toothbrush just plain does the job better. I wasn’t really a believer until I tried for myself, but they work. 

There are a few things to know going in. Electric toothbrushes feel weird when you first make the switch, so don’t make the big day the first time you use the new toothbrush. You need a few days to get used to it and make sure you’re getting a good clean every time.

Also, for anyone interested in the science, there’s a reason electric toothbrushes are better for your mouth. It all comes down to plaque. Plaque is that filmy residue you get on your teeth and gums between brushings. The high-frequency oscillations of an electric toothbrush are much better at removing plaque, and that results in fewer things growing in your mouth that cause bad breath.

Use Two Deodorants

No, this is not some weird double condom advice (which you should never do). If you have a good deodorant for your armpits, stick with it. The second deodorant goes on your nuts. Also, it’s extremely important that you notice the wording. You want an entirely separate deodorant for your groin. Most stuff designed for armpits will burn you down there. It’s bad.

Thankfully, there are plenty of crotch deodorants on the market. You can find one you like and use it to manage moisture and smells that might otherwise arise at an inopportune moment. A good crotch deodorant will also use talcum or something similar to reduce friction, and it feels pretty good.

How To Prevent Embarrassing Hygiene Problems on A First Date

The Feet

Speaking of talcum, it can help with foot odor. Hopefully, you’re an adult and you’ve addressed any severe foot problems if you’ve faced them. Still, dating can trigger stress responses, and that includes sweating. The last thing you want is for your feet to stink through your shoes and socks and ruin an otherwise good time. A sprinkle of talcum powder (baby powder for those of you with no class or education) is sufficient.

This also leads to an important point. You might want to go on a date where sandals or flip flops are appropriate footwear. This is tricky. First of all, sandals actually smell worse on average than close-toed shoes. It’s a weird thing. Second, it’s easy to end up with dirty feet in this scenario, and she will notice. So, unless you’re planning something that truly enables bare feet (like the beach), you should probably aim for close-toed shoes on the first date.

Cologne

 It’s amazing how recently the rules on cologne have changed. It used to be a standard part of dating prep, but now cologne is a fickle mistress at best. It all boils down to the fact that you have a lot of things working to keep you smelling good, and it’s easy for a strong cologne to clash. Some of you might have already tackled this challenge. Feel free to skip to the next section. For the rest, there’s an alternative to cologne that will work better.

What you want is a body wash and deodorant combo. If your aftershave(s) (both for above and below the belt) can be included, that’s even better. The idea is that formulas that are part of the same set will be designed to smell good together. If you find a combo you like, it’ll do better than any cologne ever could.

Don’t Forget Your Fingernails!

It’s a real shame. A lot of guys go the extra mile. They really get after it and become an impressive, almost irresistible specimen for their date. And then, they ruin the entire thing by completely forgetting about their fingernails (toenails matter too). You need to learn something here and now. Simply shearing off some of the nail is not sufficient for modern hygiene. You need to have smooth, rounded nails that don’t snag on things and people. You can trust that your date will notice this. 

Throw away your dollar-store clippers and get a real nail-care set. Then, spend a few minutes on YouTube and learn how to use it. It won’t just help your dating life; it’ll make your nails more functional in your daily life.

How To Prevent Embarrassing Hygiene Problems on A First Date

Make it a Habit

Any of you guys who have done sports know this part. None of these tips are worth anything if you try to use them ad hoc. They have to be a part of your regular routine because, and this is the hard part, hygiene takes time. If you’ve been grungy and smelly for years, you can’t erase it all with a single shower. Only through persistent effort will you achieve the kind of hygiene you want to kill it on a first date.

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