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I’m Afraid of My Armpits

How you can point me out in a crowd? I’m the woman continuously swiping and checking her armpits.

I can’t remember when I got so super conscious about body odor. It’s not something I inherited, nor ever been bullied/teased with. I don’t care about my mouth or my feet; no, it’s BO with capital letters, sweat, especially the old, stinky kind, that makes me – yes – break out a sweat. I know there are a lot of (wrong) ideas that come with body odor, but I can’t seem to assure myself that there’s a difference between smelling like a human and reeking.

Anyway, I continued washing and cleaning and swiping for a long time. I only think that the people around me were glad I only ever used non-chemical, non-fancy-smell deodorant.

I slowly started to change my mind about my sloshing arm pits and overall smell when I moved in with my boyfriend. Now, I sometimes doubt his sense of smell (or maybe my nose is just too sensitive), but he reined me in. If I would feel like a walking swamp, he’d tell me I’m really not smelly, or not that much. Or just pull me into a hug, while I silently screamed about wet backs and squishy arm pits.

And strangely enough I like smelling all his plain man-smells, while I’m the woman that rather turns to mouth breathing when she is around people.

I’m moving away from nervous arm-pit checkups, but with every new or stressful situation I check if people aren’t watching before swiping and test-smelling. To complete the cycle, I smell my hands because can hands small badly? And if they can, can others smell it?

But outside those situations, I’m even starting to become okay with “stewing” in my own sweat, especially when I worked hard for it. Laziness wins over super-hygiene and if a new situation should pop up, I’m sure there is a shower, soap or a new shirt nearby. From now on you can recognize me by my natural awesomeness again.

By freckle [M]

Freckle can't decide between writing fact or fiction, so she does both, on a very regular basis, and sometimes even for money.

5 replies on “I’m Afraid of My Armpits”

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I don’t know if you are a shy, anxious, or introverted person, but in stressful situations there really is such a thing as flop sweat, and it smells different and far more acrid. If it’s flop sweat, you might have an additional negative association that increases your sensitivity about the issue. I’m glad you are less concerned about it now.

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