I get really, really sweaty. Like, more than the average 25-year-old woman. I was diagnosed with over-active sweat glands a little over five years ago. It's not exactly the worst medical condition to have -- except you can only imagine how sweaty I get after your standard sex sesh.
I'd never been super conscious of how sweaty (and smelly) I can get after sex until one evening in my 22nd year of life I spent f*cking a f*ckboy.
The guy was my very first f*ck buddy. He and I had absolutely nothing in common, which made him an impeccable candidate for purely sexual adventures.
At the time, he was living with his parents (er, so was I, because post-grad problems) and we were taking full advantage of the fact that his parents weren't home. So we perched ourselves in the hot tub in his backyard and were fooling around under the suburban stars until I noticed a boat.
"You have a boat?" I asked him.
"Yep. Wanna check it out?"
I grinned. I knew what that meant.
Off we went, scurrying into the boat like two treasure hunters eager to find hidden jewels. Inside the boat was a small, tucked-away room you had to climb downstairs to reach. It was perfect.
We took off our bathing suits and began to have sex. It was steamy. It was hot (literally and figuratively). It was everything a memorable sex session should be: the kind where you leave the bedroom right after sex to pee so you don't get a yeast infection, then come back a few minutes later, and the room just smells like sex.
When we were done, I was bathing in sweat. I'm not talking a drip here or there down my back. I'm talking full-on puddles. I reached for a beach towel and wiped away what I could, but there's not a doubt in my mind I was still drenched.
As we slowly recovered from our bang sesh, we decided we should probably get the f*ck out of his dad's boat and head into his bedroom for some sweet, sweet cuddling.
I was pretty damn satisfied: physically, mentally, spiritually. Sexually (duh). But then, he spoke.
"What's that smell?" he said, disgusted, folding his arm and putting it in between his head and the headboard. He leaned back on it.
"What smell?" I said, genuinely unaware of what smell his nostrils were detecting.
"It smells like ... body odor mixed with Indian food mixed with day-old cheese."
Uh oh. "I must have forgotten to put on deodorant," he continued. He sniffed his left armpit, then his right. "Nope, not me."
I grabbed his perfect, purple sheets and covered my body right up to the tops of my tits, then hurriedly crawled over to the other side of the bed.
"Well, it's definitely NOT me," I said, my voice cracking from utter humiliation.
"I think it's you," he said, stretching his arm out to poke me in the ribcage.
I have this habit of denying that I did the heinous, unimaginably embarrassing thing in the bedroom. But my f*ck buddy had already figured out it was me who smelled like curry and B.O. and day-old cheese, so at this point, I wasn't just a smelly girl in his eyes. I was an insecure, smelly girl.
The man just had to speak. I wasn't hanging with him so we could f*cking chat. I was hanging with him so we could f*cking f*ck. Chatting was hardly his forte. That's the thing about guys who are great in the bedroom: They also usually come with big mouths and even bigger egos. But I digress.
Eventually, he came over to spoon me. And as we spooned in silence, I got to thinking about why I was even embarrassed in the first place. We were having sex, for Christ's sake. Of course I was going to be a sweaty, stinky mess. What did he think? That just because I'm a girl I was going to come out of his father's boat smelling like f*cking dandelions and unicorns? NO. I wanted to say so much, but I withheld because I'm a scaredy cat.
I never had sex with him again. I know he wasn't trying to be hurtful, but his words hurt me. Call me oversensitive, or just over-actively sweaty, but I wasn't interested in having sex with someone who brought up my post-sex smell before even cuddling with me. Ghosting him was my way of saying "f*ck you."
Being sweat-shamed after sex has only ever happened to me once. But that night is forever ingrained in my memory. As a woman, there is nothing more traumatizing than hearing you smell like a combination of the three worst possible things there are to smell like. Well, that's what I've been groomed to think anyway.
For the record, I did slab on deodorant that night. I did not eat day-old cheese or curry that day. And as embarrassed as I was in that moment on the f*ck buddy's father's boat, in my f*ck buddy's backyard, I'm not embarrassed anymore.
So here it goes: My name is Sheena. When I have sex, I sweat more profusely than an obese, hungover person trying to get a good workout in at the gym. You can take me or leave me.