Alexis on the Sexes: That smell

ALEXIS MCKINNIS , | Updated 9/4/2013

End it without bringing up vaginal odor.

Q: I have been exclusively dating a girl for about five months. She’s a very cool girl and we have fun together, though she is not without her flaws (nor am I, I’m aware). She was recently diagnosed with depression and anxiety and while that alone doesn’t bother me, I am bothered by the side effects of her prescription medications. She told me ahead of time that one side effect could be an unpleasant vaginal odor, and she was right. It’s not quite the deal breaker, but it is just one reason out of a couple why I don’t see the relationship progressing much further. I’m not going to give her a laundry list of personality traits that don’t match up well with mine, but I do think I should bring up the vaginal odor. At least for the sake of her future relationships. How do I let her know that her smell is really foul without offending her or hurting her feelings?


A: She already knows. When anything is even a little off in the vagina, no one is more aware of it than the woman who owns it. So many things can set off a chain of unpleasant events in a girl’s nether regions. Laundry detergent, tampons, toilet paper, non-cotton undies, soap or body wash and even a sugary diet are all common irritants for the delicate vagina that can cause discomfort and eventually infection. Some women don’t realize that one or two small changes in their daily routine can banish bacterial or yeast infections for good, so they just suffer through them. You’ve probably encountered an off-smelling vagina in the past, and will probably meet a few more in the future. Some women just don’t handle their biz when they should.

Your girl, however, has a problem that can’t be fixed just by switching to fragrance-free laundry detergent or laying off the cookies. The culprit is probably dehydration, common among those who take antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. The vagina gets dehydrated, too, which throws things out of whack and can easily develop into a funky situation. She’s got to talk to her doctor about changing prescriptions, or talk to her gynecologist about keeping the side effects in check.

Proceed with the breakup, but do not — repeat, do not — bring her vagina into the conversation. I promise that this girl is acutely aware of how things smell down there and she’s likely embarrassed already. Don’t rub salt in the wound by making her feel totally defective.


Q: I bought a “Better Sex” VHS and “Speak Love/Make Love” and “Loving Game: A Romantic Experience for Two” board games. I am now downsizing and want to get rid of them. I hate to throw things in the trash if someone will can use them, but I don’t know how to get rid of them. Obviously I can’t give them to charity. I tried giving them away on Craigslist and I’ve either had creepy guys respond or people delete my ad. Suggestions?


A: A couple of years ago, I decided to get rid of all the porn DVDs and magazines I had somehow accumulated. This coincided with getting ready to have a garage sale. I took all of that stuff, put it in a cardboard box, wrote “18+ MATERIAL: $10 FOR ALL” on the box and put it on a high shelf toward the back of my garage, too far up to be seen by little eyes. Some dude scooped it up immediately, along with some other stuff I didn’t need anymore, and that was that. The forecast for September is warm and sunny, so why not do the same?

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