On hot summer days, I become a dripping sweat-monster before I even make it to the streetcar. I don’t actually have a medical problem, I’m just a big, smelly, sweaty guy. I worry about what this is doing to my chances with girls.—Jack
A certain amount of summer sweat is just fine and no big deal. A shot glass’ worth? That’s how much sunblock you’re supposed to use, so let’s say that’s how much sweat is nice. But based on how much y’all love to talk about the heat, and what the heat is doing to you, and how you are melting (like, are you made of sugar?), I will try to accept that boy-sweat is traumatizing in a way that girl-sweat is not. (However, I can tell you that hauling a backpack for a while in Toronto-summer heat is not going to end prettily for anyone.)
Since your problem is social, not medical, I hive-minded this for you. Basically, everyone who has something to say about sweat advocates preparation. My friend Tom says, “The smart thing for us to do is squirrel away deodorant sticks all over: under coffee-shop benches, in bar-toilet tanks, etc.” Ha, ha, etc., but you could stash some deodorant (and fresh t-shirts, and unscented baby wipes for your midday feet) at the office, at your bestie’s house, or in your bag. Stroll author Shawn Micallef likes daily “second showers,” which he suggests mandating “during all heat/stink emergency days.”
Tyler Stewart, drummer for the Barenaked Ladies, tweeted “Two words: Gold Bond” and describes his on-stage routine as: “Towel for head and face. Fan directly behind kit to dry back, as much cotton and linen (no jeans) as possible. [Gold Bond] dwnthere.” Even if your office is air conditioned, a fan will help when you arrive (and will feel sooo good). I’ve also been told by a very clean and sweat-averse friend that dusting powder around your special areas is an obvious preventative measure; she buys hers jasmine-scented, but the aforementioned Gold Bond or some baby powder are cool, too. 100-per-cent cotton under-drawers is a given; material that keeps sweat trapped won’t help any.
Do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable. (Ew, except for public swimming pools; hitchhike to a lake before floating in those Band-Aid stews). But don’t worry too much about girls. The stuff that tends to impress us—like physical labour, sports, sex that you try at—is stuff that will make you sweat.
This guy who hangs out with some of my guy friends is a creep, and doesn’t take the hint that I’m not interested in dating him. He talks with this smirk and says rude things to me even though he is obviously interested in hooking up. It will never happen. How can I get him to stop?—Karen
He probably knows too much about “Mystery,” the disgusting VH1-famous pick- up artist, and “negging,” which means embedding a mean observation in a compliment to stir up low-self esteem and get them panties off, or something. Unfortunately, this guy will not respond to polite evasions, and maybe not even to pub-lic shaming (where are your guy friends on this?), so I recommend a program of being super, super weird to him. Respond literally to his metaphoric come-ons, do Björk impersonations right up in his face when he talks to you, laugh openly and hysterically at his efforts. He’ll know what you’re doing, and why: After all, game recognizes game.
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