Meet Ryan, the Official Jezebel gay. (Pic after the hump!) Last week he came up to New York after three grueling days of shooting Trading Spaces, and because he's such a devoted friend he volunteered himself to go to Chelsea for our little Vulva perfume gay-on-the-street smell-test while we, uh, got drunk or something. And boy did he get his hands dirty! Previously a vadge virgin, Ryan not only fingered the equivalent of, like, fifty ovulating Adderall patients this weekend, he accidentally took the crap home to Philly with him. And started using it to pick up homos! Without further ado, the Vulva diary of Jezegay Ryan.
I am gay man who has never smelled a vagina, never plans on smelling a vagina, is appalled by women's hairy armpits, and I often think that even though real women have curves, they maybe shouldn't. So I was as surprised as anyone when Moe gave me my first whiff of Vulva and I wasn't grossed out.
Now, I like the smell of balls - the sweatier the better - and I like feeling the sweat and oils with my fingers and knowing exactly what's causing the Old Crotch Spice. Vulva does not smell like balls, but it is distinctly and defiantly a body odor. The scent is pungent and sweet, almost rotten, and its piquancy lingers for hours.
I've had a few days to sit with Vulva and really live with it. At first I was calling it a "pussy bomb," and I was scared to death that if it leaked in my messenger bag I'd have to either wash it in tomato juice, exorcise it, or throw it out. But after a few hours I kept going back for another sample. Maybe it'll smell better; maybe I'll begin to understand its essence. And you know what, Vulva did smell better. The odor evens out over time; its initial pungency flattens out to be fresh, airy and summery. I know this is a cliché, but on Tuesday I stopped in front of the flower stand outside my neighborhood bodega and thought, "Hmmm, I know this smell...Vagina!"
Vulva is not pleasant, but it lodges in my sense memory and got easier, and more addictive. One tends to forget about other fragrances when completely surrounded by a strong aroma. The perfume inevitably got on my finger tips, so whenever I smoked cigarettes, ate a sandwich, or drank a can of soda, I was essentially smoking, eating, and drinking vagina, and it was pretty great.
I wasn't surprised that the gay men were repelled by Vulva during Jezebel's smell test, but I was disappointed. I think it represented a trend in the gaysphere that I've long feared - vanilla gay sex. Yeah, it's funny to see gay men squeal in disgust over Vulva, but was only funny until I realized that these prisses are the people I'm going to have to have sex with. Gay sex was always dirtier, more anonymous, fun, experimental, and fringe than straight sex, but if gay men are squeamish about a musky finger then we as a community have bigger problems than marriage, adoptions, and shared healthcare coverage.
The one straight man that Slut Machine and I stumbled upon in Chelsea honestly did not smell anything offensive about my fingers. True he was British and doesn't have the American O.C. complex about daily washings, but he took big huffs and puffs of Vulva and the smell didn't register. Even Slut Machine was a little overwhelmed after taking deep breaths of it, but here was a straight man that wasn't turned off by the complexity of female body liquids within a neighborhood of prissy homos who used to be the sole rulers of sexual vice and perversion. I bet this Brit knows how to dirty a set of sheets.
There is a bright side. I went to a gay bar after the blind smell test to do some independent research. I turned to the man sitting next to me at the bar and asked, "Do you want to smell vagina?" Turns out he did...and so did the rest of the bar. Who Wants to Smell the Vagina became the new gay parlor game, and the old, young, bears, and cubs all wanted to play. Sure, they were all still recoiling, but I was relieved to know that during spells of loneliness and insecurity at bar, we gay men have a new pick-up line that has nothing to do with threesomes and bathroom sex. I got 2 Facebook messages the next day!