In 2017, I wrote a passionate screed about the one product I had found that cured me of my summer illness—inner thigh chafing. Because I am not Kylie Jenner, my thighs touch when I stand and when I walk; they rub against each other as if trying to start a conflagration. This is normal and I am not in search of a solution for my body existing as it does, but what I’m here to say is that I was wrong about the solution I’d previously touted. My body is angry and I am now asking for assistance from the highest office in the land.
The thing with thigh chafing is that maybe there’s no real way to fix it? At this juncture in my life, I feel like I’ve tried almost everything. Bike shorts, slip shorts, and the like are the most effective, but they defeat the purpose of summer, which is to feel the breeze on my butt under the skirt. Also, those items of clothing are often too long and do nothing for shorts, a clothing option I rediscovered after years of convincing myself that they looked bad on my body. Baby powder, cornstarch, talcum powder, and whatever other powders you might have in the house create brief respite, but then the body sort of eats the powder, leaving the thigh meat bereft. These are lessons I learned the hard way, which led me to the answer to my question three years ago. But now, I am suffering once more and I am desperate for succor.
Body Glide, a balm that runners use so their nipples don’t bleed, is also handy for the thighs, or the feet, or the under-titty—anywhere where skin will touch more skin and rub. Usually, Body Glide and I are the best of friends, as it is often the only thing I need to be able to wear a dress and leave the house in 90-degree weather without having to pull over 15 minutes later to straddle an ice pack on a park bench because I’ve suddenly developed heat rash. However, it seems like 2021 is the year we will have to break up.
Recently, the weather in New York took a turn for the summer. Emboldened by the promise of warmth and sunshine, I wore a dress. I applied the Body Glide. I walked for three blocks to the dollar store to look at rugs for my kitchen. By the time I came home, my inner thighs were on fire, having seemingly absorbed the Glide, leaving my tender flesh exposed to friction. The next day was hotter than the day before; pants made me feel uncomfortable, and so I glided the thighs once more. After returning home from a pleasant evening on a friend’s deck, I fell asleep with a frozen water bottle between my legs (erotic, I know), because that was the only thing that made the heat rash better. In the gentle light of morning, I examined the red blooming over my thighs, hot to the touch. I have no desire to live like this for the rest of the summer. Surely there must be a cure.
In a panic, I have ordered the Monistat anti-chafing gel that the internet says is a dupe for Smashbox’s primer. Wonderful news for me, I guess, but hopefully the slippy dimethicone in said product will make my legs feel high and dry. If this doesn’t work, I will have to pivot to Katy Sturino’s Megababe chafing balm, though I feel confident it’s basically the same shit as Body Glide, just pink and for LADIES. Barring these solutions, I will be forced to live in the refrigerator room at Costco, bundled up in a little parka, typing at my perpetually-warm computer until the first leave falls from the tree. A fate akin to death, I suppose, but one that I will welcome if I have to. Really, I’d rather not. This is less a problem for Joe Biden, but technically, it’s a transportation issue. Toot toot, Poot Beetigieg. Fix this, now.