Discovering My Man Musk

12/30/2014 08:33 pm ET Updated Jan 28, 2018

WARNING: This post contains sexually explicit language. Please read on at your own discretion.

Recently I read Perfume by Patrick Suskind, and it made me a lot more interested in my olfactory environment. Relative to other animals, humans' sense of smell is underdeveloped; we just never needed it as much, because our other senses were more vital to everyday survival. Suskind taught me to pause and consider the smells around me. By simply giving more mental energy to my sense of smell, I have been able to understand my scent environment better. It's gotten to the point where I can detect even minor odors like my own man musk.

My own smell is a gestalt created by different scent-producing parts of my body. Certainly my sweat, and in particular the sweat produced by my armpits, has its own odor. The smell of ass and piss are both represented. Then there is the smell of that pre-ejaculate fluid that lubricates my urethra and perfumes my groin. These scents are a map of my body's excretions, and they are scents that very sensual men like to savor during sex. These smells of sweat, piss, shit, and cum coalesce into something greater. This is my true smell and (hopefully) is what attracts partners to me.

When I sweat, I smell salty and greasy. My armpits smell like french fries. When I told this to my drag-queen friend Jaye Lish, she immediately stuck her contoured nose under my arm. She agreed that I smelled like french fries, but not just any kind -- "McDonald's fries" in particular. Hot grease is not a normal part of my diet, but my own stench evokes the illicit pleasure of deep-fried junk food.

My ass smells of hot ground beef. When I eat lasagna, my farts smell like tacos, and when I eat tacos, my farts smell like lasagna. The common thread is that they smell like cooked meat. Even when I eat tofu for dinner, there is a lingering aroma of braised barnyard animal in my stool.

What surprises me most about my own stench is the smell of my urine. It reeks of coffee, which is strange, because I never touch the stuff. (It gives me hours of explosive, cramping diarrhea.) The green, enzymatic smell of coffee beans comes out in my urine, which must result from the vitamin-rich greens I consume being processed by my body. When I scrape off the urine scaling under my toilet seat, the scent of plant-distilled minerals fills my nose.

The last and final scent that makes up my aromatic profile is my ejaculate fluid. Like that of many men, mine smells like Bradford Pear trees in bloom. Sometimes a bit of it gets caught behind my foreskin and festers there for hours or days. In this instance the fishy redolence of my ejaculate is amplified several times over; my smegma smells like Vietnamese fish sauce (that pungent condiment I can only stand drops of). Both men and women can emit a fishy sexual odor!

Altogether I smell like a well-balanced meal. Certainly all the meats, herbs, and sweets I consume get processed and expelled as various waste products with their own particular olfactory profile. These excretions get caught in my pelt-like body hair and can ferment into an even more pungent aroma. We all have this natural aroma, and it can often be a pleasing one for sexual partners.

I try not to cover up my scent with powdery deodorants, harshly perfumed soaps, or chemical cologne. I shower almost daily, and I always use unscented body products. When I am in bed with a partner, I know that whatever part of my body he kisses will simply smell like me -- not overwhelmingly of man musk, and never of artificial aroma, but just a subtle scent that will make him hungry for more of me.