Women’s Biggest Male Hygiene Turnoffs

Personal Hygiene
Personal Hygiene

It is believed that women are attracted to man’s natural musk. Pheromones are chemicals that are secreted in our sweat and other bodily fluids that are believed to influence the behavior of the opposite sex, such as triggering sexual interest and excitement.

Pheromones do a good job of alerting us when we’re naturally attracted to someone, so covering up our scents, while advertised as a good thing, can actually be counterproductive.

Men often wonder what women judge them on. Is it a base level of good hygiene? And if so, what does that truly entail? Several women were asked what they thought about about a man’s hygiene and what would be considered “deal-breakers” for them. Here are some of those responses.

Good Hygiene
“I love natural man smells, but clean hair is a big turn on for me. It doesn’t necessarily have to look clean, I just enjoy getting a whiff of a freshly shampooed head — especially when we’re in close proximity, like in bed.”
— Margo, 31

“I give a guy a lot of credit for having a good haircut. That seems to make a guy a man.”
— Lisbeth, 30

“I love guys’ smells. Clean your ass, but body odor and natural smells are actually turn ons for me. I prefer a guy not to use deodorant. As long as you shower and brush your teeth, I’m good.”
— Jessica, 32

“I actually love the smell of a man’s sweat, as he’s sweating. There’s no need to be overly pristine — I’m all for getting sweaty and sticky and covering each other in pheromones. But if I have to stop and consider if the person I’m with is some kind of biohazard, it’s probably already over.”
— Maxi, 28

“Most guys I’ve been with have been more self conscious about their sweatiness than I am. I feel like they are usually the one to point it out/apologize/run into the bathroom to surreptitiously wash their feet/balls/armpits/whatever, and I would have never noticed in the first place had they not pointed it out. That said, I used to date crust punks…”
— Magnolia, 30

“I actually like a guy to smell a little sweaty during sex (but not during the rest of the day), so I prefer him not to shower before we do it. (Only exception being brushed teeth and washed hands before sex — that is a must.) I used to like a guy to smell like a fresh spring daisy during sex, and now I like him to smell a little dirty. I think it’s because I’m becoming a #woman.”
— Danielle, 25

“I have a nostalgic association with Old Spice deodorant. Feel like various guys I know have been using it since high school, and it gets on their shirts and sweaters so you smell it all day if you borrow them.”
— Megan, 25

Bad Hygiene
“Nothing makes me dry up faster than the thought of being fingered by someone with long, germy nails. ​Ever since I saw the episode of That ’70s Show where Kelso fingers Jackie after petting a dog, I’ve ensured such recklessness doesn’t occur in my presence.​”
— Maxi, 28

“Despite being 32 years old, [my boyfriend] still bites his nails sometimes when he’s nervous. It really grosses me out, because (a) that’s so unsanitary, I don’t even want to think about all the things we touch in a day of riding the bus, holding stair rails, etc. (b) it makes you look like a teenager. I jokingly suggested he buy that bitter nail polish that’s meant to help children stop biting, and he was actually down to try it. He’s been using it for a few days now and said it’s been working!”
— Megan, 25

“I’m embarrassed to tell other people how to take care of themselves. It’s a huge turn-off to have to tell someone to brush their teeth. I’m not your mom!”
— Lizzie, 28

“Clean and trimmed nails are important. If a guy has long nails, I literally think of him fingering me and the pain that would ensue. Keep your nails trimmed, dudes!”
— Jessica, 32

“I really dislike overly clean guys. It’s some latent gender essentialism, but the idea of a guy thinking too much about how he presents kinda skeeves me out. I’d prefer them grimier than overly primped.”
— Magnolia, 30

“Overwhelming cologne, especially the super commercial sh*t, will actually make me nauseous sometimes. It will be the thing that makes me decide to go home instead of back to his apartment.”
— Maxi, 28

Worst Hygiene
“I notice oral hygiene the most. Brushing teeth AND flossing are very important! Even if a guy is clean, f*cked up teeth are a turn off for me. If I have any negative feeling about a guy’s mouth, I don’t want to kiss them and will never move past that. I have another friend who says the same thing, but we both feel really shallow for making teeth such a priority.”
— Jessica, 32

“When I was living in Chicago, I was briefly into this guy who was very ‘casual.’ He wasn’t a fan of wearing shoes anywhere, and as a consequence his feet were ragged and his toenails were mega dirty. The thought of him putting those feet in my bed was just unacceptable. Which was a shame because he had a sexy man-bun before they were a ‘thing’ to have.”
— Lisbeth, 30

“I don’t encounter this often, but good lord — Q-Tips are your friends! I know wax serves a purpose, but you don’t need a surplus of it hanging 10 in your ears.”
— Margo, 31

“I once dated a guy who never brought his toothbrush or clean underwear over when he slept over, and it made me not want to have sex with him; it was all I could think about.”
— Lizzie, 28

“I HATE dirty feet bottoms or smelly feet. My boyfriend and I have been together for three years, and if he wears flip flops at any point during the day, I make him wash his feet before he gets into bed. I never cared about this when I was younger. It’s definitely something I picked up on when I started to care about a clean apartment and nice sheets.”
— Maggie, 27

“I’ve had more than one guy show me their weird growths. Don’t show me your weird growths. Yes, you should get it looked at — just go to a dermatologist. Same goes for your weird foot fungus. I probably won’t notice if you don’t bring it up, but preemptively mentioning it before I do does not absolve you of judgement.”
— Magnolia, 30

Indifferent to Hygiene
“Maybe it’s because my feet are f*cked up, but I really don’t care about toenails. I only care if their feet smell. I had a boyfriend once who had a real problem with smelly feet and I would make him wash them when he came over. It wasn’t a deal-breaker, but it was gross.”
— Jessica, 32

“Be clean, but not fussy. Wash your toes, trim your cuticles (I don’t need your hangnail catching on my vagina), and liberally use mouthwash whenever available. If you notice me duck and bobbing around certain parts of your body, it probably means you need to pay more attention to that area. I’ll never say anything outright — unless it’s a really big issue, like I’m concerned that you’re gangrenous — but at that point you should probably be looking for a doctor, not a girlfriend…”
— Magnolia, 30

“I don’t really get fingerbanged anymore (except occasionally during oral), so I guess the hands being clean thing isn’t as much of an immediate necessity as it was.”
— Danielle, 25

Married or not, everyone should consider taking care of their personal hygiene.

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