Women seem to assume that we men leave our “tackle” to look after itself but that is completely wrong. Even apart from actions that have to be taken to keep the sperm fresh, there is a lot of conscious and subconscious management of our private parts and pubic areas. Presumably women have similar challenges for corresponding parts of their bodies (but that will have to wait for another blog). Because people almost never talk about management of their genitalia, even between men or couples, exactly how people do “pubic maintenance” is a mystery. It probably also varies a lot between people. Perhaps there are a few blokes who do just leave their penises and scrotums to look after themselves, but most people I know admit to having a proper care routine for cleanliness and comfort ‘down below”.
For a start you’ve got to keep your equipment clean. For those who are uncircumcised that means pulling down the foreskin every day, usually in the bath or shower and cleaning the head of the penis. It seems to be easiest in the bath and you need a soap that doesn’t sting and you need to to rinse the head after cleaning. But cleaning the scrotum is a different matter – it’s perhaps the hardest part of the body to scrub – it’s flexible, highly sensitive inside and protected by a layer of hair. But most men find a way of gently soaping and rinsing it without hurting the testicles. Also, whether you are circumcised or not you need to keep soap and anything else out of the “pee-hole” – that can really sting. Presumably that strong reaction is there to reduce the chance of getting urethritis – or an infection of the urinary tract.
Next there’s the problem of the pubic hairs. No one wants these dropping off all over the place and they do moult surprisingly quickly. Also they can itch if they are not looked after. So most men have a pull at them from time to time, sometimes once a week and sometimes every day to pull out the loose ones. I’m told that older men sometimes pull out grey ones to persuade themselves that they’re still young. According to surveys a high proportion of men shave off their hairs and over half of women prefer that men do some sort of “deforestation”.
From a very early age men learn to protect their testicles and if they get hit by a ball (or anything else) there is a pain that is totally distinctive, very unpleasant and quite unlike anything else you can feel – presumably this special pain has evolved over thousands of years to protect the means of reproduction. And we men live with permanently with an awareness of this pain. But the testes are also always on the move, like small plum-shaped pumps they are sliding around, processing sperm and related fluids. So men learn to adjust the position of these constantly. We also have to be careful not to get them stuck between our legs which is a constant hazard and is part of the reason we are more likely to sit with our legs apart, despite being occasionally criticised for that by women. The position of the scrotum is awkward, but even if you were redesigning the human body it’s hard to see where else you might put it. Anyway, men are always conscious of where their danglers are dangling and protective of them in ways that women would find it hard to grasp.
What are your own techniques for man-management?