Dear Di

Your essential guide on how to make your bodily fluids taste good. Illustration: Rame Abdulkader.
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Dear Ty,

I’ve become really self-conscious lately about the way my bodily fluids might taste to my partner. I’ve heard from different friends that what you eat or drink might have an impact on how you taste — is any of this true?

Flavour Favour

Dear FF,

I want to start off by making one thing blatantly clear: Genitals are never going to taste “great,” so to speak. You can scrub them all you want, try all the home remedies you might hear about, but in the end, they’re sexual organs. Despite the myths the realms of porn and media might perpetuate, your sexual organs will never taste like sugar, spice, and everything nice.

One article from 2015 addressed the stigma surrounding the idea that genitals must be tasty. Thirteen people described what their partner’s semen tastes like, in detail. Answers ranged from “old pennies” and “creamy chlorine cleanser” to “bad sour cream” and “shampoo.” In other words, not great — and that’s totally normal.

While it’s not realistic to strive for your bodily fluids to taste like liquid gold, there are some approaches you can test. But either way, keep in mind that natural smells are — as the term suggests — natural and vary greatly from person-to-person, and as long as you’re regularly getting tested and practicing good hygiene, there’s absolutely nothing odd about the way your genitals and their fluids might taste to a partner. Changes in smells could also be due to yeast infections or urinary tract infections.

“The taste of semen or vaginal secretions can be slightly influenced by what a person eats,” sex expert Sari Locker told Redbook in December 2016. “It might not cause major changes, but if you experiment, you (or your partner) should notice subtle differences.”

There are a few different foods and drinks that some people swear by for helping both your genitals and their fluids taste better. According to the Kinsey Institute, consuming fruits such as oranges, bananas, and papayas will do the trick. Chandra Adams, a Florida-based gynecologist, told Tonic that “eating an abundance of fruit on a regular basis will keep the semen’s pH normal and decrease the potential for a “bleach-like” flavour.”

Another fruit that’s long been considered to up the taste of bodily fluids is pineapple, and one writer’s experiment seems to give this some merit. Rachel Khona and her partner tested the impact of drinking pineapple juice on the taste of both their bodily fluids and found her partner’s semen tasted better than before.

I realized it actually did taste significantly sweeter,” she wrote on website Your Tango in October 2018. “Not crème brûlée sweet, but sweet enough to neutralize any harsh flavours. Gone was the bitter, sour, taste and in its place was a neutral, lightly-sugary taste that was much more palatable than the original.”

Spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper, along with celery allegedly up the flavour of your bodily fluids, according to the Kinsey Institute. On the other hand, some foods have been suggested to make the genitals and bodily fluids taste worse. Foods such as garlic, onions, and red meats have been cited as potential red flags.

The bottom line is, your diet might not have much of an impact on how you taste at all, and proper hygiene and using protection when having sex is probably the most foolproof way to maintain good tasting genitals and bodily fluids. Keep in mind that every person’s body, along with its tastes and smells, is different in its own right, and there’s no ‘right’ way to taste or smell.

If your partner really cares about you, the taste or smell of your genitals and their fluids shouldn’t impact your relationship. But, if you do notice any major changes, always reach out to a doctor just in case.