It’s a problem that has plagued men ever since Western society decided the male of our species had to wear pants instead of breezy togas or kilts.
I’m talking about swamp crotch: an uncomfortably moist nether region in which irritating chafing and stickage become commonplace and a distinct vinegar odor permeates from your groin.
Outbreaks of swamp crotch typically occur during hot and humid summers. Men who spend hours working hard in hot conditions — like soldiers and construction workers — are most susceptible to swamp crotch, though it can also strike men who spend a lot of time sitting — like motorcyclists, delivery truck drivers, and even office workers.
As a lifelong resident of perpetually hot and humid Oklahoma, I’ve had to battle swamp crotch every summer for most of my life. And I know that there are millions of men out there who are suffering silently from this summertime plague.
The problem is that while there are plenty of products out there designed to prevent swamp crotch, nobody has really taken the time to test how effective each one is. As a result, men end up wasting money on products that offer sub-par results.
So this summer as a service to men everywhere, I decided I would scientifically test various swamp crotch prevention products and offer my unbiased findings. And by “scientifically” I mean I applied all of these products to my balls.
Below is my report.
Over the past month I personally tested the following 10 swamp crotch prevention products:
- Gold Bond Powder
- Gold Bond Powder Spray
- All-Natural Cornstarch
- Fresh Balls
- Jack Black Dry Down Friction-Free Powder
- Anti-Monkey Butt Powder
- Balla Powder
- Baby Powder
- Pinaud-Clubman Body Powder
- Dry+Goods Spray
- Talcum-based products offer longer wetness protection than cornstarch-based products.
- The big downside with all powders is mess. If you’re not careful, it can get everywhere; if you put too much powder on, it can seep through your clothing, leaving behind a white powdery butt-print on whatever you were sitting on.
- Never underestimate the soothing, cooling, and tingling pleasure of medicated powder.
- Sprays are uncomfortably cold on your sensitive man parts.
- There are lots of companies taking regular old talcum powder, slapping a label on it with a silly name referring to a man’s genitals, and charging you an arm and a leg. Or an arm and a nut. Don’t be fooled.
- While talcum-based products last longer and are completely safe for men (despite websites and emails from your Aunt Nancy that say it causes testicular cancer), there are some studies that indicate talcum powder may increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women. Granted, the studies are inconclusive, but most doctors play it safe and recommend that gals use a cornstarch-based body powder instead of talcum powder when dusting their lady parts. If you plan on getting intimate with a woman, you’ll probably want to rinse off before you chaka chaka or at least forgo using talcum powder just to be on the safe side. We don’t want any deaths by Snu-Snu on our watch.
An anti-swamp crotch standby since 1908. This is how Gramps powdered the balls of steel that stormed their way up Normandy. I’ve used Gold Bond Medicated Powder since my high school football days to keep a cool crotch during hot and humid Oklahoma summers. Gold Bond is triple medicated to keep you cool, dry, and itch-free. It’s talcum-based so it has long-lasting dryness protection. What sets Gold Bond apart from the rest of the products on this list is its trademark cooling menthol. When you first apply Gold Bond, it sort of burns…in a good way. After the initial invigorating cooling sensation, for the next few hours, the menthol leaves your crotch feeling like it’s cocooned in a cooling, wintergreen wonderland even though the thermostat outside says it’s 100 degrees. AoM commenter Mark aptly described Gold Bond as “Altoids for your nuts.” Indeed, Mark. Indeed.
The only downside I’ve found with Gold Bond Powder (and all body powders) is the mess. The stuff has a tendency to end up everywhere even though you were only aiming for your nether regions. My two-year-old, Gus, got his hands on the shaker one day, gave it a firm squeeze, and in two seconds it looked like Tony Montana sneezed all over my closet. Another mess factor that all body/ball powder has is that they have a tendency to sift through cotton fabrics, causing the user to leave behind white butt imprints on whatever piece of furniture they happened to be sitting on.
- Menthol gives you that classic Gold Bond Powder cooling/burning sensation
- Keeps you dry all day
- If you already have skin irritation down there, this helps soothe it
- Powder can be messy, especially if your toddler gets his hands on it
Recently Gold Bond came out with an aerosol spray that applies their patented triple-medicated powder without the mess of the traditional shaker. It’s being sold as a solution to the drawback mentioned above — a tidier alternative to the traditional powder that we all know and love.
Applying Gold Bond with a spray is definitely less messy than shaking it on — you only hit what you aim for. The powder comes out of the can wet, but then quickly dries. Make sure to hold the can well away from your danglers. The spray comes out strongly and is painful if you have the nozzle too close to your junk. The spray propellent (HFC -152a) is a refrigerant so it comes out cold, too. Consequently, the usual cooling/burning sensation you get with Gold Bond Powder is much more intense with the spray. Uncomfortably intense.
Potential crotch sensitivity aside, I’m a big fan of this 21st century Gold Bond update. It keeps you dry for just as long as the original powder and has the same classic menthol smell and sensation — all without the cascade of ball-soothing snow.
- Less mess than the powder
- More directed coverage
- Same classic Gold Bond menthol cooling/burning sensation
- Lasts all day
- The propellant intensifies the usual cooling/burning sensation. That could be a good thing for some people. It was a little too much for me.
- Cost (7-ounce can is $7.79 compared to $7.79 for a 10-ounce bottle of the powder)
I learned about the secret swamp crotch preventing capabilities of cornstarch when I lived in Tijuana over a decade ago. Because I spent most my days walking from sun up to sun down in the hot Baja California sun, swamp crotch was a big problem. On a particularly hot day, I ran out of Gold Bond Powder and wasn’t looking forward to the chafing I would be encountering. I mentioned it to my Mexican friend and he suggested I sprinkle on some cornstarch.
Dubiously, I dusted my huevos with some cornstarch that we had in the pantry and set out for a day of work. And, I’ll be darned, the stuff worked. I was completely dry and chafe free…for a few hours. In my experience, cornstarch just doesn’t last very long as a swamp crotch subduer compared to talcum powder. If you really work up a sweat, really fast, the cornstarch has a tendency to clump — not a very pleasant feeling to have in your pants.
Another potential downside to cornstarch (depending on your viewpoint) is that there’s no scent. Personally, I like to have a bit of fragrance in my swamp crotch tamers.
On the upside, cornstarch is cheap, readily available, and all-natural.
Because of its short life span and clumping tendencies, I only use cornstarch when I’m in a pinch.
- Readily available
- Scent-free (some people like that)
- Can also be used to make gravy
- No scent
- No nice, tingly “I feel fresh” sensation
- Doesn’t last long
- Tends to clump if you get really sweaty