There’s no shortage of extraordinary products on Amazon — take, for instance, this jumbo barrel of lube or this battery-powered yodeling pickle. So I can’t say I was overly surprised when my editor — inspired by a drunk note he found from himself that simply read, “When will we get ass gum?” — ordered me to go on Amazon to purchase a bottle of Booty Fresh, a spray that, much like the name suggests, promises to eliminate ass odor.
First, though, I scoured the reviews. “I love Booty Fresh,” one anonymous commenter writes (sic). “He finally ‘ate the groceries’ the other night, and I’m happy because it’s taking our relationship to a whole new level! Thank you, Booty Fresh!” Fellow reviewer J. Shaffer was equally pleased with their purchase (sic). “This product is LEGIT!! I’m very obsessed with being clean, and I STILL had some odor no matter what soap, cleanser or exfoliator I tried. FIRST time used and ZERO ODOR!! I will buy this in bulk next payday. LOVE IT!! BUY IT!!”
But despite the abundance of positive reviews, I admit that I was skeptical. After all, asses smell like shit by design, so how was a measly spray supposed to combat millions of years of butt reality?
While I waited for my Booty Fresh to arrive in the mail, I reached out to Jordan Joseph, CEO and founder of Booty Fresh, to find out how the product came about. “Because we use toilet paper in the Western part of the world, we’re literally rubbing our own filth into ourselves,” he explains via email. “Better yet, until we take a shower, we’re sitting in said filth all day! After a week, month or a decade that habit begins to permeate into the skin. This means that it doesn’t matter how much soap, water, loofa, wipes or pumice (ouch!) we use, there will still be that ‘natural poo essence’ left over. That’s because the bacteria ‘poo-ticles’ are underneath the skin.”
On one hand, then, Booty Fresh is an attempt at fixing our poor bathroom hygiene habits, which is a valid concern — for example, my former colleague John McDermott previously wrote about the fact that toilet paper is basically useless:
“After doing our business, we take dry, rough toilet paper and smear poop around our skin rather than wicking it off with clean water. And then when we can’t get clean, we wipe and wipe until we make our butts bleed. (And if you’re a hairy guy, don’t even think about feeling fresh, ever — you’re walking around with tissue clumps stuck to you 75 percent of the time.)”
In a way, I have to hand it to Booty Fresh, because the market for toilet paper alternatives seems to be growing — another colleague, Hussein Kesvani, wrote about men who have begun carrying bottle bidets around with them in an attempt to improve their anal hygiene. Yet another, Tracy Moore, wrote about a man who turned to soapy rags after realizing that toilet paper didn’t give his ass the ideal polish:
“I have a friend whose now-ex-boyfriend had an elaborate ritual he performed after taking a dump. She affectionately referred to it as ‘ass rag.’ He kept a bag under the sink with a special washcloth in it. After wiping with toilet paper, he’d take out the rag, wet it with soap and water as hot as he could stand, and get in there to get the job done right. And while it seems like a lot of work to keep a special rag under the sink clean enough to not defeat the purpose here, he’s not wrong. Toilet paper doesn’t really clean your ass, so why do we still use it?”
If you take nothing else away from this piece, know that we here at MEL know ass, inside and out.
Post-shitting cleanliness aside, Booty Fresh also (kinda) markets itself as an ass-eating aid, as Joseph explains in the same email: “If you’ve ever been a little nervous about getting too close to your lover because you’re afraid that your ‘natural fragrance’ might not have the mood altering effect you were looking for, or maybe you don’t want to get close to your lover because of THEIR ‘natural fragrance,’ or maybe you just like knowing that you’re 100 percent fresh and clean down there, then you’ve made the right decision purchasing Booty Fresh.”
And let’s be honest, unless you’re a clean freak, priming your ass for eating seems like the only real reason anyone would buy Booty Fresh. After all, it’s not like your ass smells bad enough to register during regular daily activities (at least, one would hope).
How exactly does Booty Fresh work, though? Joseph emphasizes that it isn’t perfume or cologne (I can confirm that it has no scent whatsoever), neither is it a deodorant or “a miracle chemical that means you never have to take a shower again.” Instead, the spray simply promises to destroy the odor-causing bacteria lingering around your asshole, and the ingredients it contains — several aloe plant derivatives and hydrogen peroxide — should theoretically have that effect. Aloe vera has been used for centuries to eliminate body odor, and as one WebMD article explains, hydrogen peroxide “may help destroy some of the bacteria that creates odor.”
But of course, there’s really only one way to find out whether Booty Fresh works, so I strolled to the bathroom, spread my cheeks and shot several pumps directly onto my asshole. For first-time users, the directions recommend allowing the liquid to sit for 15 minutes, which was slightly uncomfortable — walking about with a wet asshole isn’t the most pleasant experience. But after the 15 minutes were up, I hopped into the shower and gladly rinsed the Booty Fresh off as directed.
Finally, the moment of truth arrived: Since my girlfriend wanted nothing to do with this experiment, I smelled my ass the only way I knew how — I wadded up some toilet paper, dabbed my asshole and smelled. For journalism.
Surprisingly, it didn’t smell like ass!
It didn’t smell like nothing, but it didn’t smell like ass. So to conclude this experiment, in my opinion, Booty Fresh did indeed make my booty smell fresh. Of course, I can’t say for certain what my ass normally smells like, since I don’t usually go around smelling it, but I assume that it normally smells at least nominally more like ass, and now it doesn’t, so yeah, it’s a win for Booty Fresh.
As this experiment came to a close, I couldn’t help but wonder what I just took part in. What does it say about the time and place we’re living in that a product like this — one that purifies a part of the body that’s functionally designed to carry actual shit — is necessary? Booty Fresh currently has 251 reviews on Amazon, so we can assume that at least a few hundred people felt the need to purchase it.
Well, for one, it probably means we want to eat ass without smelling ass, which is… perfectly reasonable! It might also mean that our universal obsession with being perfect — and our deep-seated fear of being anything less — has officially crept into the actual deepest, darkest crevice of our body.
But do we really need a product like this? After all, surely ass eating is a bit like period sex in the sense that at least some messiness (or in this case, smelliness) comes with the territory. As my colleague, Miles Klee, wrote, “Humans love swapping spit and coming in each other’s mouths, so forgive me if I scoff at men who are too dainty to get their fingers red, especially because you know they’ve probably asked to jizz on a woman’s tits. I would hope that you engage in some post-coital cleanup regardless of the scenario, and while you may not enjoy looking at your boner when it resembles the chestburster from Alien, it’s nothing soap can’t fix. In the meantime, quit being uptight and revel in the splatter, because this is basically art.”
And while you’d hope a good ass-eating doesn’t leave you with any visible stains whatsoever, I think the same basically applies. Still, paranoia about personal hygiene has always been a ripe — literally — territory for cosmetics companies to exploit, so in many ways, this product was an inevitability.
If you’ve always been worried about how your partner will react to the way your ass smells, Booty Fresh — much like that first reviewer explained — may be the thing that takes your relationship to a whole new level. And if that’s the case, that’s between no one but you, your partner and your asshole.