In the sweltering, sticky New York City summer months, it's like a demonic presence that follows me everywhere. While most people swipe on a few coats of whichever deodorant was cheapest at Target this month, I am plagued with the curse of sweating in weird places. In fact, I don't sweat from my armpits at all. They stay dry as a bone while the rest of my body secretes salts and sugars and leaves incriminating puddles wherever I go.
We all understand why we sweat, but if you also find yourself perspiring in undesirable places, there's no real answer beyond, "That part of your body is so hot right now." In other words, you can't target your bizarre sweat-spots and reroute them to more conventional armpit sweat situations. Believe me, if you could, I would have done it already.
So where are the strange places people emit pore-piss? Personally, I live in fear of someone realizing all the odd places that liquid is coming out of my body (and felt a little embarrassed writing this piece). Then again, I know a lot of you are in the same position, so at the very least, there is camraderie in the fact that our bodies insist on juicing themselves. When they don't sell Lady Speed Stick for your labia, what's a girl to do?
1. The Upper Lip
(In all of its beaded glory.)
There's nothing that makes me feel like a bigger creep than rolling up to a get-together or happy hour cocktails with an upper lip so sweaty that it's basically dribbling down my chin. I think this particular sweat zone is genetic — I've noticed my mom's upper lip going apeshit on a hot summer's day as well. The fact that my mom and I have this in common brings me no comfort.
What to do: I bring a handkerchief with me and blot my upper lip discreetly as soon as I get indoors and into the air conditioning. And by "discreetly," I mean that I take care of business while announcing to the entire room, "My upper lip is sweating, and I'm sorry if this is weird for you." Plus, handkerchiefs can be adorable and old-timey, so you might almost find yourself enjoying the fact that your upper lip forces you to bring one along. If you're looking for a cute dabbing device, I'm fond of this one.
2. The Kneecaps
(Caught in the act, discreetly trying to wipe kneecap sweat away.)
Not my thighs, not my shins: Just the kneecaps. I'm not sure why this particular phenomena occurs. After all, it would make much more sense if it happened on the backs of my knees, which are basically the armpit of the leg. Instead, my kneecaps sweat profusely and end up looking like a couple of dewy oranges glistening in the summer sun. My kneecap sweat-bead game is so strong that I've noticed people staring at them on the train.
What to do: Nothing. I could put antiperspirant on my knees, but it seems like a lot of effort for a place on your body that doesn't usually leave a mark on seats or come into contact with other human beings. If you suffer from kneecap sweat, I suggest just giving them a quick swipe with your hands and calling it a day. Your sweat situation can — and will — be worse.
3. The Scalp
I look super cute when my scalp sweats, don't you? Don't we all just love that "hopped out of a vat of old noodle water and decided to hit the town" look? The sweaty scalp really does wonders for our painstakingly crafted hairstyles, doesn't it?
Nope, it's just the actual worst.
What to do: I carry a small bottle of dry shampoo with me wherever I go. I can't stress this enough: Do not, not, not use the dry shampoo while your scalp is still wet with sweat. The dry shampoo will form a paste, things will get worse than they were before, and all hope for a cute hair day will be lost. Instead, wait until the air conditioning dissipates the excess sweat, head to the bathroom, and give your hair a reboost. I've tried a lot of different dry shampoos, but the best one I've found is still this one.
4. The Vagina
Considering the fact that it's a cavernous passageway into your body and there are glands there that I probably don't even know about, it's no surprise that it sweats. What is strange, however, is just how much the vagina sweats, relative to other dark and murky places on our bodies. In fact, after particularly hectic and grotesque commutes, I've found myself wondering, "Did I just like, pee myself?"
What to do: I didn't believe it when a friend told me, but if you give your mons pubis a few puffs of baby powder and wear a pantyliner, your lady zone will stay dry as a bone. It seems like a lot of moving parts, and at first, it feels slightly cumbersome. However, it's a small price to pay for a cool, arid vag-uation.
5. The Butt
OK, so maybe this isn't such a weird place to sweat. In fact, the phrase "swamp ass" wouldn't exist unless it was an affliction that a lot of people could identify with. That doesn't make it any less obnoxious, but I've come up with a foolproof way to make sure you don't leave little pools of ass water behind every time you get up from your seat.
What to do: Before I sit down, I daintily swipe my skirt or dress underneath my thighs as far as I possibly can. The goal is to have as little of your ass directly on the seat as possible. The real magic happens when I get up, though. With the fabric of your clothing under your rump, scoot yourself forward on the seat as if you are anticipating a move, but aren't quite ready to commit. People will think you're very busy and important and will speculate that you're an international person of mystery who is always on the edge of your seat. It kind of looks like a combination of this:
What you're doing here is literally wiping away the sweat you've left on the seat before you get up. How nice of you to clean up the mess you've made. It looks like this, except it (hopefully) ends with you standing up at the end, sashaying away like a queen.
Images: Amanda Richards; Giphy