This Is The Pits…


For some of us (well, some of us here, at any rate), armpits have a curious fascination. And a recent study at North Carolina Central University which, in USA terms, is just down the road from here, inspires this theme today for both words and pictures.


It all hinges on whether you use antiperspirants, deodorants or, as Dave and I do, just wash.

And having washed, we then we sleep together, as a gay couple does. One of the great pleasures for me is to feel the warmth of Dave’s body next to mine and, in the early morning, to wake to his very pleasurable scent. Which, for me, is dominated by that wonderful musky armpit scent – he usually has his arms round his head, leaving an inviting armpit to which my face is inevitably drawn…


CorynebacteriumdiphteriaeNC Central find that non-users of antiperspirants and deodorants have a strong population of Corynebacteria in their armpits, contributing to body odour as single-celled micro-organisms do, but which also are thought to help as a defence against disease. Strange looking beasties, are they not – and one nuzzle of Dave’s armpit transfer a few millions of them to me…

StaphylococcusSEMCut to the cosmetic users… and they are found to have an entirely different population of Staphylococcus beasties, which don’t seem to have the defence capabilities and are described by the researchers as ‘a grab-bag of opportunistic bacteria’ – whatever that means. Tasty, huh?

Just think what is happening when our tongues explore our partner’s bodies… but then a trillion or so bacteria from our mouths are going the other way… ‘Yuck!’ says Dave thoughtfully, ‘Maybe we should both live in separate plastic bags…’


Several of the guys with whom we come into close contact in acrobatics, wrestling and what-not enthuse about their antiperspirants. Maybe we should avoid these people! In the gym, whether it be in the roomy private hall run by Chad or our own confined training cabin, a heady smell of sweat often hangs in the air. Hard-won sweat through exercise, though – everyone by common consent starts off clean and showered, conscious of the body contact to follow. The study doesn’t appear to consider what shower gel does to the blossoming population of bugs. One thing for sure – it never eliminates the assorted populations which associate themselves either with armpits or (presumably a different lot with different ‘tastes’) with toes and feet. They always quickly re-colonise…


Not to mention the teeming billions which inhabit your gut. In fact, if you look up what proportion of your bodyweight is not ‘you’ but multifarious creatures to which your body plays host, it comes as quite a shock!

We shan’t be changing our habits.

Ben Booker (2)a

Some body-conscious guys shave their armpits. Like Ben, training for us above. This includes some of the acrobatic performers we know, who feel that audiences are ‘put off’ by body hair. We don’t do that either. Zach once threatened to shave his chest, having at that time a more noticeable blackish ‘fur’ than the rest of the group. We dissuaded him then, and he never has. With increasing age, all of us have a bit, but it is not noticeable from a distance and we assume that people are watching what we can do rather than assessing our hair count.


So let’s ‘nuzzle up’ to a few more armpit pics, interleaved with my usual invitation to ‘click on the covers’ and find out a little more about those darned books.

either do up your belt or...

flag wallbars


The first part...



The second part...




Cover 3 Thumb




And, finally, a wet boy in black and white shows off his armpit real close up! Kind of inviting…





About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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1 Response to This Is The Pits…

  1. Pingback: More Bacteria Afoot… | Tony Cavanagh

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