Preventing Swamp Crotch: 10 Products “Scientifically” Tested

by Brett on August 13, 2013 · 215 comments

in Dress & Grooming


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.

The Line-Up


Yes. Yes, I did apply all of these products to my groinal area. For science, of course.

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

General Observations


  • 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.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder


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

Gold Bond Medicated Powder Spray


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.


  • Cheap
  • Readily available
  • Scent-free (some people like that)
  • All-natural
  • 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

Fresh Balls


I first heard about Fresh Balls after watching Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Mansome, in which I also make an appearance (really, really briefly).

While most of the products on this list were designed to be used on multiple parts of the body, Fresh Balls was specifically designed to keep a man’s stones fresh and dry. The guy who started Fresh Balls experimented for years in his home in Las Vegas (a place notorious for swamp crotch) to find the perfect solution to the age old problem of sweaty balls and batwings (when your scrotum sticks to the side of your leg due to excessive sweating). He was tired of messy powders so he looked for another medium with which to apply his swamp crotch-quelling compound.

His answer: use a lotion instead of a powder.

When I saw Fresh Balls on Mansome, I remember thinking, “How can a lotion keep your junk dry?”

I’m not sure exactly how it works, but Fresh Balls lotion goes on wet, and then dries immediately. Magically, it leaves behind no residue.

When you first apply Fresh Balls, you’ll experience a gentle, warming sensation on the skin. I believe that’s the tea tree oil in the product working its magic. The lotion has a subdued fresh and masculine scent. Another bonus is that Fresh Balls dryness protection goes the distance. I was dry all day from just one application in the morning. It somehow does this without using talc.

One thing that really stood out to me about Fresh Balls is how testosterone-friendly it is. Unlike many lotions, it doesn’t contain any testosterone-reducing xenoestrogens like parabens.

It’s hard to take a product called Fresh Balls seriously. I’ll admit I was dubious about its effectiveness when I first tried it, but this lotion lives up to its name. I’m a fan.


  • Absolutely no mess
  • Surprisingly keeps you dry even though it’s a lotion
  • Has a nice, warm feel right when you put it on
  • Fresh, manly scent
  • Testosterone friendly — contains no parabens or aluminum


  • Cost ($12.99 for a 3-ounce tube)

Jack Black Dry Down Friction-Free Powder


Jack Black has been making men’s skin care products since 2005. They’re a favorite of AoM style writer Antonio Centeno. Their Dry Down Friction-Free Powder is an all-natural wetness prevention powder made from cornstarch, lavender, and organic green tea.

My initial reaction to Dry Down was, “This smells great!” The lavender scent definitely harkens to old-school barber aftershaves and the green tea gives a pleasant tingle when you first apply it.

While Jack Black smells and feels great, I found that its wetness protection couldn’t stand the heat (literally). Things were fresh and dry for just about an hour. I think the cornstarch base is to blame for the short dryness protection.

The other downside of Dry Down is the cost; $20 for a six-ounce shaker. That’s a little too much for my tastes for what is effectively just scented cornstarch.


  • Smells good (green tea and lavender)
  • Green tea gives you pleasant tingly feeling
  • All-natural


  • Expensive ($19.99 for a 6-ounce shaker)
  • Doesn’t last very long

Anti-Monkey Butt


I’ve had several readers over the years recommend Anti-Monkey Butt to me. “Monkey Butt” is a term used by motorcycle riders to describe the soreness, itching, and redness that comes from sitting and sweating on a motorcycle for hours. Anti-Monkey Butt is designed to cure and prevent such maladies. The calamine in Anti-Monkey Butt soothes irritation you may already have, while the talcum keeps you dry to prevent further irritation. The scent is light and fresh, but I wouldn’t describe it as manly. Unisex I guess.

Dryness protection is great with Anti-Monkey Butt. Lasted me all day even though I was doing a lot of outdoor chores in the heat. I wish the calamine was a bit stronger, however. I like my swamp crotch powders to burn a bit so I know they’re working.


  • Great wetness protection
  • Affordable ($8 for a six-ounce shaker)


  • The calamine could be stronger and the scent is nothing to write home about

Balla Powder


Balla Powder is basically a talcum powder with a cheeky name that hints at its intended use. First thing that stuck out to me about this product was the price tag — $13 for 5.6 ounces of talcum powder. I’m guessing the added price is for the mediocre fragrance.

Balla Powder did provide decent wetness protection. But then again I could have gotten the same effect with another talcum powder for 1/3 the price.

My recommendation: you’re better off using something else.


  • Lasted all day like any other talcum powder


  • Expensive –$12.99 for just 5.6 ounces
  • No invigorating tingling sensation
  • Smell is…okay

Baby Powder


Your mom dusted your little dangly bits with baby powder to keep things fresh and dry, so it must have the same effect as an adult, right? Yes, with a caveat. I’ve used baby powder a few times over the years to fend off swamp crotch and it works pretty swell. Smells great — like baby powder. (Bonus: It’s a scent that research has shown women find attractive. Not that you’ll have women bending over to smell your crotch during the day. Or maybe you will. You never know these days.) It’s also insanely cheap. A giant 15-ounce bottle will only set you back $4 (put that in your pipe and smoke it Balla Powder!)

If you want decent swamp crotch protection, make sure to spring for a talcum-based baby powder. Cornstarch-based powder didn’t last that long… for me anyways.


  • Smells fresh
  • Cheap
  • Lasts long (if you’re using talcum-based powder)


  • Doesn’t last very long (cornstarch-based)
  • No invigorating tingle

Pinaud-Clubman Powder


One of my favorite parts of getting a haircut is when the barber uses a straight razor to shave my neck and the hairline behind my ears. After he’s done, he gives me a light dusting with some manly smelling talc. The talcum helps soothe the skin after its close encounter with the blade. For decades, the talcum of choice for neighborhood barbers has been Pinaud-Clubman. It has a very masculine smell. Somewhat similar to the Pinaud-Clubman aftershave, but much more subtle.

I figured you could also use this talcum-based powder as a swamp crotch defender and I was correct. This was one of my favorite powders during my tests. It kept me dry down “there” all day and best of all, my crotch smelled like a barber shop. Bully!


  • Makes your crotch smell like a barber shop
  • Slight invigorating tingle
  • Cheap


  • As with all powders, it can get messy

 Dry+Goods Athletic Spray


Dry+Goods Athletic Spray is a no-mess powder spray that keeps you dry and cool all day long. It was one of my favorite products throughout the testing period. The type I bought doesn’t have much of a scent, which was fine. Dry+Goods does offer a menthol version to give you that nice, tingling feeling when you apply it. Wetness protection was fantastic. One application in the morning was all I needed.

As with the Gold Bond Powder Spray, you’ll want to be careful when applying Dry+Goods. The spray propellent comes out cold and strong. Make sure to hold the nozzle the recommend 6 to 9 inches away from your bird’s eggs when applying.


  • Direct application
  • No mess
  • Long lasting


  • Feels very cold when applied (could be a good thing)
  • Cost ($16 for a can)

Concluding Thoughts

Based on my highly scientific research, I can heartily recommend almost any talcum-based body powder as an effective swamp crotch slayer. Which one you go with will depend on 1) how much you want to spend and 2) what you want your groin to smell like.

But if you’re looking for my personal recommendations here are the five that I would recommend, in order of preference:

  1. Fresh Balls 
  2. Gold Bond Powder Spray
  3. Dry+Goods Spray
  4. Gold Bond Powder
  5. Pinaud-Clubman

What’s your preferred swamp crotch preventer? Let us know in the comments!

{ 215 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daddy Scratches August 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm

You almost have to go with “Fresh Balls” just ’cause of the name, am I right? Of course I am.

2 Jason August 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I’d like to point out it is possible to get swamp crotch in a kilt when it is really hot out, and then it gets even more uncomfortable to sit because you have the swamp coming in contact with the wool or whatever the lining of the kilt is. Not a fun time. In the winter and fall though a kilt provides amazing AC for the nuts.

3 Aaron August 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Gold bond powder is the one and only. Brett love the white cost, haha.

4 Scott W. August 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I haven’t used it personally, but my bicycling friends swear by DZNuts. A manly name for a manly region.

5 Jon August 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Great article, I like the comedic tone. It made it a great read and is a great resource. I was wondering what the best option(s) for this was, although earlier in the summer would have been handy!

6 Dan August 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I’ve been using powders for years and I’ve never had to deal with a mess. The trick, which apparently didn’t occur to Brett, is to shake powder into your hand and then use your hand to apply to the ol’ danglies. Just wash the hand afterwards.

7 David August 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

The cost for Gold Bond spray isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re going to pay that much for a product, you might as well use all of it instead of having half of it miss the intended target.

8 Dom August 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Glad to see this issue is being addressed. While it has been cooler up north this summer, the last 2 summers I struggled with Swamp and it was terrible. Men shouldn’t be afraid to talk about this stuff because it isn’t just truck drivers and fat guys that sweat down there!

9 Mike August 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I might just be using it wrong, but the Gold Bond spray has a tendency to cake up after a long day – like what happens to paint when you put it on a wet surface. You might want to make sure you’re completely dry before applying it – that might help.

10 Sam August 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I’ve been using Gold Bond since I was a teenager. Its what my father uses, and what my grandfather used. For a while I used the extra strength, which REALLY gave you that tingle if you put too much on too close to leaving the shower.

11 Rich W August 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Blue Emu works great also

12 Shwanz August 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

100% aloe vera gel. It goes on moist because, well it’s a gel. But it dries quickly and honestly you will never stay 100% dry in 100% humidity. So, what you really want down there is skin protection while your nads are knocking against your inner thighs – at least mine do. Anyway, protect your sensitive parts with aloe vera gel. You’re welcome.

13 Ert August 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

The best prevention I’ve found is not something you apply to your man parts. It is a good pair of breathable boxer briefs. If you still wear typical cotton boxers, kill two birds with one stone: grow up AND avoid swamp crotch. Best pair I’ve tried is ExOfficio Give-n-Go.

14 Jeff August 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Army guy here – been on many long ruck marches, SERE school (where Gold Bond is on the packing list amazingly) and fly helicopters. A good nut powder is a must. Lots of guys like the Anti-Monkey butt or Gold Bond. I would like to try the fresh balls though. Sounds intriguing and might leave those helicopter seats smelling a bit fresher than they do after a long flight in the Alabama heat…

15 M H Stone August 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

My vote goes with Monkey Butt. Works best for me in the Florida summer. { March thru October]. Keep up the good work and perilous field work.

16 Dan Jones August 13, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I use baby powder all the time. It works REALLY well for me. I apply in the morning, if I’m going to be out and about outside all day. I just pat it on by hand, and then sprinkle some extra in my underwear. It usually takes care of me all day, but if there’s a tiny bit of chafing by the end of the day, I apply a little more, and it takes the edge right off.

17 Mike Mlynek August 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I hate to say it but the best product I have found you may be embarrassed to buy, but not me because I’m a man and I really hate chaffed inner thighs.

It is Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel, and you can find it at Walmart. It works doesn’t smell and is a gel but applies dry. Trust me on this.

18 Mike Mlynek August 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Brett – just sent a comment about this stuff but here is the link to it.

19 Al August 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Brett is half right…the best stuff is talcum poder. However, the key added ingredient is zinc oxide. Sadly, it is very difficult to find. Ammens used be 5-10% zinc oxide and cost about $5, but I haven’t found it for ages. Your best bet is to find a powder marketed at solving diaper rash, and hopefully, you can find one with just the two ingredients…talc/zinc oxide.

20 Chris August 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I’ve been using Pinaud-Clubman for years. There are ways to reduce the mess. It just takes some getting use to. For starters apply while wearing your undershorts only and don’t use to much.

21 Vincent Milburn August 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Is there going to be a video on the YouTube page?

22 Kirk L August 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Gotta admit that I’ve never tried a powder “down undah”, mainly due to the inevitable mess it will make. I have found, however, that a good application of a petroleum jelly product (such as Vaseline, or the cheaper-but-exactly-the-same store-brand) will keep the giblets from sticking, the thighs from chafing, and the butt from becoming too raw. Used to use it all the time when out running, or when I worked in retail and was on the move all day long. Feels kinda squishy when first applied, but that feeling goes away within minutes. I was the only guy still walking normally after a day at Six Flags, as my brother and brother-in-law both succumbed to the swamp.

23 Eric August 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I use Gold Bond powder – or rather, its generic drugstore equivalent. Once, I forgot my bottle when I went on vacation, and found a travel-size bottle that lasted me the whole week and then some.

I’d like to make a special note about Gold Bond Lotion: this is not for everyday swamp crotch. This is for an already-badly-chapped lap. The bottle says “Intensive Healing,” and YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT. I had a rash for a while, and when I applied GB lotion in the morning, I had to sit down and take a few deep breaths after. Use only in case of emergency.

24 Bill August 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I have been using the normal Gold Bond powder for 11 years now, and it has always been rather good. I suggest the Maximum Strength, blue bottle for those who want hair on their chests. It is like locking your manhood in a freezer that is made of dry ice, in the arctic.

25 Ed J. August 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I prefer the Gold Bond in the green jug. It has a higher menthol content than the standard yellow bottle.

26 Charlie August 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm

As an archaeologist, I wind up working outdoors, and often covering vast distances on hot days, resulting in the topic at hand. I regularly rely on Gold Bond as my standby, but I’ve also used a product called Body Glide. I think it’s designed for more bicycle riding folks or gym focused activities, but it helps out quite a bit when there is already issues down there. It looks like a stick of deodorant, but has hardly any smell and goes on smooth and lasts most of the day. I will have to try Clubman as I like most of their other stuff. Keep up the good work, and as Adam Savage reminds us, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down!

27 Bryan August 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm

As a manly person with a vag, unfortunately the talc/cancer possibility has scared me away from using it, and although my grampa swore by it, cornstarch doesn’t do the trick. I found some powder from a place called Just the Goods, that is made from tapioca flour, arrowroot flour and kaolin clay. Works great, is dirt cheap and she will scent it with pretty much any essential oil you want. While I don’t know the precise differences between ball and labia swamp, it certainly works great for the latter

28 M. August 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Great article, as a long sufferer of this condition from going to med school in Dominica to working in South Florida, it’s nice to finally have a name for this nuisance. The miracle product that I found to be most effective, cheap and curative is woman’s deodorant. I tried it in desperation after hearing from my girlfriend that applying deodorant stops razor burns in that delicate region. And Holy Hell did it ever work! My top recommendation is the travel size Dove Cucumber Melon Powder based travel size stick. Coming in at $1-2 at your local Target/Walmart or pharmacy, it rids of swamp crotch leaving a neutralized faint melon nutty scent that your lady friend is going to subconsciously appreciate. The travel size is easy to apply and shockingly gentle due to the pH balance formulation. It’s too easy not to try.

29 Buster August 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Gold Bond rules! It’s also great to shake into one’s shoes. I’ve never had a problem with mess, except when I’ve dropped the bottle.

30 Matt August 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I’d love to see a head to head review of Sam’s Natural Down There Repair vs Fresh Balls. The former:

31 Moustachio John August 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I’ve been using Anti-Monkey Butt Powder for years now. That paired with athletic breathable boxer briefs. Best remedy I’ve ever found.

32 Jay August 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I’ve got a buddy who was a chef. He swore by cornstarch. One night “the new guy” was complaining about swamp crotch so my friend told him to grab some cornstarch. He dipped into the wrong bin and grabbed flour. Wound up with a load of dough in his pants!

33 Shawn August 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I’m going to second the recommendation for wicking boxer briefs. I have UnderArmor and Jockey and they’re both excellent.

34 Kris August 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Great article :) In Australia, the solution is to go commando and surf regularly. But when taking a long haul flight, swamp ass is always my dreaded companion. Underwear choice is the best mitigation – maybe an idea for a follow up article?

35 JBu92 August 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I like Fresh Balls. powders, apart from being messy, put the thought of things traveling up my urethra into my head, and that is one of those thoughts that’s just a brainworm and doesn’t go away all day.

36 R. Doug August 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I am a fan of all things Jack Black and bought the Dry Down powder about 3 weeks ago. I concur with your observations.

37 Bud August 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm

It’s been 30 minutes and I am still laughing at “bat wings”

38 Dwightk August 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Dr. Foot is a talc based spray available at Dollar Tree @ 4oz/$1

The only downside is the scent is inoffensive at best. It’s not too strong.

39 Gary August 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

For years I’ve used regular antiperspirant “down there” and it cured swamp crotch, jock itch, and itching.

Use a separate stick for your armpits and groin. Try it, you’ll be happy.

40 Joe August 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

White cake unscented deodorant. Haven’t been gaulded in over 10 years.

41 Henry Lee August 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Finally someone posts a credible and tested article about this horendous and embarassing problem…

42 Clint August 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

+1 on ExOfficio Give-n-Go Boxer Briefs

43 Cris E. August 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Excellent article. I think I’ll pick up one of the Gold Bonds next time I’m out.

44 Brian August 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I highly recommend body glide to prevent and reverse skin irritation due to swamp crotch. Try it and thank me.

45 Eric M August 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Another great article from Art of Manliness and the article couldn’t come at a perfect time as I will be going on a 2 days hike this weekend. I prefer BodyGlide. Not only do I use it to prevent swamp crotch, but I also use it for under my feet to prevent blisters.

46 Andrew Mac August 13, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I’ll third the recommendation on wicking boxer briefs, but my brand of choice is Duluth Trading Co Buck Naked.

47 Aaron August 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Boylease is a great pain reliever if you happened to get “crotch rot”. Instant relief, it stops the cowboy bow legged walk fast!!! You can get it at your grocery store.

48 Cari August 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

As a mother of three grown sons, believe me, this has been a topic of conversation… :D I have a natural alternative to suggest that you try. I make my own deodorant out of coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder). Add whatever essential oil that you like (I would recommend using tea tree). It works well on armpits, but I don’t have the goods to try it on. Coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. The refined kind is odorless, and the unrefined smells like coconut. An added plus is your balls will be nicely moisturized (I guess that’s not considered very manly, but hey, comfort is the most important thing, right?)

49 andy August 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Howdy from Australia, land of sweaty long hot summers. We have a fantastic thing called Resolve Creme. It’s a silicone based tinea creme that both lubricates and treats the cause of the jock itch. I was dubious but it works a treat

50 dave August 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Walmart has a nice product for this… its baby power with corn starch..its excellent

51 Bobby August 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm


52 Grayson August 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

“I first heard about Fresh Balls after watching Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Mansome, in which I also make an appearance (really, really briefly)”

Your pun did not fall on deaf ears.

53 Nick P. August 14, 2013 at 12:08 am

Another I would add is a powder called Prickly Heat. I used it when I lived in Thailand. If you want a menthol blast on your boys then this is it! Hard to find anywhere other than online if you are in the US. Good stuff though!

54 John Corcoran August 14, 2013 at 12:31 am

Hilarious article. Although I live in the often-freezing-in-summer Bay Area, I think I’m going to get me some of these lovely powders just for the thrill of it.

55 Chris B. August 14, 2013 at 1:10 am

Gold Bond or Baby Powder or Pinaud. Not gimmicky, not costly. “Fresh Balls”? Sorry, I’m not going to the proof of someone’s marketing ploy.

56 M.J. August 14, 2013 at 3:41 am

*Enter the enemy*
I am a woman (who reads this blog), with a husband (who reads this blog), so, that gives me a pass, right? Cool, thanks. :)

As a woman, I have to say that this was a fantastic post, it gave me a lot of insight to “swamp crotch” that I previously did not know about or understand. Thank you.
First off let me say that women get swamp crotch too. :/ I am not really a sweater, so corn starch works well for me when applied (dried of) fresh from the shower.

Even though I do not have to use anything stronger than plain ol’ cornstarch (arrowroot and tapioca powders would be awesome as well), I HAVE to say to you men using antiperspirant/deodorant, to not. Antiperspirant contains aluminum and clogs your pores, causing bacteria to back up in your lymph nodes and cause a myriad of problems, they also contain a bunch of chemical crap. Remember that the skin is an organ and everything you put on it, absorbs into the bloodstream, and also absorbs into the vaginal walls when you become sexually active. Spare you and your lady and don’t use antiperspirant, there are much better things, I promise. Lady products might work great, but they are laden with harsh and toxic chemicals. No, I don’t use those products, I make my own.

I have to say again though, “Thank you for the insight, my husband will be pleased with my new found understanding as well. :)

57 M.J. August 14, 2013 at 3:43 am

Also, my FIL uses “balmex”, I’ll have to refer him to your recommendations! :)

58 Raiyan Quaium August 14, 2013 at 5:03 am

Because I live in Thailand (where there is year round horrible hot weather) I have to face this problem frequently. I actually don’t have a solution for this. I am guessing get underwear that keeps you dry and also maybe roll on anti perspirent will help.

59 srd August 14, 2013 at 5:41 am

A very good and timely (for me) article to read in the morning. I have been getting some irritation “down there” and the choices I knew about came down to some Gold Bond or whatever thing they had on the shelf for $10+. I may stop at the store today and look for some of the other items.

Gold Bond also has lotions, but I don’t get enough of that “menthol feel” from them, don’t stay cool long enough. I am ready to buy some menthol crystals and mix them into lotion on my own. Heat downstairs is the enemy, if we can find a way to stay cool there we will really have something.

60 Jorge August 14, 2013 at 5:56 am

My home is Arizona, but I have been working as a contractor in Equatorial/Occidental Africa for the last four years. The number one and only product that works for me in this hot and humid land of the lost is Pinaud-Clubman powder. Pinaud-Clubman powder is a precious cargo for us as we do not have stores were we work, we have no post office, and it is not sold within 1,000 miles of our work place. Therefore, I always bring tons of this great product with me every three months during our rotation.

61 Paul August 14, 2013 at 6:35 am

This is why I love ArtofManliness! Thank you Brett for giving us men a place to have these most important discussions on manliness. I experienced many of the same problems with the powders and was happy to see the new Goldbond spray; and yes that cool tingly feeling is a great bonus.

62 Kalayo August 14, 2013 at 6:46 am

I’m a teenager and avid reader of this site. I live on a tropical paradise, where humidity is as much a part of everyday as the ocean and the sun! I’ve powdered my balls throughout most of my highschool years (I’ve already graduated), and now I pretty much can’t go back to how it was before there was snow on the bluff! To the chagrin of my friends, I have absolutely no shame of my admittance of it. They’ve taken their shots at me, but I get the last laugh having experienced a comfort they’ve never enjoyed!

63 Matt August 14, 2013 at 6:54 am

A possible application technique for the powders is to fill a sock with the powder and pat down the area with the powder filled sock. Less mess and the powder is applied only to the areas needed!

64 Max August 14, 2013 at 7:15 am

Am I the only person who did not know these products existed?

65 Dann Anthony August 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

A caution about corn starch (from personal experience); it can make a minor bacterial infection (like yeast) run wild. As my dermo told me, “bacteria eat cornstarch for food, but can’t digest talc.” That was scary. My junk was as red as a chili pepper. Switched to Cruex to treat the infection, talc for day-to-day use.

66 Sparky August 14, 2013 at 7:33 am

Starting going “commando” (without underwear) when I was in basic training in 1975. Much more comfortable, and I haven’t had a problem with crotch rot since!!!!!

67 Mike August 14, 2013 at 7:37 am

I’m on my 3rd tube of Fresh Balls, so it’s safe to say, I’m a repeat user. I mix it up with an intermittent shot of a spray powder anti-fungal.

68 Will August 14, 2013 at 7:52 am

Thanks for doing the research, Brett. I’ve been a big fan of Gold Bond powder for several years, but as you point out, it can make a real mess. I’ve got to put down the towel I used to dry myself post-shower in order to avoid getting talc all over the bathroom floor (and it doesn’t always work).

Just this past weekend, after seeing Shaq advertise the spray, I picked up a can at WalMart. Great product, though it is doggone cold on application, and it won’t spray upside down (which can be a bit problematic when applying to certain areas). But overall, I love it–the same Gold Bond freshness, with no mess. I’m sold!

69 David Couvillon August 14, 2013 at 7:57 am

In Iraq we used to say you couldn’t begin a good day until you powdered your balls! (Gold Bond Medicated, the powder of choice). However, I’m a golfer who doesn’t like to use a glove and in humid Louisiana, that’s difficult. But a friend of mine introduced me to Prince Grip Enhancer and it works perfectly well on your nether regions (though it doesn’t have the cool name of Sweaty Balls!). There are even less expensive items available: &

70 brewswain August 14, 2013 at 8:02 am

You fellas in Oklahoma dont know swamp crotch yet. Come on down to Louisiana. No powders work here. I use baby oil gel and sometimes have to apply it twice a day.

71 caleb August 14, 2013 at 8:07 am

Goldbond or generic alternatives most of the time (but the Target brand is as expensive as the real deal and seems less effective) and Bodyglide for hiking/wilderness activities to avoid interesting smells that may attract bears. I am going to try a few more of these. Great article.

72 Dr. Jim August 14, 2013 at 8:12 am

It is one thing to have to deal with moisture and chaffing, but the smell is caused by the onset of a fungus or yeast – a prelude to jock itch. Mike Mlynek is on to something with the use of an antifungal. In addition to Gold Bond, I first apply a generic clotrimazole cream when I detect the smell or feel some skin burning in the groin area. Works great.

73 OkieRover August 14, 2013 at 8:27 am

I imagine the hardest part of writing this was coming up with enough euphemisms for our man bits.
Favorite quote, “my crotch smelled like a barber shop. Bully!”
Well done sir, well done.

74 DBoy August 14, 2013 at 8:38 am

I normally don’t shave my nuts, I’ll trim so my junk doesn’t look like it belongs on a yeti, but rarely shave them smooth… Except during the summer! I sweat a lot, sit at a desk a lot, walk to and from the train morning and night. I use Pinaud daily, but its the last thing I apply before getting dressed. You gotta make sure you’re well dried or it can get a little pasty and cake, not as bad as other powders, I think because it is so fine a powder. Well that’s my two cents.

75 Joe 23 August 14, 2013 at 8:50 am

I can not be the only father here who uses the boy’s “Butt Paste”

76 Grayson August 14, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hands down, the best solution to prevent your satchel from sticking to or uncomfortably rubbing your inner thigh is to wear SAXX underwear.

Trust me, they are built in such a way that they cradle your jewels with a super soft material. Obviously, this will not help prevent odor or moisture, so still apply one of the products above.

I am in no way affiliated with the company, nor am I being compensated to promote them. They’ve just done absolute wonders for my twig ‘n berries during the summertime and I want to share!

77 Waitsel Smith August 14, 2013 at 9:30 am


How much of that stuff are you using? You shouldn’t be using enough that you’re leaving “white powdery butt-print” on furniture, unless you’re sitting around naked. You’re supposed to put a small amount in your free hand and then rub it on with both hands. I agree it’s messy, but I’ve never experienced the white butt print phenomenon with Gold Bond Powder.

I live in the South, and I’ve never heard it called “swamp crotch.” Where did that name come from?

Gold Bond Powder also works well on mild forms of jock itch.

Thanks for reaffirming my confidence in Gold Bond.

78 Rush J Carlton August 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

I’ve been using the Pinaud Clubman talcum powder for years. You want to talk hot and humid? Try working outdoors in New Orleans in July and August. And yet, the boys stay cool and dry. Well relatively so, it’s not a miracle remedy after all.

79 Russell August 14, 2013 at 9:42 am

I work in wilderness therapy, we are in the field for 8 days at a time. We don’t get breaks from the heat and humidity. I’ve found Gold Bond Med Powder to be a little intense when applying it day and night. Arrowroot powder has become my swamp fighter of choice: works well, no bear bating smells, no tingle, edible (haha), cheap (~$8/pound, as long as you don’t buy the grocery store stuff).

80 Blair August 14, 2013 at 9:45 am

I appreciate the effort in testing multiple products for this problem that affects me, as well. I prefer good old fashioned baby powder. It does the job, and it’s cheap as hell.

81 Dustin August 14, 2013 at 10:08 am

While I had not considered it thoroughly, I am certain I did not expect you to look like Howard Stark. In regards to the article, most interesting and informative. Also, saved me a bunch of time doing this myself.

82 Moeregaard August 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

Gold Bond is the one for this boy. When I was working in Hawaii, I commuted ten miles on my bicycle each way from home to the Navy base. Needless to say, things were a little nasty down there upon arrival. Allowing Little Moe and the Twins to luxuriate in a cloud of Gold Bond Powder, before changing into my “business attire” (khaki shorts and an aloha shirt), made everyone happy for the day. I also recommend Gold Bond foot powder to stave off the trench foot that working in humid climes often brings.

83 Nicholas August 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

So, I didnt read all the posts and if this has been answered, my apologies. I’d like to know how these brands, if any, hold up during rigorous physical activity. Such as: hiking, long distance runs, triathlons, GORUCK Challenges/Selection and my real reason for asking, BUD/S selection. Thanks.

84 Mark August 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

As a Scoutmaster for the recent National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, I had to educate our Southern California boys on the dangers of crotch rot, which they had never experienced in our pleasant climate. My recommendation was Body Glide lubricant for prevention because we were going to be walking a minimum of 5 miles a day and I knew it worked for preventing chafing, which was my primary concern over dryness.
The boys who did not apply the Body Glide effectively got crotch rot the first day (which I had anticipated). The best treatment for crotch rot that I know of is Desitin baby rash ointment. Each boy was supposed to have packed Body Glide and Desitin, and this strategy proved to be effective in prevention and treatment.

85 chad August 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

Wicking synthetic underwear, its all you need. Give up the cotton, and as such, the swamp.
-Sweaty Mofo in Texas

86 David August 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

I concur with Ert. Try ExOfficio “Give-n-Go” boxers. They also make undershirts by the same name which breath quite nicely. It is the only underwear you’ll find in my closet now.

87 Denzair August 14, 2013 at 11:12 am

My son and I spent 2 weeks in Africa building a house for orphans and Swamp Crotch was an issue! Luckily, one of the men that came with us was working to develop “Huppo”. It’s a linen pouch filled with powder that is placed in the “pocket” of your underwear. He offered all of us samples and, after the seemingly endless jokes were finally over, we tried it and it worked great. I would highly reccomend it. Check it out –

88 Matthew August 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

One recommendation for application of Gold bond or other talcum powder. Make a rosin bag. I use two clean socks. Place one inside the other to make it double thickness. Add the powder to the inside of the sock and tie a knot in the sock you’ve got a rosin bag. I keep it a ziplock to prevent mess in the cabinet. Pat gently to apply the powder where you want it.

89 Grayson August 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

I am a Youth Minister and we take a yearly trip to Cullman, AL in the summer. (If you can avoid it, do. It’s entirely way too hot there.) But every year I bring Gold Bond Extra Strength Power (the green bottle). Talk about a cold burn! I love that stuff, it sticks with you for a long while and you feel the tingle long after application.

90 KiltedBuckeye August 14, 2013 at 11:52 am

Step 1: Put on a kilt.

Step 2: There is no step 2.

91 Steve August 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Another awesome article. I have a suggestion to all your readers about applying powders. Years ago someone recommended apply powder down there in the shower after you dry off. The powder stays in the tub or shower and is rinsed down the drain. No mess anywhere.
I tried the Gold Bond, but my skin is to sensitive to the menthol and I break out. Talk about creating swamp crotch! Ouch.
I also concur with putting the powder on your hand and applying it that way. Less mess and you use less. Works well under your arms after you apply deodorant.

92 Dale August 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I carried a block of Alum in my pocket for years. People laughed and said there was no way that could work, but if I forgot to put it in my pocket, I would get raw. You can also make a small bean bag out of Alum crystals, if you can’t find it in block form.

93 Shawn August 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I swear by gold bond spray. Was so relieved to get off of the powder. Tired of floor looking like the cops were dusting for prints. A word of caution. If you manscape be aware that your coin purse will burn for a bit after applying.

94 M August 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I think you broke new ground with this one, Brett. lol. But seriously, it was an interesting article.

95 Tom August 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Hi Brett,

Interesting article, and as others have said the comedic tone was well appreciated, haha. Not really a problem I’ve ever dealt with, which I find somewhat surprising as I’m a bit on the bigger side, but all I’ve ever had is my thighs chafing against each other.

However, and I know it’s a stretch towards off-topic, but in a few of the other comments there seems to be some confusion as to deodorants vs. anit-perspirants. And they’re different. I think that quite a few people clump them together and it’s not good. One comment reads “Antiperspirant/deodorants clog your pores” which may be true of antiperspirant but not typically of deodorant.

96 Bob August 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm

“Noczema” Original You only need a very small amount applied daily. It will heal any rash you have and prevent any further outbreaks as long as you bathe and reapply daily.

97 Brandon August 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I’ve only had this problem the past few years and didn’t know why – but come to find out it is a normal problem, which I keep telling my wife!

I don’t really like the talc options, as it seems risky and try to avoid as many chemicals as I can, so I go with the Gold Bond Ultimate powder, which is talc-free, but still leaves me dry all day.

Another thing I just started trying is using a fairly new product called “Sweat Block” – you just put it on once and it will act as an antiperspirant for 7 days. Works pretty well in my experience and not too costly.

98 Ken August 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Will check out the sprays. Also, you need to go with ExOfficio Give-n-Go boxers or boxer briefs. They are pricey, but worth it. Finally have a drawer full of them.

99 Evan August 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Well, I just bought the Gold Bond spray, and I must say the menthol is the most distracting thing I have ever experienced. I try to concentrate on something, like writing this, but all I can think is, my nuts are cold.

100 Jared August 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm

A hint on using powder: Use a shaving brush (I hope I don’t have to state the obvious that this will be a dedicated brush) to brush the powder on. Apply a little powder to the brush, brush the gents, and you’re all set. It’s still a little messy, but helps cut down.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter