I started this summer off recently single. I wouldn’t say I was back on the market so much as not shopping there anymore. I wasn’t interested. I’d never really “dated” before and didn’t know what to expect. My strategy was thus to avoid it entirely. So when, in August, I got asked out on my first real date with a film student I knew from college, I panicked. He suggested that instead of a formal date at a bar or restaurant, we keep it super casual. A walk on the High Line? That seemed low stakes enough. And besides, if he was creepy or dared to mention Quentin Tarantino even once, I could easily throw myself off the elevated park.
Just when I thought I didn’t have to sweat it, I checked the weather forecast and realized our date happened to be the week of a New York City heat wave. A casual stroll on the Highline turned into a tango in Dante’s Inferno. Single life was going swell(tering).
Let me backup for a sec: I have CDS (Chronic Date Sweat). Heat is my kryptonite. Mix it with some nerves, and we have ourselves a recipe for disaster and pit stains. Some of my biggest triggers (aside from the weather) are any mention of an ex-girlfriend, surprise physical contact, and the all too classic prompt: “tell me about yourself,” which always causes me to forget who the eff I am. I’ve found various coping mechanisms to deal with my condition: running to the bathroom to dab toilet paper under my armpits, avoiding basically every color but black, and of course, pretending to scratch my face when really, I’m wiping off sweat. But my attempts to hide my overactive eccrine glands (thanks WebMD) have their limitations. So I invested in some sweat proof gear to see if summertime dating was salvageable for me. Here’s what I got:
For Mr. High Line, I whipped out my plain white anti-sweat tee. Seeing as it was before Labor Day, I was excited about wearing a white shirt (without the yellow pit stains!). However, things took a dark turn when I actually put the shirt on and realized it was totally see-through. An important decision had to be made: pits or tits. Should I wear a shirt that wasn’t see-through and risk sweat stains or wear the see-through sweat-proof shirt? I felt like I owed it to the sweaters of the world to give the shirt a go, so I put on my most padded bra and was out the door! Unfortunately, the shirt was no match for my CDS. He saw pits, tits, and everything in between.
I also used the tapioca starch on this date, and put it in my sneakers to combat feet sweat. While searching for said powder on the internet, I realized it’s marketed as a product for male genitalia. It actually worked great, but I did get a text from my mom asking why I ordered “ball powder” on her Amazon Prime account. Perks of a family plan.
But my tour de dates wasn’t over yet; I had one more that week. This time a movie date. I prepared for battle and stuck the underarm shields under my shirt. I also used witch hazel on my face before my date (it apparently hinders sweat glands), and popped on some concealer.
Surprisingly, the sweat shields worked. They adhere to the inside of your shirt and cover the area around your armpits. Even my five-block walk from the subway to the theater was no match for these bad boys. With each burning step, I could feel the sun trying to sabotage my chances of getting laid. Not today, Satan! These cotton patches were my guardian angels, soaking up the sweat before it could reach my shirt. On the downside, they look like maxi pads. So if you and your date decide to take things to the next (naked) level, be warned that he might be under the impression that you’re having your period from your armpits.
The witch hazel also helped, mostly because my face was extremely dry before leaving my apartment, and I noticed a considerable decrease in forehead sweat as I was walking to the theater. Usually my face is so — sorry — moist by the time I get to my destination, that there is no hope for damage control. I didn’t even have to run to the bathroom and splash my face with cold water this time!
Finally, the concealer didn’t have much of an effect, but it did start to melt off as soon as I went out in the sun. Luckily movie theaters are dark (and air conditioned!), so I wiped off my melting face in the shadows before my date could even notice.
Overall, there’s hope for those of us suffering from CDS, a medical term I definitely made up. And while some of the products did help in combating date sweat, I think your safest bet is to just avoid dating from May to September entirely. (Kidding! Sorta.)