You would think that it is safe to assume that every adult knows how to care for their genitals properly, but in my travels and conversing with a number of people, I have become aware of just how wrong that assumption is. I can understand why an adult wouldn't know how to properly care for their private parts if no one has shown them, but there are too many resources to reference to find how to cleanse properly to remain blissfully ignorant.
Maintaining proper genital health is highly important in maintaining overall health and preventing the spread of harmful bacteria and STDs. It's also important during the process of building intimacy with your partner. If your private parts carry a foul smell, the stench will send your partner heading to the hills never to request sex again ( or some may accept the sex and talk about you behind your back). Proper care and cleansing is simple and doesn't take more than 2-5 minutes in a daily shower. Here are some basic tips on how to cleanse properly.
The one issue we have as women is that the vagina is a space within our bodies where we can't see what is going on or how it has been affected. Bacteria, semen and discharge can get stuck within the vaginal walls and around the cervix for days or even weeks, so it is important to cleanse thoroughly daily. Douching is the one process that advertisers recommend, but your average GYNE will tell you that using a douche IS NOT HEALTHY for your vagina simply because it will throw off the pH balance of the vagina. The best way to clean the vagina is to take a warm bath and soak for 15-30 minutes. Of course a bath isn't going to fit into your schedule if you're rushing out the house to get to work, but use your after work time to relax and give your vagina the care it needs.
Also remember to clean the parts of the vulva thoroughly. Pulling the labia minora (small lips) apart and cleaning around then will reduce the amount of bacterial buildup around your urethra and help prevent the contraction of a UTI (urinary tract infection). Don't forget to pull back the skin around the clitoris to cleanse the delicate skin of bacterial buildup (you may notice a whitish buildup around the clitoris when you pull the hood back...CLEAN IT OFF) . One major thing to pay attention to is the natural smell your vagina gives off and the color and consistency of your natural discharge. If there are any changes in the color of the discharge or in the smell of the vagina, then seek medical attention to make sure you aren't carrying an infection. Sprays, powders and washes will only mask the smell if there is a dangerous level of bad bacteria or a virus present.
Cleansing the penis is much more simple than the vagina since it hangs outside of the body. Men that have a foreskin need to make sure to roll the skin back and clean around it to avoid the buildup of dead skin cells and bacteria that can cause odor. For men that don't have a foreskin, making sure to clean around the rim of the head of the penis is critical, and cleansing the scrotum (balls) for both circumcised and uncircumcised men in necessary. A smelly ball sack is a huge turn off for any woman that wants to go down on her partner.
Anti bacterial soaps like Dial are great to use when cleansing the genitals, and formulas for sensitive skin since the genitals are made up of some of the most delicate skin on the body. If the skin around the genitals becomes dry, using a few drops of vitamin E oil will add some moisture to the area without disturbing the genitals' ecosystem. Whether you take a bath or utilize a quick shower, always remember to use a bit of friction to scrub away any unwanted particles, but know the limits of how much pressure to apply to avoid damaging any parts of the genitals.