Article updated: January 2, 2023
Running a blog that is geared towards men’s health, hygiene, and grooming has elicited many strange questions from my readers over the years.
One such question that pops up in my inbox with surprising frequency is: Why does my boyfriend smell like fish down below?
Yes, believe it or not that question is asked far more frequently than you probably would’ve ever guessed or imagined.
Now if my inbox was flooded with questions from men asking why their girlfriend smells like fish down below, now that would be a bit more understandable. Because, well, you know… that’s a fairly common thing that women deal with. No judgements from me ladies. I get it…. bacteria, pH balances, yeast, yadda yadda…. there’s a lot going on down there that needs attention, and shit happens.
Now men on the other hand aren’t commonly known to smell like a fish processing plant down below, but it does in fact happen.
While many men will never experience the unpleasantness of a fishy smelling package (thankfully), there are plenty of guys out there who suffer from this nasty issue.
So what the hell causes the male groin area to smell like fish? Is it normal? What can be done about it?
In this article I will cover all of these questions, offer some solutions, and hopefully, for your sake and sanity, put an end to the fishy smelling disaster that is known as your boyfriends package.
Causes of Fishy Smelling Groin in Men
Smegma – AKA “Dick Cheese”
As appetizing as cheese might be, I can assure you that you want no part of this sort of cheese. Smegma is probably the most disgusting natural body substance that will ever grace the planet earth. Aptly nicknamed “dick cheese”, smegma is a horrific smelling buildup that can occur around the head of an uncircumcised penis if proper hygiene is not being practiced. Consisting of sebum, dead skin cells, and sweat, smegma looks and often times smells like gooey white cheese, sour milk, and in some cases, fish.
Although smegma is typically associated with an uncircumcised penis, in can in fact develop on a circumcised penis if there are folds and creases present around the head. In fact smegma can even be found in the folds of the vagina, although this is typically less common.
So, smegma… gross right? The good news is that smegma is easily eradicated by good hygiene. The bad news is that your boyfriend’s hygiene probably sucks — hence the dick cheese. Smegma is easily prevented by thoroughly washing under the foreskin and in between folds, creases, and crevices located around the head of the penis.
If smegma is in fact present on your boyfriend’s penis, the first course of action should be to help improve his grooming and hygiene habits. For this I recommend using a soap that is specifically designed for a man’s groin area such as Chassis 5-in-1 Shower Primer. This unique body wash is formulated to provide a deep down clean while also helping to keep sweat and odor at bay throughout the day.
Dried Semen (Jizz)
One of the most common causes of a fishy smelling groin in men is dried up old semen. While fresh semen typically doesn’t smell like fish, it’s actually quite common for old, dry semen to have some unpleasant fishy notes to it.
While it’s not my job to speculate as to why your boyfriend might have dried up semen on his penis, I will say that one of the most common reasons is masturbation.
Yes, as I am sure you are well aware, most (i.e. all) men masturbate. While masturbation itself is extremely common and generally accepted as normal behavior, it can become a problem if the masturbator (your boyfriend) isn’t properly cleaning up after the deed is done. Semen that is allowed to dry on the penis can often develop a fishy odor once it starts to mingle with groin sweat and bacteria. The odor can become noticeably worse the longer your boyfriend goes without showering.
So even though old semen might be the cause of your boyfriend’s fishy smelling groin, the root of the problem is actually bad hygiene. While it can be tricky to get a grown man to change his bad hygiene ways, it’s certainly worth a conversation if his fishy smelling crotch is an issue for you (it should be).
If your serious about improving your boyfriend’s crotch hygiene, you might want to check out one of my previous articles covering the best soaps and body washes for men’s groin.
Although your boyfriend might not want to admit it, it’s entirely possible that the cause of his fishy smelling crotch might simply be the result of piss poor hygiene.
One of the smelliest places on a man’s body (likely the smelliest) is the crotch/groin/ass hole region. The reason this area is capable of being so foul smelling is because it’s the perfect breeding ground for odor causing bacteria to thrive and multiply.
Since your boyfriend’s crotch spends the majority of its day constricted by underwear and pants, it’s highly likely that sweat and moisture is present throughout the day.
And if there is one thing that odor causing bacteria absolutely love, it’s a warm, moist environment. Once these bacteria get the party started, they begin forming products called thioalcohols. These thioalcohols have a very pungent odor which is often compared to sulfur, meat, onions, cheese, and in some cases fish.
The solution to preventing odor causing bacteria all comes down to hygiene and a little bit of preventative maintenance. If your boyfriend is lacking in the hygiene department, the problem is easily solved by him showering and thoroughly cleansing his junk on a daily basis. If you suspect that your boyfriend’s current showering routine is lacking, I recommend checking out my list of best soaps and washes for mens balls.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
While it’s much more common for women to get UTI’s, men can certainly get them too. UTI’s occur when the urinary tract becomes infected by bacteria. Some of the most common causes of infection are from: Sex, urinary retention (an inability to drain all the urine from the bladder), diabetes, kidney stones, and an enlarged prostate.
While UTI’s present a wide range of symptoms, some of the most obvious symptoms include:
- Fishy smelling penis
- A frequent need to pee
- Burning sensation while peeing
- Dark urine
- Foul smelling urine
The good news about UTI’s is that they are easily treated with antibiotics. If you or your boyfriend suspect that a UTI is the cause of their fishy smelling penis; a trip to the doctor’s office might be in order.
Yeast Infection (Penile Yeast Infection)
Kind of like a urinary tract infection, most people associate yeast infections with women. But what you might not know is that men can get yeast infections too.
Penile yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a certain type of fungus called candida. While candida is commonly found on the skin in small quantities, an overgrowth of this fungus can lead to a penile yeast infection.
Two of the most common causes of a candida overgrowth in men are:
- Having unprotected intercourse with a woman who has a yeast infection.
- Poor hygiene.
While the symptoms of a penile yeast infection can vary, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Itching at the head of the penis
- Burning or stinging at the head of the penis
- Burning or stinging sensation while urinating
- Moist skin on the penis
- Areas of shiny, white skin on the penis
- Redness and inflammation
- Foul smelling discharge
The good news is that penile yeast infections are pretty easy to treat with over the counter topical anti-fungal ointments and creams. In serious cases a prescription strength treatment might be required.
Trimethylaminuria (Fish Odor Syndrome)
Since trimethylaminuria is a long ass word and pretty much impossible to pronounce, I’ll refer to this disorder simply as fish odor syndrome.
While it’s highly unlikely that fish odor syndrome is why your boyfriend smells like fish down below, I wanted to include it on this list because as unlikely as it may be, it’s still possible.
Fish odor syndrome is a rare metabolic disorder that causes sweat, urine, semen, and breath to give off a strong fishy odor.
While I’m not going to get too heavy into the science behind the disorder, I will say that the primary cause of fish odor syndrome is a defect in the way an enzyme called flavin-containing monooxygenase 3 is produced in the body.
Like I said, fish odor syndrome is extremely rare. It’s also more commonly found in women than men. That being said, if you suspect fish odor syndrome is the cause of your boyfriend’s fishy smelling groin, a simple urine or blood test is all that’s needed to diagnose.
If you want to learn more about fish odor syndrome you can do so here.
Thanks for reading. If you have any comments, questions, or experiences please share them in the comment section below.
34 thoughts on “Why Your Boyfriend Smells Like Fish Down Below & What to do About it”
Okay wow, I didn’t expect to find an article about this topic but here it is. I started to notice my boyfriend smelling like fish down there about a month ago and since then the smell has come and gone. Sometimes it smells fishy while other times it doesn’t. I haven’t said anything to him about it because it hasn’t been persistent and I don’t want to embarrass him about it. I guess I’m just kind of hoping that the problem will go away on its own. After reading the list of possible reasons for the fishy smell, I am leaning more towards him masturbating and not cleaning up properly. And maybe his hygiene might be lacking lately, I’m not sure. What I do know is that I really want the smell to go away for good and I don’t want to make him feel bad about himself. Maybe I’ll try gifting him a new body wash and see how that works out. I see you recommended a few body washes for men in the article. Maybe I’ll give one of those a try. Thanks
Thanks for sharing. Good luck.
My situation is fairly similar to the last person’s comment but it involves my husband and he is well aware of the smell. The fishy odor started about 4 weeks ago and it is directly related to how long it has been since he last showered. The problem goes away once he takes a shower but it comes back later in the day once he starts sweating. We don’t think it’s a UTI or yeast infection, but we think it has something to do with bacteria. We just don’t understand why his groin sweat started smelling like fish all of the sudden, it was never like this before. And it’s only his groin that gets the fishy odor. Not his armpits or elsewhere on the body. Strange.
I get this problem when semen TOUCHES my penis. The only way I get it to go away is showering twice daily and most importantly coating my D with baby powder for a few days.
I have recently started to date a guy who’s well aware that his dick smells like fish, I have sent him info on it that it shouldn’t smell that way(it took a lot of courage to say something), he laughed it off saying that’s the third time you have made me snort laugh today….. I don’t know how to broach the situation again, I’m seriously considering just ending things, I have an aversion to seafood and to be honest if it smells that way I don’t want it inside of me, how would you say it without offending him?
It sounds to me like he isn’t nearly concerned enough with the fact that his dick smells like fish. Based on his response to you letting him know, I think it’s safe to surmise that he simply doesn’t care. If you really like the guy, try letting him know that his dick has a weird fishy odor and it’s kind of a turn off. You don’t have to be mean, but make sure he knows you’re not just joking around. If he continues to do nothing to remedy the situation, you likely would be left with no choice but to end the relationship. At least that’s what I would do in your situation. I personally hate seafood as well.
My boyfriend smells like fish on his penis and it’s making me sick!!! I’m almost positive the reason is because he jerks off too much and doesn’t wash up afterwards. He walks around with dried up old semen on his junk and it stinks like fish. What can I do? Wash him like a baby? Spray his groin with body spray? Cover him in body powder while he’s sleeping?
Unfortunately my husband doesn’t seem to fit into any of these categories. Are there any other reasons why a guy can smell of fish down there?
My husband is very clean.
He has no discharge.
No pain or discomfort.
No irritation or inflammation.
No trouble peeing.
I’ve given it a good look over myself to see if I can see anything untoward and it looks healthy and clean but still smells disgusting. We’ve both used canesten before but with no improvement? What about soaking in a bath of Epson salts? Any advice will be appreciated!
Has he changed his diet recently? Maybe he should try drinking water only for awhile and see if that helps.
To be honest could be what he’s using to wash down there as men also have a Ph balance too! Maybe using a none scented brand or a good old bar of soap!
Wow. I’ve only been with one other person in my life that smelled like that and for the longest time thought it was me! But after being with other people since, I’ve never come across it again. It wasn’t a hygiene issue for sure. Masterbation issue possibly? The smell was noticeable more during sex which is why I thought it was myself for the longest time. That was years ago. Now, the new guy I’m dating has that same smell. What is it?! Most guys smell more like chlorine but I guess you get the random dude that smells fishy. Do they know it’s them? I dont want him to think it’s me. Do they think that’s the normal smell of sex?
Well my boyfriend smells like fish down below and I’m on the verge of dumping his sorry ass because of it. If i wanted to smell fish while going downtown I would eat a fish flavored lollipop. I don’t think his hygiene is out of order, he showers every day. Maybe he’s simply not washing up properly or thoroughly enough. I see you mentioned he should be exfoliating the skin and I can’t say for certain he’s doing that. He might just be doing a half ass job in the shower and not getting all the nasty little bacteria off his balls and penis area. On the other hand it could be a masturbation issue but again I can’t say for certain there either. Either way thanks for the helpful and informative info. Definitely plenty of things to consider here.
Great content here. I thought I was alone in this fishy situation (lol) but I guess not. Plenty of these other comments are talking about the same type of situation I’m experiencing with my boyfriends fishy situation. After reading the possible causes of the fishy smelling odor I’m not sure what to think. Truth is it could be any number of the reasons you list. Then again it could be none. It definitely gives me a place to start at least with questioning and observing my boyfriend. Secretly of course lol.
Idk but same freakin problem. He isn’t cut. I was thinking that’s why but at this point, it grosses me out and throws off my ph and then I start smelling like it too. Like wtf is really going on?? I’ve never in my 30 years had this problem
I’ve experienced the same with my hubs. He’s cut and smells fishy. And every time we have sex, I always smell like him and it throws my PH off. I’ve been going crazy tryin to figure out why it smells. He takes a shower and washes well, but he will smell a few hours after his shower. The only thing I can think of, is it could be the Smega aka dick cheese. Bc his smells funky near the head and the rim. It drives me crazy.
I have this EXACT SAME problem where I start to smell like him after sex. My pH is ALL out of whack, I use boric acid suppositories to try and manage the smell but at this point I’m gonna have to make it his problem to manage. I know he masturbates a LOT so maybe he’s not cleaning up well afterwards. I’m just relieved to see I’m not the only woman dealing with this. I thought it was something embarrassing that was wrong with ME, but I never had this problem with male partners before.
Thank you for sharing your experience!
I’m a 44 year old male and I started getting this fishy smell about a year ago. The smell is VERY pronounced after a run or sweaty workout. I’m going to stop masturbating to see if that has an effect. But I haven’t really changed anything when it started. I have excellent hygiene and even scrub those parts extra. I eat mostly healthy and have no other issues so I hope this works. Otherwise I’m at a loss.
My hubs and I are open, and He’s the only guy that has the fishy smell. I have a few guy friends I see on the side and they never smells fishy.
And always after my husband and I have sex, I always smell fish, but I can have sex w my guy friends and never smell fishy. It drives me crazy. All of these men are cut so idk why my husbands smells this way.
The husband has good hygiene but the fishy smell will come and go. And appear a few hours after his shower. He doesn’t have any symptoms of an infection or disease. It’s driving me crazy bc I don’t want to smell bad when I visit my guy friends.
I understand that it can definitely stink after a guy cums, but it’s not always that they just “didn’t wipe it clean after”, personally for me it was always the fact of after. If I masturbate and it’s warm out that’s 2 contributing factors for the odor and the dried up semen in my case always secretes afterwards. I can wipe my dick completely dry and 10 minutes later I’ll find a cum stain in my underwear. I’ve also sat nude after sex or masturbating and I’ve noticed that its just more like a pipe that’s leaking slowly.
the guy that i’ve been messing with smells like it and then it’ll go away and then the next link he’ll smell like it again. and i think i determined what it is. he ALWAYS has his hand just like on his genitals like it just sits there all day, and i think it sweats and causes the smell . because he doesn’t have a hard time peeing, so not a uti. we regularly get tested so i know that’s also not the case as well. AND idk how to tell him but if it happens again ima have to tell him 😭
Thank you for sharing!
My boyfriend has an awful fishy odor around his groin area and it has been ongoing since we started dating (perhaps even longer). I want to tell him about it but like man have said here I don’t want to embarrass him or risk ruining the relationship. As far as cause goes I have really no idea what it could be.
My boyfriend has a fishy smell when he ejaculates. It’s not all the time but sometimes. I’m gonna have a sit down. Enough is enough.
Thanks for sharing, Gina. Good luck.
I landed here after asking google why my dick smells like death. Of course I used a private browser. It’s definitely semen to penis contact for me & I don’t leave myself a mess after either. I have to wash it with soap or I smell like rotten shrimp shells. I doesn’t help that I’m overweight and a grower not a show-er. Meaning that there’s very little fresh air getting to the head. I shower after sex like a germaphobe and make sure I pee after climaxing. A few days of coating my junk in baby powder solves the problem.
If I’m being honest I’m a uncut 20 year old male. I have a absolutely horrible diet and I’m almost always dehydrated but I’ve had this fish smell for forever. I don’t have anything I’ve been testing and I’ve had this smell since before my first sexual encounter. I don’t understand why or how to help it and it’s honestly stressing me out. Girls do comment on it. Does anyone have any tips how to help the situation? I shower and clean best I can but the smell comes back the day after.
Finally I feel like I am not alone. My boyfriend’s semen smells fishy. I constantly get BV because of my boyfriend. It used to not be that way. I tell him he needs to drink more water. I even questioned if probiotics would help. I read that the smell has a lot to do with a poor diet. They suggest non processed foods and plenty of water. Like, after sex, the room stinks, but not the usual smell. I’ve only had this problem with him and an ex.
My boyfriend smells like fish down below often and I am seriously turned off by it. It wasn’t always like this either. It started maybe 6 months ago where I would occasionally get a whiff of a fishy odor while we were in bed but now it has become more prominent and I smell it more often and stronger now. I did mention it to him once in a kind, gentle way but the problem persists and I’m not entirely sure if he even smells the fish stink! As to what the problem could be I don’t know. You highlighted a few possible causes in this article that I think could potentially be the problem but I will have to ask my boyfriend directly to be sure which I’m kind of not looking forward to because I don’t want to embarrass him.
I have this problem where I smell like fish down there and I’m super paranoid about it and self conscious. I haven’t really been in a serious relationship since it started about 6 months ago and I don’t think I will be in one until I get this taken care of. I’m not sure what caused it but it’s been pretty persistent for the past 6 months and I’m really getting tired of it. I haven’t gone to a doctor yet because I was hoping it would just clear up on its own and because I’m embarrassed to tell anyone in person.
Urgh same issue. I love my man but it’s such a turn off when I go to give him surprise head to wake him up and im punched in the face with that smell. He ALWAYS throws off my ph which I have to regulate with boric acid suppositories. And after sex I then smell like fish. It wasn’t like this until now 3 years in. We’re faithful to each other and have been tested. I honestly just assumed it was because he isn’t circumcised. Guess I’ll raise it again in a convo with the info in this article. My poor ph 😢
My Bf has a pungent smell too but I found it arousing rather than put me off it grows my libido amd excitement
Ended up on this comment section coz my bf smells like fish, same on the other comment I thought it was me. It got me paranoid. I confirmed that it was him when I was giving him head, he stank like fish. Everytime he use the toilet and after him I use the toilet, the toilet smells fish.Also when I was doing our laundry I can smell it from his pants and also from the couch where he sits. I already told him wipe or wash his butt properly but he still stinks. I’m guessing also is it because he’s uncircumcised.
So, I’m here cause my boyfriend smells too and was trying to build up the courage to say something. I don’t notice the snell anywhere else on his body or breath. I don’t Even notice it when we have just penetration sex. It’s only when I get real close like for oral. I don’t enjoy doing it anyway but that really makes it hard. I am guessing since he doesn’t have the smell anywhere else, it must be dried semen. He also eats a bunch of tuna and initially I was thinking while it may not be the official syndrome mentioned above, it’s still somewhat happening just cause he eats so much of it. I dunno but it’s gotta change.