The most successful industries out there are the ones that play to consumers’ insecurities. Many self-care companies prey on people’s anxieties about how they look and smell, offering products that purport to make the wearer more appealing to romantic prospects and the rest of society by making them more attractive and less smelly. For much of the modern era, these products have been aimed at women, reinforcing dominant beauty standards and making bucket loads of money as sales have soared. Recently, that strategy has grown to reach a previously untapped market: men and people with penises. A slew of companies now offer all sorts of sprays, balms, and supplements for men’s nether regions. While convincing men to invest in full body hygiene, they are also changing modern ideas about masculinity.
This week on Gadget Lab, we invite WIRED’s head of research Zak Jason to describe his descent into the weird world of testicle sprays, bag balms, and men’s wellness products.
Read Zak’s story about hisof the nascent men’s beauty products industry. Read Ashley Lauretta’s investigation into even though we know it’s bad for us. Find our conversation about voicemails and audio messages in .
Zak recommends leaving your friends voicemails in the middle of the day. Mike recommends the podcast. Lauren recommends going to bed earlier.
Zak Jason can be found on Twitter @. Lauren Goode is @ . Michael Calore is @ . Bling the main hotline at @ . The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@ ). Our theme music is by .
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by . We’re on too. And in case you really need it, .