Life

“The heatwave is upon us, and we need to talk about chafing”

Do your thighs ravish one another feverishly like new lovers in a romantic novel? Writer Danielle Dash feels your pain…

I am going to learn how to love myself as much as my thighs love one another. Other people’s thighs may offer up a chaste kiss from time to time, but my thighs? Not a day goes by where they do not ravish one another feverishly like new lovers in a romantic novel.

The colder months mean my thighs are separated from each other by the fabric of my jeans or trousers, so I’m less bothered by the constant rubbing. During the summer, however, I’m forced to reckon with my thighs’ magnetic attraction. These days I’m a lot more fastidious when it comes to ensuring my in between thigh comfort but there was a time when I took the power of the chub rub for granted. I paid dearly for my mistake and vowed that I would never again be caught slipping… Or not slipping, as the case may be.

You may also like

It’s time to accept that women don’t ‘glow’ – we sweat

Picture the scene: I was far from home and it was my first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. On my last day I wore my favourite maxi dress as I ran from venue to venue feeling very fancy. The only problem? That morning I hadn’t taken the time that I would normally take to moisturise between my thighs – I was late so did the lazy thing of only moisturising the parts of my body that others would see. 

My dry skin, coupled with my sweat, created the perfect environment for chafing. The first hour wasn’t so bad but as the midday sun rose in that Scottish sky my thighs not so much rubbed as scraped against each other, like two pieces of fleshy sandpaper. By the end of the day I had taken to walking with my legs apart like the cowboys of old. That was the last time I ever went out into the world without ensuring my thighs were protected from the scourge that is chafing. 

With that in mind, allow me to share the seven truths about chafing, as experienced by yours truly…

dani dash
“I am going to learn how to love myself as much as my thighs love one another”: writer Danielle Dash

The aftermath

When I got back to London after my jaunt north of the Wall (or Scotland, as it’s called), the skin between my thighs was raw and the thought of them touching, even when I sat down, sent small pinpricks of pain crawling up my spine. I couldn’t wear a dress or a skirt for two weeks while I treated my irritated skin with ice packs and aloe vera gel. I look spectacular in all clothes but especially dresses and skirts, so the fact I wasn’t able to flaunt my juicy thighs was unfair, not just to me, but to those whose lives would have been improved for having seen me. 

There are so many products

Whether it’s anti-chafing bands, special underwear, dusting powder or your mum’s secret blend of coconut oil and ylang-ylang, you’re never at a loss for products to help you overcome chafing. Every year, summer creeps up on me and before I know it, it’s time to get my pins out. Yet I never leave myself enough time to road test all these products and find out which one is really best for me. 

The discolouration

For people of colour, chafing can lead to hyperpigmentation that leaves the skin with dark circles. If your thighs chafe, you may have discolouration between your legs. I know the skin between my thighs is darker than the rest of my legs and I have chosen to redirect any energy I’d expend worrying that others might discover my inner thighs are slightly darker than my outer thighs, to actually remembering to protect my thighs from themselves before I head outside.

The planning and the preparation

In the summer, why can’t I just pick an outfit out of my wardrobe, throw it on and call it day? I’m constantly considering my thighs. Did I leave my current anti-chafe product of choice at home when I went to the gym? Will I be able to reapply it while I’m out? Is my bag big enough to fit my special thigh gel? Did I just get some on my skirt?!  

Wishing summer away

British summer time is such a finite resource that it feels terrible wishing for autumn to arrive. But for the love of God, I just want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin.  

The name

Let’s find a better name for this experience. “Chafing” is too clinical and “chub rub” makes it sound cute, fluffy and nonthreatening, almost like kneading bread. These names are not at all indicative of the reality of what’s going on. Let’s call it “thigh conflict” or “thigh clash”. I think that way we can be honest about exactly what’s going on with our bodies.

Chub rub isn’t about your size

A common misconception is that chafing only happens to larger people and an easy way to put an end to the pain is to simply lose weight. This dangerous myth ignores the reality that people of all sizes are together in this battle against the rubbing of the chub. We must not allow fatphobia to stop us from coming together to share all our secrets about chafing. 

Whether your thighs chafe or your arms chafe, and regardless of your size – let’s remember that none of us are alone.

Images: Getty, courtesy of author

Topics

Share this article

Recommended by Danielle Dash

Life

It’s time to accept that women don’t ‘glow’ – we sweat

Rising temperatures mean chafing thighs and sweaty underboobs, and that’s okay.

Posted by
Alix Walker
Published
People

A woman’s body hair is perfectly normal, and Halsey’s Rolling Stone cover proves it

Body positivity at its best.

Posted by
Christobel Hastings
Published
People

If you follow one person on Instagram today, make it Chessie King

Meet the internet’s new best friend

Posted by
Meena Alexander
Published
People

Exclusive: How Jameela Jamil’s I Weigh became a global movement

“We’ve become like a bat signal for toxic content”

Posted by
Meena Alexander
Published
Life

An open letter to every plus-size swimmer who’s afraid of being mocked at the pool

It’s time to put an end to body-shaming once and for all, says swimmer Ella Foote.

Posted by
Ella Foote
Published