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How often should you wash your bra?

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Excerpted from an article in Slate

My girlfriend of six months has worn the same bra every day now for two weeks. I really wonder: Is this a normal thing for most women or a psychological issue? I feel it is a matter of hygiene, abnormal behavior, and also really gross.

—Dirty Laundry

Dear Dirty,

Perhaps your worries about hygiene arise from watching too much soft-core porn in which women get in the shower and soap their breasts for extended periods. This is not because breasts are intrinsically dirty but because such scenes are gratifying to dirty minds. If bra hygiene were an actual issue, don't you think American womanhood would have been subjected to decades of commercials along the lines of, "What's that smell?" "It's Myrna's bra. Someone has to tell her!" On your behalf, I actually polled some of the cleanest women I know on their bra-washing schedules. The answers ranged from "weekly" to "when my white bras look black and can walk themselves to the washing machine." The average was a monthly laundering. So your girlfriend's behavior is perfectly normal and neither unhygienic nor gross. I understand that the intimate rituals of the opposite sex can be mysterious and even repulsive to the uninitiated. But if you want your girlfriend of six months to be your girlfriend six months from now, you will drop the judgmental tone and think of yourself as a lucky explorer of a fascinating, strange land.

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