2 min

Better sex

With breath mints for boys & girls

PREPARE BEFOREHAND. Breath mints are for more than kissing. Credit: Jennifer Gillmor

Breath mints make oral sex better.

Anything that makes your tongue tingle will do the same for your partner’s nether regions.

“People have been using menthol for a long time,” says Cory Silverberg, from the Come As You Are sex store.

Altoids is one of the biggies. The “curiously strong candy” got its reputation from Internet gossip.

The info circulated in e-mail, like many other urban myths.

Until it reach Monica Lewinsky.

She went on to use the mints to improve her game with President Bill Clinton.

According to the Starr report, “Ms Lewinsky showed him an e-mail describing the effect of chewing Altoid mints before performing oral sex. Ms Lewinsky was chewing Altoids at the time, but the President replied that he didn’t have enough time for oral sex.”

Not surprisingly, sales increased tremendously, boosting Altoids to the number three spot in the US breath-mint industry (a 58 percent increase in one year).

Here’s another possible urban myth: Whole American towns were sold out of Altoid breath mints after a radio announcer reported their efficacy in increased pleasure.

Says Silverberg: “Altoids got the reputation because they’re so strong.”

They’re especially good for girls.

Because female genitals are made of the same sensitive membranes that cause our mouths to tingle when sucking on a mint, the sensation during oral sex is rumoured to be spectacular.

Although Silverberg has never tried Altoids for oral sex, he has tried Halls and says, “You definitely notice the difference.”

Altoids won’t admit intentionally using suggestive advertising as a result of the phenomenon. But its website icons and designs are laced with sexual innuendo. Underneath silhouettes of lovers, with titles like “Different Strokes” and “Pleasure Pursuits” are non-sexual facts or stories.

Here’s the official marketing bumf: “Altoids are made of real peppermint oil, the strongest lozenge or candy on the market. Created by a 19th century London confectionary, Altoids was originally an antidote for digestive problems, and became mythologized as a cure for many different ailments.”

In 1995, before the rumours began, the company did have ad campaigns with slogans like: “Refreshes your breath while you scream!” and “Makes other mints feel inadequate.”

Jon Lyon, a spokesperson for Altoids, once told The Globe And Mail: “Only in retrospect [was it naughty], it’s the kind of thing as a marketer you wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole.” He wished the folks at Altoids “were that clever.”

Kraft, the multinational which owns Altoids, will soon launch La Vosgienne, fruit candy in a round tin, and insiders in the candy business have already dubbed it “Altoids for women.” The latest joke is that the ads will showcase a gloved woman’s hand and the motto, “Gives other candies a packaging complex.”