A new year is all about fresh beginnings, which is why I was totally jazzed about visiting a local maternity ward last week to get my first peek at a friend's newborn baby. A real little cutie-pie he was, too, mercifully free of the Alfred-Hitchcock-gone-pygmy look so many of his kind tend to sport. The pleasantness of the visit was only slightly interrupted when talk turned to the nuts and bolts of the delivery. It seems my friend and her husband had elected to forgo circumcision — which I had thought was a standard feature on all the new models — and wait until they could find someone who could do it cheaper than the hospital. The facility, she revealed, classifies removal of the foreskin as a "cosmetic procedure."

Now, that was a new one on me. Cosmetic? In all my years of striding past the Dillard's makeup counter on my way to Home Entertainment, I can safely say my genitals have never once become an issue. I've never had a saleswoman plant herself in my path, look me square in the eye and say, "Mr. Schneider, we guarantee this highlighter will take 10 years off your sack." But a quick gander at our friend the Internet revealed that genital cosmetics is indeed a hugely significant product category, one increasingly turned to by folks who want to keep their naughty bits ship-shape both visually and hygienically, yet who don't feel like springing for full-blown surgery. Here's a sampling of some of the hottest-selling products.

Morning Dew
scrotal mist

We're living in the age of the metrosexual, when men are realizing that the tiniest of personal-care details can separate a hero from a zero. What guy wants to bust his budget on a designer wardrobe and a manicure, only to have an all-important date flame out in the final stages because his scrotum lacks the delicate floral scent today's ladies have come to expect? Just a quick spray of this oh-so-elegant parfum between Tweedledum and Tweedledee is enough to keep their owner confident for hours on end, securing his Mr. Thoughtful image with an alluring aroma of lavender, jasmine, galbanum and (ironically enough) a hint of nutmeg. The accompanying drawstring carrying bag has an appropriately withered, leathery appearance, perfect for alerting everyone in the gym locker room that this is a guy who really knows what to do with his oysters. No wonder only one fragrance has earned the world-famous tag line, "Morning Dew keeps your marbles on her mind."

Revitalizing mud
foam labial cleanser

Whether she's auditioning for that career-making infomercial or just spending a routine hour in her dentist's chair, no part of the human body is subjected to more intense stress than a woman's labia. This natural cleanser purifies and hydrates the heavenly gates, restoring them to the innocent vitality that's heretofore been the province of 13-year-olds who live anywhere other than Alabama. Pores are cleared in minutes, leaving lips smooth, squeaky-clean and ready to face the world. The rejuvenating effect remains the same whether skin is naturally dry or oily. And use is easy: Just dispense cleanser onto fingertips, then rub treatment area in concentric circles. Duration of any one application should not exceed 15 minutes, though women who have been married a decade or longer can be forgiven for counting in Mississippis.

Brush-on penile concealer

Societies less advanced than ours believe that flaws in the penis skin are a sign of either wickedness or disease. So here's to First World science, which lets us recognize them for what they really are: a random obstacle in the quest for a picture-perfect groin. A brush or two of concealer renders age spots and other imperfections invisible to the naked eye, while reducing wrinkles by a factor of five years for every stroke. Users with darker skin tones can expect to spend more for complete coverage (Don't like it? Talk to God), but anybody who owns a wanger will find that the properly chosen concealer is one essential tool.

Huh huh. We said "essential."

Huh huh. We said "essential."

Total Care pubic conditioner

The revitalizing power of aloe vera locks in the moisture, making pubes soft and manageable while combating the flyaway look that can result from too much blow-drying. Just apply a dime-sized dollop every time you shower or delouse, then wait five minutes and rinse. You'll see a silkier, more luxurious bush right away — one with limitless body and luster. Saying "sayonara" to tangles is just one more benefit of this priceless wonder elixir, whose essential proteins are also the ideal curative for hair that's been damaged by extensive recoloring and/or dreadlocking.

Clear Choice perineum mask

It would be the cruelest of slip-ups to undertake a thorough genital makeover and overlook the telltale area between the testes and anus. The good news is that unlocking the inner glow of this glamour hot zone is just a few nights' sleep away. Going to bed with a cool layer of mask on one's undercarriage is the surest, safest and easiest way to wake up with a perineum that's smooth and shine-free. Though "you'll see for yourself" is a promise we'd only feel comfortable making to some sort of sideshow contortionist, you can always trust a friend to tell you what's what. Leave a conspicuous container of Clear Choice on your nightstand, and new pals will be lining up to testify that your precious flank is now totally ready for whatever it is you sickos do down there. (Testimonial letters available upon request; VISA, Amex or Discover accepted.)

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