Well, S2srea, I guess I have to disagree with you as well.
I am well acquainted with the comfortable, clean feeling you get after you shower. Just like the comfort you feel when you wear soft, comfortable cotton clothing (T shirt and shorts). Also similar to how you feel after a nice, satisfying meal. Might as well toss in a glass of alcohol in there, too! That also makes you feel good and relaxed. And let's not forget how good it feels to be in a nice, cool, dry 75 degree house when it's 98 and humid outside.
All of the above describe a life the OPPOSITE of a life of mortification and penance. Experience those "simple, licit pleasures" too much, and you become "soft". Americans, as a whole, are very "soft". With the exception of the satisfying meal and the alcohol, FEW PEOPLE experienced the pleasures I listed 150 years ago. Showering was more rare when you had to heat & pour a bucket of water in an Old West-style shower.
And let's be objective -- the clothing most of us wear on a daily basis is softer and more comfortable than what King Louis XIV, Nero or Herod could have got his hands on centuries ago. And who got to change their clothes every day? Probably not very many.
After The Fall, one's body is at war with one's soul. You can only favor one or the other -- you can't serve both (but you can try!) I like the term "Brother Ass" for one's body -- that's what a saint called it. It's a good analogy -- your body must be fed, watered, etc. but what man spends all day grooming his donkey, putting soft clothes on it, being concerned with its utmost comfort? Who installs A/C in his barn? No, as long as the donkey will be OK, you leave it be.
And I'll have you know that A) my kids aren't dirty, not by any stretch, B) they don't stink, C) we've not had any problems with above-average bouts of illness (or lice, for that matter). If anything, my kids are healthier. They hardly ever get sick.
And "cleanliness is next to godliness" is a protestant idea. It has no basis in Catholicism. About the closest you could get would be "prudently taking care of one's health" but like I said, science has proven that it's HEALTHIER to take less frequent showers, now that we know how Vitamin D is produced and absorbed -- and the important role Vitamin D plays in preventing illness and cancer.
Moderation in all things.
BTW, the SSPX handbook, handed out to seminarians, states that "A shower once a week is usually plenty, unless one has perspired much."
Yes, the American seminarians had a good laugh with that one (laughing at the obvious French influence) but the handbook DOES have a point. Why didn't the handbook read: "Showering twice a day is optimal -- Cleanliness is next to godliness, boys!"
You know, I really hate that phrase, and I'm a very clean (and perfectionist) person. So I'm being *VERY* objective here.
That phrase leads you to believe that a dirty bum on the street is bound for hell. After all, he's filthy and dirty; he smells. You couldn't imagine anyone wanting to embrace him, much less God, right?
My point: That phrase comes from Calvinism. And I hate Calvinism, being opposed as it is to the truth.
I'm not saying you're Calvinist, but I am saying you're American, and Calvinism is in the very air we breathe here in America. You can't avoid not absorbing SOME of it, when it's in your milieu.
P.S. Although I still hold that it's part of the textbook definition of effeminacy to pursue comfort, a more accurate term would be "fastidious".