Prime News Ghana

Please wash your hands before sex

By PrimeNewsGhana
About 69% of men don't wash their hands regularly
About 69% of men don't wash their hands regularly
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Remember a year ago when everyone had to re-learn the proper way to wash their hands? Before masks and ventilation, the government was telling you to sing Happy Birthday twice. (How young we were!)

I remember one particular video making the rounds, with coloured ink demonstrating proper technique. And I remember thinking it was silly to have to tell people how to practice basic hygiene—until I read a CDC report that a not-very-nice 69 per cent of men did not wash their hands regularly. Living through this pandemic has hopefully changed this for good. So while we’re at it, might I also suggest the importance of washing your hands before hooking up?

Your hands are the pioneers for all physical experiences involving your sense of touch, picking up billions of pathogenic passengers on the way. And nearly any orifice in a body is a warm, squishy, welcoming environment for microorganisms. Even the most PG of sexual contact involves the exchanging of some kind of bodily fluids. In fact, when you boil it down, a lot of common sexual acts involve putting your body parts into someone else’s body parts. And considering how your hands are some of your most important parts, they’re introduced to some very intimate spaces in your partner—spaces that are often fragile chemical environments with delicate pH levels that do not take kindly to foreign bacteria.

As the owner of a vagina, I could tell you all about its fickleness, the essentials of an acidic pH environment, and all the uncomfortable and gross tantrums it can and will throw when that environment is compromised, but I'm also going to ask you to trust me.

If you’re thinking, “Wait, I’ve never heard of this from my partners. It must not really be an issue,” I’m here to tell you that's not necessarily the case. I don't want to make assumptions of how communicative you are with your partners about genital health, but I do know that many women often feel societal pressure to downplay their genital discomfort, monthly or otherwise. There's a real likelihood that she’s telling her group chat about your post-hook-up havoc instead. So I'm taking it on myself to say that any simple thing you can do to keep the filth in your minds and not in your partner’s bits is a very good and sexy thing to do.

But isn’t that a mood-killer? you say, perhaps imagining excusing yourself post strip-down to give your hands a rinse in the bathroom sink. Honestly, if your date flees because you took a moment to scrub up, it is definitely not you washing your hands that’s the mood murderer. But just build it in—taking a moment to excuse yourself to use the bathroom in anticipation of an approaching mood is just good planning. You do not have to announce, “brb gonna go polish these sex-hands now.”

The same way some may think that applying lube or fumbling with a condom is an awkward enough interlude to skip altogether lest the delicate mood shrivels and withers away, we all power through it because it’s important for everyone’s health and comfort. So is making sure your hands are clean before you put them on a body.

Would you suck on your own fingers after taking public transportation, having drinks at a bar, walking your dog, or going for a bike ride? I’ll bet not, because you know about germs. Even when your hands aren’t doing so many activities, there’s still the possibility of hangnails, bleeding cuticles, and other such little fluid-leaking incidences that seem like no biggie until it’s coming in contact with another person’s mucus membranes. It’s good manners to wash your hands before eating and it’s even better manners to do so before engaging in intimate contact with another person.

In the past, I have definitely asked partners hey, do you mind washing your hands before we get started/keep going? No one has ever challenged the request (I mean, why would you if it was leading to sex?) The response is usually an obliging but slightly surprised, “Oh! Yeah, of course!” as if I’d told someone they’d forgotten to turn their headlights off when they parked their car. It’s not that I think men inherently have vile, filthy hands that will immediately lead to some sort of vaginal rot when introduced. But I, too, know about germs. I have thought a lot about those invisible fuckers lately!

And while I do not mind asking, a partner thinking about hands-prep in advance before getting down would be incredibly attractive, and sexy, and mood-enhancing, for sure. Honestly, any gestures of care purposefully done with confidence are très très sexy. I cannot stress enough how attractive it is to show (not tell) your partner that you’re considerate of their well-being and pleasure. It can foster a sense of trust, which allows for greater vulnerability between both of you, which in turn leads to very good sex. And that can absolutely begin with the shit you should already have been doing like washing your hands.