Anna Pulley, @annapulley
RedEye's sex columnist
11:15 AM CDT, May 23, 2012
I love men, and I gravitate toward dirty ones. Not dirty like kinky; dirty like rough and tumble, scruffy-faced and dirty hands. I also really enjoy those hands in special, delicate ecosystems of mine, if you get my drift. This has resulted in some issues, such as a lovely jalapeno burn down under from a guy who made me nachos one night and didn't wash after. I need a nice, sexy way to tell my men, "Wash your freaking hands before you go spelunking!" Advice?
—Dirty but delicate
By "a sexy way," you probably don't mean showing your sex partners governmental studies that indicate hand washing is the most effective form of infection control, followed by sad illustrations of hepatitis and feces-borne viruses during foreplay, right? Because I've had tremendous results with such efforts—especially after the addition of a fecal-oral transmission hand puppet named Whiney the Pooh(hole).
Hands should, for all intents and purposes, be considered sex toys. When not used in a hygienic matter, they cause all manner of unpleasantness up in yer biznasty, including urinary tract infections, yeast infections, STIs, staph infections and so on. So, how can you communicate this with all the bike mechanics, gardeners and curry prep cooks you insist on dating? Allow me to lend a helping hand.
Make it a team effort. While kissing, but before things get too hot and heavy, tell him something like, "Oh, I forgot to wash my hands. You washed yours, right?" If he hasn't, this should effectively shame him into getting up with you and washing the Sriracha from his fingernails. Speaking up about cleanliness tells him that hand hygiene is important to you and your lady bits. This will also, hopefully, get him into the habit of making it a priority. Plus, it's another excuse to high-five your partners, and you know how I feel about that.
You could, alternately, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on the night stand for easy access. Just don't mistake it for the lube bottle.
When confronting partners about delicate matters, I've always found it's better to keep the tone light, and make jokes about it if you can. You have a jalapeno story, for chrissakes. That's gold. Use that. "Look, I'm hot for you, but not that hot. Go wash your hands."
If all these methods fail, you could also appeal to his common sense, especially if you're prone to UTIs or other ailments that will lead to less sex for everyone. When he knows bad hygiene equals less sex, he'll clean things up.
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