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Gloves for manual sex?

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helping myself asks:

When my boyfriend fingers me, does he still need to wear a glove if he washed his hands?? Anyways,if he didn't masturbate with himself, why is there need for a glove? And, when I finger myself, do I need to wear a glove or is washing sufficient?

Sarah replies:

While gloves are helpful for making sure that no ejaculate reaches your genitals during manual sex, the primary benefit is that things are both clean and smooth.

Obviously, hands tend to carry tons of bacteria. Just think about all of the things that your hands or your partner's hands come into contact with in a half hour period! It's probably a lot of things. And bacteria, germs, and plain ole' grime can get onto hands and then be transferred to your genitals. So the gloves help prevent the spread of those nasties. You could accomplish something similar by making sure that the hands in question (yours or your partner's) are very clean by washing them. Keep in mind, in order to get the most benefit, hands need to be washed directly before contact (not a day or an hour before, but right beforehand) and must be washed thoroughly (this means using hot water, soap, on all surfaces (nooks and crannies and under fingernails included) and for a reasonable amount of time (i.e. this is not the place for a "lick and a promise" kind of washing). You can find more information about proper hand washing techniques here.

The other benefit of gloves is that they smooth out the rough surfaces that are often on hands. Vaginal tissue is pretty delicate stuff and it can be easily torn or abraded by an uneven nail or a rough callus or cuticle. Not only can those little tears be irritating on their own, they can often become infected by those bacteria and nasties that travel around on our hands. Gloves help to smooth out any rough patches and make things much smoother and nicer. If you absolutely don't want to use gloves, then the best thing is to make sure that the hands in question (again, yours or your partner's) are well groomed with short nails and no rough patches anywhere. It's not going to be the same as using gloves, quite frankly a glove and some lube is still going to be smoother, but clean and well groomed is the next best thing.

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