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Should You Wash Your Hands Before (and After) You Masturbate?

Unless you want to get a rash on the tip of your dick, absolutely

If there’s ever a dick and/or balls related inquiry, you can bet that the bodybuilding community has dissected the issue. I know this because I’ve written a lot about the dick and a lot about the balls, and in nearly every instance, I’ve scraped some insight from the dick-and-ball obsessed beefcakes at So first and foremost, thanks guys! 

Secondly, the very issue I’ll be discussing today came to said beefcakes via QuietKhaos, a member of the forum who can’t spell very well (all forum quotes [sic] throughout this piece, FYI) and who wrote in to plead with his fellow muscly manboys about the importance of disinfecting one’s hands prior to choking the chicken. “I just had my lab results from my Microbiology class and everyone’s hands where gross,” he writes. “We put our hands in a MSA container and stored it! We all saw that our hands arent as clean as we think cause it showed we all had bacteria on them. I don’t want this on my D!ck!”

Despite his grammatical failings, he has a point: At any given time, the human hand contains 3,200 bacteria on average, plus actual fecal particles. So washing your hands before you wrap them around your dick is going to help reduce your chances of contracting cock-related infections like Balanitis, which is an uncomfortable skin infection on the tip of your penis. This is especially true if you’re uncircumcised. “You might have redness, swelling, pain, itching or discharge in the tip of your penis,” reports WebMD. “Skin folds can trap dead cells, discharge and oils. If you don’t wash regularly, this debris can build up and form smegma, which smells bad.” 

While most of the bodybuilders seem to agree that washing your hands before and after you masturbate is common courtesy — not to mention tantamount to preserving your dick-skin’s health — those on the IGN video game forum have mixed feelings about it. “Not before,” writes one guy. Another says that he’s never even thought about it, but now that the washing of the hands before and after jerkin’ has been brought to his attention, he “probably should.” 

Alas, my colleague Ian Lecklitner has already noted that even if you do wash your hands before you masturbate, there’s a good chance that, unless you use your non-wanking hand to turn off the water, you’re going to contaminate your ostensibly clean hands prior to engaging with your dick. “Let’s assume washing your hands eliminates 99.9 percent of germs (it doesn’t). Great! New germs, however, will quickly hop on that train given the slightest chance,” he writes. “The faucet handle may not be safe, having been turned on by dirty hands and not subsequently cleaned,” primary care physician Marc Leavey explained to him. “You should consider using a paper towel to turn off the water, and to open the door  —  many people don’t wash after attending to their needs.”

But let’s quickly acknowledge the other, arguably more pressing issue: that of washing your hands post-masturbatory treat. After all, what you do with your own dick is your business, but what you do with your hands post dick-in-hand contact is an issue of public decency. For starters, you should know that there are 27 known viruses in your sperm. “Let’s call it the ‘Other 27 Club,’ a somewhat exclusive group that includes the viruses that cause Ebola, HIV, Hepatitis B and herpes,” I wrote last year. “Though not all 27 viruses are capable of being transmitted from person to person, this sperm squad does have other consequences, such as reducing fertility or increasing the risk of acquiring an STD.” Hopefully you don’t have Ebola, but just in case, why not just wash your hands after you masturbate? Sure, maybe you ejaculated into a sock, a napkin or your favorite Paddington Bear toy, but there’s bound to be some remnants of sperm on your hands, too.

Luckily, per one Reddit thread, it seems that most men do abide by the post-masturbation handwashing principle. “Definitely. I respect the others in my house and those who visit me,” writes one guy. Another agrees, adding that he washes his hands multiple times throughout the day even if he hasn’t masturbated. Of course, there are those who consider themselves more honest, and therefore, admit that sometimes they don’t wash their hands when they’re done. “It depends. If I’m furiously tubing one out on the bathtub or toilet (when I’m desperate) I’ll wash it,” writes a different redditor (again, sic for anything with quotes around it). “If I’m in my bed making love to my hand, I just [cum] into a tissue paper and put it bedside and in morning I’m deal with it.”

Do guys wash their hands after they masturbate? from NoStupidQuestions

In other words, you can bet there’s a few sticky-handed bandits lurking among us. So come on, men: It behooves all of us to wash our hands before and after we touch ourselves. It’s the only sure way to avoid unwanted dick-to-hand-to-dick contact.