how can I kill sperm on my hand?
January 26, 2010 7:29 AM   Subscribe

NSFW question about how to ensure any sperm on my hand are dead after the fold...

I usually climax before my partner, using a condom. After I'm done I go and wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap, but my partner is still afraid of me touching her vagina to help her finish as she's afraid that any semen on my fingers could still cause her to get pregnant.

I do know that it's possible for semen on a hand to impregnate a woman (the odds are long...but it IS possible), but what measures can I take to wash my hands and ensure every last sperm is dead and thus allow her to have a bit more fun too?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (43 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If your partner is that concerned about something as unlikely as that, a condom as your sole means of birth control is laughable. The probability of leakage is several orders of magnitude more likely than the scenario you describe.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:32 AM on January 26, 2010 [16 favorites]


Suggestion: why don't you try to have her climax before you do (i.e., without getting too graphic, whatever you do with her after you climax, just do that before you initiate intercourse). Stopping to remove the condom, go wash your hands, etc seems like a real mood-killer to me.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:33 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Soak your hands in bleach and then rinse off under water?

That seems rather extreme, though.
posted by dfriedman at 7:34 AM on January 26, 2010


FYI: They make condoms with spermicidal lube now.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:43 AM on January 26, 2010


A few things may be going on here...

- if she's this concerned about errant sperm then I agree with mcstayinskool, you shoudl be using a second BC method
- you could leave your condom on [not so romantic, I know] and touch her with your hands and remove the condom afterwards
- you could bring her to orgasm some other way [toy and tongue being the two best options here] and you may want to do a reality check and make sure this isn't her polite way of saying "go down on me"

Short of scrubbing your hands, waiting 72 hours for sperm to die, or using UV light to look for bad handwashing, this is basically an anxiety and risk management/evaluation issue, not really a biological one. You're better off finding a different way to please her/each other because there's really no "kill all sperm" option for you that couldn't also be labelled "kill all romance"
posted by jessamyn at 7:44 AM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Purell? I'd rinse my hands afterwords though it burns any open cuts, can't imagine how it would feel on a woman's delicate parts.
posted by Max Power at 7:46 AM on January 26, 2010


I usually climax before my partner...

Yeah, sport. There's your problem right there.

At the very least... why are you so eager to remove the condom, exactly? I mean, your work clearly isn't finished yet, right?

Also seconding that anyone that paranoid about pregnancy shouldn't be counting on condoms alone for contraception.
posted by rokusan at 7:46 AM on January 26, 2010


You could slip on a latex glove.
posted by Rumple at 7:47 AM on January 26, 2010


Why is semen on all your fingers? You have two hands after all.
posted by valadil at 7:50 AM on January 26, 2010


At the very least... why are you so eager to remove the condom, exactly? I mean, your work clearly isn't finished yet, right?

Condoms are only supposed to be used for one ejaculation each to avoid leakage/slipping, and should be removed before the male partner gets soft for the same reason.

I'm a bit paranoid about this at times, too, but okay with it as long as my partner washes his hands. Sometimes other options (the pill, et cetera) for whatever reason just aren't an option, and the idea of getting pregnant can be scary (even if that reaction isn't logical). I think the best course of action here is to try using a sex toy or your tongue to finish her off.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:53 AM on January 26, 2010


Nthing another form of birth control. I realise well the disadvantages of other forms, but it means you'll be able to relax a whole lot more.
posted by mippy at 7:53 AM on January 26, 2010


FYI: They make condoms with spermicidal lube now.

Oh, and these have been largely discontinued or are becoming increasingly hard to find because it was found that they drastically reduce the shelf life of condoms, and negative reactions to the spermicide are pretty widespread.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:54 AM on January 26, 2010


I think I can answer why he's so eager to remove the condom after he has climaxed, rokusan, and that's because there's a higher chance of the condom leaking everywhere if he's softening.

Also, I'm not sure him coming before her is the problem, here. Sure, this could be avoided if she were to come before he does, but it might just be easier for her to get off without him inside her, for example. Her motion's less constricted, she can touch herself exactly how she wants, and she can tell him what works best for her with no rush. People just have different timeframes, sometimes.

If she can handle it, hormonal birth control sounds like it might take a load off her mind. Then again, not everybody does well on HBC (myself included), and it might boil down to a trust issue.

Does she trust you to wash your hand well? Because if she does, there's very little chance any sperm will be loitering on your fingers, and even less of a chance that any of it will be transferred to her vagina, let alone get her pregnant.

Make it a game, maybe. Involve her in the disposal of the condom and the subsequent hand washing. Make it part of sex, make it fun, let her see for herself that you're being careful and considerate.
posted by lydhre at 7:58 AM on January 26, 2010


Condoms are only supposed to be used for one ejaculation each to avoid leakage/slipping, and should be removed before the male partner gets soft for the same reason....

But, but... he's right there for crying out loud.

Finish the damn job, then worry about disposal and hand-washing and other less sexy cleanup.
posted by rokusan at 7:59 AM on January 26, 2010


Yes, rokusan, he's right there and he's moving around and it might not take her thirty fucking seconds to come. It might take half an hour. Getting rid of the condom is a smart idea, if you don't want semen all over the place.
posted by lydhre at 8:01 AM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Finish the damn job, then worry about disposal and hand-washing and other less sexy cleanup.

As a woman who's sometimes paranoid about this, my response to a guy trying to "finish the damn job" after orgasming would probably be to kick him in the nads. If she's already conscientious enough about this that she's having him wash his hands, this is a seriously bad idea.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:03 AM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


FYI: They make condoms with spermicidal lube now.

Oh, and these have been largely discontinued or are becoming increasingly hard to find because it was found that they drastically reduce the shelf life of condoms, and negative reactions to the spermicide are pretty widespread.


I know that boutique retailers like Target, Walmart, and Walgreens are pretty hard to find in most areas, so you may have to take your chances at some other store or order them online.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:10 AM on January 26, 2010


Sperm are pretty sensitive little cells, and hot water plus an acidic or basic soap will be enough to render them ineffective.

Does she allow you to finger her before you have PIV sex? If not, I'd be willing to assume that for whatever reason she's not comfortable with this particular act. On the other hand, it's possible that she truly is concerned - I have lots of weird risk hang-ups like this one, too. In that case the suggestions for her to use another form of birth control are spot-on, even if it's just asking you to wear latex gloves. On the other other hand, she could be one of those women who, after they cool off a little bit, don't want to start activities up again, and she's embarrassed to tell you to stop so she's come up with an excuse.

The bottom line is, the internet doesn't know how to make your girlfriend comfortable with post-ejaculatory activities. Ask your girlfriend what you can do to make her feel safer.
posted by muddgirl at 8:11 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pollomacho, no need for the snark, but I think it's important to know the risks and drawbacks of condoms containing nonoxynol-9 (and I'm about as pro condom as they come!), particularly as spermicidal condoms aren't shown to increase pregnancy prevention. This article gives a good run-down.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:49 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


She could use a diaphram or cervical cap in addition to the condom, if she doesn't want to go down the hormonal birth control route. It might make her feel a bit more relaxed.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:52 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


My guess is Pollomacho has never had his lady bits feel LIKE THEY'RE CATCHING ON FIRE because of a spermicide sensitivity.

The hand-washing is plenty. If she's still uncomfortable, have her come wash her hands with you.
posted by phunniemee at 8:59 AM on January 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Have you let her observe you removing the condom? I feel like she must be missing something... namely that when taking off a used rubber, your hands come nowhere near the semen in the inner tip.
posted by gnutron at 9:19 AM on January 26, 2010


Perhaps this calls for balance. Having a handy wash cloth nearby so when 1/2 "the work is done" one would simply wipe the condom away, leaving the hands tidy and in fairly short order ready for the other "half of the work".

I have to agree with a larger point that this is an anxiety and/or risk management issue. I have to wonder how comfortable she is during the first half if this level of concern is expressed before getting to her little death. If the anxiety were lessened in some fashion, the order of appearance may get closer if not reversed for each of you.
posted by fluffycreature at 9:20 AM on January 26, 2010


Have her make an appointment and go with her to Planned Parenthood. If you two are worried about her getting preggers she should be on the pill. Condoms have a much higher fail rate. If she's tried the pill before and determined it wasn't for her she should continue to try variants until she finds the right one. I dated a girl that tried at least half a dozen before she found one that clicked for her. You can continue to use condoms even if she's taking oral contraceptives.

Bottom line, this isn't an issue of you bedroom practices or the order in which you get the job done. It is about being responsible and choosing a more complete contraceptive method. If she is less worried you'll both have more fun.
posted by Gainesvillain at 9:42 AM on January 26, 2010


Don't use your hands to help. Buy a toy and help with that. Alternatively, wear gloves to help her out. Even better, make her realize she is being a little crazy.
posted by chairface at 10:04 AM on January 26, 2010


The pill kills so many women's sex drives and makes everything feel BLAH that I am hazarding a guess that the woman has already tried it and didn't like it. I've tried all the variations and none of them was acceptable in terms of me staying happy. If she is not sensitive to spermicide, get spermicidal lube and put it on your hands post condom removal. (Make sure to check with her about this! It is very uncomfortable to some women, and she likely already knows whether it bothers her or not.)

I am somewhat antsy about sperm, as well and this is what works for me. Take off the condom with the hand that you will not be using to stimulate her. Worry about clean up afterward, making sure to keep the condom far away from her. Also, consider leaving the condom on with it far away from her vagina. Nothing gets on her from it (even if it leaks) and it can be dealt with later. As long as you're not putting your penis back inside of her it doesn't matter if it leaks all over. Just keep her away from it.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:11 AM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


you may want to do a reality check and make sure this isn't her polite way of saying "go down on me

Ha! That was my first thought as well.

namely that when taking off a used rubber, your hands come nowhere near the semen in the inner tip.

This was my second. I mean, there are ways of taking of a condom without getting semen all over your hands. I mean, are you like dumping it on yourself after you take it off?

Also, I hate to say it, but - if you use a condom and then sterilize your hands and then finger her....I mean...the chances of her getting pregnant are incredibly slim - no matter what you do or what precautions you take, short of getting surgery, there is almost always some miniscule possibility that she could still get pregnant. Abortions are legal for this, among many other, reasons.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:21 AM on January 26, 2010


This was my second. I mean, there are ways of taking of a condom without getting semen all over your hands. I mean, are you like dumping it on yourself after you take it off?

Washing your hands after removing a condom is part of proper condom use.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:31 AM on January 26, 2010


[comment removed, arguing with other posters isn't helping the OP solve the problem, take it to MetaTalk if you're feeling ALLCAPS GRAR]
posted by jessamyn at 10:47 AM on January 26, 2010


have her take the condom off you so you keep your hands clean. seriously, though, this isn't the problem.
posted by kch at 10:56 AM on January 26, 2010


Rather than bleaching your hands, here are some easy steps you can do in your situation:

1. Remove condom and dispose...as you had been doing.
2. Wash hands properly....as you allegedly had been doing.
3. Slather on some SPERMICIDAL lubricant on your hands.
4. Get back to work.

Easy enough?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:44 AM on January 26, 2010


A lot of this is overboard. Seriously.

Make sure you are doing a proper hand washing. That is enough.

This is the same thing that restaurants do, after the chef has been preparing raw chicken, raw beef, or using the bathroom. He washes his hands, then continues preparing food. At the restaurant, is she concerned about salmonella, e coli, or fecal matter in her food? No. This is the same thing.

Wash your hands properly, and you are good to go.
posted by I am the Walrus at 1:39 PM on January 26, 2010


in the fervor to make sure kids knew about safe sex, some risks got overstated. one of these being the fear that your girlfriend has. it is drilled into teens heads that you don't need to have sex to get pregnant or to transmit STDs - totally true and good info to have - but the most common way that someone gets pregnant without semen in the vagina is pre-ejaculate around the vulva.

as others have stated, if she really is this worried, then condoms shouldn't feel safe enough to her. it is far, far, far more likely that the condom will fail (or you'll put it on too late and leave pre-cum around) than it is that running soap and hot water over your hands will still leave a chance at her getting pregnant.

and - to those who are all "finish the job first, then come!" for some of us girls, we don't want it that way. every single male partner i have needs to be retrained on this point - i prefer to have an orgasm after everything else is done. i call it my resetting orgasm.
posted by nadawi at 2:15 PM on January 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Go to Planned Parenthood with her so that you can both get educated on how you can prevent pregnancy through proper use of condoms and proper handwashing, because it seems like there's a serious gap in trust and understanding, here.

And nthing the HELL NO on spermicidal lubricant unless it's been established that she is one of the few lucky women who don't find it incredibly irritating. Yowch.
posted by desuetude at 2:40 PM on January 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can understand irrational fears of getting pregnant. I had a friend who was terrified by the story of immaculate conception (being forced into Catholicism had something to do with it I suspect). Few things so drastically change the course of your life, body, and the way society looks at you, all against your will as getting knocked up when you are not ready. I think it would do for most men to consider that for a moment. Yes it is vanishingly unlikely that she could become pregnant from the activity described. You probably don't go around eating raw pork or driving with out a seat belt either.

I applaud you for taking her concerns seriously. I'm sure she realizes it's irrational, and the best thing one can hope for in relationships is someone who can accept your unique form of crazy. (and everyone is crazy) It may be that no amount of bleach, hand washing, purell, whatever could make her feel better about it.

But, this could be an excuse for something else, something she might not be comfortable telling you directly. Maybe she doesn't want to cum with you, maybe she doesn't like fingers, maybe she was fine with sex and doesn't want to cum, maybe sex sucked and she just wants to sleep. I hope you are giving her every opportunity to speak openly about sex in your relationship, and every reason for her to trust you with the intimacy you share.
posted by fontophilic at 2:50 PM on January 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am here to tell you that although it is highly unlikely, the hand/semen/pregnancy fear is not unfounded.
posted by smartypantz at 4:16 PM on January 26, 2010


PhoBWanKenobi:
FYI: They make condoms with spermicidal lube now.

Oh, and these have been largely discontinued or are becoming increasingly hard to find because it was found that they drastically reduce the shelf life of condoms, and negative reactions to the spermicide are pretty widespread.

Also because spermicides have been found to actually increase the odds of HIV infection by as much as 50%.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:01 AM on January 27, 2010


I am here to tell you that although it is highly unlikely, the hand/semen/pregnancy fear is not unfounded.

Citation, smartypantz?
posted by IAmBroom at 12:02 AM on January 27, 2010


Are you sure she likes what you do down there? Because I know some guys who are way too rough, or just not skilled, and instead of telling them what's wrong the women just avoid that particular activity. And trim your nails.

Ahem.

If she removes the condom as suggested above, might work if she can come while keeping her hands off of her lady bits.

I guess you could use your tongue too, although some people find that difficult without using hands too, and if the penetration is what you're going for it seems like the tongue alone wouldn't do it for her.

Or have her orgasm first. Try mixing hawt penis action with fingering. Intercourse for a little while, then use your hands/tongue to penetrate her or whatever gets her closer to orgasm. Keep going with the goal being for her to come first. The stop-start should keep you from coming too quickly. If you get close, make sure to pull out for long enough so that you're completely calmed down. You can also throw a vibrator into the mix. This has the added bonus of closely associating intercourse with her orgasm! Yay!

Or don't use your hands at all, just let her do her thing and go for the nipple stimulation/enthusiasm assist.
posted by kathrineg at 12:19 AM on January 27, 2010


By the way, the only person you should be asking about different forms of birth control (i.e. the pill, spermicide, diaphragm) is her. She might welcome the idea of spermicide, or hate it with a fiery burnt vagina passion. If she's not comfortable with any one method, don't pressure her. Pressure is very unsexy (unless you're into that).
posted by kathrineg at 12:24 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also because spermicides have been found to actually increase the odds of HIV infection by as much as 50%.

But this is not really the concern voiced by the OP. While yes, there are studies linking the spermicides to shorter shelf life and studies saying that the spermicides may not be all that effective and studies linking them to STD's, the real issue here is the BELIEF that the condom and handwashing is not going to be enough to prevent pregnancy. If the OP's girlfriend believes that the handwashing is not going to be enough and that the use of a condom is not going to be enough then what is left? 1) Therapy and 2) Introduction of an agent shown in a laboratory to slow or kill sperm.

I had no snark intended in my posts. In all likelyhood she is not going to get pregnant from manual stimulation from a properly washed hand even if the OP had just done the deed all over said hand. What she needs is something else to provide her an added comfort level if she wishes to remain sexually active. Is nonoxonol-9 a magic cure-all potion? Is it even going to really make a difference. No, but it is another layer of comfort.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:16 AM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am here to tell you that although it is highly unlikely, the hand/semen/pregnancy fear is not unfounded.

Citation, smartypantz?
posted by IAmBroom at 12:02 AM on January 27 [+] [!]


I speak from personal experience.

How to say this as discreetly as possible? The sexual act in question involved mutual manual stimulation.
posted by smartypantz at 9:06 PM on February 9, 2010


[this needs to go to metatalk if it's not about the original topic - if you need to talk directly to other posters, MeMail them]
posted by jessamyn at 6:59 PM on February 12, 2010


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