I Didn’t Always Wash After Peeing; Now I Will

Cord Jefferson

I’m going to be straight with you: I used to not wash my hands after peeing. Before you write me off completely, you should know that I’ve always washed my hands after shitting (I’m not a monster!), just as I’ve always scrubbed up if I’m about to eat food. But for as long as I can remember, chances are that if I were taking a quick break at the urinal at a bar or movie theater, I would zip up and breeze right past the sinks when I was finished.

Sound gross to you? Maybe, but my perspective was that if a man showers regularly, wears clean underwear, and doesn’t pee on his hands, then what does he have to wash? It’s not like I’m dragging my penis through the gutter, so theoretically it should be as clean as my chest or neck. In 2009 I worked in the same building as a leading climate scientist who would never wash his hands after peeing. When I asked him why, he said it was to save water and paper. "It’s not like I’m peeing all over my hands," he said. "Exactly!" I responded.

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