Hands. Touching Hands. Touching Me. Touching You… And the Loo.

If you’re unwilling to put your hands in your mouth, wash your hands before using the bathroom.

I don’t understand it why we, as a culture, prioritize hand washing at the conclusion and not at the beginning of bathroom excursions. The genitals and surrounding areas have to be the cleanest parts of the body. Shower-washed and wrapped in clean cotton for most of the day, it’s a pretty sanitary place. The world at large, not so much.

Paradoxically, we handle our most sensitive bits with our most promiscuous body part: our hands. Hands that have rubbed public railings, opened doors, manhandled money. Hands that have tied shoes, rode the subway, scratched butts. Hands that have touched nearly everything in reach. These hands store all that residue and apply it directly to the most bacteria-friendly area of the body: the crotch.

And yet, we’re trained to wash our hands only after we use the bathroom as a courtesy to the rest of the world. Though the world thanks you, this makes no sense.

So, I’m declaring the Mouth Hand Rule: handle your naughty bits only if you’re comfortable, at that very moment, with putting your hands in your mouth. (For those with special friends, think also about why this is a courteous gesture.)

In general, you’ll fail the test. So, wash your hands, use the toilet. In that order. If applicable, wash your hands again.