Small Bag of GlovesWhen it comes to safer sex, gloves are something that are sorely underappreciated.

The first time a partner requested gloves during sex, I went along with her request but I didn’t see the point of it. I hadn’t read or heard anything about gloves and all I was doing was fingering her, so what benefit did gloves have?

That was several years ago, and now when it comes to my sex life (both personally and professionally), gloves are something that help me feel safer and sexier.

Most of this change came through learning more about STI risks and safer sex, the rest of it came from positive association gained over time.

There are many benefits of wearing gloves, depending on what kinds of sex you’re having:

STI Risks

  • They’re good if you want to finger someone who is bleeding (through menstruation or those who have cuts/tears)
  • If you’re fingering both anuses and vaginas (or fingering a butt and then giving a handjob), you can simply take the glove off after you’re done with anal play, reducing risks of bacterial infections caused by going from anal to vaginal play
  • Similarly, if you’re playing with more than one person who are not fluid-bonded, you can simply add or remove a glove so that fluids are not transmitted from person to person
  • Four gloves on a clothesline, alternating white, blue, white, blue.
    Gloves are not reusable
  • Not all STIs are transmitted through fluids, either! HSV (herpes) and HPV (human papillomavirus) are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. When used properly, gloves can help reduce this risk by discarding or adding a glove before you touch the next person
  • If someone doesn’t know their STI status, gloves can be an extra barrier
  • Personally I practice a “one hand for me, one hand for my partner” policy to avoid fluid/skin transmissions but this takes practice that many folks aren’t accustomed to. I’ve found having them wear a glove for me REALLY helps them remember not to use that hand on them
  • The slickness of the gloves helps to prevent micro-tears and abrasions caused by hangnails, callouses, or too short/sharp/rough finger nails


  • At play parties, it’s often difficult to quickly wash your hands, frequently there are no sinks in that room at all
  • With fisting, it’s exceptionally common for tiny blood capillaries located in the anus or vagina to rupture, causing the bottom to bleed a small amount. This is rarely a problem for the bottom (usually an indication that you need a bit more lube or need to go a bit slower), but this blood increases risk of HIV and hepatitis transmission, thus gloves are beneficial
  • Various kinks: useful for medical fetish (aesthetically and for STI reduction) as well as anything that breaks the skin (needle play, stables, hooks, etc)
  • There is a specific kind of positive conditioning effect that happens when my partner learns that me putting a glove on my right hand means I’m going to do x to them. Especially if there’s a D/s dynamic and you put the glove on so they anticipate it and then you can tease them by drawing it out and making them wait and they’re expecting it any second


Box of 100 Nitrile Gloves

  • Gloves are pretty affordable to get in large quantities! If you buy them outside of a sex store, they typically come in boxes of 100 for less than $30
  • They make clean-up easier, especially if you’re doing anal play
  • It’s very easy to get latex-free gloves, so they are a great option for those with latex allergies
  • Readily available in more places than latex-free condoms (drugstores, craft stores, medical surplus, etc)


  • Unlike bare skin, gloves do not absorb lube, which results in more lube staying in/on the genitals of the person you’re playing with, thus you’ll have to reapply less frequently
  • Gloves help to smooth out the texture on the hand, which can aid in the comfort of the person receiving stimulation
  • Others simply enjoy the look/feel of them

As you can see, there are so many reasons someone might want or need to use gloves some of which may apply to you or your lovers!

What are your favourite reasons to wear gloves? Are there reasons that I missed?


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