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How To Clean Semen Off Of Anything

We’re kicking off Season Two of the official Ask a Clean Person podcast in what I consider to be perfect style: covered in semen. My guest this week is Maureen O’Connor, sex columnist for New York Magazine and a contributor to The Cut, who joined me to talk about cum stains.

A few months back in her “Sex Lives” column, Maureen wrote an article entitled “The Complicated Politics of Where to Come” that sits at the exact crossroads between what she does as a sex columnist and what I do as a cleaning columnist. Here’s the part that stood out for me, for obvious reasons:

A successful sexual encounter will require many negotiations—some conducted explicitly, others through gesture and subtext. And while many negotiations are more fraught than where to come, few occur with such speed and urgency. (Or practical ramifications: “I let him do it on me because I don’t like doing laundry,” my friend Anne said of blow jobs conducted in bed. “But I already shower.”) And though sex may require the management of any number of fluids—from people of any gender—this column will deal with the fluid that comes out of a penis during unprotected sex. This is a column about cum, and where it lands.


For Maureen, where it lands leads to an examination of sexual politics, and for me, it’s an examination of, well, your sheets. And so: This is a podcast about cum and where it lands. You can listen to it here or over at iTunes, where you can also subscribe.

Do you have something you’d like to hear discussed on Ask a Clean Person: The Podcast? Email me at with the subject line CLEANCAST. Do you like what you heard? Please consider leaving a rating in the iTunes store when you head over there to subscribe!


Jolie Kerr is Deadspin’s resident cleaning expert and the author of the book My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag … And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha (Plume). Follow her on Twitter, or contact her via email at


Image by Getty.

Adequate Man is Deadspin’s new self-improvement blog, dedicated to making you just good enough at everything. Suggestions for future topics are welcome below.


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