For many years, I started the siphon by sucking it - and got a fair few mouthfuls of water in my time. For similar reasons to you, I promptly stopped doing this. An alternative is to fill the siphon with water from a tap and block each end with a hand/thumb, then immerse one end in the tank and one over a bucket to start the process. The way I do it, and for various reasons this is more practical for me, is to immerse the entire tube in the tank until it fills and the bubbles stop coming out, cover each end with a thumb, then lift out one end and point it towards the bucket. It only took a few times of doing this before I got used to it and wasn't tempted to default back to my former method. [NB. my siphon is just the tube part so that I don't siphon out too much water at once - I took off the wider base part.]
Gloves are also helpful when doing tank maintenance, especially if you're prone to having various cuts. I've tried lots of types - disposable ones were absolutely awful and filled with water even when a hair band was used to secure them, another pair had a strange thumb position that meant the thumb was forced into the 'cupped' position and consequently tore. The pair that has been best without a doubt were described as "Tropical Aquarium Pond Maintenance Extra Long Rubber Gloves Waterproof ArmLength" but the e-bay seller doesn't seem to stock them now; however, they look identical to the ones on Amazon described as "TSHOME Antiskid Long Rubber Gloves Long Sleeve Waterproof Gloves for Kitchen Laundry Dishwashing Cleaning Garden Tool (1-Pair)". I'm now used to the different feeling that touching plants/decor has when wearing them than touching them with bare hands, and so would thoroughly recommend these.