I think I’ve had a hand fetish since before I knew what a fetish was. I know the word fetish gets bandied about and used in place of preference, which is inaccurate. In order for something to be a fetish it needs to be a requisite part of your arousal. This means that arousal is impossible or unlikely without the stimuli of the fetish object, action or concept. Based on that description, I have a fetish for men’s hands.
How my hand fetish works
Simply put, if I’m not attracted to a man’s hands then I don’t want them touching my body. If I don’t want his hands on my body, there’s no chance I will be able to be intimate with him. Most of the time this is not an issue. There have been times when I found myself quite physically attracted to someone and then I saw their hands and it was all over. It’s not something I particularly like about myself, and if I were able to change it I would consider doing so. I’ve tried to think my way past this hand fetish and it won’t budge.
Sometimes fetishes are uncomfortable
I don’t love that I have such a strong opinion about cis men’s hands but attraction is made up of many unknowable factors, including the balance between nature and nurture. Do I look at all men’s hands and judge them? Yes. Do I think that is the best thing to do? No. But it happens in the same split second as any other test for attraction, often. If I walk into a room with a bunch of cisgender men in it, I will very quickly size up all of their hands unless I already don’t find them attractive for other reasons. I’m not wildly particular when it comes to looks, other than this particular hand fetish. I do have preferences for the build and size of men, but they are not hard limits like my hand fetish is.
What makes hands so sexy?
In the past when I’ve discussed this fetish with people the first thing they always want to know is what the criteria is for sexy men’s hands. And if it’s a man who I’m speaking to, he immediately wants to be adjudicated to see if he passes or fails in terms of how sexy his hands are. This is the part where I’d like to say that it’s highly nuanced and really kind of depends on the person and all kinds of other magnanimous statements. However, that would be disingenuous. There are some very specific and unwavering physical characteristics about cis men’s hands that are essentially hand fetish requirements for me.
I have no interest in elegant surgeon’s hands, nor classical pianists. I like thick fingers (yes, I’m smirking), especially ones that are in almost equal proportion to the length of the palm. Also, I like square fingertips, no tapering, and fairly pronounced knuckles.
As you can guess by what I like about men’s fingers, I like a fairly square palm. In my observation generally narrow palms come with longer, more tapered fingers, whereas a broader palm tends to have thicker fingers attached.
As you may know from other articles that I’ve written, I would never call myself a size queen, but hands are an area where bigger is almost always better. Not surprisingly this coincides with a particular attraction to tall, broad, Lumberjack types. This is not to say that I would rule out a shorter slimmer guy, not at all, so long as his hands are well proportioned and they have the look and feel I need.
I’m about to say something that will probably make me sound sexist and heteronormative and a number of other things that I don’t mean to be. Let’s remember this is a fetish, not something I’m choosing in terms of my attraction to cis men and their hands. I am all for men wearing nail polish, getting acrylics, growing their own nails longer than is traditionally “normal” for guys. However, long nails on men are an immediate turn off. It took me a very long time to understand why my response to men with long fingernails was as visceral and unpleasant as it is. Like many things, trauma-related, it came to me somewhat out of the blue: my aversion to particular characteristics of men’s hands, including nail length, is directly related to my experiences with that abuser.
Hygiene and maintenance
Clearly, to the above point, trimmed nails are essential. I’ll take this moment to say, no matter your gender, if you are someone who’s involved with a person who has a vulva, trimmed nails can be pretty important. There’s the evergreen joke of lesbians always keeping the first two nails on their dominant hand short, and to be honest this is not a bad practice. The vulva is incredibly delicate, and when pleasantly slippery, it can be even harder to avoid scratching and pinching.
Further to this, gentlemen, please wash your hands before sex or heavy petting. Clean nails are important not just for aesthetics and vanity, they’re actually quite dangerous when it comes to the vagina and urethra. Just a smidge of the gunk under your nails can mean all kinds of discomfort or infection for that vulva you love to touch so much. So keep it clean, keep it trimmed, and always talk to them about what feels good.
As a woman with a hand fetish, I also tend to notice what other people like about men’s hands. I’ve noticed that there’s a strong following for hands that are particularly veiny, especially when those veins travel up the forearms. For me, and this is just me, there’s no particular appeal to that extra vascular look. Sometimes it can be a bit too much and look odd or almost unsettling, but most of the time I simply don’t notice veins. I do however notice how the tendons move in the back of his hand, and that alone can be incredibly hot.
What’s so sexy about the perfect hand?
The perfect hand is not even something I’m sure exists. I’d say his hand must be quite a bit bigger than mine. That’s not hard because as at 5’1” my hands are tiny, and his hands should be a little bit rough. Maybe it’s my blue-collar roots, but men’s hands that are a bit rough, with some callus or scarring, are ideal. I like working hands. I like hands that are strong and nimble. Hands that can chop wood and bake bread; hands that can be almost impossibly gentle despite their rough exterior. The perfect hand tells a story. I like hands that show a life well lived, hard lived, hands that make me want to know the man.
Sexy hands will make me feel things …
As with most fetishes, it doesn’t take much to activate desire within me, via hands. I frequently get distracted watching movies, flipping through magazines, and online is tricky to navigate. The appeal to me is partly aesthetics, that is to say that as disembodied objects apart from the personality of their owner, hands can be super sexy on their own. They just make me think of all of the things that men’s hands can do. And all of the things that I like to see them do. I’m definitely more of a voyeur than I am an exhibitionist, though that balance tends to swing almost daily. But I absolutely love watching a man jerk off, there’s something about a sexy hand wrapped around a hard dick that is impossibly sexy to me. In a way, I wish that the fetish ended there.
Fetishes can be inconvenient
It would be much more convenient if these feelings only cropped up in sexual contexts. However, I am distracted by hands in almost every situation. That may sound like no big deal, but imagine the trepidation when you notice that the doctor’s hands, which are wickedly close to your breast as he presses the stethoscope to your chest and asks you to breathe deeply for him. Likewise I had a therapist who was an attractive man, but who I wasn’t attracted to. However, he had gorgeous hands. It was sometimes hard to stay present in the work I was doing and not be distracted watching his loose, loopy cursive as he took notes.
So what’s a girl with a hand fetish to do?
As much as hands are distracting, and delightful, this fetish does not disrupt my life to any significant degree. As a deal-breaker it can seem a bit shallow, and I accept that. I’m inclined to simply accept it for what it is and try to work with it. There was a time when I felt ashamed of how intensely I was excited by a man’s hands. It felt shallow and vain and almost cruel. Many parts of my hand fetish are things that can’t be changed. Luckily, it has rarely been an issue. The more I come to understand my hand fetish, the more equipped I feel to articulate it.
What about women’s hands?
This particular fetish is something that is not influenced by my bisexuality. I don’t notice women’s hands. I might notice them if she’s wearing beautiful jewellery or has an incredible manicure, or has tattoos on her hands. But I don’t notice them, adjudicate them, or care about them the way I do with men. The shape, proportion, and other qualities of a woman’s hands has no bearing on my attraction to them. Likewise, with other genders and gender expressions it rarely matters. If the person is particularly masculine, the attraction for masculine hands kicks in.
You can’t outrun your fetishes
I’ve learned through reading and writing about sex and sexuality, that by the time you realize you have a fetish, it is likely already a part of how you experience your sexuality. A fetish is not something you can curb without intense work, and sometimes it does damage to try. From a psychological point of view, fetish paraphilia is considered a psychological disorder. In my experience, my hand fetish is little more than a quirk. I have found constructive ways to talk about it with masculine partners so that they feel seen and recognized for their sexy hands, but also not fetishized and objectified. It can be a delicate line to walk between objectification and adoration, but staying aware of your intentions and your focus helps. I didn’t ask to have this hand fetish, but I am learning to live with it, and how to make the most of it.
Do you have any fetishes you’re coming to terms with?
I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below, or catch me on Twitter @FawkesViolet. Don’t forget to subscribe (in the sidebar) so you know when new posts are published.