Dirty Hands

An interview with Sarah Nicole Prickett, founder of Adult Magazine, about her favorite body part.

It’s the end of sex week, and so we asked Adult Magazine’s Sarah Nicole Prickett about her current sexual obsession. I’m obsessed with hands, kind of erotically. They are my most consistently favorite part of another person’s body,” she told us. Here, she offers six reasons why.—Kristin Oakley


Hands are unobvious sexual objects.

Hands are the opposite of what we normally think of as erotic—i.e. a part of the body we’re not supposed to see. When straight men around me started wearing cropped and cuffed pants that showed their ankles, I suddenly felt like their ankles were sexy, because we hadn’t seen that before. Or, you know, when the Britney Spears-style midriff, that’s going to be a little bit shocking. Not “shocking”-shocking, but a tiny bit revelatory and sexy. But hands are sexy even though it’s almost impossible to “sexualize” them. Hands are not often hidden, and hands don’t hide themselvesdon’t hide their age, or their character.


Hands show the signs of aging.

You can’t Botox your hands. There is nothing you can do to hide the signs of aging in your hands, except maybe moisturize, or lighten age spots, but surgically there is really nothing. You see women who have 40-year-old faces and 60-year-old hands. I love that.


Hands show scale, agency, and possession.

I think a lot of my love of hands has to do with Instagram, and with the number of photographs of women’s handson books, on their desks, or holding somethingI see every day. As a constant typer, I look at my own hands all day, and so do a lot of my friends. Perhaps as a result, if I were to Instagram something, like if I were to photograph this copy of The Gentlewoman lying in front of me, I’d be more likely to photograph it with my hand resting next to it: for contrast, scale, and so on. Also: to show possession, proof of ownership. It’s like when we were kids, and we’d paint our hands and make handprints on paper in blue, orange, pink. Those were our first selfies.


Hands in art.

When I talk to contemporary artists, I often get a sense of anxiety over how to show “the hand of the artistin the work. It’s figurative but not entirely; the hand can manifest itself as either a fingerprint or a gesture, something you can’t reproduce. Artists are pushing back against the age of not only mechanical but also digital reproduction. It’s the same with Instagram, it’s saying: I was here.


Hands are highly individual.

This is why I think hands are more telling than faces. It’s not the face that talks, it’s the mouth. The face is expressive and recognizable, obviously. But it’s essentially decorative. With the hands, there’s a whole range of emotion as action, from touching someone to hitting someone. And that’s also my attraction to men’s hands, right? If you find yourself overwhelmingly attracted to men’s hands, then I think you’re the kind of woman — the kind of woman that I am — who is attracted to the possibility of being hurt. And also the strength it requires in a man who can hurt you to not hurt you when it’s not, like, appropriate. Also, you can tell what kind of work people do from their hands, whether it’s hard or soft labor. You can tell how much time they spend outside or in the sun.


Hands are for decoration, they are also practical.

When I look at my hands and see the black elastic on my wrist, and the gold wedding band — which no one thinks is a wedding band, because we’ve come full circle to where traditional wedding bands just look like everyday non-wedding rings, and wedding bands look like cocktail rings — and these tattoos that I don’t think anyone else has, and the callus on my right middle finger from holding my pen wrong when I was a kid, and then I have these long nails…. I just know that no one else has these hands. I can resemble other people facially, and I can get all kinds of plastic surgery to look different, but my hands are very much mine, for better and for worse.

Photo source: George Marks (Getty)

This interview originally appeared in Matter’s newsletter, where each week we ask an obsessive about their most current obsessions. Subscribe now.