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Hand Job – by Juneau

Adam sang beautifully this morning on The Early Show. He was back to his pitch-perfect, tastefully sexy self, radiating charm and joie de vivre. He was svelte and stunning in a tailored black jacket and a very cool shirt with a space-agey high-standing collar that looked like it leapt off a Japanese designer’s scribbling pad, worn over tight, gleaming black pants. And now, can we put the whole AMA tempest behind us and get back to having us some fun?

I’ve been ruminating about the mysterious allure of fingerless gloves. They have long been part of the accoutrements of rockers, as well as of courtesans, hookers, bikers and others on the glittery fringes of society. A sartorial cliché, but on Adam they transform into a second skin that feels so right, just like his darkened hair and eyeliner.

There is something irresistibly sexy about fingerless gloves. We find fingerless gloves and their sibling gauntlets across centuries and civilizations. The knights of the European Middle Ages sported gauntlets of chain mail, while the ladies of the court favored velvet sleeves that extended to cover the backs of their pale hands. Half a world away, the Japanese samurai and aristocratic ladies donned gauntlets of leather elegantly plated with glossy lacquer that transformed the back of the hand into a dark pool of infinite mystery. In V’Adoro Pupille, Kiri Te Kanawa, resplendent in a dark sorceress’s gown festooned with golden serpents, sports black jeweled gauntlets, as do the writhing dancers and the stunning Adonis. And since we have been discoursing on our love of the automobile, there is the driving glove – again fingerless.

Digit-free gloves and gauntlets are of course practical, protecting precious hands from the cruel bite of a sword blade or from the bitter wind and rain, while leaving the fingers free to do their work. But what makes this minuscule accessory so deliciously sexy? They enhance the allure of the fingers protruding from beneath the covering of leather, chain mail, velvet or spandex. Dark colors are preferred, for contrast and drama. The simple act of covering the back of the hand – concealing knotty sinews, veins and knuckles – transforms the fingers into something immeasurably delicate, vulnerable. Full gloves exude a kind of prim sensuality – picture those shoulder-length satin gloves on Audrey Hepburn or Barbra Streisand – but slice off the fingers, let the digits escape, and the glove becomes elegantly obscene.

A fingerless glove is the manual counterpart of a corset. Sexuality bound, controlled, tied down in order to be set free… They evoke the dominance-submission game. (Is this so obvious as to be pointless to write about? Oh well…it’s something I had never given thought to before, so I just have to get this out of my head.) The hands are the ultimate erogenous organ, which we tend to overlook in the everyday realm because our hands are our drudges: making beds, grasping the toothbrush, washing the dishes, picking up the trash, scooping kitty litter, scrubbing up messes, counting money, and keyboarding – okay, this last task can be quite erotic as we here know.

But the hand is also the mistress of pleasure. It plays the body as an instrument, eliciting a symphony of sensory experiences: delight, ecstasy, pain. Under its sensitive caress or kneading touch, the fingers are able to awaken nerve impulses that otherwise would have lain dormant. That caress can be languid and gentle, or it can stroke and vibrate faster than the eye can see, fluttering over nerve endings to arouse sensations beyond the normal realm, the way a violinist’s vibrato – or singer’s — can make the ether pulsate.

I considered presenting a pair of gloves as a gift to Adam, but I could not find any online that satisfied what I envisioned for him. Someday, I may have a pair designed and custom-made for him. I would seek out velvety soft, supple kidskin, rubbed to a dark metallic gloss with just a hint of iridescent blue, exquisitely tailored and crafted, studded with steel across the knuckles, tracing a dreamy design…

Juneau writes about neuroscience, physics and whatever else attracts her peripatetic attention. She is co-author with Xena of On the Meaning of Adam Lambert, and co-hostess of this Salon.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2009 12:28 pm

    Juneau,

    I have never heard such a sensual description of fingerless gloves before. I really had not understood their sex appeal until I read this. Thanks, and keep writing!

  2. December 1, 2009 1:42 pm

    Dang girl
    I haven’t heard a “Symbolist” unravel a mystery based appeal connected to gloves quite like yours. Bravo. I like it…please discuss his boots and of course why I am drawn to Adam’s hypnotizing eyes so much. Folks have been wearing the all protective gear of gloves for centuries. Bring it to Adam Lambert who reintroduced them on American Idol to draw out the sexual alluded delights of these tipless covers. I can’t wait for Adam Lambert to introduce his clothing line to the world. I see French flare in his future.

    • December 2, 2009 9:34 am

      Thanks for your kind compliments! Boots or eyes next? Or maybe ear piercings. That’s the one that intrigues me.

  3. Rhett permalink
    January 19, 2010 10:46 am

    Well, doesn’t the title just say it all!? Nicely done.

  4. RoRo permalink
    January 31, 2010 12:37 pm

    Juneau and Xena,
    Where the hell have you been all my life? You’re sooo inside my head! I have recently discovered your blog, and “on the meaning of A.L.” now on order. I’ll be back to lurk – and enjoy…

    • January 31, 2010 12:57 pm

      Thanks!! We’re just a couple of professional women with families, and who along with millions of others were struck by the lightning bolt that is the Adam Lambert. Writing on a blog was how we expressed ourselves and we realized that so many people could identify with our obsession, we were encouraged to assemble the book. In addition to the type of writing you read here, are our personal stories. Just know you will enjoy the book! Don’t just lurk, write!!!

      Thanks!
      Xena

  5. Toni permalink
    March 23, 2010 4:45 am

    Jeaneau,
    Had to respond to this. I’m very into fashion and have always expressed my creativity in “dressing myself”. (much like Adam’s playing “dressup”) Fingerless gloves have been part of the fashion scene for a couple of seasons now, and I’m referring to the French and Italian designers as well as many of the indie designers in the USA. But you are correct, they take as their inspiration the dominence-submission influence. Long before Adam was on Idol, I had various accessories that included, yes, fingerless gloves. Accessories are the key to fashion. Fetish wear strikes a chord in everyone..it’s a subliminal thing. For those of you who don’t feel comfortable in going public with these things..try buying some latex and wearing it in the privacy of your home. It’s an amazing feeling and makes everyone look sexy! Forget Victoria’s Secret kind of stuff.. leather and rubber is much more sexual. Boots are very sexual. The leather itself is erotic. In the gay community there is a sexual practice called boot blacking. It’s nothing more than polishing someone’s boots while they are wearing them but can also extend to any leather clothing. The leather care products also have a very sensual smell. I’m sure all of you have enjoyed the smell of a new leather handbag or leather car seats, etc. You probably didn’t even think of it in a sexual way, but it definitely is. Adam’s fashion sensibilities incorporate many fetish “looks”. This also happens to be the cutting edge of fashion today, since one can buy some of these things at Barney’s as well as in a local sex shop. (Less expensive than Barney’s). So hurry down to your local department store, buy some biker boots (which are very “in” for summer, and pick up some leather balm from your shoe guy. (Not polish but leather balm). You will be very surprised at what you learn about yourself from just applying the balm to those boots and the wonderful smell. You also mentioned ear piercings..piercings are definitely fetish. Adam plays up fetish in most of his fashion..he likes it and it’s fun. We like him so much that even when he just has on a t-shirt, he looks sexy, but he is usually still wearing some sort of pendant, the gloves, the nail polish, boots, tight pants or jeans, the ear piercings, etc. There is always something in his fashion choices that trigger that primitive sexuality in us. Lady Gaga has that same sensibility. So raid your piggy banks and start looking at sites like Shopbop,com, or any of the fashion zines. The “rocker look” is alive and well but it’s just fetish wear that has been around for centuries.

    • October 20, 2012 2:09 am

      Wow… this whole sexual exploration bit makes me very happy, but there is one important message that had me swoon over Adam and that is “it must be connected with love”. And this love *must* soon extend to the whole of nature’s realm, or it is not love at all. Love makes all of us whole, and we are one with the animal realm – what we do to them we do to ourselves. Are you content with mass killing just to satisfy a “fetish”?

  6. Rebane permalink
    May 11, 2011 8:02 am

    luv it! I am wearing beautiful alpaca fleece fingerless gloves at the moment – only because it’s late autumn here in Oz and it’s cold! I don’t think I’ll ever look at them the same way again though. I always used to think of fingerless gloves as either an 80’s thing or something homeless people wear. Thanks for changing my thoughts on that.

  7. Red permalink
    June 9, 2014 12:58 am

    I ADORE your writing! Keep it up 🙂

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