The other day I read that Paul Reubens—you know, Pee-Wee Herman—still protests his innocence over that unsavory arrest in 1991 when he was allegedly caught jerking off in a porn theater. His proof? Here’s what he says:

“Had we gone to trial, we had ready an expert from the Masters and Johnson Institute who was going to testify that in 30 years of research on masturbation the institute had never found one person who masturbated with his or her nondominant hand. “

Now, I didn’t go on to read the entire article so maybe it eventually becomes clear that he was making that up. I mean, 30 years of research? Not one person chokes the chicken/slaps the mackerel with a nondominant hand? I call bullshit. Surely most of us could get creative if the other hand was busy, like, holding a bucket of popcorn in a movie theater or whatever.

Then I thought about it, and realized that I only use my left hand. My dominant hand, if we’re categorizing hands into the one that addresses holiday cards and the one that rides bitch. I don’t think I could use my right hand if my life depended on it, assuming there was a really bizarre terrorist-demands-orgasm situation going on.

Frankly, I’m less of a fingers-do-the-walking and more of an Energizer-bunny gal when it comes you, you know, taking a solo trip to the happy place. What can I say, I value efficiency. But I can’t imagine using my right hand, even to hold the battery-powered device in question. It’d be like the difference between signing my name in cursive flourishes with my left hand, then switching to my right in order to stroke-victimly scrawl out LNDO.

According to my extensive Masturbate My Johnson Institute study of one, I could sort of see where Mr. Reuben’s coming from. (Back row, aisle seat, guy with the handkerchief.) I got curious about what dudes had to say about this, though, so naturally I went to Twitter. My question was if guys ever used their nondominant hand for personal solitary activities, and here are some of the responses:

My husband uses his non-dominant hand when he’s…handling things himself.

Learned how when I broke my hand. Now I’m sort of ambidextrous. TMI?

I write, box and throw right-handed; ‘Personal Solitary Activities’, left-handed 99% of the time.

Of course, if we didn’t the calluses would start to rub us the wrong way.

I then asked JB, who said he couldn’t be sure unless he was doing it, so maybe we should retire to the bedroom and, like, see for ourselves? Then he admitted that he prefers the left hand. The non-dominant hand.

So, maybe Pee-Wee was engaged in hand-to-gland combat in that theater all these years ago, and maybe he wasn’t, but I still say shenanigans on his so-called proof of innocence. Unless self-pleasure ambidextrousness has greatly improved since 1991, perhaps as a result of texting? Someone should do a study on this. In fact, I will. Give me a research grant and a day of Twitter access and we’ll, you know, bang this thing out.


84 Responses to “Love the one you’re with”

  1. Karl on August 19th, 2010 7:45 am

    Uh, OK, not sure I should be contributing but whatever! I would have to put myself into the “dominant hand” camp, but really clover above had it right (except that for me it’s t’other way round).

    Purely in the interests of science, I tried it in reverse. That worked too, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. We’ll ignore the eye-rolling and comments from Her.

    By the way, I grew up in a largely Italian suburb, and the accepted euphemism was “slapping the salami”. Probably an ego thing. :) Never heard of “choking the chicken”.

  2. kim on August 19th, 2010 9:06 am

    I don’t think I’m coordinated enough to use the non-dominant hand for that – and I have trouble even using that hand for holding battery-operated devices…but if push came to shove, I’m sure I *could* –

    This whole “stranger” idea is new to me – and making your hand go to sleep first – ummm…I couldn’t possibly manage to handle things when my hand is asleep – but now I’m thinking I should try. heh

    Hilarious post.


  3. nine on August 19th, 2010 9:10 am
  4. Jessi on August 19th, 2010 10:05 am

    Heh, research. (totally dominate here)

  5. Leslie on August 19th, 2010 11:31 am

    There is so much variety on this blog it kills me. BTW – lefties rule.

  6. kristin on August 19th, 2010 11:47 am

    I genuinely *heart* you, person that I’ve never even met.

  7. Alyce on August 19th, 2010 11:51 am

    answer to your twitter question: it’s Brett, according to what Tarantino named him in the script; Jules does make it sound like both, somehow

  8. agirlandaboy on August 19th, 2010 12:44 pm

    You are awesome. “Hand-to-gland combat” will make a regular appearance round these parts. (Parts!)

  9. Sara on August 19th, 2010 12:44 pm

    Let’s hear it for using no hands!! Anyone? Anyone? Just me, huh?

  10. Frannie on August 19th, 2010 3:45 pm

    Hilarious! Love it! Classic Sundry, er Linda.

  11. Lori O on August 19th, 2010 6:45 pm

    After fighting with my husband tonight, I went to your blog hoping for some sort of inspiration. I saw this post titled “Love the One You’re With” and thought what perfect timing and was expecting some funny and profound piece on marital bliss. Boy was I surprised!

    But, since you’re on this submject, I’m lefthanded (writing and eating), but sports and the above-mentioned, right-handed. Never really thought about it before, but there ya go.

  12. Kimberly on August 19th, 2010 7:55 pm

    Utter b.s. (but your take on it is hilarious). I’m a fingers do the walking gal, and always use my non-dominant hand.

  13. js on August 19th, 2010 8:17 pm

    You have all sorts of research info here! I asked my boyfriend today, and he said if he’s in the shower, it’s his right hand (dominant), but any other time he’s usually surfing porn online, so he uses the left.

    Both of my hands participate, but it’s usually the right hand (dominant) that holds the device that gets the job done.

  14. Melissa on August 19th, 2010 11:27 pm


  15. Barbara on August 20th, 2010 2:54 am

    I’m 60 (like Belle, above) and I think this is brilliant! I’m right handed, and that’s the hand I use, to hold the energizer bunny or let my fingers do the walkin’.

    Fabulous post (as always)! What so many have said above… you truly are the best.

  16. Jen on August 20th, 2010 5:42 am

    Okay….I love your blog Linda….and today I received my Parenting magazine in the mail and you are listed as one of the “Most Addictive Mom Blogs” with which I TOTALLY agree. However, maybe it’s my midwest mindset, but this blog made my stomach turn (and I’m not 60!) I hope you are working on something new to replace this becuase I guarantee that you will be having tons of people looking you up after that magazine article. And MAN, I don’t want them to think this is all your blog is about….

  17. Sundry on August 20th, 2010 7:54 am

    Jen: if you think I’m going to put up some safe little G-rated post just to court a readership, you don’t know me at all. I’m more than a little offended, actually. Why, you could almost say your suggestion to edit my own blog for traffic-mongering purposes turned my stomach.

  18. Karen on August 20th, 2010 8:12 am

    I, too, have a “Midwest Mindset” and this blog did not make my stomach turn and I also think it’s silly for you to modify your blog for potential readers. What are we, 12?

  19. Emily on August 20th, 2010 8:29 am

    Jen, are you saying that moms who read Parenting never think about masturbation? And also, that they have no sense of humor? Give the Parenting readers a little more credit! This isn’t the Victorian age, after all!

  20. Allison on August 20th, 2010 8:35 am

    I’ve never thought of your blog as a ‘mom blog’, probably because I started reading you when you were still at Diaryland. To me, this is a blog written by someone who happens to be a mum.

    P.S. Dominant hand here.

  21. Karen on August 20th, 2010 8:57 am

    I found this blog refreshing as hell. The idea that mothers don’t or shouldn’t have sexual needs is depressing, and more people should be discussing this stuff. So, THANK YOU.

  22. Anonymous on August 20th, 2010 10:40 am

    God, I love how you just keep it real. No mansion remodel bullshit. No product placement. Dylan’s tantrums aren’t sponsored by Lego. Just pure, unadulterated, raw truth. That’s the shit women want to start a conversation about. Please keep telling it like it is, don’t censor yourself so more ad dollars pour in. Thanks for giving us modern, thinking women a place to be genuinely and intelligently entertained!

  23. Jeanne on August 20th, 2010 10:56 am

    This post juxtaposed to the previous post about Dylan’s bedtime… That’s why I read you and will for as long as you’re writing.

    Thank you for the laughs.

  24. Amanda on August 20th, 2010 1:37 pm

    Dude. I’m from fucking South Dakota. It doesn’t get more Midwest than this place. And I’m gonna go ahead and use my sensitive little mindset to call bullshit.

    You’re my hero. I love your voice, the stories you tell, how much you share. What would we do without you to read? You motivate and inspire and entertain, so don’t let the bastards get you down.

    Also, I’m a dominant hander. You could cut off my left hand tomorrow and I’d never miss it as far as my lady business is concerned -they don’t even know eachother exist.

  25. Jen on August 20th, 2010 1:37 pm

    Yeah, well, I hope you have many new readers after your Parenting blurb…because you’ve lost this one….
    I can’t say I agree that “everyone” can relate to this…and if there are so many that need to “self-pleasure” or that their significant others need to….maybe it’s time to get off the computer and start working on your relationships…..

  26. D on August 20th, 2010 2:49 pm

    Oy, “scandalized” commenters always make me cringe a little bit.

    Not everyone “self-pleasures” because their relationship is unfulfilling, you know. In fact, I don’t know anyone who said, “oh my god! My relationship is so perfect I don’t EVER NEED TO HELP MYSELF OUT AGAIN!” I think generally speaking, it’s unrealistic to expect that of people.

  27. willikat on August 20th, 2010 4:31 pm

    Also Midwestern here. I thought it was hilarious.

  28. Barbara on August 20th, 2010 4:42 pm

    Whoa. Jen, a little uptight are we? Mayhaps a bit more self pleasure might smooth you out.

    And Linda – YOU ROCK re your response. Well, YOU ROCK at all times, but you know what I mean.

  29. elembee123 on August 20th, 2010 6:56 pm

    Um, Jen? Don’t let that little x in the corner hit you on the ass on your way out.

    Linda – dude…there have been SO many instances when I wanted to break out of my lurker mode and whip off the ol’ Cloak of Invisibility over something you’ve written about, but just end up reverting to nodding my head wildly in agreement at the screen.

    Now? Oh yeah! California dominant-hander represent!

    Heh. Carry on w/ your bad self!

  30. Jennifer on August 20th, 2010 9:28 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe that the “scandalized” commenter actually returned to argue, and this time to slam your other commenters! Maybe one of your former adversaries trolling the Parent Dish comment section… remember some of those people? Glad those days are over, I like the fun commenters much more.

    p.s. dominant hand. really the only thing the non-dominant one is good for is the bass parts on the piano.

  31. ariel on August 20th, 2010 9:45 pm

    Jen makes me sad. Jen makes me sad because Jen actually thinks that the rest of us are the ones who need to work on ourselves.

    Linda, you’ve been the voice of sanity interspersed with an amazing handle on the (absurdly) humorous for the last eight (?) years that I’ve been reading you. Thank you.

    p.s. (So much masturbatory postscript!) Both hands, sometimes at the same time, but sometimes I just get tired of one and want to use the other. Same goes for my fork, my hairbrush, the doorbell, etc.

  32. Kaz on August 21st, 2010 1:16 am

    This post made me laugh so hard I think I hurt myself! I love your blog, Linda!

    Dominant hand here – my other hand just doesn’t work for that.

    Ariel – the last sentence on your ps made me go ‘Wha…? But… ouch.’ When I got to the doorbell I realised that the fork, hairbrush etc were unrelated to the other subject matter and started cracking up all over again.

  33. Jess on August 22nd, 2010 7:11 pm

    This is the second of your posts that I’ve read. I’m hooked. Love it.

  34. Mick on September 3rd, 2010 10:10 am

    “…taking a solo trip to the happy place” that really made me lol. you definitely have a way with words

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