There is a culture has decided that hands must be covered or hidden at all times. Perhaps they see the hands as vulgar or private, in the same way we see sexual organs. In general, they hide them from public view all times, and usually cover them so well that their hand's outlines can not be seen either. There are some extremists that feel that showing the outlines of their fingers a freedom of expression. There are even a few hat would show their hands openly and risk incarceration. Good, moral people wear non-form fitting bags on their hands, which they usually don't remove unless bathing or (in some cases) sleeping.

Obviously, this would prove problematic, because people need to use their hands and fingers for practically everything.

How does this culture progress?

Bonus: What caused this culture to adopt this view?

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    $\begingroup$ Mittens or gloves can work fine. I know that some exist without fingers, such that it makes the hand look like a paw or scoop without distinct digits. I do think that the bonus question is off-topic, as it constitutes what some call Idea Generation (see Worldbuilding meta for more details). $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ Think of this as a sexual taboo. Gloves are still considered scandalous by the main stream. Mittens less so, but they are still not used by morally grounded individuals. $\endgroup$
    – Hoytman
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ I would love to read more about this culture. $\endgroup$ Commented May 23, 2016 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ Relevant: youtube.com/watch?v=BS-f_KwM81I $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is primarily opinion based, which is kind of self explanatory. just thought I'd leave a comment. $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2016 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


Rather than bags, instead long, semi-rigid, flared sleeves would be in vogue and people would walk around with arms clasped under them, like medieval monks.

It would make hand-eye coordination tasks difficult but not entirely impractical. Anything that requires fine detail work could be performed under hoods with binocular eye-viewers -- or perhaps be relegated to sex-segregated work spaces.

There would be a demand to develop robotics to handle such vulgar tasks. The phrase "untouched by human hands" would become a huge selling point in more than just the food industry.

Chop sticks would be the utensil of choice for eating in public. Hand held fast foods would be regarded as just obscene. Extremists might even regard handling anything in public -even with hands properly hidden- as too vulgar.

Certainly nobody points at things. The phalangic imagery of arrows might even become frowned on, though I'm not sure how they would be replaced.

Touch screen computer interfaces would not be developed - rather Braille keyboards would be relied on to assist touch typing under covers.

People would come to rely on sense of touch a lot more, reinforcing the opinion that fingers are delicate, sensitive, and sensual organs.

Holding hands will be an act more intimate than kissing.

Oh, and there will be finger porn.

  • $\begingroup$ And +1 for use of the word "phalangic" in the digital sense. Someone less cool would have used plain old "phalangeal". $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ I would imagine that the concept of arrows being used to 'point' could be replaced by a stylised face looking in a particular direction? $\endgroup$
    – Phlyk
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 16:48
  • Tattoos and nail paint would be forbidden.
  • The most shameful form of execution would be cutting off the hands or slitting the wrists.
  • Hand models would be on par with Pornstars.
  • Rings could be a sign of submissiveness or an extremely strong bond.
  • Finger food would be seen as the most disgusting food possible on par with slugs.
  • Writing would be more in the style of blurry symbols, able to be made without tools.

And here are a few reasons why

Religious views - In the early pilgrim days, a woman's hair was thought to distract men from thoughts of god and make his mind go to... less savoury areas, thus they kept their covered when in church. The same could be said of hands; soft, delicate hands may be though of as so beautiful that a man who see's a ladies hands is overcome with... thoughts. Alternatively, if their god used his hands to form them (or something to that effect), they might see hands as such a godly trait that they would disgrace him by showing their hands.

Magic - Perhaps in this world, magic exists but is forbidden. Thus having your hands covered works as an anti-magic counter spell.

Biology - If they're not human, maybe this species reproduces with their hands and thus common decency has it so that they cover the goods. there are many species that reproduce using limbs and some even remove those limbs.


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