You know, if you practice self-abuse, you’ll suddenly sprout hair on your palms. When did this idea first originate?
I’ve wondered about this as well. The going blind part also. If either were true, I’d be a blind wolfman by now.
SOME of the clichés come from this book, published anonymously in 1710.
eg, from page 57 “… rotten Teeth, blear Eyes, no Nose at all; in fine, render’d as loathsome as Venom and Corruption can make it”
page 63 “it exhausts their vital Moisture, nips them in the Bud, stunts their Growth, and renders them for ever after weak and enfeebled;”
On a brief glance through, I can’t find any mention of hairy hands, but at minimum it makes the claim that it makes you blind and stunts your growth.
Ha! I thought this thread was going to be about werewolves and vampires. (Masturbating vampires, maybe. Werewolves punchin’ the Munchkin.)
It seems pretty clear to me that it suggests that the same hormones responsible for all that new hair growth in boys – face, armpits, and the groin – must be carried by the semen, produced (like the testosterone) in the testicles. Therefore the semen will probably carry the wherewithal to grow hair, and it ends up in the palms of masturbators because… well, it’s obvious.
I doubt if anyone ever seriously suggested that this was true – it’s Weird Folk Medicine. Like Folk etymology, based on half-baked logic. It also provides a great setup for the joke – You tell the victim “Do you know that masturbation causes hair to grow on your palms?” , then wait to see if he looks at his own, and call him on it if he does.
Lastly, I have to point out, relevant to Baldwin’s comment, that in his novel Dracula , Bram Stoker says that the Count DOES have hair on his palms. I think it’s really supposed to sho his link to the lower creatures, but maybe he had something else in mind. This little detail never made it into ANY of the stage plays or movies.
Actually, Gary Oldman showed Keanu Reeves his hairy palms in Bram Stokers Dracula - when the young clerk visited him at his castle for the first time. I remember it distinctly.
I am going the simplest way. If you are caught in the act and you somehow manage to conceal the fact, you might be exposed by having some pubic hair in your hand.