I know it’s unfair, but I’m always disappointed when I notice that a guy I find attractive isn’t left-handed. There was a time when I tried to convince myself that I was better off dating “righties” — or what we lefties call “average people.” The idea of sharing things like beds and loveseats comfortably with someone else – both happily on our preferred side with our dominant hand free to reach for things like TV remotes and coffee mugs – seemed exciting, almost logical, if I can borrow from right-handed “speak.” Our less useful arm could then wander aimlessly, getting tangled up in a lovers’ knot of hand-holding and snuggling without having to free itself up with every ring of the telephone or doorbell.
But, the truth is, dominant-hand bliss is actually total BS for most left-handed people. All the “sinister” lefties I know, including myself, use both our hands almost equally. We didn’t struggle through a childhood of right-handed can openers and scissors only to leave all the skills we begrudgingly acquired in time behind when we could finally outfit our own households in lefty-specific office and kitchen supplies. The same goes for lovers. There’s no need to prefer a seemingly more convenient type over another. Give me a more intriguing, challenging object of curiousity any day over over an easy-to-operate system or device… therefore, dear universe, please gift me with a beautiful lefty to love.
Back in my undergrad years. I had a loving right-handed boyfriend who surprised me by setting up my home computer (because following straightforward instructions, especially when technological elements are involved — go figure — isn’t one of my strong suits). He was beside himself with pride that he remembered my left-handedness without me reminding him. He thoughtfully positioned my mouse on the left-hand side of the computer. He looked disappointed – almost beside himself with defeat – when I unwittingly laughed, “Babe, you put the mouse on the wrong side!” It didn’t even occur to me, after growing up in a household of righties with whom I shared our home’s one computer, that there was any other way to position a mouse than the “right” way.
Maybe it’s because I’m at the tail-end of Gen-X — arguably the last generation to grow up without the idea of “embracing your differences” and “liking yourself for who you are” seeming like necessary ideals to instil in young children. My family always got a kick out of watching me struggle with the can opener — sometimes taking upwards of five minutes just to pierce open half the lid to a can of tomato soup, only to then dangerously pry the jagged metal with my left hand in sheer frustration. The ‘80s were a weird time, but I’m thankful for that lack of coddling I had now because it forced me to adapt. These days, I actually prefer using scissors and can openers with my right hand, and I know I’m the better for it, on a multitude of levels, including my love life.
Catholic elementary school may have put the fear of Satan in me given the left hand’s association with the devil, but by the time I was in high school and was pointe-guard of the basketball team — thanks to how effortlessly I dribbled and did lay-ups with both hands — I knew then that the only thing sinister about being left-handed was perhaps the strengths that were suddenly blooming from what was once felt weak and at a disadvantage.
Being able to use both hands with ease doesn’t just end at making us lefties better athletes. Righties might have a more dominant left hemisphere, but lefties tend to have more symmetrical brains, processing information in both hemispheres. We’re often stereotyped as full-blown creatives — brilliant “outside of the box” thinkers who nevertheless lack the pragmatic, sequential thinking associated with the left side of the brain. Here’s the thing though: Yes, our right hemispheres are like an ongoing Cirque du Soleil-produced extravaganzas of imaginative ideas. But given all the years any given lefty spends struggling to adjust to the right-handed world, our left hemispheres are pretty kickass too. Time Magazine recently reported that, of the highest test scorers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for instance, 22% of the smarties were left-handed, despite only 10% of the world being left-hand dominant. We also make up about 40% of Mensa, the genius society, despite our 1 in 10 ratio. I’d say the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to our intelligence — but I’m a lefty, so what do I know about math, right?
Apparently, lefties are better in bed too — or at least more sexually satisfied than right-handed people. LELO’s 2014 Global Sex Survey found that 86% of left-handed people were “Extremely Satisfied” with their sex lives, compared to only 15% of right-handed people, after the company surveyed an impressive 10,000 people about their sex lives. I’m not a big fan of surveys, and not just because they’re often conducted by companies with a mission to prove before the survey even begins; I dislike them because left-handed people generally aren’t even included as guinea pigs. Our brains our wired differently — given our use of both hemispheres — making us undesirable subjects for producing results that reflect “the norm.” I’m not surprised by LELO’s Global Sex Survey results nonetheless, but I didn’t need a group of 10,000 random people to tell me lefties have more fun in bed than right-handed people. Given that we’re just as up for doing something backwards as the way it seems natural to us, it’s no wonder that we also strive to no end to find satisfaction sexually. And given that coming up with new, innovative ideas is kind of our “thing,” no wonder we never get bored between the sheets. I can’t imagine what two right-handed people would get up to in bed after time took its toll on the excitement levels of their relationship. But, hey, at least I’ll never have to find out.