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Fisting

Fisting (fist-fucking, handballing) involves penetrating a vagina or anus with the entire hand.

People of all genders and sexual orientations practice fisting. Fisting is a slow, gentle process that needs plenty of lubrication, communication and trust.

How does it work?

Fisting works best when the receiver is already aroused. Warm-up can involve different kinds of stimulation, such as direct or indirect genital or anal stroking, vibration, or penetration. The giver should start with gentle penetration using one or more fingers. Plenty of lubrication should be used along the entire hand, from fingertips to wrist. As the receiver’s body relaxes and is able to accept more penetration, more fingers can be inserted. The giver should move slowly and check in often about what feels good for the receiver.

The giver should wait until the receiver is relaxed before trying to gently insert the full hand. Both the receiver and giver can learn to feel when the muscles are relaxed enough to accept an entire hand. It’s important for the receiver to let the giver know if they feel any pain or discomfort

Once inside, even the slightest movement can be very intense for the receiver. Gentle movements, including twisting of the hand, can feel good. Experienced receivers may enjoy more vigorous movement, including in-and-out motion.

For some people with a vagina, stimulation of the G-spot (an area on the front wall of the vagina) can feel good – this can be done by making a beckoning motion with the fingers, towards the belly button. People with prostates may also enjoy this same motion.

When the giver is ready to take their hand out, it should be done gently, never abruptly. The receiver relaxing their muscles, or using their muscles to push on the hand, can help the giver to pull their hand out. It may take time and more lube, but the muscles will relax – the giver should not force it. As fisting can be emotionally intense for both giver and receiver, partners may want to have some quiet time together afterwards.

Health considerations

Fisting is considered low risk for sexually transmitted infections. However, fisting can sometimes create tears in the lining of the vagina or rectum, which increases the chances of getting or passing an STI. Using barriers, such as condoms, for any sex that happens after fisting will help to lower the chances.

Gloves are recommended for fisting, since even small bumps or hangnails on the fingers may cause discomfort for the receiver. Gloves will also protect the vagina or rectum from bacteria that can live under the fingernails. Water or silicone based lubricant is best with gloves, as oil-based lube can destroy latex. If gloves are not used, then fingernails should be short, filed smooth and very clean, with no hangnails or open cuts on hands.

People receiving anal fisting may choose to douche out the rectum beforehand. Even small amounts of harder feces (poop) in the rectum can cause discomfort or tears. However, it is important to be aware that douching can strip the rectum of protective mucous, which can also increase the possibility of passing STIs during any sex that happens after fisting. If the receiver chooses to douche, it is recommended to do so several hours before anal fisting, to avoid the possibility of needing to have an urgent bowel movement during sex play.

It is possible for fisting to cause larger tears or damage to the vagina or anus/rectum. This is rare, but it can be serious or even life-threatening. Going slowly and gently, using plenty of lube, communicating, and not playing under the influence of drugs or alcohol will reduce this possibility. However, if the receiver experiences a sharp pain, a tearing or popping sensation, dizziness, excessive bleeding, or intense abdominal pain after fisting, seek medical help right away.

Resources

  • 5 Fisting Tips – Tips for vaginal fisting (but also relevent for anal fisting)
  • Book: A Hand In The Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting by Deborah Addington
  • Book: Trust: A Guide to the Sensual and Spiritual Art of Handballing by Bert Hermann
  • Book: Anal Pleasure and Health, 4th edition by Jack Morin
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