Fisting 101: Here’s The Deal With Fisting (And How To Do It Safely)

Maybe you’ve tried it yourself, maybe you’ve only ever heard it as a punchline — but there’s no doubt that fisting is out there. And even though most of us have heard of fisting as a pleasurable sexual activity, it’s still totally normal to wonder: “NO SERIOUSLY HOW THE HELL CAN THAT EVEN HAPPEN OW OW OW FUCKING OW!” Ahem.

At least that’s what I sort of thought when I first heard about it. But for many, fisting is a real thing — and a really great part of their sex life. But what it is it — and why do people love it?

Well, on the most basic level, fisting is about putting a fist into someone else. Not a finger, not a thumb, not even just up to the knuckles. We’re talking about the fist, the whole fist, and nothing but the fist. (Well, and some lube… and maybe a glove. More on that later.) But even though the idea is simple, fisting is definitely something it can take a while to wrap your head around — and that’s totally OK. There are some sex acts that you should probably only try if you’re really, genuinely interested in them. Because, with something like fisting, it’s going to require some commitment. Here’s what you need to know.

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Fisting can be vaginal or anal

We often hear about anal fisting as some kind of joke, normally a slightly homophobic one. But vaginal fisting is popular as well, especially among lesbian couples. Not that all lesbians fist — they certainly don’t — but, as they tend to be better at experimenting with their hands, maybe it’s no surprise that a lot of them have tried fisting.

For a lot of people, it’s about fullness

Now, if you’re wondering why the hell someone would even want a fist inside them, you’re very much not alone. The appeal of it is definitely lost on a lot of people. But the truth is, for many, there’s something about feeling full that is not only intimate, but really gets them off. Carol Queen, Ph.D., co-author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone, tells Cosmopolitan that fisting is “a very intense sexual act that’s all about appreciating fullness.” And she’s not alone. Over and over, the more you talk to lovers of fisting, the more you’ll hear them talk about the joy of feeling full.

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You need to go slowly

OK, so before anything else — remember that you or your partner may not be able to take a whole fist at first… or ever. You need to work with the anatomy you have — and depending on the size of the hand and the size of the person, it might not always work. That’s OK. Start with a finger at a time and, when you get four fingers in, try adding the thumb to form a beak- like you’re doing a duck shadow puppet. Then, if you can, go further. The knuckles are the widest and most difficult bit but, if you can get past those, your hand should naturally form a fist. Once you get there, continue to move slowly. But — and this is a crucial part that everyone forgets — it’s also really important to take the hand out slowly, as your knuckles can still be a tricky area going in the opposite direction.

Use all of the lube

Yes, I talk about using lube a lot — but it’s so important, especially when it comes to fisting. That being said, you may want to avoid lube with numbing agents. Even though they’re meant to make the process easier, it also means that you might not feel things that you need to feel for your safety — like extreme discomfort or pain. You want to be aware of what’s going on, so you can back off when you need to.

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Preparation is key

With all the lube you’re using, things can get messy — so you may want to put towels on the bed. You also need to make sure your hand is clean, nail polish is off, and that your nails are cut short. You can also cover the nails with medical padding or wear a medical-grade glove, if you think that’s easier for you.

You might feel odd afterward

Whether it’s your first time being fisted or you’ve done it a lot, it’s a very intense experience. It may take you a little while to bounce back. You may feel sore, tender, or just a bit different in your vaginal area for a while. Just take it easy on yourself and, if you need a break from stimulation down there, make sure you take it.

Fisting is never going to be a sexual activity that’s on everyone’s menu, but some people get off on the feeling of being totally full and incredibly stimulated. If it’s done slowly and safely, there’s no reason it can’t be a great addition to your sex life. Just make sure that you’re both comfortable and happy with the experience throughout. If it’s too much, stop — you can always try again another day.

Originally posted on Bellesa Collective