Dear Frances B,
I am really curious about anal fisting. How the hell do you get your fist into someone’s ass without hurting them? Also do you have any tips for beginners?
– Fist or Famine
I recently played a game of charades where “anal fisting” was pulled from the hat. After establishing “anal” in record time, my charading friend swung his fist like Batman socking Robin right in the a-hole, and we all cried “Fisting!” Or maybe that was just me. Anyway the point is: even if the first image that pops to mind is of a clenched fist flying like a wrecking ball into your ass, fisting is in reality a very gentle, if intense, sex act. In fact many people describe it as a profoundly spiritual experience.
By definition, fisting means to insert your entire hand into your lover’s anus or vagina. The word “hand” and not “fist” is key here, because you don’t actually make a fist until your whole hand is in there, which takes gentle motion and loads of patience. And lube. LOTS of lube.
When I was 18 I lucked into a boyfriend who led me confidently through the taboos of anal sex. As sexually inexperienced as I was at the time, he went blotto with lust every time I got near his ass. And being a curious girl who is easily encouraged, it wasn’t long before I was fisting that boy like all get out. It was easy with a good teacher.
Communication is the most important thing. As The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex puts it: “fisting is a downright tender sexual activity that requires great patience and trust on the part of its practitioners.” This highly respected sex manual even goes so far as to suggest that you shouldn’t try it before reading a fisting guidebook called Trust: The Handbook.
It was probably due to my small hands and my partner’s level of experience that we never had any trouble. If I got a little overexcited and went too fast he was very quick to haul in the reins. As the Good Vibrations Guide explains: “That dense concentration of anal nerve endings that communicates exquisite pleasure when approached respectfully communicates agonizing pain when handled roughly.”
Fisting is best done in a lubed-up latex glove, for safer sex reasons and because a glove is more slippery than a bare hand. Even with a glove on, make sure your nails are short and filed smooth. Keep the lube close by, and replenish as needed. Remember that anal fisting requires a very slow and sexually aroused build-up, and starts with fingering. As you work from playing with one finger up to four (this may take months, I’m not kidding!) you will naturally try to make your hand as small as possible by tucking your thumb across your palm and narrowing your four fingers together. This is a crucial hand position. Once your partner feels ready and aroused enough, let him or her push over the widest part of your hand, at the knuckles. Once your whole hand is inside, your fingers will want to fold on an “in” motion, to make a fist. Once inside, you can clench and unclench your fist, or move in and out, or wiggle gently as your lover responds. I can’t stress enough that none of this should be rushed – instead I would say to enjoy every step and let it take as long as it takes.
For more info: The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex by Cathy Winks/Anne Semans (Cleis Press) and Trust: the Handbook by Bert Hermann (Alamo Square Press).
email frances at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your questions to frances c/o the scope, po box 1044, st. john’s, a1m 5m3.