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Anal Fisting

Updated: MAY 17, 2021

Anal fisting is a sexual practice in which one partner inserts a hand into the other's rectum through the anus.

The person who is inserting their hand is called the fister and the person receiving is called the fistee. Despite the term's name, the hand is not actually in a fist position during insertion. To slide the hand inside the anal cavity past the anus, the fingers are extended and overlapping in a cone shape, sometimes referred to duck-billing or the Silent Duck.

Best Positions for Anal Fisting

The most successful positions to achieve full-hand insertion are with the fistee laying on their back, in the doggy style position on their hands and knees or in a sex swing.

Gradual insertion stretches the anus to accommodate the fingers, knuckles, hand and thumb until eventually retracting again around the wrist. Once the hand has fully entered the rectum, the fingers can be moved or clenched into a fist. Anal fisting is mainly a partnered activity, though some people can achieve the act during masturbation.

More extreme variations of anal fisting include double-fisting, punch-fisting and moving the fist in and out of the anus.

Anal fisting is sometimes referred to as handballing or fist fucking.

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More About Anal Fisting

Anal fisting grew in popularity gay and bisexual men in the late 60s and 70s. It rose in prominence at sex clubs and parties where men would openly participate in anal fisting.

One particularly famous club was the Catacombs in San Francisco. Opened in 1975, the venue promoted and hosted anal fisting parties. Over time, the Catacombs grew to be a place for sadomasochism and welcomed lesbians, bisexuals and heterosexuals. The club closed in 1984 after the rise in AIDS cases shone a spotlight on the health risks of anal fisting.

Is Fisting Safe?

There is one word you must have on your mind, your lips, your hands and your ass if you’re considering exploring anal fisting: Lubrication. To minimize the chance of injury, you will need a significant amount of lube in both your anal play preparation and thoughout your fisting experience.

Keep it at the ready, and apply more throughout. Not using enough lube can increase the potential of rectal tears, which can introduce bacteria and viruses to the bloodstream.

It is also recommended that the fister wear latex gloves.

Anal fisting requires experience, desire, communication, and time. Preparing to try anal play starts long before you reach for the lube. As with all anal play, the fistee should feel comfortable inside and out.

Hygiene and body awareness are key to pleasant anal play. It is recommended that the fistee have an enema shortly before starting.

In a best-case scenario, this will flush the anal cavity. Cleaning up can also provide an indication if the time is not right for anal fisting. Diet can play a huge role in being comfortable about anal play.

As you begin, remember that a good time anal fisting will be a long haul. Patience and communication are essential.

Warm up with plenty of touch, such as massage, rimming, using sex toys (such as butt plugs) and fingering. Gradually introduce more fingers as your partner becomes comfortable.

Does Anal Fisting Hurt?

An intense stretching feeling and some aching afterward are normal (think about it...your sphincter has had quite a workout!) But it should not be very painful. A sharp pain is a sign to stop and change what you are doing. If there is blood, stop and wait until you've healed before you give it another go. You need more lube and you have to go more slowly. An anal training kit might be a good thing to try before you try for the fist again.

Both fister and fistee should talk with your partner throughout to understand sensations being experienced and how to proceed. As with other types of anal sex, incredible pleasure can turn to pain very quickly, so it is imperative that you keep a running dialogue on what feels good and what does not.

It is not unusual for full anal fisting to take numerous sessions, or for your body to just say ‘no’—even if you’re experienced. The important thing is to listen to your body, don’t push yourself...you can always try again another time if you want to.

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