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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fisting Revisited

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OK, here's one for you: Even though it may not be for everyone, is fisting safe, and does it feel good?

Believe it or not, this is not the first time a reader has asked about fisting (the practice of inserting one's whole hand into the vagina or anus of a partner). One of the interesting things about my job is that I tend to get the same questions over and over—in the store, at classes or trainings, and from readers of this column. A sexuality educator's work is never done! To me, this says a lot about the lack of basic information we receive about sexual pleasure.

My SEXpress column from March 4, 2010, which describes the basic mechanics of fisting, can be read here. In response to your specific questions, like any sexual activity, fisting can be done safely and it can be done in ways that cause physical harm. Also, some people like fisting and some people don't. The key to safe fisting is to remember that it is a slow process that should never be forced. Warming up your partner with other types of sexual activity, using lots of lubricant, going slowly, communicating constantly and stopping if necessary are all important. Many people hear the word “fist” and think of violent punching or thrusting movements, but this is not what sexual fisting is. We're really talking about a slow opening up and engulfing, which can feel quite intense and intimate. Some people are also alarmed about the idea of someone's entire hand being inserted into a seemingly small orifice and assume that this must be quite painful, but that should not be the case if done correctly. The vagina (and anus) are quite elastic—let's remember where babies come from!

Someone might enjoy being fisted if he or she likes the sensation of being very filled up, already likes being stimulated with a partner's fingers, or likes slow, gradual, deep penetration. Experiment and see! Just keep in mind that some people's hands may be too large for a particular sexual partner and that it's OK to stop short of inserting your whole hand—if you get three or four fingers in and that's the extent of what your partner can handle, that's just fine. This isn't an Olympic sport, and no one's judging.

Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to
laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

Laura Anne Stuart has a master's degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns the
Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee's East Side.