Dear MKE SEX,

My latest partner has (quite literally) opened me up to fisting. First of all, I’d like to proclaim what a misunderstood and amazing sex act it is—definitely not as aggressive of a sex act as I thought it’d be, much more sensual and teasing than anything. I know that a vagina can open enough for a baby to pop out, but I still didn’t think a fist would ever fit in. Porn totally makes it look different than it feels! We don’t do it all the time, but I think about it constantly. Could you maybe talk about how it’s done so other people know more about it? Secondly, does this mean that I’m getting really loose?

Sincerely,
Lounging in Pleasure

Dear Lounging,

With International Fisting Day just around the corner (10/21/2017), your questions are super timely. It’s so wonderful that you’ve gotten to experience something that so clearly brings you pleasure. I agree that it’s largely misunderstood, and (as usual) misrepresented in porn. Of course, that goes back to one of my favorite sex ed sayings: Porn is for titillation, not education!

For those who don’t know, fisting is exactly what it sounds like: the act of putting a fist inside someone’s vagina. (Anal fisting is also a thing, but we’ll save that for another column.) While some folks are purists, and insist that it requires all four fingers and the thumb, lots of other people will refer to four-fingered fingering as fisting and that’s alright, too. As long as the fistee and the fister agree on the terms, everything else is semantics.

That brings up an important point. You guessed it: communication. Fisting isn’t something that you’d ever want to sneak in on someone. While you may slide in an extra digit during an extra-hot trip to second base, you definitely need to ask permission before using your whole hand. Just because a vagina is pliable enough to accommodate the passage of baby, not everyone is going to enjoy that degree of fullness.

You’re also going to need lube. A lot of it. Like, really more than you might think necessary—and then a little more. Gloves help, too. Even if you’re already fluid bonded (knowingly sharing body fluids), the gloves-plus-lube situation will make your hand even slipperier than lube alone. It will also reduce the spread of non-STI bacteria that commonly live on the skin into the delicate vaginal tissues.

And finally, you’re going to need time. After you’ve talked it through and agreed to fist, and then gloved up and lubed up, you’ve still got to go slow. Start with one or two fingers. Clitoral stimulation is almost always the right add-on, so add some of that with your other hand, a vibrator or your mouth. Slowly add fingers one at a time, giving your partner time to adjust to the new sensation. Check in after each new addition, making sure that everyone is still having a very nice time. When you’ve got all four fingers in, let your partner know. Ask if they’d like the whole hand, or if this is enough. If they want to add more, try tucking your thumb against your palm. Add more lube at the knuckle (and maybe all over) and advance slowly. You may end up curling your fingers down around the thumb in a recognizable fist shape, or you may leave your fingers extended. Do whichever seems to work best for you and your partner.

Follow your partner’s lead throughout this adventure. If they move slowly, you move slowly. If they’re completely still, you should be too. If they speed up, match their tempo. Some people have really great orgasms while being fisted, and some people love the sensation but can’t or don’t want to come this way. Stay in touch with your partner to figure out how long to go on. When it’s time to stop for whatever reason, you’ll likely want to withdraw your hand slowly. Pulling your whole hand out quickly can be a really jarring sensation.

To answer your second point: “Does this mean that I’m getting really loose?” The short answer is no. Just as the vagina is built to expand for penetration (and birth for those folks who choose it), it’s also built to go back into place afterward. Penises are the same, really. The penis gets quite big and then much smaller over and over for decades. We never worry that those changes are permanent. We trust that the penis will know what to do when the time is right. We can also trust the vagina. It will get big and small repeatedly throughout its life, and we don’t need to spend much time worrying about it. We can just enjoy consensual fucking with fingers, fists, toys, and penises, and usually our bodies will manage the rest.

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her a question at mkesex@gmail.com and she’ll get back to you with an answer.