Happy International Fisting Day!

Today, October 21, is the sixth International Fisting Day!

Fisting is a sex act in which someone lubes up and gently puts their whole hand inside of someone else. (Think more “hand making a duck shadow puppet” and less “hand throwing a punch.”) It’s intimate and erotic and a lot of fun, but most mainstream porn, especially anything on DVD, edits it out. Most queer porn keeps it in, but large distributors can refuse to distribute. (In 2011, Jiz Lee and Courtney Trouble started Fisting Day after several companies refused to distribute their film Live Sex Show — featuring fisting between Lee and Nina Hartley — unless the fisting scene were edited out.) Fisting, like many queer sex acts, is also absent from most sexual education and is often assumed to be violent or obscene, despite being the opposite. In the Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey (not just for lesbians), over 31% of respondents said that fisting (giving or receiving) was a regular part of their sex lives. Something that common in queer sex deserves to be part of the conversation.

The key to fisting is to wear a glove, use a lot of lube, go slowly, communicate the whole time and — when you’re about to go from finger fucking to fisting — make your hand look like a shadow puppet duck. In their definitive post on Fisting Day, Lee writes:

“What I love about fisting someone vaginally (or through their front hole, if they don’t associate with the v-word) is feeling them TAKE ME IN. There’s a moment where the person just opens up to you. Once inside, they’re warm, wet, and every little movement you make can be felt. It’s something that may take time. Fisting is something that doesn’t necessarily happen right away. You put a finger in. Then two. Then three, four, and then… and sometimes after long and gentle coaxing, the thumb. Sometimes lovers can try several times in sex before fisting happens. But once you’re in, it’s golden! You can angle your hand for G-Spot stimulation. You can find your lovers’ “A Spot”, which is just under the cervix towards the back. Some like to feel a bit of pressure there. You can carefully stroke and “jerk-off” the cervix, as if it were a small, internal cock. Unlike using a strap-on or dildo toy, my hand can feel every motion. It’s incredibly intimate and really sexy. If the chemistry and connection with my partner is strong, I can come from penetrating with my hand! […]

Some people think fisting is intense in a bad way — that it hurts. But anyone who loves fisting knows that it can be the most intimate and beautifully connecting experience with a lover.”

But Fisting Day goes deeper. (Sorry.) It’s also about pushing back against seeing marginalized sexual practices as obscene, and pushing back against censorship.

This year, pornographers are under threat by California’s Proposition 60, which would require adult performers to use condoms during the filming of sexual intercourse and also happen to give its sole proponent, Michael Weinstein, power “not only over performers’ bodies, but above state regulatory agencies and public health departments.” At the OC Register, Ela Darling writes:

“Prop. 60 would give each state resident the power to sue us if they should see an adult film without a visible condom. It’s an outrageous violation that would open us to stalkers, harassers, anti-porn activists and, maybe most disturbingly, profiteers. (The proposition includes a large cash bounty to anyone successfully bringing a suit, then forces us to pay our harassers’ legal fees.) […]

The Prop. 60 campaign has called us lawbreakers, and says we’d be better off moving out of state. They refer to Cal/OSHA regulations written for hospital emergency rooms, not adult sets. For the first time in history, Cal/OSHA is working with performers to write regulations specific to our industry – incorporating not only condoms, but testing, and other safety guards. Prop. 60 would supersede all of that.”

After actually fisting, the single best way you can celebrate Fisting Day this year is by voting no on Proposition 60.

The next best way is to support sex positive pornography like the Crash Pad Series and TROUBLEfilms and their networks, too — of many — companies creating queer porn with fisting (and also under threat by Proposition 60). (We have some scene suggestions.)

Go forth and fist.

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Carolyn Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Carolyn has written 1119 articles for us.

18 Comments

    • The latex (and latex substitutes) of the condom dries the natural lubrication of the vagina.
      Putting the vagina haver at risk for tearing and irtritation. Yes adding lube can smooth things along but it can also piss the vaginal flora off leading to bacterial infections

      Also filmed porn is still a film there’s a lot of stopping and restarting.
      And the performers will need a new condom with every restart.

      But mostly it’s condoms are rough on vaginas.

    • Obviously the choice (and absolute agency) of performers to use safer sex practices and barriers when they wish to is absolutely paramount to my own personal ethics and to the ethics of the porn companies I believe in and give money to (i.e. Crashpad). But Prop 60, from what I understand, isn’t really about fostering that agency – it’s about creating a legal climate in which any person who views porn in which condoms aren’t VISIBLE has the right to sue the producers (who, with the companies I love, are also sometimes the performers). Which, like, huh? What about the fluid bonded couples (god I hate that term wish there was a better one) who participate in porn scenes? What about sex acts in which condoms are irrelevant? What about the safer sex measures currently in place in the industry? And what about performer agency?

      I’m not an expert, tho – for more info, I recommend following Jiz Lee on Twitter, or checking out their blog, and also the links Carolyn shared above. :-D

      • prop 60 gives viewers a financial incentive to report, and the fines against producers can be devastating for small/indie companies (like queer girl said, even if the condom is present but not clearly visible); this also gives the public access to performers’ real names and addresses, which is incredibly dangerous. performers are held to a pretty high standard and get tested every couple of weeks; it’s actually incredibly rare for diseases to be spread this way. that isn’t what prop 60 is about. it’s less about performers’ safety and more about punishing the people who create porn.

        also this goes without saying but heart eyes for everyone mentioned in this article.

      • So other than the dryness issue it’s con man making up a shiny new job for himself and it’s written like a crime tip hotline with monetary incentive to report. Impossible to evenly regulate on fucking purpose.
        Shesus…

        Well fuck that bullshit even harder then.

  1. I think it’s worth mention that a one or two major stars who have worked with Courtney have a beef with her over the rights of the videos they were in, and contracts.

    Also, some porn don’t show fisting as they could get in trouble for it. Apparently, 4 fingers in fine, but the moment thumb goes in, trouble could occur. A little over a decade ago, an adult film which showed had a double fisting scene went to court out here in LA because both thumb went inside a woman. If I remember correctly it was am armature a porn scene where a woman puts both her hands inside another woman, with a camera guy filming it. I can’t find the article relating to it(at least not yet), but I think mainstream porn might still be worried about getting in trouble.

  2. I feel like the narrative of fisting being particularly hard or difficult isn’t always necessarily true? The first time I fisted someone she just kept asking for more fingers and more fingers and then was really surprised & shocked when she found I had my whole fist inside of her. The first time someone fisted me it took a while because I was nervous, but now if I’m in the mood it doesn’t feel more drastic than the change from, say, one finger to one of my medium to large toys!

    (Sorry if this is too explicit? I’m not sure!)

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