Anal Fisting – Learning the Basics

by Larry R. Shockey

This is the first in a comprehensive 4-part guide to anal fisting by Larry Shockey, organizer of Hell Hole San Francisco and Fist Fest.
• Part 2 – Preparing for Play (Advice for Fisting Tops and bottoms)
• Part 3 – The Mind-Body Connection (Headspace Before, During and After the Scene)
• Part 4 – Keeping It Safe, Clean and Disease-free

IS FISTING SAFE?

First off, any sexual activity carries a risk of transmission of HIV and STDS. However, fisting is, in my opinion, one of the safest forms of sex—if you follow proper guidelines. The colon is lined with millions of tiny capillaries, which are extremely close to the surface of the intestine. They are extremely susceptible to bleeding during play. Overly rambunctious play, sharp fingernails or an inexperienced top can and do increase the likelihood of bleeding.

Once the colon wall is ruptured, fecal matter (and it doesn’t matter how well you’ve cleaned out) gets dumped into the abdominal cavity resulting in the beginning of what will become a fatal infection if not treated quickly. Should this happen, get to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible—at least within a couple of hours. A simple x-ray will either confirm or rule out a tear in your colon.

Symptoms of a rupture (meaning a hole in your colon and not just a scratch on the surface) include: upset stomach or queasiness, cold sweat, clamminess, an extended abdomen (similar to bloating) and lightheadedness or feeling faint. You might expect to see signs of rectal bleeding, but that doesn’t always happen and the absence of that should not put your mind at ease.

The initial surgery involves dissecting the colon to bypass the rupture to allow it to heal. This means that you’ll be wearing a colostomy bag for about 11 weeks. After that, you’ll return to the hospital for a second surgery during which the doctor will reconnect the colon and remove the colostomy bag. So be careful!

There is a risk of hepatitis A, B and C infection, as well as for HIV and syphilis. For a discussion on transmission and prevention see Part 4 of this guide – Keeping It Safe, Clean and Disease-Free.

ANATOMY OF THE COLON

anal_anatomyWhen you eat, food travels down into your stomach where the absorption process begins. It then travels through your small intestine, and into the large intestine, first into the ascending colon (on the right side), up into the transverse colon (which runs along the top), down into the descending colon (on the left side), and finally into the Sigmoid colon. The Sigmoid colon then holds bile until there’s enough to push it into the rectum, and we have a bowel movement.

Going the other direction (which is what we’re all about here), first you find the sphincter. This is an elastic muscle, which expands to allow us to have a bowel movement. It also expands to accommodate a dick or a toy or a hand. The first cavity we encounter is the rectum, which varies in size from person to person. The next opening, fisters call the “second sphincter”. It is not really a sphincter at all (according to my surgeon). Rather, it is a rigid muscular opening, which leads to the Sigmoid colon. Unlike the sphincter at the rectum, this rigid muscle doesn’t give easily and must be coaxed into relaxing. It’s why a really big dick or a toy may be difficult to take as deeply as we’d like.

SEEING RED

Capillaries are very close to the surface of the colon and the presence of blood is always a concern. If a top withdraws his hand and finds that it is a light pink in color, he should pause the scene and allow the bottom to rest—usually for about 20 minutes—regardless of whether the bottom encourages him to continue or tells him, “Don’t worry. I’m always a little pink in the beginning.” This will give the capillaries time to heal, as they repair themselves very quickly.

Sometimes the bottom will want to rinse with cool water (inside).

If the top sees spots of blood that are bright red, or if there is a lot of blood, he should immediately halt the scene, politely tell the bottom that he’s finished for the evening, and not resume. Bottoms sometimes insist that they are okay and that you can continue. Use your best judgment. You don’t want a serious injury on your shoulders, if you could have prevented it. Just explain that you’re not comfortable continuing and you feel it is in his best interest to stop. Then stand by your decision. After a substantial amount of time goes by (60–90 minutes) you might try again, but if you see even pinkness, I would stop and go no further.

GO SLOWLY

Remember that fisting is a game of millimeters. Even the slightest turn of your hand can result in significant stimulation for the bottom. GO SLOWLY, especially at first. Allow the bottom and his colon to get used to your hand. Take time to allow your hand to gently explore the terrain. Locate his second sphincter. Gently probe and prod. If you are going to turn your hand, tell him before you do it.

Surprises are no fun! An experienced bottom knows how he is built inside, how best to position your hand for entry and which way his colon turns. He also knows if he needs toys to help open him up or if he likes to start with long teasing fingering in the beginning. Ask him.

If you are asked to pull your hand out . . . do it slowly. We’re not trying to start a lawn mower here. These are very intense feelings. Be respectful and keep your communication going. This is a very intimate act.

FURTHER READING

Books

FIRST HAND, an erotic guide to fisting, by Tim Brough, with an introduction by Jack Fritscher, PhD, 2006
Trust: The Handbook, A Guide to the Sensual and Spiritual Art of Handballing, Bert Herrman, 1991.
Fist Me! The Complete Guide to Fisting by Stephan Niederwieser, 2013

More Information on Fisting

• For an interesting discussion on fisting and Christianity, see Fisting and God’s Will (They’re in favor of it!)
• R.A. Fournier – The Intelligent Man’s Guide to HANDBALL (the sexual sport)
• Sacred Touch for Men – Fisting
• Down N Dirty – Fisting Tips for Tops and bottoms
• All About Fist – Everything You Wanted to Know About Fist

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LarryShockeyLarry Shockey has been a member of the kink and fetish communities for more than fifteen years, and for almost that long, he has been leading discussions, workshops and presentations on safer fisting techniques. Larry has led programs for Leathermen’s Discussion Group, The SF Ring, Leather Levi Weekend, The Citadel, led discussions on creating the proper headspace for fisting bottoms and tops, developed a hands-in 4-hour workshop for intermediate players and has facilitated discussions for advanced players.

In September 2008, Larry brought a public fisting venue back to the SF sex scene for the first time since the closure of The Sling. Known as Hell Hole, this monthly play party has been widely and well-received by men not only in San Francisco, but from across the US and around the world. He is also organiser of Fist Fest, a series of men’s weekends at locations throughout the US where men come together to enjoy handballing. And finally, The Handball Academy is a nonprofit organization which provides safer sex education, training, and social opportunities to persons who engage in high-risk sexual activities.

Larry recently accepted a position as an individual director on the San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance and will be working with the Alliance on the mental and medical health of the communities and helping develop a kink community center which will celebrate us in all our various flavors.

This article is extracted from the booklet The Sacred Art of Fisting: Practical Tips & Considerations for Men who Engage in Anal Fisting. You can download the complete guide from The Handball Academy.

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