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One finger can feel good inside a butt. So how about a whole hand’s worth of fingers? It very well can!

Introducing: anal fisting.

Generally speaking, fisting is a sex act that involves using all the fingers on one hand to penetrate (and pleasure) any orifice on the body: mouth, vagina, or anus.

So, anal fisting involves using the entirety of the hand to fill, pleasure, or thrust into the anal canal.

Google “anal fisting” and most (read: like, 99.9%) of the search results are porn.

So you might be wondering whether anal fisting is just a “porn thing” or something people do (and enjoy!) IRL.

The answer: Yes!

As sex educators love to say, the anus is an equal-opportunity pleasure spot, because everyone’s got a butt!

Translation: Folks of any gender, sex, and sexual orientation can try — and enjoy — anal fisting.

In one word: pleasure!

Taboos can be hot

The mere idea of doing something that’s seen as “forbidden” or “wrong” can be a huge turn-on. Case in point? Taboo or forbidden sex is a veryyy common sexual fantasy.

For some, that’s the draw of anal fisting, says Ness Cooper, a sex educator, pelvic floor specialist, and pro Domme who specializes in anal fisting.

It can feel amazing!

“When done properly, it can be very, very pleasurable,” says Cooper.

For some people, it’s the sensation of fullness that feels good. For others, fisting hits their internal hot spots.

In fact, many people can orgasm from being fisted. (More on that below).

It can be an addition to a BDSM scene

“Anal fisting can be something the submissive does with their Dominant as a way of giving over complete control over their body,” says Cooper.

“It can also be used as part of humiliation play.”

It can help fulfill another fantasy

For some, anal fisting can help fulfill fantasies of being double penetrated, gangbanged, or engaged in acts of consensual nonconsent, says Cooper.

“The sensation of stretching during fisting is akin to that of taking a large penis, or multiple penises or dildos.”

And all of these things help build intimacy and boost communication with a partner

For starters: Communication needs to happen before anal fisting ever takes place.

“Any time anal fisting is on the table, all partners need to talk about boundaries, hard limits, and safe words ahead of time,” says Cooper.

But the talking doesn’t stop when the Sexy Time starts.

“Both partners need to be talking so the fister knows they’re not hurting the fistee, and so the fister knows when the fistee is ready for an additional finger, and then another,” says pleasure expert Daniel Saynt, founder and chief conspirator of NSFW, a private members club for the adventurous.

“It’s really intimate,” says Bryden M., 33, who regularly fists his boyfriend. “Maybe more intimate than anything else we do.”

He also credits anal fisting to improving their sex life overall. “It’s really really really shown the art of communicating during all types of sexual play.”

Orgasm is absolutely in the realm of possibility for both vulva owners and those with a penis.

Cooper explains: “When people with vaginas are anally fisted, the fist can put pressure on the G-spot through the posterior vaginal wall, which can lead to orgasm.”

Others may be able to orgasm from the stimulation of the anal canal and anal sphincter alone.

Some may be able to orgasm if they combine the sensation with clitoral stimulation (hello, vibrators!), nipple stimulation, or even kissing.

As for penis owners? Well, according to Cooper, anal fisting can stimulate the prostate, which is the oh-so-sensitive patch of tissue located 2 to 3 inches inside the rectum.

“Fisting is basically a deep tissue massage on the prostate,” she says. “It applies much more pressure to the prostate than smaller, softer [options] like fingers and sex toys might provide.”

She adds: “While prostate stimulation doesn’t always lead to a full-on orgasm, for some it can.”

Read below for firsthand accounts about what it feels like for both the receiver and giver.

For the fistee

“Getting fisted [is] nowhere near as painful as I suspected. Intense, yes— but not painful,” writes Remy Black about their first time with anal fisting. “It was incredibly intimate.”

One woman (who asked to remain anonymous) who regularly fist-bottoms at play parties says, “What turns me on about it is the sensation of being stretched. I love the sensation that happens when my body stops resisting it and finally relaxes into it. That moment is my favorite.”

Victor I., 28, says: “It feels like the largest butt plug you’ve ever seen… but three times bigger… in a good way.”

For the fister

Cooper T., 24, says, “As a trans guy without a biological penis, fisting someone’s vagina or ass gives the opportunity to feel (and really feel!) myself super deep inside someone. The sensation of being engulfed is not only validating, but hot.”

Victor B., 42, who identifies as a fisting top, says, “For starters, it’s hot for me because it’s hot for them. I get off on helping other guys get off.”

He adds: “I’m a kinky SOB, so the element of power and feeling of taking someone right to the brink of pleasure and pain is something I enjoy.”

Anytime we talk about anal play, people have three main concerns: poop, pain, and permanent damage. When it comes to anal fisting, all are very real risks.

Here’s what you need to know.

Am I going to poop?

“You do run a higher risk of coming in contact with poop during fisting than you would with everyday toy, finger, dildo, or penis-in-ass play,” says Evan Goldstein, DO, CEO and founder of Bespoke Surgical, a sexual wellness company specializing in anal-related health.

This comes down to your anatomy.

He explains: The anus has three different sphincters, two at the opening of the canal and one — the distal sphincter — at the end of the canal.

The distal sphincter separates the anal canal from the upper rectum and lower anal colon, which is where poop is “stored.”

Simply put: Fisting is way more likely to reach to and past the distal sphincter than other sex acts.

Now, does that mean you’ll definitely have an accident? Not at all!

Many people engage in anal fisting without unintentionally releasing their bowels.

However, according to Goldstein, cleaning ahead of time is a good idea.

“Because you’re venturing deeper with a fist, standard douching protocols won’t cut it,” he says. Instead, larger douche bulbs or shower hoses are needed to reach these high-up areas.

Standard water and saline douches can strip the top layer of skin in the anal canal and rectum, which can mess with the anal microbiome and increase the risk of injury and STI transmission.

That’s why he recommends douching with Future Method’s Anal Douche & Anal Solution, found online, which is formulated to match the pH of the anus. This may make the process less irritating.

“Many people also like to use laxatives to flush things out, gut de-motility agents like Imodium to slow things down, or a combination of both,” says Goldstein.

“But it’s very important to remember that chronic use of these can create dependency, leading to permanent GI issues.”

Saynt adds: “I strongly suggest putting down a towel you don’t mind getting ruined or considering purchasing sheets that are water resistant.”

Will it hurt?

If you remember one thing, make it this: If it hurts, stop.

“If you go slow enough, communicate with the person fisting you, use enough lube, and work your way up to it, it shouldn’t hurt,” says Saynt.

If it does hurt and you stop, Goldstein says: “Don’t get discouraged! It can take a while to finally reach your ultimate goal of anal fisting. Be sure to enjoy the journey.”

Will this stretch out my butt hole?

Truthfully, there isn’t a lot of research on anal fisting and the effect it has on the bum. So the answer depends on who you ask.

According to Cooper, the possibility of long-term damage is small.

Goldstein posits the risk as being slightly higher. “The bigger we take, the bigger our holes can get,” he says. “At a certain point, the normal recoil of the anal muscles and anal skin can be chronically altered.”

As interested in trying anal fisting as this guide may have you (*pats self on back*), you can’t immediately shut your laptop and try to finagle a fist inside your butt hole.

“Anal fisting requires time,” says Saynt. “You need to slowly prepare the body to handle a fist first.”

Buy lube

Before you go anywhere near the anus go get some lube! And a lot of it.

As Goldstein says, “When it comes to anal, you can never get enough lube.”

He recommends the silicone-based Uberlube or water-based Good Clean Love, while Saynt likes oil-based BoyButter.

As part of the anal fisting prep process, you might use silicone toys. If so, remember that silicone toys and silicone-based lubes aren’t compatible.

Buy some latex gloves

“The anal walls are delicate, so any nails, hangnails, or rough skin on the hand can damage and cause small tears in the anal wall, which could lead to permanent scarring,” says Saynt.

He recommends using latex gloves — which give your hand a smoother feel — to reduce risk.

Anally masturbate

“First and foremost, if you can’t take a dick or a regular-sized toy, forget about a fist — at least for a while,” says Goldstein.

So if you’re an anal newbie and intrigued by anal fisting, here’s your homework: Anally masturbate!

Consider using a dilator set

According to Goldstein, the best thing to do is to start with sequential anal dilators or butt plugs.

Using one of these two to three times per week over the course of several weeks or even months will help stretch both the skin and underlying muscles.

“Gradually manipulating these regions with controlled pressures can eventually allow for complete relaxation,” he says.

Try other kinds of anal play

“Once you’ve mastered the full dilator set, it’s time to add in larger dildos or a penis,” says Goldstein.

Slowly increase the size of the dildo until you can handle one that mimics the girth, length, and angulation of a fist.

Find a good partner

“One of the keys to successful fisting is finding a communicative partner who understands the proper mechanics of anal fisting,” says Goldstein.

Understand the hand shape during fisting

OK, now onto the fisting itself!

Despite what the name suggests, you aren’t going in with your hand ready to punch and jab.

Rather, your hand makes what Saynt calls the “Italian emphasis hand.”

Can’t visualize? Think about bringing all your fingers together to create a cone shape.

As you get into it…

Start with gradual insertion and slowly lead up to the grand finale of the coveted 5.

As your anus gets accustomed to being filled — note: the giver will be able to physically feel this happening around their hand — you’ll be able to explore deeper.

“Once the giver is knuckle-deep, they can close their hand a bit, forming the ‘fist’ most people associate with the act,” says Saynt.

Rather than moving the hand in and out of the hole, he recommends just staying put inside the cavity to start.

“They should move the hand a bit, almost as if controlling a puppet,” he says.

“This will create a lot of stimulation and will help the receiving partner become more familiar with the sensation of your hand, and therefore more relaxed through the experience.”

Eventually, get thrust-y with it

You likely won’t get here the first time you explore fisting.

Once your partner becomes more familiar with your hand, Saynt says “you’ll be able to enter and exit their anus while maintaining a fist.”

Generally, manual sex is considered a safer sex activity.

However, if you’re the one being fisted, you can contract an STI if your partner has a fluidborne STI and has genital secretions on their hand before touching you.

The same applies if they have a bloodborne infection, such as HIV or hepatitis, and a cut on their hand.

If you’re the fister, you can contract an STI if your partner has a fluidborne STI and you have a cut on your hand or you touch your own genitals afterward.

The best way to protect yourself is by using a glove.

Go slower than slow, use lube, and find a loving, patient partner, and anal fisting can be seriously pleasurable!

To find out if it could be for you, start with one finger and go from there.


Gabrielle Kassel is a New York–based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.