A Fistful of Fun

Question: I'm a lady in her twenties who has recently become interested in vaginal fisting. I've done some research on my own regarding the how-to, but doing that research also has made me nervous about possible side effects (the internet is a scary place). Can you please help me sort out the fact from fiction? What should I legitimately be concerned about?

You’re right, the Internet is scary and can easily convince you that a nosebleed is the Ebola virus (thanks, WebMD), the Incredible Hulk is real, and Donald Trump was created from the tears of child laborers (this may have some validity).

And I applaud your interest in venturing beyond the typical one or two fingers of sexual stimulation and wanting a partner’s entire hand inserted into your vagina. But in order to avoid an embarrassing trip to the emergency room explaining how you became a human hand puppet, there are healthy suggestions you should be aware of before sitting on a fist.

Therefore, let’s start separating fact from scare tactic. Curious what the medical field has studied on this topic, I conducted a PubMed search for “fisting,” and although I subsequently had my computer seized by the IT department on campus, I did find a few articles on colorectal injuries from anal fisting, but nothing on vaginal fisting. That either means physicians are not interested in your vaginal recreational activities, or no one is showing up in the ER from handballing disasters that are worth writing an article about. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

Nevertheless, there are several things to keep in mind before a partner goes wrist-deep. First, it is important to understand the elasticity of your vagina. Theoretically, if a fetus can pass through the vagina during birth, it can certainly accommodate a fist. Yes, but if you recall those “Miracle of Birth” videos from high school, the amazing demonstration of vaginal elasticity is often accompanied by narcotics, screams, blood, and the occasional bowel movement. I’m assuming this is not the fisting adventure you crave.

To avoid a birthing experience, I’m sure you recognize the importance of relaxation during your attempt at sexual ventriloquism. However, it is healthiest to relax the pelvic floor muscles naturally through deep breathing and Kegel exercises. Alcohol, tranquilizers like ketamine, benzodiazepines like Xanax, and “poppers” may cause relaxation, but they also decrease sensation, which can lead to significant injury by not perceiving pain. Remind yourself of the 1980s anti-drug campaign: “Just Say No...if you’re going to put a fist up your vag.”

Nancy Reagan would be proud her legacy is continuing to a new generation.

Since you’ve already researched the “how to,” I’ll just reiterate the important factors of patience and communication. No one starts a fisting sexual encounter by dismounting off the bed, completing two forward rolls, and landing vagina first onto the fist of her partner. While that would earn a score of 10 from the judges, that is an unrealistic expectation of the process.

Go slow. Incorporate the fisting experience into other forms of sexual behaviors to heighten arousal (but still use plenty of artificial lube). If you’re only able to insert three fingers to the second knuckle on your first try, consider that a success. Pay attention to how your body responded so you can learn from the experience and try again later when your friend’s dinner party is getting mind-numbingly boring.

Also understand that low estrogen levels and scar tissue in the pelvic area can make fisting difficult, painful, or even impossible due to a lack of vaginal elasticity. Know your limits. The experience will be novel and intense, but it shouldn’t be painful. Communicate immediately to your partner if you experience discomfort. Slow down, change positions, or stop. The dangerous mentality of “no pain, no gain” will only result in you writing your bestselling memoir, The Woman with the Punctured Vagina.

If you avoid substances, focus on relaxation and how your body is responding, go slow, communicate your needs, and set realistic expectations (or no expectations at all), vaginal fisting can be a highly arousing and sensual experience for both you and your partner. It may leave you with intense, pleasurable, tingly sensations that I encourage you to just enjoy in the moment. Because if you rush off to the Internet, WebMD will tell you tingly sensations are a sign of a brain tumor.

Despite your love for the Hulk, please start fisting experimentation with a smaller fist.

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