Art & Science

Fisting 101

Basics for Newbies

Publication Details

Author: Finn Vortex

Published: 03/31/2018

Updated: 03/31/2018

Duration: 10 Minutes

Quick Links / Topics in this Article

Rules & Etiqutte of Fisting | Speaking the Language | Fisting as a Novice Bottom | Fisting as a Novice Top | Case Study: Conversations with a Recent Convert

Executive Summary

A beginner's guide to fisting that highlights the unspoken rules, guidelines, preparations, activities and mindsets prevalent within the fisting community. Instructions on specific techniques are excluded, but are readily found in other Fist Club articles.

This article, and most items included on this website are focused around connected experiences. There are certainly different ways to engage in fisting that are not covered in detail, incuding anonymous fisting, dark room play, and chem focused interactions.

Rules and Etiquette of Fisting

Before you begin, make sure you understand BOTH the standard etiquette of the hard rules of fisting/fist club.

  1. Follow the Rules of Fist Club
  2. Follow Fisting Etiquette

Speaking the Language

Fisting involves a lot of communication, especially when novice players are involved. It is helpful to learn the jargon you will encounter during play, the anatomical vocabulary of the fistchute, and finally the visible signs, messages, and movements that are represented through body language. Understanding those three things will increase the safety and pleasure experienced during a session.

Fisting as A Novice Bottom

Taking a fist is not as simple or intuitive as taking a dick, at least, not for most people. Although it looks easy in porn, there are certain physical and mental barriers that must be overcome before a hole opens and fisting becomes enjoyable.

Choosing the Right Playmate

Your first partner (to whom you lose your virginity) should have a small hand and prior fisting experience (ideally as both Top and Bottom). If his only experience is having watched fisting porn, find a different Top immediately.

He should accommodate your pace and desires, and he needs to have enough experience to know when something isn't right; otherwise, you could sustain an injury and never really get to experience the real joy of fisting.

Preparing Physically and Mentally

Before a Fisting Session

Cleaning Out

Douching is a skill that requires thought, study, and practice. You should already be familiar with the basic process because you are taking dick up your hole. If you aren't familiar—fisting is too advanced of a sexual activity for you at this time. For novice and first time fisters, stick with a simple douche, with tepid water, that does not infiltrate the second ring. Once the sigmoid is inundated with water, your douche time quadruples and your success rate (for cleanliness) plummets.

Fleet enemas, douche bulbs and enema bags are generally insufficient for fisting douche routines. Invest in a shower shot and a good quality douche nozzle.

Douching irritates a hole. Extended douche times can shut down your hole and drastically reduce the time you will have during your session. Learn how your body reacts to different nozzles, water temperatures, and food/beverage choices in order to limit your douche time.

Remember the following DOUCHE-NOTS:

  • Not too deep
  • Not too shallow
  • Not too long
  • Not long enough
  • Not too hot
  • Not too cold
  • Not too forceful
  • Not forceful enough

You can review specific douche routines at Art & Science: Wash and Go.

Preparing / Providing Lube

There are dozens of lube choices for fisting. The two most common are Crisco and J-lube. Experiment with these two early in your fisting career to learn how your body reacts to each. Be mindful that certain lubes and lube additives may agitate and inflame your hole and prevent fisting.

Avoid infections and illness by following basic protocols. Always bring your own lube to a play session. Do not share lube. Use sterile containers for distribution. Do not share lube. Use fresh lube to avoid introducing harmful bacteria and fungus to your ass. Do not share lube. In group or flip events, make sure Tops wash hands between holes. Do not share lube. Finally, if you must share, use separate containers for each Bottom.

Stretching & Training

Fisting is a skill you develop by lots of training and practice. Stamina (duration), depth, and intensity (punch/piston) are unrealistic expectations for a first session. Even accepting a full fist during your first session is unlikely, especially if you have not trained on your own.

It's a lot of tedious and repetitive work. It's a long process to open a hole for fisting. Many Tops do not have the patience to work with a Bottom that does not stretch and practice on his own. Do your homework in advance.

During a Fisting Session

Staying Cognizant

For safety, avoid PnP situations or HnH play when fisting. Limit the use of poppers and inhalants to strategic moments. You need to be mentally present for the fisting session as most accidents occur when you are not.

An old proverb states:

If sex requires the use of meth or poppers, then it's not really about sex—it's about meth and poppers.


Douching, j-lube, and poppers all cause dehydration. Have Gatorade or sports drinks available for consumption throughout your session.


It is safest to take your first fist while on your back, on a bed (not a sling). Here's why:

  • Tops can monitor your body language, including facial expressions, while on your back. Being on your knees reduces his ability to read you and calm you.
  • Verbal communication is stronger face-to-face. Grunts and moans can be interpreted as sexual pleasure instead of being misunderstood as pain.
  • A bed, compared to a sling, provides you with the control of aborting the attempt.
  • Eye contact is important throughout the session, but critical in the final moments of the initial push. Most fisters will tell you that a thousand words can be expressed through intense eye contact.
  • The positioning of your legs is easiest on your back in bed. You can narrow or widen your stance, which can adjust your anatomy just enough to allow a fist to slide into your hole.

A second, alternate position is sometimes helpful for beginners. In this position, the Top becomes a 'live dildo' and places his arm perpendicular to the floor. The Bottom then mounts his arm and is able to control the speed and depth of insertion.

This position is useful for even advanced fisters as new territory is reached inside the fistchute.

Monitoring Sensations

A cardinal mistake made by the novice Bottom is to allow all his attention to focus on the sensations originating from his fistchute. This focus inadvertently creates a mental block that prevents him from accepting a hand. To avoid this, focus on the Top's eyes, focus on his external touch (if he's good, he will be doing a few things to relax your hole and the central nervous system), and focus on his breathing pattern (not your own). When you focus is on these things, he can get 90% of the way in without you realizing it. All that is left is a small push to sink his fist inside you. Cede control and trust his skills at that depth. Resist the urge to push out by focusing on your other external sensations.

You will not be able to completely forget about what's happening at the first ring. It's new territory. It's new sensation. Your mind will want to give priority to these new sensations. If possible, center your focus around the mundane. For example, how slippery is the lube? is there a lot of drag? is there pinching? does it burn? A hit of poppers also helps.

Once he pops the ring, you will want to expel his hand. Try to wait five to ten seconds before requesting him to do so. Generally, he can re-enter the second time with greater ease. Your sensations upon this second entry are different. This pattern of initial entry, immediate extraction, and re-entry is common even among advanced players that are years into their fisting careers.

A common error is to have the TOP stop and pull out as soon as his hand disappears into your ass. Remember that your anal canal is at about 1.5 - 2 inches (3 - 5cm) long. This means true relief isn't experienced until he's reached that depth up his wrist. Quitting too soon leaves his hand in your most uncomfortable position in the first ring.

Don't overdue your first session. It will be short. Your nervous system will be in overdrive. If he can't be satisfied with a short session, then it isn't right to continue with him.


Learning different breathing techniques helps you take a fist at any depth or intensity. If you are encouraged to breathe by a Top, realize he is actually asking you to re-center your mind and remove your focus on the extreme sensations that make you want to expel his hand. Altering your breathing techniques inappropriately in place of re-centering your mind could force him out instead of opening you up.


When breathing in deeply, the diaphragm pushes down more than normal, increasing pressure in the lower fistchute.


When breathing out, the diaphragm creates space in the upper fistchute, while increasing pressure in the lower fistchute.

Remember, reminders from Tops to breathe are actually requests to calm down or relax. While it is important for you to breathe, it is more important for you to breathe correctly:

  • Normal Breaths — When advanced Bottoms are fisted, they breathe as though they were doing any other activity in their daily life. Occasionally, they will slip into a meditative breathing routine to reset their minds, but for the most part, the breathing resembles normal patterns (or patterns that would be similar to those of vanilla sex).
  • Deep Breaths — There are only a few times when deep breathing is appropriate during fisting. Deep breaths stimulate the lower part of the vagus nerve, which intensifies the sensations of getting fisted. Deep breaths also increase the pressure on the lower pelvis, and by extension, fistchute.
  • At 55 torrs of pressure, the body starts sending messages to expel the contents of the sigmoid and rectum from the body (whether that be a hand, a toy, or dinner).
  • Shallow Breaths — There are a couple types of shallow breaths that can be used during fisting: Hyperventilating and Thoracic Breathing.
    • Hyperventilating, or breathing rapidly at the top of your lungs decreases the signals coming from the lower half of your body. This provides temporary respite from the desire to expel the fist. However, hyperventilating also induces the body to go into shock mode and physiological responses vary greatly in humans as to what happens next.
    • Thoracic breathing is intentional shallow breathing in just the upper part of the lungs. The diaphragm does not push down completely, so the lungs are left half-full/empty. This causes a sensation that you may be running out of breath. This is a false sensation. CO2 in your lungs is not being expelled as efficiently as possible in this type of breathing, so an occasional full breath releases the CO2 and eliminates the 'out-of-breath' feeling. Thoracic breathing stimulates the upper vagus nerve and keeps the diaphragm high. The combination of those two items decreases the sensation to push out.

Last but not least, extended inhalations of poppers or distinct rhythmic patterns of popper use can trigger meditative breathing and help you relax.

After a Fisting Session

Giving/Receiving Aftercare

Aftercare is usually provided by the Top once a session ends. As a basic courtesy, he should clean you up, help you up, and make sure you are okay. Sometimes this translates to quick cleanup, sometimes it translates to extended hugging, touch, massage, and conversation. If you are mentally capable, follow the basic rules of etiquette. It's okay to decline these things if necessary, but you should explain to your Top that you are in sensory overload and need to disengage.


After fisting, it may be helpful to discuss the anatomy/layout of your hole with your TOP. This will help you guide your next fisting partner inside you with greater ease. He should be able to tell you how spacious or compact your rectum is, whether or not your tailbone or pelvic structure will cause issues during future sessions, and if your second ring is readily available.

Waiting Out the Refractory Period

If you were successful in taking a fist, give your hole a few days rest before you try again. The muscles and tissues will likely be stretched and have microtears that need some time to heal. You may choose to take an epsom salts bath, or use bag balm around the entrance to your hole. As you progress, this period will decrease from days to hours.

Avoiding Key Mistakes

There are several mistakes you can make as a Bottom that sabotage a good fisting session:

  1. Losing Your Shit About ShitEvery single douche will not be 100% successful. Obsessing about being perfectly clean every time will physically hamper your ability to take a fist. Most guys, including Tops, realize this is a price to pay for this type of play.

    Note: You should never start a session dirty or half clean (unless you flag brown). Sometimes your gut just won't cooperate. Cancel or change positions on these days.

  2. Not Listening to Your BodySometimes the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak. Your hole may not be able to take it when you want it. Don't force it or you could get injured.

    Tip: Your douche experience can tell you a lot about what your body is currently able to do. A longer douche than normal is often a signal that your hole doesn't want to play.

  3. Failing to Relax and MeditateYour body should be in homeostasis or sexual homeostasis as you start a session. Fisting requires that you learn how to master all the sensations hitting your brain at once. Starting a session when you are anxious or when your body and mind are not in normal (or aroused) operating mode will hamper your ability to manage all of the additional sensations of fisting.

  4. Seriously, Failing to Relax and MeditateIt can't be stressed enough about the importance of meditation when fisting. Meditation relaxes your muscles. Meditation helps you breathe correctly. Meditation allows you to focus on the moment. Prevent injury and increase intensity by learning to calm down and listen to your body.

  5. Avoiding or Losing Eye ContactGranted, some positions prevent this level of intimacy. As a virgin or novice fister, you should avoid these positions. The Top needs to see your eyes in order to connect your additional body language to the action he is taking on your hole. Once he's learned how to correctly interpret your body language, then you can experiment with other positions.

  6. Remaining Silent During a SessionAdvanced fisters can usually tell you what a Bottom is saying via his body language, sexual vocalizations, and facial expressions; however, those don't always match up correctly on virgin and novice Bottoms. Feeling the need to stay quiet and ceding all responsibility to the Top is not only a stupid mistake, but potentially a deadly one.

  7. Overdoing It to Make an ImpressionYou will have performance anxiety. Meditation can help reduce this, but not always. The best advice from the deepest fisters is to set no expectations and go with the flow. You don't need to go pit deep on your first try.

  8. Expecting the Top to Work MagicThe first thing wrong with this idea is the onus you are placing on the Top. If you are expecting him to open your hole when you have difficulty with a 10 inch dick, then pack up and go home. The second thing wrong with this idea is that the Top shouldn't have to work magic to get into your hole. If you haven't done any homework (stretching, meditating, reading) and your fisting knowledge is limited to what you see in porn or on the bathhouse floor, then no amount of magic will open you up.

Fisting as A Novice Top

Fisting a hole is not as simple or intuitive as pushing your lubed cock into an ass. Although it looks easy in porn, there are multiple subtle actions that encourage a hole to engage in a successful session.

Choosing the Right Playmate

Never start with a novice Bottom. You should lose your fisting virginity to someone who knows how to guide you into his hole without tearing it apart. Established fisters recognize that the Bottom is always in control, and as such, he will be able to coach you on the subtleties of fisting. These subtleties (actions and behaviors) are impossible to learn from watching fisting porn.

Avoiding Advanced Activities

There are many different fisting activities. At your first play session, you should avoid the advanced ones: punch/piston, depth, and double fisting. There is an exception to this rule—experienced Bottoms can walk you directly through those activities.

Every hole is different. Don't assume that because your first fisting experience was elbow deep play that you can go that deep on every hole from that point forward. Stick with simple fisting until you have some good experience under your belt. As a side note, advanced fisters usually discuss the type of play they will engage in prior to starting a session.

Preparing Physically and Mentally

Before a Fisting Session

Building Confidences

A huge part of fisting is creating strong mental, emotional, and sexual ties to accompany the intense physical connection created when a hole envelops a hand. The Bottom needs to know he can trust you with his life. These ties can be created through various means:

  • Certifications and References — The first and second rules of Fist Club are suspended once you set up a session. A Bottom wants to know you won't go all Hulk in his ass.
  • Profile Name: Unabated Revealing Basic Personal Details — By sharing info such as your full name, your sex profiles, Twitter handle, and Facebook page, you let the Bottom know that you trust him.
  • Flirting and Sexting — Sexual banter reveals a massive amount of details about a person. The Bottom starts to get a handle for how you will handle his hole from this information.
  • Discussing Turn-ons, Skillsets and Hole Goals — Showing interest in his abilities and needs builds confidence and eliminates unknowns.
  • Reviewing Boundaries — Before getting naked, each partner should know what is and isn't appropriate for the session.
  • Sharing Sexual History — Providing recent STI history, sexual/breed habits, and preventative actions (TasP, PrEP, Vaccinations, and Testing Schedules) allows the Bottom to make informed decisions about your encounter.
Prepping Yourself

Start by trimming your nails very short, then file them down even shorter. You should be able to glide the tips of your fingers across your tongue and not feel your nails. If you neglect to do this, then the Bottom may reject you outright. Longer nails will introduce microtears into the intestine and cut your session short.

Before your session begins, wash your hands thoroughly. Take note of any cuts or open sores. Allow the Bottom to determine if gloves are required or not.

Staging the Play Space

A Bottom may not be aware that your pre-play routines are setting him at ease. Making sure the area is safe, secure, clean, and well stocked sends signals to his sub-conscious mind that you know what you are doing. These include the following preparations:

  • Setting the sling at an appropriate angle or placing pillows on the bed.
  • Making sure the poppers are readily accessible to him.
  • Placing several sheets (about 20) of paper towels within your reach for easy access during the session instead of fumbling around searching and unrolling them once you are completely sticky.
  • Situating the lube in the same manner so you aren't fumbling around once the session starts.

During a Fisting Session

Prepping the Hole

Rimming and/or a gentle petting of the ass lips, including the peritoneal area (taint) will trigger an automatic opening response. Spend a minute or two in this area with a soft and gentle touch.

As you massage this area, ask for any tips or pointers: Does he like a lot of hole/prostate play? How long should it take before he's ready for your full hand? Is there any entry position for your hand that works best on his hole?

TIP: It is often helpful to use a clock as a frame of reference for determining entry points. An established Bottom will be able to identify the smoothest entry position. For example, he may tell you to enter with your left hand and the thumb in the 7 o'clock position.

Applying Lube

A Bottom intuitively knows how good of a Top you are based on how you lube-up your hands prior to play. Insufficient lube or overly messy application indicates you do not comprehend what happens to a hole without proper lubrication. Similarly, how you apply lube to his hole communicates your mastery of this concept.

Expert Tops can apply lube to their fisting hand, arm, and the Bottom's hole while leaving the second hand relatively lube-free. A lube-free second hand is not always necessary and is sometimes unwise (especially if you are going to use both hands to initially stretch the outer ring); however, a lube-free hand can be used to touch, massage, and relax the Bottom as the fisting intensifies.

Popping the First Ring

Once you insert a finger or two, the clock has started. Use your time wisely to examine the hole and his behaviors (identify if his tailbone will be an issue, gauge the tension of his hole (loose/tight), observe his body language as you circle the hole, determine his capacity for eye contact, and finally identify his popper-hit frequency).

Note that some Bottoms enjoy a lot of first ring and prostate stimulation. Not spending enough time in this area may cause them to feel raped or violated. Other Bottoms prefer only a few moments of foreplay before swallowing your entire hand. Spending too much time teasing the hole may agitate it unnecessarily and cause severe boredom and disaffection before you even start.

Multiple methods are available to pop the ring. Some might require a stretching routine to trigger the hole to relax. Others might require a simple, yet repeated pistoning (going slightly deeper with each cycle). It doesn't hurt to ask the Bottom for the best routine, especially since you are a virgin or a novice.

On a final note, once you pop the ring with the widest part of your hand, do not stop until your wrist is all the way in. This is about 1.5 - 2 inches (3 - 5 cm) up your wrist. Be aware that some novice Bottoms don't have this depth capacity yet—your fisting session may be short and very shallow.

Playing Inside

Continue studying his anatomy once you've completely entered his hole. Adjust your routine and movement to accommodate him. Specifically, this five point exam will help determine how continue during the session:

  1. Swiss Guard (Anal Orifice / Ass Lips) — Observe if/how they relax to soft touch or rimming. If they start to engorge, or if they don't pucker up, then it's likely he will take your fist with relative ease (depending on your hand size and his build). If they tighten up, you will need to start with a single finger instead of three and slowly tease them into relaxation.
  2. Port of Entry (Anal Canal & Sphincters/First Ring) — Gauge tightness and the length of this area and monitor body language that would indicate pain upon entry. The length will let you know how far your hand must go during penetration before the Bottom feels relief. The tightness and the pain indications will indicate how rough and fast the Bottom can take your hand.
  3. Garage/Staging Area (Rectum) — Identify the overhead space and depth of this area. A cavernous hole indicates easy twisting and turning, rougher play, and a skilled Bottom (by either genetics or training). A shallow hole, with tight folds indicates one of three things: 1) he's inexperienced, 2) he's genetically challenged; 3) he's not aroused or in the mood to fist. All three will indicate a slower and shorter session.
  4. Reactive Portal (Second Ring) — Ascertain the location and responsiveness of the second ring. If your hand is extended fully, you are likely able to feel a loop or tight ring. If you can't find it, or if it doesn't expand when teased, then depth fisting is highly unlikely. Spend your time in the lower fistchute unless depth is a current goal.
  5. Hidden Passages (Sigmoid Colon) — Note what's on the other side of the second ring. If you find the ring and can get a finger through, investigate any twists, turns, or angles. A straight shot means you are free to work up the forearm. Curvature indicates the Bottom has limited depth experience. If it's not straight or easily movable, avoid going any further.

Regardless of what you find during your assessment, avoid abrupt movement until the Bottom authorizes it.


Observe any verbal and non-verbal communication as you are playing inside him, then adjust your technique accordingly.

  • Watch for wincing of the face or unexpected movements with the hands/legs that indicate discomfort. A twitch usually indicates discomfort.
  • Listen to and follow verbal instruction and guidance.
  • Listen for and respond to non-verbal vocalizations (grunts, groans, and yelps). A change in pattern could reflect pain or uneasiness.
  • Observe hand movements that direct you into specific courses of action. Touches, taps, and hand motions will indicate continue or stop.
  • Monitor body movements. Whether on his knees or his back, a slight pull back from your arm indicates he's feeling pain and needs you to stop or change what you are doing.
  • Lock eyes. Your interlocked gaze can communicate comfort, arousal, satisfaction, and encouragement.
Encouraging Relaxation

Your behavior as a Top can have a mellowing effect on a Bottom. Apart from good communication and eye contact, practicing certain meditative techniques will subconsciously calm him:

  • Rhythm Synchronization — Synchronizing your fisting rhythm with his breathing patterns helps you get on the same metaphysical plane and will intensify your connection. With more advanced fisting, synchronization means getting both deeper and wider.
  • Relaxation Coaching — When fisting skilled Bottoms, you will notice that their fisting breathing pattern isn't any different than their daily life breathing pattern. On occasion, they will shift into a meditative routine, but those shifts are outliers.
  • When you notice breathing irregularities with your Bottom, encourage him to relax by simple conversation and touch. Ask him to focus on your voice. Avoid the verbal cue 'Breathe!' It's similar to saying 'Don't think of a pink elephant!' As soon as you mention it, breathing becomes abnormal.
  • Deliberate Touch — Innate queues from touch will relax the Bottom and increase the intensity of your session*. See Art & Science: Touch & Connection. These four actions have calming effects:
    • Caressing his thighs or calves trigger relaxation responses from the central nervous system.
    • Holding his hand invites deeper intimacy and connection.
    • Stroking the hole and the taint can override or decrease the sensations he currently has that make him want to push out.
    • Patting the ass lips after extracting your hand calms an overactive mind and nervous system and allows you to reenter after a shorter period of time.
Decreasing Anxiety & Detractors

Pulling out when directed is one of the best things you can do as a Top to decrease your Bottom's anxiety. He needs to know he is in control. Not following this simple instruction will demonstrate that you have issues ceding that control.

Additionally, your reaction and reporting of the following items will affect his anxiety positively or negatively:

  • Blood — Monitor the lube color as you play in his hole. Start reporting pinkness when first observed. Ask what is normal for him and extend or limit your play based on his response and your level of uneasiness.
  • Shit — Bottoms are anxious about being clean. If you are fisting shallow with an established Bottom, and you run across Brown, then let him know he isn't clean. He should know better. If you are fisting deep, you should downplay minor infractions and expect some flakes and pebbles the higher up you get. Even if there is a full blowout at higher levels, don't make a big deal out of it. Discuss it with the Bottom to determine the course of action.

After a Fisting Session

Calling it Quits

The Bottom will indicate he's had enough and this terminates a session. Follow the basic fisting etiquette for aftercare: cleaning up a Bottom, helping them up, monitoring their wellbeing.

Cleaning Up

Start your own de-lubing process with paper towels; then proceed to a shower or sink. Dish soap will remove Crisco, Salt or Hair Conditioner will cut J-lube. A shower shot on full blast will also help power wash off many types of lube. The host should provide these items for you. If you ran into some brown, then Listerine will usually kill the bacteria creating any odor.

Avoiding Key Mistakes

There are a few mistakes you can make as a Top that sabotage a good fisting session:

  1. Losing Your Shit About ShitEvery single douche will not be 100% successful. Demanding a perfectly clean hole, especially at extreme depths, will cause a Bottom to shut down. Most Bottoms are horrified at even a single spec of brown— overreacting is douchey.

  2. Disregarding EtiquetteFisting can be life threatening if done wrong. Rules and guidelines are in place to prevent killing your Bottoms.

  3. Disrespecting His HoleIf you can't bother to wash up prior to fisting or between Bottoms, how is he to understand you have any concern for his well being?

  4. Being the 'Top'Granted, you are the insertive partner, but you are not the assertive partner. The Bottom is in complete control. Insisting that you are in control will shut him down.

Case Study: Conversations with A Recent Convert

Making the Switch

In the Fall of 2017, Eli determined that...

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