Analysis of non-verbal communication techniques used while fisting, including physical, physiological, and extra-verbal signaling.
Extra-verbal communication plays several important roles during a fisting session. Hand signals, eye contact, touch, and body movement can replace speech that may be disruptive to the flow of a session. Involuntary signals, such as physiological changes, provide insight and direct the actions of both tops and bottoms throughout all stages of penetration. Lastly, innuendo and copulatory vocalizations play a powerful part in relaying interest, pleasure, and passion that create positive feedback loops to increase the intensity of play.
noun communication that occurs outside of speech; by other means than speaking.
There are multiple ways partners communicate outside of speech. Perhaps the most common is the use of hand signals; however, specialized touch, eye contact, and body movement are also effective methods for relaying information. These movements can provide instruction, indicate ongoing consent, and validate techniques in use.
In face-to-face and kneeling experiences, many bottoms use their hands to direct movement. Several of these signals are intuitive and do not need clarification, while others may need to be explained at the onset of the session. Regardless, it is often important to eliminate any assumptions by clarifying between partners the meaning of specific signals.
Hand Signals in the Face-to-Face Position
Forward / Deeper
A Matrix-style movement using the hand and fingers to signal “Come Here!” instructs the top to continue forward and go deeper into the fist chute.
The speed of the signal can indicate the pace of progression or the amount of pressure to be applied.
Stop / Pause
Presenting the hand with the palm out and fingers raised, like a police officer directing traffic, denotes stop and hold at the current position.
When the bottom is ready, he will indicate how to proceed further (verbally or with other hand signals).
Retract / Pull Back
Adding directional movement to the stop signal with the fingers or full hand indicates that the top should pull back gently until otherwise directed.
Usually this signal does not mean pull out completely, as the 'Out' command is almost always verbalized.
Hand Signals in the Kneeling Position
Use of hand signals is not limited to face-to-face sessions. Knee sessions may also use hand signals to direct intensity or cessation of activities, especially with regards to punch fisting.
Stop / Pause
Raising the hand with palm open instructs the top to discontinue his action.
When the bottom is ready, he will indicate how to proceed further (verbally or with other hand signals).
Touch outside of the fist chute, initiated by either the top or bottom, is a powerful stimulator and communication tool. It conveys interest, increases synchronicity, alleviates discomfort, and relays instruction.
Touch by Tops
Strategic and lengthy touch by the top’s free hand heightens the intensity of a session and improves connection, which in turn, increases the responsiveness of the hole.
Three hormones are released into the body after six seconds of sustained, sincere touch:
Oxytocin | Known as the cuddle hormone, oxytocin increases intimacy among partners. Its documented effects facilitate fisting in two ways: brain synchronicity and decreased pain awareness. Synchronized partners intuitively understand what the hole wants without speech. Decreased pain perception helps bottoms overcome mental blocks in their fisting journey.
Serotonin | As a neurotransmitter, serotonin functions as an anti-depressant to decrease anxiety and improve mood. The neurotransmitter also suppresses libido and the mechanisms of orgasm, which in turn increases the length of a play session. As a hormone, serotonin can either relax or tighten the walls of the fist chute via smooth muscle control.
Dopamine | The third hormone, which is also a neurotransmitter, activates pleasure-seeking behavior and a desire to achieve specific outcomes. Massage and stroking of the skin cause its release. Elevated levels neutralize some of the libido-dampening effects of serotonin.
Keep in mind that not every bottom is comfortable with being covered in lube. Many of the positive effects of touch may be inhibited if the bottom is unable to focus due to being coated in a sticky mess. Ask in advance if they mind getting sticky and alter your routine accordingly.
Touch by Bottoms
Bottoms can use direct touch with the top to relay consent and instruction. Partners can pre-define certain kinds of touch to indicate specific actions. Examples include:
Instructive Taps | A single tap might indicate stop, and multiple taps might indicate continue, go faster, or go deeper.
Rhythmic Taps | A consistent set of taps can synchronize internal rhythms between participants.
Definitive Strokes | Using a finger to stroke the top’s arm can indicate levels of anxiety but also may serve as instruction. The pace and direction can indicate what should be replicated inside the hole.
Directive Assistance | A manual grip on the arm can be used to assertively coach the top to accelerate speed, increase depth, initiate retraction, or cease movement. Note that this manual grip should be gentle. A tight grip can be physically painful to the top.
Internal Instruction | A contraction or relaxation of the sphincter can relay stop and start messages, especially when other forms of communication are limited.
Bottoms can trigger similar hormonal responses (oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine) in a top by holding his free hand, stroking his face or arm, or using a foot to brush up against his cock.
Voluntary body movements provide insight regarding sensations the bottom is currently experiencing. Position shifting and realignment are non-verbal tools used by the bottom to direct further activities by the top. Involuntary or reflexive movement is addressed later in this course as a physiological, involuntary response.
When coupled with other signals and communication, body movement can indicate the following items:
Discomfort | Repositioning legs or adjusting hip alignment vertically or horizontally is often an indicator of poor technique or position of the top. For example, the crowbar technique places unnecessary pressure on the pelvic outlet, causing sensation overload and physical pain. Moving the legs or hips can sometimes alter the angle of entry and terminate the crowbar (the source of discomfort).
Internal Realignment | At greater depths, the directional movement of the hand or arm may be incorrect. It may be running into a roadblock such as a curve, an organ, or bone. Hip and leg movement may reposition the hand or arm so that it isn’t stuck or no longer catches the impeding object. At shallow depths, a fist may catch an unlubricated fold and cause drag. A simple shift releases the drag and allows lube to fully coat the anal canal and rectum. Drag can also be a reason for shifting at greater depths.
Extreme Stimulation | Some bottoms prefer a lot of pressure stimulation that may be unachievable with gentle movement inside the fist chute. Exaggerated pistoning by the top or twisting and twerking by the bottom may create this stimulation. This type of movement is usually accompanied by other extra-verbal communication that indicates a high level of pleasure.
Exhaustion | As the hole wears out, leg, hip, and body shifting will likely increase as the bottom adjusts to maintain some level of comfort.
Instruction | In kneeling and face-to-face positions, retraction or insertion movements provide instruction to the top. While on his knees, pulling off or away from the fist indicates a hard, but temporary, stop. Pulling completely off the fist means a break is needed. Pushing back onto the fist indicates resumption (if paused) or enhanced insertion (deeper penetration or faster punch-like movement). If the bottom is on his stomach, pulling himself toward the top (usually by grasping the sling chain/straps) is often a signal to engage further. In such cases, the bottom is attempting to decrease the gap between partners in order to get deeper or to initiate more rhythmic penetration.
Physiological changes, particularly in bottoms, are important communicative tools. These changes can be observed visually, experienced tactilely (temperature variation, muscle tension), or inhaled/smelled. Unlike most of the physical actions discussed in the previous section, these signals are all involuntary.
The phrase “reading the bottom” is used on occasion by skilled fisting tops. Reading involves observing and understanding what all of the physiological responses mean in the bottom.
Visually Observed Responses
The majority of physiological responses can be visually observed. These include respiration, urination, orgasm, popper blush, and reflexive movement.
Respiratory rates can indicate a variety of things. Slow and deep breathing typically demonstrate trust, comfort, or an advanced skillset. Rapid breathing indicates tension, stress, and signal overload. Deep inhalation reduces the space in the pelvic and abdominal cavities because the diaphragm is pushing downward. While irrelevant in shallow play, depth advances in deeper bottoms are easier when coordinated with the activity of the diaphragm.
Note that the inward push by the top isn't always associated with exhalation. In some bottoms, the shifting of organs during inhalation can make forward/depth advances easier.
Men often report a feeling of euphoria or relaxation after a good piss. The euphoria is due to the culmination of a positive feedback loop deep within the primitive brain. Once urine is released, the feedback loop is terminated, which brings relief (and sometimes pleasure). Expulsion of urine or fist nectar during a session is an indicator of relief and often a sign of pleasure. Good tops are able to analyze their techniques that trigger urination and repeat those techniques to enhance bottoms’ sensory experiences.
noun combination of urine and seminal fluid (and occasionally semen) that is produced during fisting by massaging the prostate, bladder, and seminal vesicles.
Pissing while fisting is a highly reflexive activity. With normal urination, pressure sensors within the bladder trigger release of urine by relaxing an internal bladder sphincter. When coupled with conscious relaxation of an external sphincter, urination occurs. The internal sphincter will not relax until sensors within the bladder send signals to the central nervous system. Those signals are triggered once the bladder has about 300 ml of fluid stored inside. At 500 ml, the body ignores the conscious control over the external sphincter and voids the urine unwillingly. The addition of a fist into the lower pelvic cavity occupies expansion space, thus decreasing the threshold from 500 ml to substantially less, sometimes as low as 100 ml. If the urethra isn’t compressed by the fist or arm, a geyser of piss will occur. Release of urine triggers sensations of relief.
Note that compression of the urethra can prevent urination. In some men, this results in a piss geyser after the top extracts his hand. In other men, it triggers pain sensations as the body tries to figure out why urine isn't being expelled when both sphincters are open. Urination may never occur and the pain can decrease the bottom’s ability to handle a fist and participate in a longer session. In those bottoms, attempts to trigger pissing should be avoided.
noun the canal or tube in men that carries urine away from the bladder and serves as the passageway for the expulsion of semen seminal fluid.
Traditional orgasm, or the expulsion of ejaculate, indicates the culmination of a positive feedback loop. Several mini-orgasms and ass-gasms are typical with fisting. Observant tops are able to replicate their techniques that trigger these events in their effort to generate or delay full orgasm. Full orgasm can trigger other physiological events that terminate a session.
noun while fisting, the rapid pleasurable release of neuromuscular tensions at the height of sexual arousal that is usually accompanied by a series of pelvic or full body contractions.
Nitrite from poppers is a strong vasodilator. Within seconds of inhalation, blood vessels begin to expand to allow additional blood flow. With the additional blood flow, the face, head, and back begin turning red within a matter of seconds. The effects of increased blood flow and oxygen delivery affect the brain within ten seconds. By fifteen seconds, nitrites have reached the smooth muscle of the colon (including the sphincters) and cause relaxation. Observing the facial blush allows a top to strategically coordinate insertion with systemic relaxation inside the hole.
noun the visual side effect of a vasodilation agent that induces the relaxation of arteries, increasing blood flow; typically recognized as a pink face, chest/torso, or back.
Reflexive movement includes any movement the bottom does not control consciously. It occurs prior to any sensation being sent to the brain for interpretation. Being able to read reflexive movement and adjust technique accordingly makes the difference between an average and excellent top.
Dentists represent the best example of reading reflexive movement. While fidgeting inside the mouth, they observe blinking, limb movement (such as jumps or muscle tension), and repetitive micro-movements to gauge both anxiety and the effectiveness of the numbing anesthetic. When they observe these behaviors, they often ask, “Can you feel that?” or “Are you experiencing pain?”
Tops should be continually watching for winces, foot and hand movement, tense limb or core muscles, head movement, or shifting of the hole. Sometimes the solution is as easy as more lube application or change of position or angle of entry. If those actions do not mitigate the bottom’s reflexive responses, the top should ask for verbal feedback. The bottom may not be aware of his discomfort, so specificity in the conversation is important. For example, “I have noticed that when I twist like this, you move your foot as if you are in discomfort. Tell me what you are feeling.”
Tactilely Observed Responses
At least two non-voluntary responses can be felt within the fist chute: temperature variation and tension/swelling. The meaning of these signals may vary per bottom. A third condition, texture variation, can also provide insight regarding the hole.
Muscle Tension and Tissue Swelling
The lower gastrointestinal tract is naturally designed for unidirectional movement and expulsion of it contents. Conditioning allows holes to take fists; however, both connective tissue and muscle eventually triumph in their roles as guardians of the natural function. The connective tissue swelling indicates that the fist chute is tiring and the body needs a rest. While muscle tension at the exterior sphincter is relaxed and offers little resistance, the smooth muscle that lines the chute and forms the internal sphincter may begin contracting to expel contents. Stronger contractions indicate a break is needed.
Rectal temperature is several degrees warmer than the skin of the hand and arm. The variation is noticeable upon first insertion of the fist. As a session continues, the hole will get warmer as tissue swells. Swelling increases blood flow, which brings higher temperatures. Tops who are familiar with their bottoms (typically regular playmates) can use temperature to gauge comfort levels. Markedly warmer temperature indicates exhaustion and dictates a break or termination of the session.
A noticeable drop in temperature is indicative of trauma because blood vessels constrict as the body tries to reduce the effect of an injury.
Perhaps the most recognizable change in the fist chute is variation in texture. This is also the easiest physiological change to address. As tissue swells and tires, the elasticity decreases and friction increases. Tops will notice areas that feel less slippery as their hands move within the fist chute. The texture changes from soft and velvety to that of a taut plastic bag. Resolution involves application of more lube and continued, frequent reapplication until the session ends.
Olfactory Observed Responses
The evolutionary path of Homo sapiens has decreased the sensitivity of the human nose with regards to human scents and odors; however, some residual signaling still exists in the most primitive area of our brains.
Sexual attraction, arousal, and pleasure all produce pheromones in the sebaceous and apocrine sweat glands of the body. The apocrine glands, located primarily in the armpit and groin areas, produce the highest level of pheromones from a variety of macromolecules. As secretions are digested by friendly bacteria on the surface of the skin, strong scents are created that enhance attraction between partners. One study suggests that scents produced by those with a significantly different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are likely to provoke greater arousal.
Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC)
noun a group of genes in mammals that code for cellular identifiers that allow immune systems to recognize and determine self from nonself.
Sebaceous / Apocrine Glands
noun types of sweat glands that respectively release oil and steroids during sexual arousal to create pheromones and odors that increase sexual arousal in nearby individuals.
Some forms of communication involve combinations of physical, physiological, and verbal communication in a combination of voluntary and involuntary responses. Eye contact is an example of a physical and physiological combination. Copulatory vocalizations combine physiological and verbal responses. Flirtation and innuendo combine physical with unspoken words to relay meaning.
"Where, when, and how we look at others are all part of the phenomenon of eye gaze, one of our most important and primitive means of communication. Gaze plays a crucial role in conversation. Looking at another person is a way of getting feedback on particular points. It is also used as a synchronizing signal."
During face-to-face fisting activities, partners communicate subconsciously via eye contact by means of pupil dilation, blinking, squinting, and opening/closing eyes.
Pupil Dilation | Pupil dilation indicates sexual arousal on the part of both top and bottom. Large pupils in a bottom usually increase the level of attraction by the top.
Gazing | Gazing and averting gaze can indicate the following messages: invitation into personal space (including the fist chute), determination of power roles and power relinquishments, and trust alignment through calming persuasion.
Blinking | Increased blinking is a sign of attraction and synchronized blinking indicates trust between partners. Decreased blink rates by the bottom indicate control over body functions (thereby signaling capacity for deeper penetration).
Using mirrors while in the knee position also allows similar communication via eye contact.
Copulatory vocalizations often accompany sexual activity including fisting. Sexologists postulate multiple evolutionary reasons for them, such as conveying information and internally synchronizing central arousal systems (movement, smell, touch, sound). Essentially, we make sounds that drive us to orgasm—and hopefully orgasm together.
These vocalizations are typically non-verbal sounds such as grunts and growls, but some words or linguistic phrases are also part of this sexual banter. For example, Oh Yeah, God, Fuck Me, and Deeper make little cognitive or contextual sense when already fucking or fisting at the armpit, but their utterance stimulates the scene.
With regular fisting partners, these sounds can replace other verbal and non-verbal communication forms, especially when fisting in positions that prevent face-to-face contact. With new partners and during anonymous fisting, tops and bottoms use these vocalizations to direct each other on techniques and practices to increase pleasure.
Flirtation and Innuendo
While flirtation and innuendo usually involve speech, body language associated with both can relay additional meaning.
Flirtation involves conversation coupled with touch or coy behavior to signal interest. Body language is very direct and evident to both partners and may even occur throughout a session. Lack of in-kind responses indicate lack of—or waning interest.
Innuendo, or unspoken meaning within spoken or written word, is another form of extra-verbal communication. Being able to interpret if the intended message was received is often dependent on reading the recipient’s physical, non-spoken response. Many cultures use innuendo as a method to communicate sexual meaning or propose sexual interaction without violating social norms. By indirectly discussing topics with innuendo, an individual can float a test balloon to see if his partner is willing to explore sex in a particular manner. Two specific examples are drug use and scat play. By mentioning 'extended play' or vague references to 'mud', one could propose either option is on the table. If the other partner is not interested or naive, then the proposer can drop the subject and move on with plausible deniability.
Innuendo isn’t limited to verbal communication. For example, in written form, emphasis of the letters FF or T through unnecessary capitalization allow a person to ask about fisting or meth use without ever using the words ‘fisting’ or ‘meth’ as illustrated in this phrase: “Hey dude, wanT to come over for some FFun?”
Both innuendo and flirtation can be used within a session, especially during face-to-face encounters to enhance the connection between partners.