Toronto
3 min

Fisting is a fine art

Don't knock it till you've tried it

No matter how you look at it, the idea of sliding your whole hand inside someone else during sex is intense – delightfully intense. I would go so far as to describe it as mind blowing. It can be a bonding moment that leaves many other activities pale by comparison.



Often the mere mention of fisting elicits reactions ranging from whispers of intrigue and titillation to loud exclamations of “no way!” and abject fear.



Canada Customs seems to be working from that level of abject fear, deeming fisting to be degrading or dehumanizing by its very nature. Customs’ Categories Of Obscenity, as outlined in the 2001 memorandum D9-1-1, lumps fisting and several other consensual SM acts, including piss and scat play, in with snuff films, portrayals of incest, sexual assault and necrophilia.



It is that “no way” knee-jerk fear born out of a lack of understanding of the fine art of fisting that becomes the driving force in the minds of many policy makers in Ottawa, particularly when combined with deep-seated phobias about the unknown. It seems that for some Canadian policy makers, anything that isn’t a male penis entering a female orifice (with the possible further stipulation of the primary purpose of creating offspring) is questionable. And if not questionable – then, at the very least, in need of regulating.



So whatever happened to Trudeau’s notion that the state has no place in the nation’s bedrooms? Did that get lost somewhere in the translation?



What the Categories Of Obscenity implies is that the acts listed could not possibly be engaged in ways that could be deemed anything but degrading and dehumanizing. Personally, I don’t see how intimate touch involving hands or fists or other appendages could be presumedto be degrading or dehumanizing. The nature of dehumanization and degradation is contextual and based on intent.



Dehumanization and degradation implies intention and motivation – not specific activities. Are the governing powers in Canada trying to grapple with governing intent? That’s a losing battle, to say the least.



The archaic nature of memo D9-1-1 has resulted in the seizure of books including Cherry and The Slave King because of their fisting scenes. Book seizures and harassment suffered by queer bookstores, video distributors, authors and filmmakers have done nothing to stop the spread of knowledge about fisting. People all over the queer landscape are actually doing it, let alone watching it and reading about it. They are literally climbing hand over fist, so to speak, to learn about it, read about it, see it and experience it. And why shouldn’t they? Between two consenting adults fisting can be a beautiful intense exchange. Nothing denigrating about it at all.



When Bert Herrman first published Trust – The Hand Book: A Guide To The Sensual And Spiritual Art Of Handballing in 1991, he was breaking new ground by clearly and frankly writing about handballing, another term for fisting. Now, more than a decade later, there are several excellent books about fisting both vaginally and anally. A Hand In The Bush: The Fine Art Of Vaginal Fisting by Deborah Addington, The Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women by Tristan Taormino, Bill Brent’s Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Men and Jack Morin’s Anal Pleasure And Health: Guide For Men And Women are all excellent resources. I advocate crisscrossing the gender spectrum and reading them all – each of these books has information that can enhance how we fist each other for ultimate pleasures.



One of the potential hazards of fisting that I don’t believe Customs has considered in its quest to protect us from ourselves, is the possibility that you will get your hand stuck inside.



The first time this happened to me, my lover and I had decided to have one last moment of fun before I had to meet up with my parents. And of course that’s when it happened. She came with such intensity that her cunt clutched my poor hand like a vice grip and all I could do was hang in there until she let me go. So there I am up to my wrist when my folks call to say they are a couple blocks away. Now, trying to talk to anyone on the phone while part of you is intimately inside someone else is not easy. And it is three times harder when your lover gets the giggles watching you try to be Mr Cool on the phone. Thankfully, we laughed so hard when I hung up that she pushed my hand right out.



Degrading and dehumanizing? I didn’t think so. How about hot, delightful, intimate and sexy? Absolutely.



* T’Hayla Ferguson runs a series of SM workshops including one on the fine arts of fisting and can be reached at www.restrictedpleasures.com.



The entire memo D9-1-1 is on-line at www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/E/pub/cm/d9-1-1/d9-1-1eq.html.