Hugh Crothers
24.09.21
Education

Hungry bums: everything you ever wanted to know about anal fisting

Dean Beck is a commentator, broadcaster, journalist, and former JOY 94.9 FM host. He’s also an anal fisting aficionado with a long career in the adult industry. According to Dean, one of the best things about butts is that we all have one – so everyone can get involved. But without much info and few google results that aren’t porn, anal fisting can feel inaccessible or extreme.

Dean is well-versed in the reality of the pleasure practice and eager to share his personal experience while debunking common myths. His experience in anal fisting is only matched by his love for it. An open book, Dean is honest and generous with his knowledge – who better to let us into the world of this equal opportunity activity? 


Let’s start at the beginning, how did you first become interested in fisting? 


When I was 21 old, I was working at Melbourne’s number one gay nightclub, it was called 3 Faces, it became The Market [for the Millennials it’s now The Emerson in Prahran]. As part of being employed there, after a shift we got free entry to Porter Street across the road [a former Gay Sauna]. One particular night after work, I went for a spa and I was wandering around and happened to walk into a cubicle where this 6 ft 4”, blond haired, blue eyed, Aussie bloke was laying down inside the cubicle. He was just stunning. I started playing with his ass and within seconds I was inside him, up to my elbow. I instantly knew, whatever this thing is, it’s MY thing!  


So, you just knew straight away? 


Yeah. Thereafter, he became a mentor to me. Also, I was lucky enough to have another two guys, a couple from Sydney, who became fisting mentors.


Was there an established fisting community that facilitated a transfer of information? 


In the early 90’s, I grew up in a time where there was very little transferring of knowledge. We (gay men) were in the middle of our own pandemic and an entire generation of men was extinguished. Much of our traditions and knowledge (as a community) went with them. To some degree, my generation missed out on a lot, however I was inquisitive, learnt from my mentors and continued to explore my love for all things fisting. It’s in honour of those who died in their prime, that I happily pass on any knowledge I’ve gained over the years.  


When I was in my 20’s, fisting was considered a practice performed only by 70-year-old leather queens, or so I thought. It was very underground; it was frowned upon by the mainstream queers. My peers were shocked. I lost friends over it, trying to justify my needs, wants, and desires. But back then, I felt like I was the only young fisting gay in the village. And so, I actively went about changing the paradigm. 


What was it about the practice that kept you going?  


The connectedness, I mean there is nothing more intimate than having your arm inside somebody else, or their arm inside you. That can only take place in a space of trust. In fact, the first gay book I read about guys fisting was called Trust. I don’t think a bottom will let you in unless they trust you. Now it doesn’t mean you as a person necessarily, but trust your energy, your approach, and your sense of touch.  


What do you wish people knew about anal fisting? 


That it’s a practice that is engaged by men and women. Straight and gay and everything else in between, from all ages, from 18 to 80. And it can be done safely! 


On the topic of safety, are there any fisting myths that you’d like to debunk? 


Absolutely! The first is that you’re going to walk around the rest of your life with a colostomy bag. 


Right, or a limp? 


No, a limp that means you had a good night! [Laughs] 


So, digestive system myths? 


Yeah, that your ass is going to prolapse. Here’s the thing, my belief is that it’s never about stretching, it’s simply about letting go so there’s no resistance in that space. The last 5% is always mental, but being able to let go, to release is what it’s all about. And in that space, you’re not tearing anything, you’re not stretching anything, and everything can go back to where it was. What you see in porn regarding prolapses is the bottom consciously pushing out, it’s not falling out. 

Is it something that can happen if you pull out too quickly? 


I had one recommendation that you should not pull out any quicker than one inch per second. And I think that’s about right. One important little thing to know: if you’re stuck inside, and they’re clenched up, and they’re crushing your wrist, and panicking. As a top, if you say to them; ‘think of your toes, wiggle your toes,’ the minute that they focus on their toes and wiggle their toes, you’ll be able to get out.  


That’s a good tip.  


So that’s an emergency escape; ‘think of your toes, wiggle your toes’.


What does fisting feel like? 


From the top’s perspective, it feels amazing. Every bottom feels different. With some bottoms it’s like throwing the sausage into a bucket, others it’s like fisting a bucket full of warm marshmallows. It’s very, very intimate and connected. Done right you can see and feel the pleasure of the bottom. You can feel their heartbeat. It’s like nothing else and it’s non-genital. By that I mean it doesn’t involve the penis, which some tops just can’t get their head around. But for tops that get off on it, it certainly does engage their penis [laughs]. 


How different is it to what you see in porn? 


My god, so different. What you see there is very experienced people who have done lots of preparation off camera. Who checked and double checked everything to make sure that there aren’t going to be any mistakes on set. So, you know, there might have been 20 minutes of warm up that you’ve not seen, that’s gone on beforehand; clean everyone up, get on set, and then they go nuts. All you see is very experienced players going for it. You also don’t know whether they’re on anything to help facilitate that. You rarely even see them using poppers on camera so it can appear very violent at times. Which isn’t to say there aren’t people out there that like that intensity. You know that’s something that you lead up to, in the moment, it’s not something you go for broke on someone that you met for the first time.  


On that, those porn scenes are what 20 minutes 15 minutes? 


Yes, although often filmed over a four or five-hour period.  


With apps and technology, anonymous experiences of sex are more common, how do they play into fisting, is there a certain level of trust required that they don’t offer? 


There’s a t shirt going around saying, “I fist on first date”. Love that. You can still engage in fisting with someone you’ve just met. The instant they touch your ass, you’ll know whether they’ve got what it takes because of their approach to your hole basically. Their sense of touch is the giveaway. How they approach your ass, indicates their ability to read you. If they’re not reading you properly, you’re not going to let them in because you don’t trust them to do so safely. You’ll close up. Or at least that’s how it works for me.  

So, where’s a good place to start if you’re a beginner? 


The only place to start as a bottom is to learn how to douche properly. Unless you create the space there’s no room for anything to go up there. 


What about if you’re a top? 


The first thing to know is that you’re not in charge, you’re not in control. You’re there to deliver pleasure to the bottom. If you come at it from that approach you’re much, much less likely to do any harm. You’re a pleasure giver first and foremost. 


Are there any rules around how long it would take to be able to take a fist? Do you have to train or work up to it, or just use a shitload of poppers? 


All of that can help [laughs] but really… the clincher for me was understanding body awareness. Now, I’ve known people who’ve taken [a fist] first time. They are people like athletes, or ballet dancers, people that have an inherent understanding of their body. They understand distinctions like lengthening, opening, and widening. Those body awareness distinctions, help to create the space for a fist. As someone who did no sport and had no understanding of body awareness in that realm, it wasn’t until I combined yoga and an Alexander Technique course that I started to comprehend what body awareness is. That changed everything for me.  


Are there particular types of stretching or exercise that help with body awareness?  


It’s about understanding your body’s makeup. Alexander Technique is probably the best because it’s about lengthening and widening and aligning the spine. Most of us have an S curve in our spine, if you lie flat on the floor, and you let go, that S curve straightens out and that’s when you’ve got a space for opening. It’s about alignment. 

Probiotics and healthy gut products are increasingly popular, do you take anything to assist or improve your experience?  


The best thing to take is psyllium husk or Metamucil because it lines the large intestine with a gel. That lining helps you evacuate more easily, more regularly, simply, it means that instead of spending an hour and a half douching you might only spend 45 minutes. Best way to do it is to give yourself plenty of time so you’re not under stress.  


By the way, there is no spontaneity involved with this practice. It is all about preparation. That infuriates many tops, but they can deal with it and wait patiently, as they bloody well should [laughs]. If you douche for 10 minutes, then go and put the washing out, make a batch of scones, your body will then tell you when the next movement is ready. Everything will drop, and you’ll feel the need to go to the toilet. Doing it this way, in short stints over a longer period of time, is much less stressful on the body. Trying to douche quickly, it tends to wear you out and you are much more likely to do some damage or have a shitty accident. 


Are there any health risks? 


Probably the major risk associated with fisting is hepatitis C, which is a blood virus. Intact skin is the best protector, naturally, but if you have any cuts you certainly should wear gloves.  


Do you need a sort of 1920s Audrey Hepburn style gloves that comes right up to the elbow?  


Probably not for a first time bottom [laughs]. Gloves also help against accidents and help keep you clean. But do you need long gloves? No, because I mean unless you’ve got scratches up your arm, there is no need. Blood to blood can only get in through a cut in your skin it can’t get into the skin. While no one would like to get Hepatitis C, it is now curable thanks to medical advances and curable without the horrific side effects of previous treatments. 

Do have an intentional diet depending on whether or not you are going to bottom? 


I certainly used to, for the first 10 years or so. I would be mindful of when I wanted to play and adjust my diet accordingly. I should preface this by saying everyone’s digestive system is different. Some people, from the moment they eat, it’s out in four hours. Others can take two days. Those people might want to add some psyllium husk to their diet [laughs]. Know your digestive system intimately and there are ways to check too, like ingesting markers. For example, eating some raw carrot or sweet corn at the end of your meal, can act as a marker for when you douche.  


So, if I was going to fist on a Saturday night, my last meal of solid foods would probably be lunchtime Friday and for dinner, I might have a protein shake. Breakfast Saturday, maybe skip that, or, you know, a banana, maybe, but then a protein shake. Lunchtime Saturday: Metamucil and protein shake. Which is how I have it. By that evening you’re ready. Having a routine will make the cleaning process a lot simpler, less daunting. 



What about water intake? 


You’re constantly drinking water. During a session, you can sweat a lot, because it’s very intense so you certainly want to be very well hydrated.  


And are there any foods you avoid the days before? 


Yes, steaks! You know, heavy meats, and chocolate’s not great. Highly processed flour and wheat and pasta, those type of things. 


What about harder foods like nuts? 


Great question. Any remnants of nuts can scratch the internal linings, so I’d avoid nuts too from the Thursday.  


How much poo is involved? Is it inevitable when you’re going that deep?  


Not now because I understand my body better. About 80% of the time, I know when I’m done. About 20% of the time, I’m nearly done and a little warm up ass play will reveal that. With my regulars sometimes I’ll ask them, ‘can you give me a hand in the bathroom just to get this last 10% done?’ And they’ll happily oblige, knowing that thereafter I’m good to go, so they’re good to go. It’s really good when you have that rapport with someone.

Ok, let’s get practical. Can you talk me through the technique for a top?  


Obviously, there is some basics before we even go near the hand or technique. So, Crisco (oil-based vegetable lard) and J lube (water based lube) are really, really good. J-lube is a veterinary lube designed for fisting cows so, ‘moo!’ [laughs]. The oil gives a slick coating, creating its own sense of slip but it’s got a texture as well. And then the water base; water and oil don’t mix so that creates a sense of slip as well.  


That’s the mechanics, now techniques. The 3 C’s: Communicate, Clipper (your fingernails) and Crisco. Then there are the 4 P’s: Position, Posture, Placement, and Patience. So, the way you position yourself is really important. Usually, the left hand is best if someone is lying on their back. This is for a couple of reasons; people are typically right-handed and typically the left hand can be up to 1/3 smaller in size. Also, you control your non-dominant hand less and control in this space is really important, or the ability to totally relax the hand and wrist is really important. You want the top to have a totally soft, loose, malleable hand, that way the knuckles can collapse on the way through, rather than expand under force. So, the wrist and the hand being relaxed is really important. And because you’re using the left hand, you’re not dead straight on, you’re actually slightly to the right, so that your arm is directly in line with the spine. 

Do you put a pillow underneath the bottom’s back at all for support? 


Having their back flat, as flat as possible, is better because they can open up better. The flatter the back, the better the approach, and you want to go in at the same level as the spine. Basically, if you have a straight arm that is directly in-line with the bottom’s spine, then relax your entire arm and move forward from the shoulder, not from the wrist or the elbow. Forward from the shoulder, everything else soft and relaxed, you should slip right in! Slowly and gently. 


Yes, patience, position, posture and placement!  


Yes, and if the bottom is on their back, the top’s palm should be facing upwards to the belly button. If the bottom is on all fours, your palm should be facing downwards, again, towards their belly button.  


People talk about a duckbill? 


Yes, and that’s really important, but not a stiff duck bill. The duck bill needs to be collapsible; it needs to be a soft and malleable. I say to people, just go with your hand flat, because as they go in it crushes into a duckbill, rather than stiffly holding a duckbill in position and then their knuckles are expanded and rigid.

What’s the end point? Does it result in orgasm or is it more about a sustained experience of pleasure? 


For guys, keep in mind that prostate is in that area. For me personally, I don’t like my prostate touched in any way shape or form. It’s too intense for me. I enjoy the pleasure of being fisted, without the stimulation of my prostate. I find it overstimulating and annoying. For me it detracts from the enjoyment that I’m getting from the process. But there are others that love their prostate heavily stimulated, so that’s an individual thing.  


How long does a session usually go for? 


I’ve done sessions that have gone for three or four hours, non-stop. The key point there is lube, lube, lube, lube. But then, for some people, five or 10 minutes is enough. Then rest and then go back for another five to 10 minutes. Take a breather, then go back to it.  


And as a practice how often does someone participate? Is it something you’re doing daily, weekly, monthly?  


As many fisting bottoms will tell you, the more you feed it the hungrier it gets.  

After care. Do you have any tips there?  


If you’re feeling a little worn out, or a little raw the best product on the planet is paw paw ointment (the one in the red tube). It’s instant relief. I avoid any lubes that have got anesthetic in them. There aren’t that many nerve endings in that part of your ass and you want to know what’s going on. If something does go wrong, you want to know about it, rather than being anesthetized. So, I avoid those, but instant relief is gained by paw paw ointment, and it’s amazing. Same after fucking. If you’re feeling a little raw, put that on and in, and you will sing hallelujah! 


On that, do you have any other product recommendations? Are there particular brands of gloves or equipment or anything you’d suggest? 


Because you’re working with an oil-based product as well as a water-based product, you really should avoid latex gloves. Whilst they give you the best sense of touch and they’re the softest ones to use, they also degrade very quickly with an oil-based product. So, nitrile gloves are best. Nitrile is a synthetic polymer that surgeons use, police use, ambos use. It’s impervious to chemicals. You can pour acetone over it (don’t do that prior to fisting) and it’s not degraded by oil. They’re a little less sensitive, but they’re getting better at creating ones that are more touch sensitive. There’s usually a fitting chart or something on the back of the box. Use that, and get a glove that fits you snugly, because a little bit tight is better than a little bit loose. Loose gloves can create wrinkles and that’s like sandpaper to a bottom. 


Do you have any resources you’d recommend? 


There’s a fantastic new podcast out done by two young guys in Europe. One is based in Berlin, the other is in the UK, and it’s a great little podcast called “Such FFun” [ff is short for fist fucking]. It can be found under the Health and Fitness category of your favourite podcast platform. They tell it from their own perspective, which is great, because a personal perspective, is always the best. They also interview some of the biggest stars in fisting porn, so you can get some real expert tips from them.  

Where’s the best place to find other anal fisting enthusiasts? 


These days it’s Twitter. Twitter is going off! Venues, there are only a couple in Melbourne and they’re not specifically catering for those who are into it. Certainly, the leather crowd is famous for it and so is the Laird Hotel. But it’s so diverse now, across all ages that we’re everywhere! You know? [laughs] So all the mainstream hook-up sites! If you put it out there, you’ll find it.  


What do you think is the biggest point of friction when it comes to sex or fisting in your opinion?  


It’s about people not celebrating their sexuality, and that’s about understanding yourself, acting with integrity and authenticity, and just being you – fuck what anyone else thinks. If you enjoy it, and you’re not doing harm to anyone, and it’s consensual, then put it out there and you’ll enjoy it and it’ll come back to you. That’s life, not just the art of fisting. I want more people to just embrace what it is that they’re good at what they want. We’d all be much happier. 


Do you have an ultimate sex hack? 


One: ‘think of your toes, wiggle your toes’. Two: paw paw ointment. Three: do yourself a favor – install a proper mains pressure douching hose, direct from the shower rose. Ditch the bulb [douche], ditch the water bottles, ditch everything else. Get a proper system, it will change your life, and stop trying to use a bloody bulb – forget it! 


Do you have any parting words for people reading this? 


Stop making people wrong for what is ultimately none of your business. Stop making yourself wrong for enjoying your sexuality. Do what you love and celebrate it, because it’s a lot of ffun.   


You can follow Dean on Twitter here.


The drip(feed) team aren’t doctors, lawyers, or sex therapists, so if you’re seeking medical, legal or sex advice you’d best speak to a professional. We’re here to explore themes of sex and intimacy to promote education, stimulation and conversation.