Fisting, handballing, fist-fucking, brachiovaginal, or brachioproctic insertion[1] is a sexual activity that involves inserting a hand into the vagina or rectum. Once insertion is complete, the fingers are either clenched into a fist or kept straight. Fisting may be performed with or without a partner.

An illustration of a woman engaged in the sexual activity known as fisting, in which a hand is inserted into the vagina or rectum.


The beak-like "silent duck" used in the initial stages of fisting.

The "Silent Duck", also called "Duck-Billing", is the technique often used in which the person engaging in hand insertion shapes the hand to resemble a duck's beak. Typically, fisting does not involve forcing the clenched fist into the vagina or rectum; this is a practice called "punching". Instead, all five fingers are kept straight and held as close together as possible (forming the beak-like "duck"), then slowly inserted into a well lubricated vagina or rectum.[2]

Vaginal insertion
Four fingers inside of the vulva

In more vigorous forms of fisting, such as "punching" or "punchfisting", a fully clenched fist may be inserted and withdrawn slowly.

Fistees who are more experienced may take two fists (double-fisting). In the case of double-fisting, pleasure is derived more from the stretching of the anus or vagina than from the thrusting (in-and-out) movement of hands.[3]



Fisting can cause laceration or perforation of the vagina, perineum, rectum, and/or colon, resulting in serious injury[4] and even death.[5][6][7][8] In general, sexual activities that cause air to enter the vagina can lead to a fatal air embolism, and the risk is probably even higher during pregnancy.[9]

Anal fisting carries risks of colorectal perforation; participants are advised to use latex gloves and lubricant, and designate a safeword, the utterance of which will call an immediate halt to the activity. The practice, along with the insertion of hard objects into the anus, has been significantly related to the traumatization of the rectal mucosa in increasing the likelihood of infection, including Hepatitis B.[10]

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  1. Herrman, Bert (1991). Trust--the hand book : a guide to the sensual and spiritual art of handballing. San Francisco: Alamo Square Press. ISBN 978-0-9624751-5-3.
  2. Herrman 1991, pp. 46-47
  3. Herrman 1991, p. 58
  4. Cohen, C.E., Giles, A., Nelson, M. Sexual trauma associated with fisting and recreational drugs. Sex Transm Infect 2004; 80:469–70.
  5. Preuss, J. Death after anal "fisting". Arch Kriminol 2008; 221:28–35.
  6. Torre, C. Delayed death from fisting. Am J Forens Med Pathol 1987; 8:91.
  7. Fain, D.B.; McCormick, G.M. Vaginal "fisting" as a cause of death Am J Forens Med Pathol 1989; 10:73–5.
  8. Reay, D., Eisele, J. Sexual abuse and death of an elderly lady by "fisting". Am J Forens Med Pathol 1983; 4:347–9.
  9. Kaiser, R.T.Air embolism death of a pregnant woman secondary to orogenital sex. Acad Emerg Med 1994; 1:555–8.
  10. "AIDS and behavior: an integrated approach", Judith Auerbach. National Academies Press, 1994. ISBN 0-309-05093-6, ISBN 978-0-309-05093-7. p. 49



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  • Addington, D (1998). A Hand in the Bush, The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting. Greenery Press.
  • Donovan B; Tindall B; Cooper D. Brachioproctic eroticism and transmission of retrovirus associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Genitourin Med. 1986 Dec;62(6):390-2.
  • Herrman, Bert (1991). Trust, the Hand Book: A Guide to the Sensual and Spiritual Art of Handballing. San Francisco: Alamo Square Press. ISBN 0-9624751-5-7.
  • Inciardi, James A.; Surratt, Hilary L.; Telles, Paulo R. (November 1, 2000). Sex, Drugs, and HIV/AIDS in Brazil. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3424-1.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Medical terminology and some information on risks were taken from The Intelligent Man's Guide To Handball, a guide to man-on-man fisting.