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October 21, 2011 9:03 PM   Subscribe

(Every single link: NSFW!) Today was International Fisting Day. "For as long as I’ve done porn, distribution companies and retailers have banned the act of fisting in the films I’ve been in. It feels like it’s always been this way, but that’s not true. It’s only been a little over a decade." Queer porn icon Jiz Lee and auteur Courtney Trouble cant show real sex in mainstream porn. Why?
Many companies are afraid of getting hit by an obscenity lawsuit and ending up in court over it, although, there have been no major cases against fisting, consent and pleasure are always shown in my scenes, and, its funny – these companies usually carry things that have been brought to court, or brought to obscenity charges, many times – while fisting is still 'not allowed.'
Courtney speaks to SFWeekly about IFD. Tumblr and Facebook groups. Previously and previouslier.
posted by modernserf (108 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
This post is highly excellent. Moderators!!!
posted by vorfeed at 9:07 PM on October 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is not exactly what I was expecting on top of the frontpage just now.
posted by boomstick at 9:08 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Please take any discussions of propriety to MeTa.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:14 PM on October 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


[MetaTalk is the place to discuss a post's appropriateness and/or please remember that deadpan irony does not translate well over the internet.]
posted by restless_nomad at 9:15 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


SFWeekly is NSFW? I'm confused.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:16 PM on October 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


High Five!
posted by sanka at 9:18 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's a fully-integrated multi-fetish artificial being. And the best part is... he's learning.
posted by The White Hat at 9:19 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


jiz lee is fucking fantastic. for more tough, smart, wonderful butches, look up syd blakovich. for the femme side, i suggest madison young and justine joli. all four of them strong in their convictions and advancing feminst porn*.


*a mention has to go to shine louise houston. her movies for pink&white productions are stellar and push the concepts of queer porn.
posted by nadawi at 9:19 PM on October 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


In Quebec, Manitoba and the Maritime provinces IFD is a statutory holiday.
posted by Flashman at 9:19 PM on October 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


My friends in college tortured me by making me attend their improv comedy at a big 10 school.

So i made sure to yell "FISTING!!!" at every opportunity.

"ok...now how about we get a suggestion from the audience. Whats a procedure that is done in a doctor's office?"

...

I dont think most people know what it means.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:26 PM on October 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Fisting has always fascinated me, it doesn't turn me on, but in the idea of pushing the body to it's natural extends--Zizek's essay on Deleuze, where he talks about fisting:


And, to go a step further, is the practise of fist-fucking not the exemplary case of what Deleuze called the "expansion of a concept"? The fist is put to a new use; the notion of penetration is expanded into the combination of the hand with sexual penetration, into the exploration of the inside of a body. No wonder Foucault, Deleuze's Other, practised fisting: is fist-fucking not the sexual invention of the twentieth century, the first model of postsexual eroticism and pleasure? It is no longer genitalised but focused just on the penetration of the surface, with the role of the phallus being taken over by the hand, the autonomous partial object par excellence. (Slavoj Zizek, Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences, 2004, p 184).

was the place that I disagreed with him the most--because fisting is about absorbation, a radical attempt to place the center of the sexual body on that which consumes as opposed to that which penetrates--ironically recontextualling Wittig (which I don't think Zizek has read)'s notion of absence via bodily presence.


In this sense--the phallocentric obsession with the pentration, with the fist, suggests that zizek still fears the asshole--the liturgic slowness, the one finger, and then a nother finger, the slow stretching, the endless negotiable set of agreements, and finally that the asshole allows itself to be entered, all means that it is not about the penetration of the surface, but the opposite---the surface consuming the penetrative object...

In the words of my friend Geoff, qouting on the Zizek line:
see you can tell zizek hasn't been fisted or thought much about it at all - fisting is not aboutpenetration, nor is it to do with the superfice - it's to do with occupation of a space, with becoming joined, with swallowing not piercing... not to mention there's nothing to penetrate, the anus being a hole that has never represented absence - to the contrary often over-flowing fullness but in bodily terms the muscle is the only thing to be penetrated and yet it opens up to the fist, providing more space, schlurping around... to pierce the flesh with a sword or a bullet is to damage and destory, to make a hole where none was before; whereas fisting, if done properly, is to make a whole where there was just hole before.

You can see the queer desire to remake orifice and holes in a lot of place that do not have to do with fisting--for example in Ballard's discussion of the wound, and in Croenenberg's wounds, and in the slave sonnets of Bob Flannagan--but the most interesting place for me, is this mapplethorpe photo: "where the picture plan is absorbed by a gaping asshole, but that gaping asshole absorbs, thowmps the fist, the fist is being drawn in, and not pushing forward--the dialectic b/w being drawn in and being pushed forward conceptually settles around the object of the fist...

I have never been fisted myself, and so I may be making the same mistakes as Zizek, and of course, this is a msm discourse for me--but the vaginal qualities of absorption, of the presence of bring in, is fundamentally different than conventional ideas of msw penetrative sex--where the vagina is thought to be the sheath for the sword.

one of the wonderful things about radical sex acts (and fisting is still radical) is that they make you reconsider more of the middle--for me, much of bdsm, being spanked, or being hit in the midst of sexuality, made me radically reconsider what it meant to be spanked as part of my relgiious tradition or my personal history--fisting, by actually moving away from the penetrative recontextualises the body, from a genital focus, to an interior/exterior bodily remapping--one that unfocuses, decentralises sexualised power.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:27 PM on October 21, 2011 [47 favorites]


The Cambria List that Jiz Lee referred to is baffling.

In my jurisdiction we have similar contradictions where it's okay to participate in certain activities but it's not okay to publish films or photographs containing those activities. The judiciary in my jurisdiction has expressed confusion over that contradiction re: for example: urination. Publish a film or story depicting urination on someone else and you're liable for up to ten years in prison. This is obviously a little different because it is an industry enforced standard rather than statutory but the contradiction remains, and the sooner we can sort our shit out as a society and acknowledge that there is no such thing as normal sex the better.

From a purely subjective analysis, I wonder how, for example, violent double penetration anal sex is okay but fisting isn't.
posted by doublehappy at 9:30 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fisting, sure, but what if that fist has tattoos all over it?

(m)

(I can, within seconds, bring up multiple videos of real people being actually beheaded, but fisting is where we draw the line?)
posted by dirigibleman at 9:32 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair, you can't get a mainstream adult video with real beheading, either.
posted by modernserf at 9:35 PM on October 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm a big fan of Kit Fisto slash fic
posted by KokuRyu at 9:35 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Factoid: Between the years 1886-1905, The Coca-Cola Company advertised, in the Atlanta Journal, a daily regimen of its remedial tonic and fisting as a cure for female hysteria, giving a new meaning to its slogan Coca-Cola revives and sustains.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:36 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


it just occurred to me that i'm not sure jiz lee or syd identify as butch - in fact, i'm pretty sure jiz lee identifies as genderqueer. oh for an edit window.
posted by nadawi at 9:41 PM on October 21, 2011


Fisting Fun Friday!
posted by mannequito at 9:48 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a big fan of Kit Fisto slash fic

That was not what I expected to find after googling "Kit Fisto." Luckily, the links in the original post led to exactly what I was expecting, so I guess I'm breaking even.

Also, dude, Wookieepedia has a big alert in bold print up at the top of the article to warn you that there is currently no official canonical Clone Wars timeline. Unbelievable! I wonder what it's like to live the sort of life where that counts as an Important Warning.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:53 PM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The lines between "ok" and "not ok" in porn censorship have never made much sense to me. Why would fisting be bad, but triple anal penetration is fine? Weird.

The Mapplethorpe photo that PinkMoose linked was my first exposure to fisting. I can remember looking at it, and thinking "woah, that's serious."
posted by Forktine at 9:54 PM on October 21, 2011


as i remember, menstruation is also not ok in porn. some would think that those prohibitions are more about controlling acceptable femininity.
posted by nadawi at 9:56 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I approve of this day. That is all.
posted by Fister Roboto at 9:59 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Being fisted by someone organic? Amateurs!
posted by Grimgrin at 10:00 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Of course we're amateurs! Professional fisting is too hard to get distribution for! I mean jeez don't people read the articles at all around here anymore?
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:04 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hmmm.. All I can say is Happy Fisting Day!..
posted by c13 at 10:32 PM on October 21, 2011


No. Ewww. Get away.
posted by Yakuman at 10:39 PM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


There was a fisting video that would just come on from time to time on San Francisco public access television in the late 90s. We'd just be flipping though basic cable and then you have it. fisting.
We'd always say "welcome to san francisco" and offer newcomers a chance to watch before clicking on.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:39 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


The guy that opened for Louis CK last night did an extended bit on fisting at the end of his act. It was pretty funny and I wish I could remember it well enough to retell it... something about how it's not so much a fist as a duck shape...
posted by empath at 10:42 PM on October 21, 2011


.. something about how it's not so much a fist as a duck shape...

OK, but if that duck turns into a rabbit, it's safeword time.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:47 PM on October 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


In Quebec, Manitoba and the Maritime provinces IFD is a statutory holiday.

Yeah, but only because there was no long weekend in October.
posted by fatbird at 10:52 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


International Fisting Day? Jeez, there really is a holiday for everything these days.

I suppose I probably can't blame Hallmark for this one, though...unless I just happened to not notice that section of "Happy Fisting Day!" cutesy cards in the grocery store?
posted by mstokes650 at 10:57 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


NSFW? I'm at home and I can't even click on these links!*

*girlfriend is near
posted by tumid dahlia at 11:01 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


fatbird: Actually it started out from the Canadian custom of calling thanksgiving, which is celebrated in October here, "Turkey Fisting Day". Ultimately a new holiday had to be created because of sanitary issues and a desire to avoid embarrassment during Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1973.
posted by Grimgrin at 11:06 PM on October 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


I can never hear about fisting anymore without thinking of that woman who, when talking about all of the ways Barack and Michelle Obama are affectionate with one another, referred to the famous fist-bump as fisting.
posted by tzikeh at 11:12 PM on October 21, 2011 [18 favorites]


Yeah, but only because there was no long weekend in October.
posted by fatbird at 11:52 PM on October 21 [1 favorite +] [!]


Eponysterical
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:16 PM on October 21, 2011


I can never hear about fisting anymore without thinking of that woman who, when talking about all of the ways Barack and Michelle Obama are affectionate with one another, referred to the famous fist-bump as fisting.

Must have been a teabagger.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:29 PM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do norms of "mainstream" porn actually have any relevance as of this decade?

I guess it's pretty typical to talk about how a lack of X in porn is a plot to suppress Y, but I have an internet connection and can turn up pretty much any imaginable fetish at any time of day with minimal effort.
posted by Winnemac at 11:33 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Today was also International Day of the Nacho which commemerates the invention of nachos by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya.

In the early 1990s, a holiday called the International Day of the Nacho was initiated to commemorate the invention of nachos and to celebrate nachos. The International Day of the Nacho is observed chiefly by eating nachos.
posted by euphorb at 11:43 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Despite the warnings, I do not know why I clicked any link after the word "fisting." I have developed a cough that will probably turn into a vomit if untreated.
posted by chemoboy at 11:53 PM on October 21, 2011


The sex act called fisting is a source of confusion and misconceptions for many Christians.
posted by Evilspork at 11:54 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do norms of "mainstream" porn actually have any relevance as of this decade?

yep! when you're looking for distributors and credit card processing.

it's kind of the point, actually - you can find fisting, squirting, menstrual blood play with a search term, but people trying to make a living in porn have a hard time selling it. the argument is that this stuff goes on in normal, amateur sex all the time, why is it so taboo to exchange money for the footage?
posted by nadawi at 12:03 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do norms of "mainstream" porn actually have any relevance as of this decade?

I was wondering this myself. Once upon a time, porn grew up and a few made good money distributing actual film. Videotape allowed easier access to the game, but still required an infrastructure of professional business services to be viable. Today, it's entirely possible to it all in house. Literally, in your house. I believe the extreme democratization has made the industry less profitable for some than it might have been in the past. The business model has changed. Going mainstream is a very low bar these days. And seems to cater to a huge array of tastes that rarely, if ever, got play twenty years ago. A result, I think, of specialization and competition. So, yeah, fisting (an menstruation) are niche tastes (I'm pretty sure I saw a Annie Sprinkle video about fifteen years ago that featured both those things). But certainly, mainstream isn't mainstream anymore, either.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:14 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


you can do everything in house besides get paid, unless you aren't using the credit card processors some how.

(I'm pretty sure I saw a Annie Sprinkle video about fifteen years ago that featured both those things)

the cambria list came about in 2001, less than 15 years ago.

doing the sex act isn't the issue. recording the sex act isn't the issue. getting it distributed so you can get paid is the issue - even at arthouse porn studios like pink&white productions.

this is all really well laid out in the links.
posted by nadawi at 12:20 AM on October 22, 2011


Helmut and Brooks, 1978 by Robert Mapplethorpe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:54 AM on October 22, 2011


Some interesting quotes from the linked articles...

Queery Bradshaw to Jiz Lee:
It’s a double edged sword because the more a topic, scene or act becomes mainstream, the least likely it is going to be considered obscene against the community standard. But, if you’re constantly censored for fear of being prosecuted, you can’t make those acts known or common place. I know authors that have had fisting (or the mention of sex at all even) censored out of their beautiful non-erotic literary works of art. People are afraid and the only way to stop that fear is to talk about it, but you don’t know if you talk about it if you’re going to be prosecuted. And that is why I totally agree with you Jiz that this is completely and totally a free speech censorship issue and that we need to talk about how healthy it is so people stop seeing fisting as this thing that people do to degrade and dishonor another (which is justification often for censoring anything).Queery Bradshaw
This is an interesting point and I wonder how true this really is in practice. I mean, I do know that judges do make a survey of what's commonplace in a community when making obscenity rulings, but I still wonder whether there's much consistency in when and how they do this and especially whether it really matters with sex acts that are still pretty marginal. MeFi is a pretty sex-positive place, tolerant, but the number of deprecatory comments in this thread is telling.

I found this answer to a question posed to Courtney Trouble by SFWeekly to be extremely insightful:
A lot of the things on the Cambria list that have slipped through, like cum shots on face, or two dicks next to one female mouth, or really big sex toys, are all used in heterosexual porn, but many of the prohibited things like transsexual performers, menstruation, squirting, and fisting identify a larger problem within the adult industries guidelines: misogyny and homophobia. If these things that represent queerness or female pleasure are still kept on this list strictly, we have a problem.Courtney Trouble
The Cambria List itself is pretty amazing, troubling, and absurd. Here it is, for MeFi posterity (as it deserves to be more widely known, given its influence on contemporary pornography):
Box-Cover Guidelines/Movie Production Guidelines

Before selecting a chrome please check facial expression. Do not use any shots that depict any unhappiness or pain.

Do not include any of the following:

• No shots with appearance of pain or degradation
• No facials (bodyshots are OK if shot is not nasty)
• No bukakke
• No spitting or saliva mouth to mouth
• No food used as sex object
• No peeing unless in a natural setting, e.g., field, roadside
• No coffins
• No blindfolds
• No wax dripping
• No two dicks in/near one mouth
• No shot of stretching pussy
• No fisting
• No squirting
• No bondage-type toys or gear unless very light
• No girls sharing same dildo (in mouth or pussy)
• Toys are OK if shot is not nasty
• No hands from 2 different people fingering same girl
• No male/male penetration
• No transsexuals
• No bi-sex
• No degrading dialogue, e.g., “Suck this cock, bitch” while slapping her face with a penis
• No menstruation topics
• No incest topics
• No forced sex, rape themes, etc.
• No black men-white women themes
Some of the things included in this list, with regard to the fact that they appear alongside the rest (e.g., implied equivalency), represents a cornucopia of sociology/psychology research possibilities.

Finally, PinkMoose wrote:
I have never been fisted myself, and so I may be making the same mistakes as Zizek, and of course, this is a msm discourse for me--but the vaginal qualities of absorption, of the presence of bring in, is fundamentally different than conventional ideas of msw penetrative sex--where the vagina is thought to be the sheath for the sword.
The reductionism and essentialism of your comment are troubling to me. But I think that your secondary thesis is called very strongly into question by the fact of the prevalence of lesbian fisting and that among lesbians, too, I think it's understood to have an enveloping characteristic, as opposed to purely penetrative.

Here's Jiz Lee beginning her description of what she loves about fisting...this is particularly telling because, in this part, she's describing her experience as the giver (emphasis mine):
What I love about fisting someone vaginally is feeling them take me in. Jiz Lee
It seems to me that I recall someone else in the linked articles specifically talking about lesbian fisting being an envelopment, but maybe I'm imaging it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:55 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel like this must be terribly obvious and i'm just having a brainfreeze, but I don't understand what 'bi-sex' is meant to mean in that list above.

Is it supposed to refer to an image of a threesome (or more) with both males and females involved? Or just mention on the cover art that some of the people involved are bisexual?

I read the Wiki page and Googled and didn't find anything to really clarify. Can someone explain?
posted by pseudonymph at 2:25 AM on October 22, 2011


Hmm. PinkMoose, reading my comment and your quote within it, leads me to believe that I might have misunderstood you. In your full comment, you focus on the qualities of the anus, that it's about containment, not penetration, in contrast to "phallocentric" penetration...which I took at the time to be referring to vaginal intercourse and the vagina collectively as a parallel to anal fisting and the anus. And so I interpreted your full comment as focusing on the assumed enveloping characteristic of fisting, as opposed to the penetrative characteristic of heterosexual intercourse, as being a quality that arises naturally from the differing natures of the anus and vagina.

But the specific quote I chose to respond to is entirely ambiguous—talking about the "vaginal qualities of absorption [...] [being] fundamentally different than conventional ideas of msw penetrative sex--where the vagina is thought to be the sheath for the sword."

It's unclear to me, then, where you think this absorptive, enveloping nature arises from. It's in both lesbian vaginal fisting and gay male anal fisting—the latter of which is related to a wider context of sexual activity which does involves penises, and, I think, arguably anal sex which is thought to be as much penetrative as heterosexual intercourse is.

The only common element of this more enveloping/less penetrative sex is the specific absence of the penis. Or the specific presence of the fist.

Personally, and from some limited experience (in both roles), I'm inclined to think that it's more true that fisting is enveloping than it is true that it is not penetrative. Which is to say, I think that it's essentially as penetrative as any phallic sexual activity; but that, in addition, the specific combination of the vagina/anus around an entire hand creates a novel psychosexual experience that is experienced as having a strong enveloping character.

As sensitive as the penis is, it is sensitive in only a specific way...it is not a sensing organ. It is a pleasure organ (in this context). In contrast, our hands are one of our primary ways of sensing the world and our primary way of interacting with it. There is a much greater range and specificity of sensation from one's hand in an anus or vagina than from a penis in an anus or vagina. Perhaps more importantly, it is a constraint, a wrapping-up, of the part of us we use to manipulate the external. I suspect that combination creates a much more visceral, immediate, and psychologically active sense of being eveloped than does phallic penetration.

But at the same time, because this is an important sense organ and our most important organ of mechanical interaction, it also is a unique and characteristic version of penetration. I imagine that aside from the mechanical physiology of sexual stimulation involved (which is itself heightened in both sexes), this gives fisting its powerful eroticism. It's penetrate+contain turned up to 11.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:28 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


pseudonymph - i don't know if this is what the list refers to - but in porn searches/tagging/labeling, i've seen bi-sex refer to 2 men having sex and the woman is involved. like, the girl and guy giving head to a guy. this is a separate thing than "threesomes" which usually refers to two women (who almost always touch each other) and one man, or two men who don't ever touch each other sexually and one woman. it being on the list would make sense because it's so hard to find good bi-sex.
posted by nadawi at 2:40 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just worry about permanent or semi-permanent stretching in ways that may be otherwise regrettable. Other than that, sure, why not?
posted by imperium at 3:59 AM on October 22, 2011


Ahhh, that makes sense - cheers for the explanation, nadawi.
posted by pseudonymph at 4:50 AM on October 22, 2011


Ummmm, yeah, I have, ummmm, a friend who's received anal fisting on more than one occasion, and, ummm, he says there's no real problem with long term stretching. This, ummmm, friend also says it can be an extremely intense activity, and I think he said something about it being a wonderful emotional experience, or can be, centering around trust. Of course, ummmm, I haven't talked to this, ummmmm, friend for a while, so my memory of the, ummmm, conversation could be bad.
posted by Samizdata at 5:53 AM on October 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


Fisting is the activity that began Pat Califia's transition from being a Lesbian to the sex change operation and being a gay man. Fisting the gay man who noted that her hand was just the right size for him led her to make the interesting observation that when a gay man and a gay woman get it on, the result isn't heterosexual sex.

I've never done it, but seeing it more from the BDSM angle I've always assumed that for the fist-er it's about power and control and demonstrating your ability to penetrate your partner in the most extreme way, and for the fist-ee it's about surrender and having your body stretched to its limits. YMMV.

On the showing of commonly done activities in porn, I would consider Graphic Sexual Horror mandatory viewing. When Brent Scott started Insex.com in the late 90's he basically ignored all that crap because, being a website, Insex didn't have to worry about enforcement mechanisms like having shipments of magazines seized.

Ultimately, Insex was shut down by the government abusing those post-9/11 anti-terrorist laws which they swore on a stack of Bibles would never, ever, cross my heart and hope to get a plane flown into me be used on anyone other than terrorists, to lean on the credit card companies to not process their transactions. (Scott says on-camera that one of his bankers actually showed him the letter from DHS saying that porn was funding terrorism.) So a new list of restrictions was drafted, which is somewhere in all its baffling glory on kink.com, eliciting what is and isn't allowed in BDSM web porn, and even with that there are only a few banks who will process BDSM porn transactions. But Insex moved the Overton window far enough that you can at least find pictures of bondage with normal sexual penetration, which was not to be found in porn prior to 1997.
posted by localroger at 6:44 AM on October 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


There is so much goddamn tagline material in this thread that I'm just going to walk away before I make an ass of myself
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:05 AM on October 22, 2011


My only thought on fisting is this: remember to remove your wristwatch.
posted by jonmc at 7:31 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


My only thought on the Cambria list is this it reads like guidelines *for* the Japanese porn industry. Just add schoolgirl uniforms.
posted by squasha at 7:40 AM on October 22, 2011


oops, lost a colon there. truly no pun intended
posted by squasha at 7:42 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]



The guy that opened for Louis CK last night did an extended bit on fisting at the end of his act. It was pretty funny and I wish I could remember it well enough to retell it... something about how it's not so much a fist as a duck shape...


"Duck" is a commonly used term in the kink community....or at least in the kink community that surrounds me. I will hear things being said like "He has a really large duck" or "Her duck is very manageable", referring to the size of their hand when put into the fisting position.
posted by newpotato at 7:45 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


nadawi: jiz lee is fucking fantastic. for more tough, smart, wonderful butches, look up syd blakovich.

Same person, different alias.


localroger: I would consider Graphic Sexual Horror mandatory viewing.

Because you brought it up, does that film also contain the interview with one of the models where she says that if you used your safeword on an insex.com shoot, you wouldn't be working there again? I saw that particular clip linked from the blue at least 2 years ago.

Because that environment rather changes the dynamic, and puts consent in quotation marks.
posted by Decimask at 7:46 AM on October 22, 2011


The bartender at High Noon Saloon in Madison used to wear a t-shirt that said "Fist me, I'm Irish!" I think of that every St. Patrick's Day. Now I can add IFD to the list.
posted by fundip at 7:51 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chrome crashed as I wrote this, so let's try this again:

Hmm. PinkMoose, reading my comment and your quote within it, leads me to believe that I might have misunderstood you. In your full comment, you focus on the qualities of the anus, that it's about containment, not penetration, in contrast to "phallocentric" penetration...which I took at the time to be referring to vaginal intercourse and the vagina collectively as a parallel to anal fisting and the anus. And so I interpreted your full comment as focusing on the assumed enveloping characteristic of fisting, as opposed to the penetrative characteristic of heterosexual intercourse, as being a quality that arises naturally from the differing natures of the anus and vagina.

I think that one of the thing that Caflia teaches us, is that fisting for a lot of reasons moves away from our understanding of how the vagina and how the anus works. I think that fisting collapses categories—it re-enforces queer suspicion of utility, moves the body towards negotiated otherness, and makes the act the central place of diffrance. In this sense, moving the act towards the whole body, decentralizing pleasure so that it over takes the body in crashing waves , meaning that the vagina and the anus's absorption have more in common not less.

But the specific quote I chose to respond to is entirely ambiguous—talking about the "vaginal qualities of absorption [...] [being] fundamentally different than conventional ideas of msw penetrative sex--where the vagina is thought to be the sheath for the sword."

It's unclear to me, then, where you think this absorptive, enveloping nature arises from. It's in both lesbian vaginal fisting and gay male anal fisting—the latter of which is related to a wider context of sexual activity which does involves penises, and, I think, arguably anal sex which is thought to be as much penetrative as heterosexual intercourse is.


I think that anal and vaginal sex might be as pentertative—though the ordinariness of vaginal sex, and the heteorsexism of it might count of something.


The only common element of this more enveloping/less penetrative sex is the specific absence of the penis. Or the specific presence of the fist.

See, this is where I disagree. Fisting is not about the presence of the fist. The fist is not as important as the process, so deciding to have a fist in there, and the working through what that means, the language of the negotiated, the one finger, the two fingers, the three fingers, that it even isnt a fist—the anus or the vagina's almost courtly stop/start rhythm means that unlike most other sex acts, this one refuses the phallus—

Personally, and from some limited experience (in both roles), I'm inclined to think that it's more true that fisting is enveloping than it is true that it is not penetrative. Which is to say, I think that it's essentially as penetrative as any phallic sexual activity; but that, in addition, the specific combination of the vagina/anus around an entire hand creates a novel psychosexual experience that is experienced as having a strong enveloping character.

I don't think that the fist is a phallus. I think there is thinking to do about the implications of absorbotion through pentertation, or what exactly is a phallus—but the phallus is one thrust—there is nothing of the layers of invitation that occur with fisting—in this sense, this displacing of the phallic presentation for a less centered incorporation can be said as a new kind of queer body, vaguely related to Wittig's displaced phallus—Shaktini wrote about this in Displacing the Phallic Subject, I would link, but JSTOR, sigh.

As sensitive as the penis is, it is sensitive in only a specific way...it is not a sensing organ. It is a pleasure organ (in this context). In contrast, our hands are one of our primary ways of sensing the world and our primary way of interacting with it. There is a much greater range and specificity of sensation from one's hand in an anus or vagina than from a penis in an anus or vagina. Perhaps more importantly, it is a constraint, a wrapping-up, of the part of us we use to manipulate the external. I suspect that combination creates a much more visceral, immediate, and psychologically active sense of being eveloped than does phallic penetration.


This is the key—this is the absolute key, that the hands, are not phallic—that the sensing organs, that the organs of the touch, being absorbed into the task, suggests that the anus or the vagina has now usurped the role of a sensing organ That is where the trust fits in (bad pun, sorry) that one can never engage without an agreement to bind, and one can never disagree without slowly disengaging—but this binding agreement is not the abstaction of ropes or cuffs or anything outside the body—is is using the body against itself, binding within the body, in this sense fisting becomes a metaphor for how our bodies work with others, with others, how they can possibly contain other bodies, it becomes a utopic act. I am Canadian, so I work with the Butler descion, which I recognize the misogyny/homophobia of it But I think that this trust may be part of it I think that by agreeing, you know to be fisted, or to be spanked, or to be tied up—to say, I want you to bind me, is a way of working through issues of consent and identity—and I think, in the spirit of Woodhull, Whitman, Symonds, and Carpenter in the last century—that this public discourse becomes part of that—if it works well, saying I like to be fisted to yr lover, saying I like to be fisted in public, is a way of furthering a kind of democratic engagement with pleasure and the body.

But at the same time, because this is an important sense organ and our most important organ of mechanical interaction, it also is a unique and characteristic version of penetration. I imagine that aside from the mechanical physiology of sexual stimulation involved (which is itself heightened in both sexes), this gives fisting its powerful eroticism. It's penetrate+contain turned up to 11.


It's not only those things turned up to eleven—though obviously that's part of it—it is the phallus displaced through a set of linguistic negotiations, of the implications of a body bound within itself, of the recentralizing/defamilzarizing the bodies centers, of a set of radical agreements...and also, you know a key to physiological adventure—a shock that a body can do those sort of things, the excitement that the body can work such marvels.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:54 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


People who can take this? Man, you have to hand it to them.
posted by Decani at 7:57 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


*rimshot*
posted by jonmc at 7:59 AM on October 22, 2011


MetaFister
posted by vibrotronica at 8:02 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because you brought it up, does that film also contain the interview with one of the models where she says that if you used your safeword on an insex.com shoot, you wouldn't be working there again?

I don't remember it being quite as overt as that. I think it was phrased more like this:

'Insex is all about pushing boundaries, and we were paid really well, so we always had the thought at the back of our minds -- if we use our safeword, will we really get asked back to do another shoot?'

I don't recall whether anyone in the movie said they knew of someone who hadn't been invited back just because they used their safeword. Nor am I sure how you'd be able to prove such an allegation, even if it was true.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:22 AM on October 22, 2011


unlike most other sex acts, this one refuses the phallus—

I'm not so sure about that. I've had a couple of girlfriends who liked the feeling, sometimes just four fingers and occasionally a whole hand. But for them it was preparatory to regular intercourse, something that added to the fucking, not something that refused or displaced the phallus at all. So it's complicated, and I think any queering comes less from the act itself and more from what we bring to it.
posted by Forktine at 8:24 AM on October 22, 2011


To concur with a few others, I don't quite get why fisting is so verboten. A few years back in a local porn shop I saw plenty of explicit bodily function porn. How anyone could find that less offensive than fisting is beyond me.
posted by jonmc at 8:33 AM on October 22, 2011


This is great information, but when exactly is international oral sex day?
posted by freakazoid at 8:34 AM on October 22, 2011


Wednesday, same as Prince spaghetti day.
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on October 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm honestly surprised that there's so much theory about fisting - its extreme, sure, but I always thought of it as the natural progression from fingering, which for most is probably the first undeniably sexual act they will experience with another person.

I guess you'd have to say that the whole hand is greater than the sum of its parts.
posted by modernserf at 8:42 AM on October 22, 2011


Decimask, On GSH -- yes, there is an entire segment of the documentary about the dubiousness of the Insex safeword. The arc of the movie moves from origins and Brent's inspirations in almost Horatio Alger-esque terms, through mostly positive interviews with models and other participants, then to the sketchier side, including not just safeword dubiousness but actual safety concerns and some extremely questionable sexual involvements between Brent and the models, and finally to the even more sinister way the site was shut down and the entire industry affected. Which brings the derail back to the subject at hand.
posted by localroger at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2011


...to the subject at hand.

I cannot believe I just wrote that. *facepalm*
posted by localroger at 8:51 AM on October 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Forktine:

It's incredibly complicated, and seperating one act from a larger narrative stream is dangerous, yr right
posted by PinkMoose at 9:01 AM on October 22, 2011


jonmc: "My only thought on fisting is this: remember to remove your wristwatch."

Yeah, according to my, ummmm, friend, rings have gotta go too.
posted by Samizdata at 9:02 AM on October 22, 2011


nadawi: jiz lee is fucking fantastic. for more tough, smart, wonderful butches, look up syd blakovich.

Same person, different alias.


nope, they are different people, and have even appeared in scenes together.
posted by coinoperatedgirl at 9:10 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


jonmc: "Wednesday, same as Prince spaghetti day."

Oral and Prince?

SCORE!
posted by Samizdata at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


And, I suppose, if anyone want to, ahem, ask my, ummmm, friend a question or two, MeMail me and I will pass them on. He's a he, so try to remember that when phrasing possible questions.
posted by Samizdata at 9:12 AM on October 22, 2011


"To concur with a few others, I don't quite get why fisting is so verboten."

Same here. I once read a quote from a porn star during the "Seymore Butts" fisting obscenity trial that went something along the lines of "Why is ok to use a dildo the size of a tree trunk on a woman but a thumb is a felony"
posted by MikeMc at 9:24 AM on October 22, 2011


Facepalm
You're doing it wrong.
posted by modernserf at 9:35 AM on October 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


nope, they are different people, and have even appeared in scenes together.

If you're thinking of the original The Parent Trap by Disney, they were the same girl.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:39 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "Cambria List" is from 2001. I wonder how much things have changed in the intervening time - is there anything that a lawyer making the a list for the same intent, "stuff that could get you sued if it's on the cover of your porn", would now leave off, or add?

Me, I'm really kinda not surprised to discover that by dint of being a pricklady I'd make any porn I appeared in that much more transgressive.
posted by egypturnash at 9:40 AM on October 22, 2011


coinoperatedgirl: nope, they are different people, and have even appeared in scenes together.

Huh, I am indeed wrong. Carry on!
posted by Decimask at 10:31 AM on October 22, 2011


The situation for print and film porn hasn't changed much since the early 1990's. The Cambria list was compiled by looking at specific cases which caused trouble; it's not law itself and much of what's on it is there because one bumpkin sheriff might have seized some magazines in 1985. It's a conservative roadmap for porn publishers to minimize their risk. Print publication is riskier and more expensive than running a website, and there are a limited number of companies that specialize in that sort of thing, and so topics on the list get frozen out.

The current arrangement for web BDSM porn with the few credit card companies that will still process their transactions was worked out more deliberately, mostly by kink.com, and it is a bit saner although it is also filled with stuff ordinary people do all the time that can't be shown.
posted by localroger at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2011


Huzzah!
posted by dave78981 at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


nope, they are different people, and have even appeared in scenes together

yep! in fact, we have syd to thank for jiz lee doind porn - they were dating and syd was about to start working with pink&white productions and asked jiz lee if they wanted to do a shoot. jiz lee jumped at the chance and the rest is sexy, sexy history.
posted by nadawi at 12:12 PM on October 22, 2011


Huzzah!

Oh my!
posted by MikeMc at 2:10 PM on October 22, 2011


A friend told me about someone who had a ruler tattoo on his arm for... yeah
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:50 PM on October 22, 2011


Little known fact: it's how Mark Twain got his name.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:09 PM on October 22, 2011


This, ummmm, friend also says it can be an extremely intense activity, and I think he said something about it being a wonderful emotional experience, or can be, centering around trust.

That and Courtney Trouble's description of fisting as "always this warm, opening, serene, really emotional, and connected sex-act" reminds me of the first really amazing thing I ever read about fisting, from the Usenet group soc.motss back in 1996. The story begins as a thought about smells at a 1980 initiation orgy at the Houston chapter of American Leathermen, but is really about this fisting experience:

When I returned to the bedroom, my friend (Chris) proceeded to lube up my right hand and arm. I then lubed his ass and we began the intricate dance of fisting. I have very large hands and I was concerned about hurting him until he loosened up. I didn't have to be. He was so worked up by this time that I had to restrain his enthusiasm.

What happened next is almost beyond words for me. As the fister, there is the enormous responsibility of literally having someone's life in your hands. If proper caution is not used, it is very easy to do internal damage to your partner. It is this danger, and this responsibility, that lends the edge to the entire experience.

Watching your partner respond to the sensations that are going on within his body. Realizing that you have this power of such great pleasure over someone. Feeling the pulse of his blood as it races through his body. Placing the back of your hand against the upper part of his rectum and feeling the beat of his heart and the expansion of his lungs as he takes in a breath. Simultaneously watching and feeling as his whole body is wracked by waves of orgasm. Realizing that you've shot all over yourself and him without ever touching yourself. All from the fear, excitement, and power that has come over you both.


I've never fisted or been fisted, but I've also never forgotten that sentence in bold up there.
posted by mediareport at 4:53 PM on October 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am completely confused about how this Cambria list is being used. For example, how does any gay porn get made and distributed if there is no male-penetrating-male? Also there is a huge market for Black-on-white; I find it hard to believe no porn is being made and distributed that features "Black men-White women themes."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:32 PM on October 22, 2011


I suppose it must be old hat in the fisting community that it would be excellent training for an easier time giving birth.
posted by jamjam at 6:07 PM on October 22, 2011


Gravy, that list is (mostly) about what goes on the cover of nationally-distributed porn. Just on the outer box.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:42 PM on October 22, 2011


i think i found a target market for bitcoin
posted by LogicalDash at 6:57 PM on October 22, 2011


This is great information, but when exactly is international oral sex day?

Technically, its everyday.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:41 PM on October 22, 2011


"where the picture plan is absorbed by a gaping asshole, but that gaping asshole absorbs, thowmps the fist, the fist is being drawn in, and not pushing forward--the dialectic b/w being drawn in and being pushed forward conceptually settles around the object of the fist...

So ya, paper covers rock. I thought we already knew that.
posted by Chuckles at 8:03 PM on October 22, 2011


"Scissors" and "gaping asshole" do not belong in the same game.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:02 PM on October 22, 2011


I'm agape.
posted by bardic at 10:44 PM on October 22, 2011


I don't recall whether anyone in the movie said they knew of someone who hadn't been invited back just because they used their safeword. Nor am I sure how you'd be able to prove such an allegation, even if it was true.

Well, I've definitely seen models there (at least the modern incarnation of the site) use the safeword, and I've seen them in subsequent sessions. So... Weigh that as you will.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:58 AM on October 23, 2011


The movie contains a horrific protracted sequence where PD/Scott forgets a model's hard limit about being slapped and then tries to double down, while the model is clearly terrified of pissing him off. Several other models tell the camera directly that he would become enraged and that not being invited back was a real worry. The documentary does show a couple of examples of safe word usage which didn't end the model's Insex career, but you can tell there was a lot of walking on eggshells involved.

His temper is mentioned in other contexts; I think it's Cyd Black who says the first time he met Scott he was throwing a temper tantrum over the bandwidth contract, and that every couple of weeks he'd blow a gasket and threaten to shut the site down.

It's possible he's mellowed; Scott himself is quite frank on camera about his own excesses and now that he's not running the show he has to play within the constraints negotiated by kink.com and the credit industry. On the whole the documentary is fascinating and while it's too bad Netflix is too chickenshit to carry it, you can order a copy from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
posted by localroger at 6:21 AM on October 23, 2011


I used to work in HIV and this reminds me of a particularly memorable workshop on issues in prevention. After all the dildos and condoms (male and female) had been passed around, he started talking about gloves -- with and without latex, etc.

Then he mentioned that some of his clients sourced gloves from veterinary supply companies. Gloves from regular drug stores don't go much farther than the wrist, he explained, while gloves used for birthing horses go past the elbow...

Just another eye-opening day at the office.
posted by heatherann at 8:58 AM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, I guess I'm just missing the whole point here.

Fisting is very popular in modern porn. It went through a bit of a fad period, maybe 5 years ago, AFAICT, but is still going strong. Google for "fisting video" (quotes included) is 'About 942,000 results'. Xhamster.com: 36 pages at 28 vids/page = 1008 fisting videos.

I'm a big fan. The look on a lover's face as she quivers from nonstop orgasms during fisting, done lovingly, when and if she's ready... nonstop divinity. So, naturally, I've looked for it in porn as well.

Want to subscribe to Abbraxa's website? She's the fisting fucking Queen, for god's sake.

Or how about Chloe Nicole? The most in-control, fist-friendly porn star there is. You can't direct her. You can only set her in a scene, and roll cameras. Then she takes over, giving commands to get what she wants. Of course, she directs now, too.

So, I'm left wondering: where exactly is fisting being forbidden? The Cambria List is outdated to the point of being meaningless; I defy you to find a porn shop that doesn't feature videos with facial shots, for instance.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:42 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom - did you read the links?

from Jiz Lee's blog post in the FPP -

And while it’s not the first time I knew fisting couldn’t be shown in a hardcopy DVD, this year it was the first time I’ve heard of fisting being banned by a Video on Demand (VOD) company due to fisting. And here’s where some background comes into play. Because: WHY is it okay to show fisting ONLINE, but not in a hard copy DVD?

she goes on to talk about how even some of the online distributors use "soft angles" that obscure a lot of the direct fisting shots.

i've also read commentary about how a lot of the things on the cambria list have been relaxed, like facials, multiple dicks around the mouth, etc, but what don't seem to be relaxed are things that often happen in queer sex, like fisting.
posted by nadawi at 6:03 PM on October 23, 2011


Thanks, nadawi. I read that, but for some reason the distinction didn't sink in.

Are DVDs still a significant portion of the porn market? Serious question.

It's a stupid law prosecutorial guideline, like almost every one regarding porn.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:35 PM on October 23, 2011


well, the problem starts to creep in when you shoot for people who do DVD and online - they're self-censoring themselves in case they want the scene to go on a DVD. also, as Jiz Lee points out, it looks like an online VOD company is starting to disallow it as well - she says that's actually the reason for fisting day. it was just DVDs, but it's seemingly beginning to seep into the online as well.

as to what percentage, i'm not sure, but enough that a niche, genderqueer performer has considered how to perform in scenes so they can go to DVD.
posted by nadawi at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Because: WHY is it okay to show fisting ONLINE, but not in a hard copy DVD?"

Because hard copy DVDs get shipped to places like Utah or Alabama where local prosecutors can file obscenity charges if you sell one to someone residing in their jurisdiction.
posted by MikeMc at 7:04 PM on October 23, 2011


yep, and that's why obscenity laws are broken, because people in utah can view the content online.
posted by nadawi at 7:06 PM on October 23, 2011


Well, if anyone asked nicely, they could view my content online.
posted by Samizdata at 8:48 PM on October 27, 2011


Just as a bit of a terrorist fist-bump as it were, the next MeFi Mag is all about sex, and if you have already, say, written half of an essay in these comments on the phenomenological theory of fisting, we'd love to have you flesh it out, as it were, and submit it to us.
posted by klangklangston at 1:10 PM on November 9, 2011


(Also, from working at LFP, Cambria is a total moron and so gunshy by now as to be fairly much useless in vetting magazines for likely obscenity charges, as we were required to do each month.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:11 PM on November 9, 2011


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