Handballing Guide


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Handballing

This came from a pamphlet put out by Trust Handballing Newsletter (SASE to Trust, c/o ASP, POB 14543, San Francisco CA 94114 for info pack). It doesn't deal with "how to do it", but "how to do it safely". If you want a "how to do it" book, see the note at the end about Trust, the Hand Book, also put out by ASP.

(An aside - why they use the term handballing over fisting):

Fist-ing (fist'ing) n. 1. An archaic but prevalent term for the retrograde exploration of the digestive tract with the hand and arm, for purposes of sexual pleasure. 2. A term suggesting violence and sleaze.

Hand-ball-ing (hand'bol ing) 1. A term for the same activity, allowing possibilities of intimate lovemaking and spiritual communion.

Handballing as Safe Sex

When the health crisis first struck, men into handballing (FF, fisting) were among the major casualties. However, information accumulated over recent years has led clear-thinking people to reevaluate. While there is still some danger involved, the risk (especially from HIV infection) is remote if participants respect safe, sane guidelines.

What is Handballing

Handballing is manipulation of the anal canal with the hand (sometimes as a fist), and occasionally the forearm. While it may sound uncomfortable and unpleasant to the unitiated, so does all sexual activity. The joy comes from the feeling, not the anatomical description.

The pleasurable sensations of other anal intercourse are at play (such as manipulation of the prostate), but there is also an intense intimacy created by the very nature of the significant connectedness. Participants often describe venturing into another level of consciousness or even blasting into outer space. The receiver often reaches intense orgasms, and the top feels corresponding pleasure (often receiving orgasm himself) from the connectedness of the experience.

A growing number of gay men who at one time thought that they could not find satisfying sex following safe-sex guidelines are turning to handballing as a viable alternative to activity that might involve exchanging body fluids. Many are also finding it as a beautiful and romantic way to make love. In fact, lesbians and straights are also finding this a rewarding lovemaking experience.

Avoiding Risk

The health risk comes from three areas: trauma, transfer of HIV virus and other microorganisme, and drug addiction. Each of these risks can be substantially controlled.

Trauma

The anal canal is a sensitive and vulnerable area. It is of utmost importance that all due care be taken to avoid injury.

  1. Tops should always make sure their fingernails are cut short and filed down. (gloves add additional protection here. Further, it is the bottom's perogative to inspect the top's hands - DMS)
  2. The receiver should be totally cleaned out of fecal matter through enemas. Fecal mater can cause abrasions and infection. (Being clean inside is also a matter of courtesy to the top. For me, it takes three "fill and dump" to get to the point that I'm acceptably clean, and another ten or fifteen minutes to unload additional retained water. I have a shower-attached enema hose - costs about $40 mailorder. Most fountain syringes hold one quart, so take 2 fillings to fill me up sufficiently for one "cycle" - DMS).
  3. Both participants should learn the ins and outs of this activity from those with experience. This is not something to try without knowledge of what you're doing (in other words, unless the top has received before, he shouldn't be topping you, except in exceptional cases - DMS)
  4. While handball may be enjoyed as part of an SM situation, it is important that the top not use this as an arena for acting out power trips or creating pain. Pain in the anal canal is clear sign that this activity is being carried out with inappropriate speed and/or violence, or without proper knowledge of how it is done. The receiver witnessing pain should insist that his partner show down or cease in the activity. A small showing of blood may be caused by strained surface capillaries (or hemorrhoids that get irritated - DMS). However if there is any doubt, play should be suspended immediately. (Note: Frank Rourke suggests the bottom be aware of his medical coverage in case of emergency. Significant amounts of blood could indicate a ruptured bowel or significant tears - which should have immediate medical attention, because 90% of peritonitis victims are dead within 48 hours of the rupture of the bowel. This is VERY RARE, just like a car accident, but it can happen - DMS)
  5. The top should use liberal amounts of lubricant to ease entry and keep things running without heat or friction. Vegetable shortening (i.e. Crisco) or commercial mineral-oil based preparations are the only lubricants that hold up properly for this activity. (Frank Rourke recommends against mineral-oil based lubes. This is the secondmost popular use of Crisco after baking, and a can of Crisco is a welcome gift to a European S&M-er - DMS).
Infection

To avoid infection from HIV virus or other microorganisms, the following precautions should be observed:

  1. Tops should always wear latex (not vinyl) examination or surgical gloves. (you can buy them in packs of 12 at most drug stores, and I bought a box of 100 for $13.00 over a year ago - DMS) Household quality gloves are not appropriate. The reason for the gloves is primarily to avoid transference of microorganisms from possible blood or fecal matter from the receiver to the top, through possible minor cuts or under the fingernails. Intact skin is excellent protection. If there are no cuts or sores above the hand, wrist-length gloves should be sufficient. Since oil-based lubricants will break down latex over a period of time, tops should use fresh gloves from time-to-time, especially for long sessions. A small amount of nonoxynol-9 preparations used inside the glove can offer additional protection to the top. Current studies suggest that these preparations can cause irritation to the receiver and should be restricted to use inside the gloves.
  2. Lubricants should be allocated in fresh, individual containers each evening and participants should be careful not to expose two receivers to the lubricants from the same container, resulting in contamination. (For my NYE party, I was told to bring my own can. There was a spare, which was dipped out into individual disposable cups to try it out - it was a "store brand". Crisco or Wesson is better - DMS)
  3. Both parties should be careful that any seminal emissions not come in contact with mucous membranes of the other party.
  4. All surfaces, toys, enema equipment or other involved items should be kept clean using bacterial scrubs or other appropriate cleansing methods (boiling, clorox bleach, running through a dishwasher cycle, using condoms on toys, etc - DMS) Tops should never use the same gloves on two people and should be careful to wash up completely after every experience.
  5. Receivers should never participate in other anal sexual activity for at least several days after handballing (Bill at the NYEve party on Tuesday night had been done Sunday, and twice on NYEve, without any harm. He's been receiving for some time though - DMS)
Drug addiction

Unfortunately, many handballers choose the additional stimulation of heavy drugs to enhance their sensation. Most dangerous of these drugs is crystal (i.e. methanphetamines, speed, crank). There is little material published about this drug and a great deal of misinformation in the streets.

(A long list of statements against crank listed, all leading up to "don't use it" - I'll summarize - DMS)

(end of paraphrase/summary - DMS)

Other chemicals

Besides crystal, handballers often use other chemicals to augment their play (ie smoke, poppers, alcohol). These chemicals also have their adverse affects. Participants who decide to involve such chemicals in their play, should use them sparingly and make a point of informing themselves (and their partners - DMS) of the risks that might be involved.

==== end of pamphlet =====


Additional resources (I added this - DMS)

Trust puts out Trust, The Hand Book by Bert Herrman, 128 pages paperback, cost $12.00. I have read it, and strongly recommend it. It can be ordered from the address above, you have to include a statement saying you're at least 21, and don't object to receiving sexually explicit material in the mail. Postage is included in the price.

There's also a place that sells "The art of fisting" audio tapes at about $10.95 each. Franke Rourke does it, and he's very respected in bd/sm circles. The tape was done in 1984, so safer-sex issues weren't as common and receive little mention.


Clean Out Technique

This is a response received on the handball mailing list on a technique for cleaning out in preparation for an evening of fisting.

From: Craig B
Date: Tue, 21 May 96 10:17:54
Reply to: handball@blade.com
To: leather@trends.ca
Subject: RE: TECHNIQUES FOR CLEANING

For novices to cleaning out, I offer the following. I realize that more experienced players have long ago determined what works best for them, and have their own methods. This is a more general discussion for the beginner:

Cleaning out is a process that is unique to each of us. The exact position of the large intestine in each of us is unique and has a number of twists and turns that can make cleaning out in a hurry very difficult, especially for the novice.

Like anything that you do a lot, learning how to clean out yourself quickly and completely will come with experience and practice. Most of the basics have been mentioned here already in earlier posts, but I would stay away from any kind of forced or purged type cleaning. Use only clean warm water until you get to know your body. The "shower shot" devices that hook up to the shower head can help, if used with care (watch the pressure and volume-speed of the water).

No one can control the conditions of their daily life to use all of the techniques listed here or in the earlier posts. They are tricks and tips from my experience and the experience of others that can be tried and experimented with. You will have to experiment and see what works for you. However, many will agree that relaxation is the best preparation for both cleaning out and fisting. That is very hard to do with an impatient top looking over your shoulder. I would suggest that unless the cleaning out is an integral part of your scene, that you might want to do it privately before the scene starts, at least until you learn how your body responds to the various techniques.

Ideally you sould start with controls on your diet a few days before you plan to play. eat more foods containing dietary fiber, or add a dose of Metamucil or something into you food intake each day. Getting adequate amounts of dietary fiber (which most of us in the US don't ) will make cleaning out much easier (in my experience). The last 18-24 hours before you play, try to stay away from things like dairy products that will bind you up. Other things in that catagory are meats, highly processed foods, etc. Go heavy on the fruits and veggies, (but not too many potatoes). Eat lightly the day of play. Food takes about 12 hours from the time you eat to enter the large intestine, and about 12 more to leave under normal circumstances. This would suggest that you really cut back on intake of foods of large mass starting about 12-14 hours before you clean out. Eat some bannanas to increase your potassium balance. Losing too much potassium can cause tremors, light headedness, and similar problems, especially during/after heavy play.

Water is best. The large intestine is designed to absorb nutrients and water from the processed food as it moves through. What starts as a watery soup as it enters the large intestine becomes a solid chunky mass as it is processed. Adding anything to the water you use to clean out will cause the gut to try to absorb it. Since most things you can add to the water are irritants (used in medical offices to hurry the process along) they will have the propensity to cause cramps and nausa. Irritated bowels will not make for enjoyable play either, as they will be stressed out and tightly clenched, making entry of a hand beyond the sphincter almost impossible. So use water, and ONLY water until you have more experience.

When cleaning out, expect to spend up to 2 hours doing it. Get youself into a relaxed mood, (use some music, read a relaxing article, or meditate, etc) to relax your body. The intestinal muscles usually will reflect your mood - the more tense you are, the more closed and tight they will be. Experiment with techniques for getting the water into and out of you. As you can see from the other posts, ther are a number of suggestions. Some use several sessions of cleaning over a few hour period, and some just keep flushing themselves until they are clean. Many of us find that lying on our backs or side will help the water mover higher into the gut to bring down the shit that's there. You should expect that you will get several distinct parcels of material coming down. The first will be somewhat solid, and depending on you diet, either in large chunks or small nuggets. Then will come softer stuff, and finally, you will get the brown liquid containing flecks and very small pieces of matter. Don't try to rush this process! Doing so will give less than desirable results. I find that for myself, a combination of lying and standing works best, depending on where I am in the process of cleaning out.

If your diet has a high level of fruitcose, you are lactose intolerant and you eat dairy products, or you dramatically increase fiber intake, you may generate a lot of gas. Gas can make it impossible to clean out fully. Also, not purging air form the douche hose before putting it into your butt can add to the air in there. This may give you cramps, and block the water from getting high enough inside to clean you out. If you take the water standing, this will cause the air to move higher up in the gut. [It floats on the water] That's why some like to take the water lying sown, at a slower pace. Another technique is to lie on your back in the shower and use yor feet against the wall to raise your butt up so that it is higher than the gut and then take the water. This allows the water to work it's way behind the gas bubbles, and then when you expel the water, the bubbles can flow out with the water. If you are stuck, and can't get rid of the air bubble, you can try lying down for a half hour or so in various positions to help move the bubble closer to the rectum. This is another area that experience, and trial and error teach best.

I have found that I am very sensitive to additives in the water I use. You may be similarly situated. Don't use any soap or other additive until you can clean out without trouble. Then if you want to try an additive, do so using sparing amounts, and never switch mid session. Tha way you can determine what works and what doesn't. Wait a few days after the cleaning to see if there are any other after-effects also, before declaring something OK or not. If you are sensitive to salt, beware of cleaning out with highly softened water. Softened water may be very salty, and through absorbtion, could exacberate any salt problem you have. Also, expect to piss during the clean-out process. Your gut will be trying it's best to absorb water from the quantity you are introducing. Your bladder will fill up. Empty it as necessary. Holding it in will make it harder to get clean.

After the play, you might want to eat a fair amount of Yogurt or take Acidophilus capsules. The gut is a living environment, with countless micro-organisims of various kinds that live in your gut and are necessary for the digestion of food, and the elimination of waste. Cleaning out can drastically alter the environmental conditions in the gut, flushing out these essential critters. And the better job of cleaning we do, the more we upset the balance. Eating Yogurt, taking Acidophilus capsules, or eating other culture-containing foods can help the gut restore it's natural environment after it's been cleaned, and minimize any after-play intestinal problems. Don't count on frozen yogurt to do this, as frteezing the yogurt kills most, if not all, of the cultures.

Also realize, that sometimes you won't be able to clean out completely. Stress, mood, diet, health, and other factors are involved, and sometimes it will not be bossible to get all the shit out in an hour or two. But with practice, you will be able to effect good cleaning most of the time. And for the times you can't get clean -- then practice Topping! :-)


A FEW COMMENTS ABOUT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS FOR FEMALE FISTING BOTTOMS

UTI's are a major pisser (pun intended.) They can definitely be associated with fisting, as well as intercourse, tight clothing, and just about anything else that can cause irritation on the urethre and/or introduction of bacteria. Preventive measures are about the same with all causes. As follows:

Be sure that the area is clean before any play. A quick wash-up of the genitals and all hands with mild soap is helpful.

Be sure to use a lot of lubrication to avoid irritation. Be sure you haven't contaminated your lubricant from any anal play. If you suspect that you did, throw it out and buy more.

Avoid anything that causes rubbing against the urethra. A slight change of position (either her, or your arm) may be all that's necessary.

She should urinate right after fisting/intercourse if it's possible. Since she may pee beforehand in order to be more comfortable, it may not be possible. Don't force it, but do try.

Anything that acidifies the urine will help to fend off infections. The standard is cranberry juice, but vitamin C tablets will have the same effect. This is a preventive measure, once you actually have an infection the acid in cranberry juice can make you more uncomfortable..try plain water and lots of it.

Drinking lots of water in general and not holding off on going to pee is helpful in not letting a small infection get bigger. A glass of water every 2-3 hours is recommended.

The old standard, always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom.

Cut down on refined sugars and starches in general, avoid spicy food until the intection clears.

Make sure she takes all of her Bactrim. She should also return for a follow-up culture when she finishes the antibiotics. Pyridium can be used to releive some of the pain on urination, but don't take it for more than a few days...watch out, since it's an organic dye it can stain underwear very badly.

If it gets down to the choice of giving up fisting, or having infections, she might want to ask her doctor about Nitrofurantion therapy. It's an antibiotic that can be taken 1/night, or 1 after activity (as needed) to prevent UTI's.

ADDITIONAL UTI ADVICE

I've found that the best thing I can do when I get an infection is to drink lots of cranberry juice; the change in acidity kills it pretty quickly. That's far from making me more uncomfortable! :)

I've also been told that it loses this effect if you drink it regularly, because your body accommodates for the acidity.

EVEN MORE UTI ADVICE

I sure can suggest something that might help. Don't use any lube that isn't water-based. PLease remember there is a difference between lubes that are water soluble, and water based.

As for not introducing infections agents to the urethra, I would suggest starting out with a nice warm bath, making sure her vulva is washed with a very gentle soap. (actually, this is a good place to start, because it is a (nice way to relax, which is what you want, anyway!)


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