When queer porn stars Courtney Trouble and Jiz Lee noticed that fisting scenes were being consistently edited out of conventional pornography, they knew something had to be done. Enter International Fisting Day, which will be born with an ecstatic shout this Fri/21. The actor-activists hit upon the idea of the day to expose the joys of fisting and mobilize bloggers, porn lovers, and supporters everywhere to share the good word about a good fist. We recently conducted an interview with Courtney Trouble via email. She was a-tingle awaiting her new holiday, set to coincide with Live Sex Show, the movie she shot at this year's Masturbate-a-thon at the Center for Sex and Culture (yes, it includes fisting galore). She says that sex-positivity is all about celebrating consensual sex that makes people happy. Fisting does just that -- so why do we still consider it obscene?
San Francisco Bay Guardian: What inspired you to create International Fisting Day?
Courtney Trouble: I am a female pornographer, as well as an artist, small business owner, and performer. I have spent 10 years in front of and behind the camera, running my own websites, and directing and editing my own films, every single day feeling like I'm fighting for my rights as a female to have and show authentic orgasms and authentic sex on camera.
The inspiration to create International Fisting Day came when a VOD company insisted on editing out a fisting scene between the legendary Nina Hartley and Jiz Lee in my new film, Live Sex Show. I thought about it for a while because I've edited out fisting in the past for producers, just in order to get published in the first place. This film is different because I'm releasing it independently, so I have a choice now whether or not to show everything. So, I watched the scene again and thought, if I cut out this fisting scene, I am cutting out Jiz Lee's incredible orgasm -- you can't just show the orgasm and pretend that it happened some other way. That real, gorgeous, incredible orgasm came from fisting. Jiz agreed with me, and we came up with this great idea -- get people to celebrate it publicly, to come out as fisting fans, to start talking about it, to open up more dialogue about sex positivity, erotic art, and censorship.
The goal is to create a new awareness of this sex act, mainly from Jiz and my own feminist and queer perspectives, but it's open to everyone's interpretation. We are hoping that people take a moment in the day to watch some fisting porn with an open mind, try it with a partner, and go to our local porn shops and tell them that we will gladly purchase and support indie porn that includes fisting.
SFBG: Why do you think mainstream porn companies censor fisting?
CT: Mainstream porn companies rarely shoot fisting because adult industry lawyers have advised them not to. Fisting appeared on a list of potential triggers for obscenity lawsuits. This list was created by Paul Cambria in 2001, and is known as the Cambria List. On this list, fisting (and squirting, sharing a dildo, wax dripping, blindfolds, bondage toys, transsexuals, bi-sexual sex, menstruation sex, and interracial sex) are listed in equality with underage fantasies, rape, necrophilia, incest, and bestiality. Bukkake and facial ejaculation shots are also on this list.
Why most of these sex acts or themes have been allowed into the mainstream adult showcase while fisting remains as prohibited as some of the more serious acts is beyond me. Further more, many of these prohibited things, such as transsexuals, bisexual sex, menstruation, and squirting, identify a larger problem within the community of adult industry lawyers that mandate these guidelines, and the filmmakers and producers that perpetuate this list’s power over our work - that the adult industry at large is misogynist and homophobic.
Nina Hartley (left) and Jiz Lee in Live Sex Show
SFBG: What is fisting and how do you do it?
CT: I think some people can get a little confused as to what it is, and that’s the biggest reason why there should be more of it shown in pornography across the board.
Fisting is simply four fingers and a thumb sliding into a vagina (or ass, for those inclined and well-lubed). The hand then slips delicately inside the hole, past the knuckles and anywhere along the palm of the hand, even up to the wrist. It’s basically allowing the vaginal muscles to decide how little, or how much, the body wants to take in. The fistee is left feeling full, and often times the fister can feel the beating of the heart, muscle swelling, and the walls of the vagina moving up and down the hand. There’s a misconception that’s it’s forced in, when most fisting is initiated entirely by the person getting fisted. In fact, it’s usually the vagina itself that will decide to just swallow a hand entirely.
Once the hand is fully inside, it generally stays still, allowing both parties to experience that connection. Some movement is natural, and after a while, light thrusting may or may not happen. Every once in a while it might be faster or harder, but in general, fisting is all about a hand and a hole listening to each other very closely. It’s one of the most beautiful, intimate sex acts I’ve ever experienced. It’s sex positive and builds a deeper connection between sex partners. It’s encourages deeper communication. And most people who have been fisted will probably tell you, it’s one of the best ways to orgasm in the whole wide world.
SFBG: Is fisting in itself a liberating act? A queer act? A feminist act?
CT: I find fisting to be incredibly liberating! Did you know that a human heart is the size of a fist? Whenever I'm fisting I think about that, what if this person's heart was inside me right now? Perhaps this is too personal for a public forum such as the Guardian but if you'll let me say it... for me, getting fisted is the most sacred, intimate, beautiful, and loving sex act I participate in.
Fisting is not exclusively a queer act. However, I have heard it called "the bread and butter of queer sex." For female-bodied queers and lesbians, fisting is a great form of skin-to-skin, penetrative, sex, a better option than just a few fingers or a silicone sex toy.
I personally find fisting to be an extremely feminist act, as it challenges you to admit that there are things besides cocks that can get women off. It expands our sexual repertoire beyond phallic insertion, and I enthusiastically invite men to try fisting (and all forms of hand sex) with their female partners as well as your usual penis-in-vagina sex -- it can prolong your night in bed, bring you closer together, and open up lines of communication and fantasy that weren't open before.
SFBG: Should people who don't personally enjoy fisting take part in International Fisting Day?
CT: Of course! Allies are so crucial to projects like this. This day is meant to create awareness around censorship of sexual pleasure and all the ways we can attain it with our own bodies. This is about sex positivity in all its forms. If you don't enjoy fisting (as a top or a bottom) - take a moment on Fisting Day to talk about it with your partner or your friends. And, well, what do you like? Where does pleasure come from? What can we do in one day to make sex less scary, less secretive, less shameful?
SFBG: Where can we find some good porn that shows fisting in all its glory?
SFBG: How can we celebrate? What should be done on International Fisting Day?
CT: [You can go to] our online hub and also our Facebook event page for more information. On Fri/21, [you can] post a blog about fisting — what it means to you, what you like about it. Tweet about #fisting, Facebook about the act. Share posts. Tumblr the fuck out of it. Read a fisting how-to book. Watch queer porn online. We will post our favorite, uncensored scenes from sites like QueerPorn.TV, Crash Pad Series, No Fauxxx, and more. You can enter a contest at Queer Porn Tube, a free user-generated, community-driven queer porn site. Upload photos or videos (hardcore or just plain cute or symbolic) and you can win a Skype date with [me], an autographed copy of Live Sex Show, or international fame -- your choice. And if you want to be one of the first wave of supporters to order a DVD that actually has fisting in it, October 21st is also the release date of Live Sex Show. Watch a free online fisting workshop hosted by [myself] at 8 p.m. PST where [I] will answer your questions live, demonstrate some easy techniques, and fist a porn star friend! (We will post the link here on October 21)
United we fist!