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A Hand in the Bush - An Interview with Deborah Addington

A few months ago we featured some photos from a young lady who takes pictures of all the weird things she finds while working at a thrift store. One of the gems she discovered was a book by Deborah Addington, called A Hand In the Bush - The Fine...

A few months ago we featured some photos from a young lady who takes pictures of all the weird things she finds while working at a thrift store. One of the gems she discovered was a book by Deborah Addington, called A Hand In the Bush - The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting. Needless to say, I was intrigued, so I ordered the book from Amazon the next day. Part of me thought the book was a joke. I imagined it to be some sort of satirical, voyeuristic look at a black belt-level sex move most people don't have the gusto to try for themselves. I couldn't have been more wrong.


A Hand In the Bush is an excruciatingly didactic field manual for anyone who has ever considered getting wrist-deep in a vagina. After reading this book, an arthritic virgin could navigate their hand into a woman with the confidence of a seasoned pilot easing a 747 into its hangar. The book includes graphic illustrations of everything from regular old vaginal fisting to mutual fisting to the mind-boggling double fist (pretend you're applauding, only don't pull your hands apart).

VICE: Your book is called The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting. Do you really consider fisting vaginas an art form?
Deborah Addington: I do. We all have fingers at the end of our hands, but a lot of people don't organically look at their hands and go, "Gee, I could put that in a bodily orifice!" So you're taking something that preexists, reconfiguring it, applying creativity, and producing a spectacular result.

How many and what type of doctors did you consult during your research for this book?
I talked to three doctors. I also spoke with a registered nurse practitioner who dealt with a lot of sexuality issues. All but one of them were OBGYNs, and the one who wasn't is a kink-friendly physician out of the BDSM community who specializes in dealing with what a lot of other people might be balked by.

Had any of the doctors tried vaginal fisting?
I know two of them did for sure. The other one was a clinician who was dealing with getting all of the anatomical information, and they might not have been into fisting. I'm not sure.


Do we have any historical information on vaginal fisting? Like when did it start and who was the first person to do it?
I speculate that human beings, with their innate horniness and orifice use, probably hooked this shit up pretty early. I think the earliest verified imagery we have is something from the 1700s, and it was a woodcut.

There's an 18th century woodcut vagina fisting piece?
Yeah, there was a woodcut. And there are other works too, but it's a relatively small stack compared to sexual depictions in general.

Where was the woodcut found?
Well, it was European. I'd have to look at my research again to give you a more specific answer.

You say that you like to go in palm-up and then curl your hand into a fist. What are the pitfalls of going in palm-down? Why do you prefer one over the other?
Which direction your palm should be facing really depends on the orientation of the woman's uterus inside her abdominal cavity. So, depending on which direction the cervix is tipped in, sometimes it's better to go in palm-down. That way, if her cervix is tipped up, you can go in underneath it. The best technique to use is the one that's best for the fistee's body.

OK. So you've figured out the way she likes it and you're inside. What now? Do you move your hand around or just stay perfectly still?
You can keep it totally still and do a slow flex to emulate the heartbeat, which is really, really beautiful. When you get inside a woman's body like that, if you just hang out for a second you can feel her entire body pulsing in rhythm with her heartbeat around your hand. It's magnificent.


Yeah, us guys can feel that vagina pulsing thing with our wieners.
Right. Now imagine feeling that with your primary sensory interface with the world—your hand. I mean, it's our primary sensory derivative organ. Cocks are pretty sensitive, I'll give you that, but they're not as minutely sensitive as a hand.

So, to answer your initial question, you can do everything from holding still to slight motions that emulate a heartbeat to—and I don't like this term, but I still use it—punchfucking. You can pull all the way back out and go all the way back in.

Oh, my.
Yeah. It depends on the woman.

You also say that there's a possibility of injury in the form of a sprained wrist. How likely is that to happen?
Minimally likely. It really depends on how strong a woman's physical response is to her orgasms. Those muscles can clamp down really, really tight against the wrist. The worst I've had are some pretty interesting hand cramps, but there are reports of a couple of wrist sprains.

I had no idea vaginas were that powerful.
People don't realize how powerful their pussies are. If they did, things would change.

I imagine it feels like those blood pressure machines at Wal-Mart, except for warm and wet and on your fist. Is that pretty accurate?
Yeah. That's not a bad analogy. Not a bad analogy at all.

You say that it's not good to douche before fisting. Why is that?
Despite the marketing that women have constantly forced on them, unless there's some preexisting health condition, a vagina is a self-cleaning mechanism. There is a balance of flora and fauna that keep it healthy. When you douche, you mess up the ratios. And it can affect lubrication. It can actually dry you out, and dryness is not something you want anywhere near fisting. Kind of like you wouldn't invite Hitler to Christmas, you don't want dryness with your fisting.


Yeah, you're very adamant about not being able to use too much lube.
You can't. Absolutely not. And by the same token, the first time I did it there was absolutely no lube involved. But that was a unique experience. That hasn't happened to me before or since.

The first time that you did it, were you planning on it or did it just sort of happen?
It just happened. It was a hungry, tense situation. I kept saying, "I want more. I want more!" And she said, "I don't have anymore—that was my thumb. You've got my whole hand." And I went, "Woah." My reality shifted into this beautiful trans-dimensional space, and then I promptly exploded.

Typically speaking, how long does it take to get the hand all the way inside the vagina? Or does it totally depend on the vagina?
It totally depends not only on the vagina, but also on the other primary sex organ, which is the brain. If you go into it with an attitude of, "Oh, gosh, this is going to be too tight, it's going to hurt," then that's going to be part of your experience. If you believe that your body will naturally accommodate a fist, things are going to move a lot quicker. But I don't think speed is really a factor. For me, getting there is a huge part of it. "There goes another finger. That's the top part of my thumb. Here comes the wide spot." Watching their breathing change. Watching blood pressure shifts occur in the chest and the face. It's not just a destination—it's a journey.


You say that fisting orgasms are the most intense you've ever experienced, both as a fister and as a fistee. What's the fister's orgasm like?
When you feel someone's orgasm begin to ripple around your hand, you don't just look at the person and know they're having an orgasm—you are an integral part of that experience. And to feel that with your hand, one of your primary sense organs, is mind-blowing. Absolutely mind-blowing. You feel the pressure. You feel the contractions. You feel the rhythm of the heartbeat racing to meet the contraction. You feel her entire body just rippling around you to the rhythm of an orgasm. It's like the difference between going to a ballroom dance cotillion, and a rave with 300 people who are all incredibly high. There's more sensory feedback. And it's awesome.

But it's almost like a sneeze, right? In that the fister is probably not going to have an orgasm until the fistee has one. It's kind of contagious like that?
Well, you can't orchestrate it, but I've had experiences where we've been able to line it up simultaneously, and oh my God. Oh. My. God.

I think I know the answer to this one, but are you really sore afterwards? And if you’re with a guy, or a girl with a dildo, do you have sex right after it or are you pretty much done?
I can only speak for myself, but I’m usually pretty much done. It’s an amazing orgasm. If you went out for a five-course meal, finished your crème brûlée with a beautiful glass of 200-year-old port, would you go to McDonald's afterward?


I guess I wouldn’t.
There you go.

Are you sore afterward?
Me? No, generally not. If you've never done it before and you're going at it pretty hardcore, then yeah, you might be sore.

You mention in the book that it doesn’t make the vagina looser. But it really seems like it would.
Does working out at a gym make your muscles looser?

No. But I’ve watched quite a bit of porn in my day, and the ladies who have been at it for years and years have some kind of…
That is absolute pornographic crap. There is no way to tell how tight they actually are. Bodily orifices can open up and be amazingly receptive. I’ve watched a woman stick a coke bottle up her ass. Quite frankly, I don’t find that enormously erotic, but I do applaud her ability to command her skinsuit to do things that most people's can’t.

OK, but you have to know what I'm talking about. You see the vagina lips and you can tell that it’s loose down there. Or at least that’s the impression that I and most people I know get.
In some circumstances, maybe that happens. Maybe she doesn’t do her Kegels regularly. Hard to tell, it could be any number of factors. Fisting itself isn’t gonna do that to you, though. Especially if you’re doing your Kegels. You know, guys can do Kegels, too.

Which Kegel exercises do you recommend?
Well, first you have to isolate the PC muscle. A good way to do that is by putting a hat or towel on your dick the next time you have a hard-on and bouncing it up and down. Feel that muscle in your dick. That's your PC muscle.


Put a hat on my dick and bounce it up and down?
Well, a hat or a towel, depending on your sense of humor. Then just clench that muscle and hold it for a count of five to ten seconds and then you very consciously, slowly let it relax. Start off with three sets of 20 over the course of the day.

Do you need a boner to do this?
Absolutely not. It just helps you isolate the muscles, and women don’t need a boner at all.

I understand that Kegels help women have more control over their vaginas, but what are the benefits for men?
For one thing, you have a higher capillary action. It won’t make your dick bigger, but it does increase your vascular activity and it gets more blood into that tissue. Your dick will be slightly bigger when it's hard.

Will it help you shoot your load a farther distance?
Yeah, certainly. You can use it in combination with breeding techniques and other stuff to learn how to delay an ejaculation, too. The same muscle that you use to stop your pee and bounce a hat controls ejaculation. The more control you have over that muscle, the more control you have over when and how you cum.

I learned from your book that drugs can make fisting "a scary and fatal activity." You mention a girl who died from fisting while on methamphetamines. Is that the only person you know of who's died from fisting?
I haven’t looked into anything like that recently. That particular case was a young girl who was hitchhiking. Someone picked her up and got her all loaded, and it wasn’t good. The other one that I know of happened on a cruise ship. It was an older woman who had had too much alcohol, and she had a tissue rupture that wasn’t visible. She passed out and bled to death.


You can do it on some substances, but there are others that don't put your body into an accommodating mood. Anything that makes you tense is not good when you want your body to relax. I mean, there’s an obvious contradiction in the goal there, right?

So muscle relaxers would be a good drug to take before getting fisted?
The problem with muscle relaxers is that you can’t tell what the hell is going on. I mean, you can have a glass of wine and take muscle relaxers because you want to try fisting, but in my opinion it's stupid because you’re depriving yourself of your body’s very valuable harm-prevention feedback. That’s just not desirable.

From the way you describe it, it sounds like the emotional intimacy is more important to you than the physical feeling. Is that right?
It depends on the partner I’m with. If I have a deep, emotional connection to the partner and this is an intimate, bonding experience, then yes, that’s more important. If I’m with a casual lover or a friend with benefits and we have our bi-weekly fuck date where all we want to do is roll around and fuck as hard as we can, then the emotional significance is probably going to take a back seat. It’s contextually relevant. Context, context, context.

What are the pros and cons of vaginal versus anal fisting?
Vaginal fisting is done with an enclosed fist, anal is not. You’re dealing with the rectal tracts, and the farthest I’ve ever got in vaginally was about my wrist, which is appropriate. I’m 6-foot-tall and I have huge hands. I have big everything, and I've gotten up to my elbow while anally fisting someone, so there is a significant difference between the two acts.

Dear Lord. Is it really hard to get your arm in all the way up to the elbow?
It depends on the person. But no, not if you know how to navigate the territory.

Alright, last question: Why do you endorse this activity and why do you think this stuff is important?
Because we live in such a disembodied culture, people don’t have a clue as to what their bodies can actually do—especially in terms of pleasure. My mission in life is to help people realize how much pleasure they’re capable of, what their bodies have that they can naturally work with, and to give them the education and other materials necessary to find their sources of pleasure.