For pride one year, my ex-girlfriend and now bff ordered a badge to wear all weekend. It read: “Actual lesbian (my nails are press ons).”
The point – if it’s not already obvious – was that her long, fake nails wouldn’t be getting in the way of any fingering. Due to the penetrative nature of a lot of pussy play, pointed acrylics – and long natural nails – can be a hurdle for anyone who wears them. Still, that doesn’t mean you must avoid manicures if you’re looking to lez it up. Some of the best shags of my life have been with a sapphic sporting a stiletto tip.
On the other end of the fingering spectrum – and the kind of thing that gives me twitchy bum syndrome – is watching lesbian porn, made for men, where the performer’s acrylic nail is stabbing into a clit. While clit torture is a kink in itself, this isn’t that – it’s more people failing to take into consideration the care and prep that long nailed fingering requires.
To make sure your talons aren’t torturing anyone’s twat, taint or love tunnel, the following guide has been lovingly provided by a number of queer patrons of both acrylic nails and fanny fondling.
Some advice that all fingering aficionados should take into consideration: ploughing four digits in there at full force isn’t enjoyable for anyone. Tam, a 40-year-old nail tech who’s been shagging with acrylics for a while, compares her technique to typing. “The main tip I would give is to change your angle of attack so that your hand is more parallel to what you are fingering than perpendicular,” she explains. “If you type with long nails, you’ll know what I mean.”
“You need to flatten your hand and tilt it back a bit so you’re hitting the keys with the pads of your fingers not the tips of your nails. Imagine the clit is a key on a keyboard,” Tam continues. “But really, the advice is the same for any type of nails – use your hands gently at first, carefully, and check in with the person.”
Which leads us neatly into point two:
If you’re having sex with anyone in any kind of way, checking in should be a given, but even more so when your fingertips are equipped with hard acrylic. Echoing Tam, 21-year-old Emily – who runs an Instagram dedicated to her lengthy natural nails – advises, “Start slow and steady if you are fingering someone and you have nails – always ask if the other person is feeling comfortable. And never use full force.”
Sara, a 32-year-old fingerer, also adds that it might be worth explaining beforehand what you want to get out of your shag, just in case someone wrongly assumes that you’re a pillow princess. She also clarifies that acrylic nails get a bad rep in queer sex, and “unless they are filed to a point, acrylics can actually be blunter and more rounded than normal nails because they are thicker. Natural nails tend to be thinner and sharper.”
Sara also says it isn’t just fingernails we need to be honest about, but toenails too: “My worst experience was actually with a girl who tried to play footsie and toe-bang me, but her toenails were like actual talons, like an owl.”
Whether you want to use your toe or fingernails for fucking, just make sure the other person is down to do it and enjoying it throughout.
KNOW YOUR ANGLES
Using the pads of your digits as opposed to the points is only step one. Tam elaborated that you should “take a shallow angle relative to the surface you’re touching. If you’re rubbing a clit, consider coming from below rather than above.”
Sara confirmed this approach, explaining that she “starts off using the pads of my fingers, palm of my hand, knuckles or tongue. Rubbing gently around the vulva, clit, anus, penis or other erogenous zone to my partner’s preference. Done in the right way, some light scratching – think dragging your nails lightly along your partner's body, or lightly across their genitals – can actually be pretty hot too.”
While Sara says she prefers doggy style for fingering, 30-year-old Emily, whose butch girlfriend actually paints her long nails for her, enthuses that “the best position for beginners is to have your partner on their back with their hips lifted with a sturdy pillow”.
She continues: “This gives you the room to explore their body with a relaxed hand, and allows the perfect angle for you to use the pads of your fingers to stroke. It's a great starting point for the newly be-clawed. Once you have confidence in your abilities, though, you can pull off any position as long as you're mindful of your hands.”
GET OUT THE GLOVES
Covering your claws with a black latex glove (non-latex, if you’re allergic) is a pretty commonplace practice for long nailed lovers in the lesbian world, but Tam warns that “very sharp stilettos could still cause an injury through gloves, so you should still be careful”.
Rex, 35, says their ex worked their way around this by “wrapping cotton wool around the tips, securing it with a light masking tape and then putting the glove on top”. Sara says this works, but she prefers to use a putty over cotton wool. If you’re not a putty kind of person, Tam also recommends that Blu Tack works just the same.
Whether you go for the gloves, stick to the clit or take them from behind, fingering with acrylic nails is exactly the same as going for a dump with acrylic nails: everyone without them wonders how you manage to do it, everyone with them knows that, with the right angle and pressure, it’s no harder with than without.