What Is Fisting Day?

Fisting day is a global event, celebrating and debunking the negative stereotypes of fisting, a act that uses the entire hand.

Fisting Day was created in 2011 by co-founders Courtney Trouble and Jiz Lee. Coinciding with the release of the banned and censored film Live Sex Show, directed by Trouble and starring Lee and the legendary Nina Hartley in a fisting scene, Fisting Day began not only a celebration, but a call for awareness – this act is banned and censored in most forms of adult entertainment, and that fear is reflected outside of the sex industry as well.

We believe that education, exposure, information, and discussion is an easy cure for this fist-phobia!

That’s why Fisting Day exists, as a day set aside to aid in the debunking of the myth that fisting is inherently painful, obscene, or wrong.

If you would like to participate, and anybody over the age of 18 can participate, please use the “Submit” form, and your contribution will be shared on October 21st. You can submit anonymously, or you can post a link to your blog, photos, or video with your name signed – we will share it with the world! If you would prefer to use e-mail, you can email your submission to [email protected]

How Fisting Day Began

In 2011, Courtney Trouble was gearing up the release the very first DVD by TROUBLEfilms. This being the first release for Courtney’s brand new company, i

Not too long ago, I was chatting with my friend and fellow Courtney Trouble, about her recent film LiveSexShow, which is a fundraiser for the Center for Sex and Culture filmed during the non-profit’s annual Masturbate-a-Thon. I performed with Nina Hartley, for an audience of pleasure activists. And the chemistry was high with me and Nina, and we jumped into each other, and we had a grand time, and during that time, her fingers and then her whole hand went inside my cunt. And then I came for the crowd and for myself, and for my friend holding a video camera for the world to see.

At least, we hope the world could see.

– Jiz Lee, Fisting Day

Live Sex Show was refused by most of the large distribution companies it was offered too due to this beautiful scene from Jiz and Nina. Courtney was asked to edit it out and submit a non-fisting version of Live Sex Show to all of these companies. Before TROUBLEfilms, Courtney was a hired director for Good Releasing, co-creating the Reel Queer Productions line with them and directing 12 full-length films – all of which happened to include fisting in the filming process, and all of which did not include any signs of fisting in the final product put on shelves. They were left on the editing room floor, elsewise, the films would not have been released.

I am a female as well as an artist, small business owner, and performer. I have spent ten years in front of and behind the camera, running my own websites and editing my own films, every single day FIGHTING for my rights as a female to have and show authentic orgasms and authentic sex on camera.

– Courtney Trouble, International Fisting Day

Courtney was obviously pissed, and Jiz Lee knew exactly what to do: Fisting Day coincided with the release date of Live Sex Show, released in full to those stores and VOD companies that would take it – every second of fisting footage in tact. TROUBLEfilms has grown from there, showing fisting – and whatever else may happen between two performers on a TROUBLEfilms set – in it’s full glory whenever and wherever it happens.

Fisting Day was Jiz Lee’s idea, and Courtney Trouble’s savior. It’s provided an outlet for exhibitionism, education, and expression among indie and thier fans, performers and vouyers, fisting pros and curious newbies alike.

Why Is Fisting Censored?

Jiz Lee keeps a beautiful account of why fisting is banned from on thier yearly Fisting Day blog. Here is the text in full. Here is the link to their blog post.

DVD distributors, retailers, and producers, are afraid to SELL if it means they might be charged with an obscenity. To date, some men are in jail or have had court orders for showing “obscene” content, such as John Stagliano and Seymore Butts. This content includes female ejaculation, enemas, and in 2001, fisting. The charges in the case of fisting were dropped with an plea bargain for a meager $1,000 fine. However this scared distributors because since that date, at least in terms of the companies who have distributed my films, fisting was NOT to be shown. If fisting was present, footage was edited out if it was visible, or left in if the camera angle was such that you couldn’t tell fisting was occurring. Why fisting?

Fisting is on the Cambria List of sex acts not allowed for inclusion in content meant for physical distribution.

From PBS:

On January 18th, 2001, Adult Video News reported on the so-called “Cambria List.”  Paul Cambria, a longtime attorney for the industry, was involved in the list’s preparation. The list is controversial within the industry and interpretations differ on how it was meant to be applied. Some in the industry say it represents guidelines for the box-covers of adult videos, not for acts they depict. Nevertheless, there is wide agreement that the Cambria List shows how the adult industry is seeking to be more careful, fearing a potential crackdown on by the Bush Administration.

The Cambria List:

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 in-cest topics
  • No forced sex, rape themes, etc.
  • No black men-white women themes

Several things are not on this list and several things are on this list which should never have been. I mean, WTF?!

I emailed Queery Bradshaw, who has a legal background and she confirmed what I expected about the legal aspects behind several obscenity trials when they come to bringing visibility to marginalized sexual practices. Particularly in terms of freedom of expression. She wrote back:

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).

Despite this go-to list, there’s more info to know about and obscenity, which is the Miller Test, which courts have gone to in efforts to determine what might be obscene when there’s no written rule. Here’s Constance Penley talking about obscenity. (Constance is a co-editor of the upcoming “Feminist Anthology” which will be made available to the gender studies classes to colleges and universities world-wide.)

The Miller test was developed in the 1973 case Miller v. California. It has three parts:

  • Whether “the average person, applying contemporary community standards”, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  • Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

The work is considered obscene only if all three conditions are satisfied.

The first points are up to the standards of the community. What community? Whatever applies! That’s what makes it vague. The last one in particular is held up to whatever is reasonable to a person of the United States as a whole. The Miller Test is basically the reason why it’s okay to have more freedom of sexuality online, while less on physical DVDs. While there are many areas in the United States where it is illegal to mail, it’s more difficult to determine online community. This is especially true for queers who at least in my case have found community online. To further prove my point, many queers think fisting is completely normal. (If not just normal, it’s amazing!)

If I had a dime for every time I’ve given a talk and had people give me a confused “WTF?” look when I brought up the fact that fisting was banned from DVDs “Why? What’s wrong with fisting?” I would have enough money to pay my way into congress and provide adequate (queer and kink friendly) education to every citizen in the US so that people will understand pleasure and sex-positivity.