When thinking fisting, the main requirement is simply lube. Everything else, even gloves, are simply things that will make the experience more fun, more safe, or easier to clean up after. What I would like to do in this post, is go through the different categories of lube, with examples, that you can choose from. Finally, I will give my own personal number one rule about lube. While lube choice is a very personal matter, I believe this rule applies to virtually every fisting bottom. So, here are your likeliest candidates:

1. Pre-mixed water-based lubes or “jellies”: These are commercially available from every sex shop and most drugstores. They basically consist of water and some type of sugar, turned into a gel, with an added preservative. A very common used for fisting is J-jelly which comes in a conveniently sized squeezy bottle. I don’t use this much but I find it ideal for sneaking into, for example, a bathhouse. Whether they are marketed as fisting lube or not, they essentially are the same as any water based lube you would be in a tiny bottle. They work well for a short time, but once they dry up they’re just a sticky mess. For fisting you’ll need to keep reapplying. However they are by far the easiest lube in this list to clean up after. A much more economic solution than the tiny bottles, and fortunately not as hard to come by as you might think, is Vetgel, which is, as you guessed, intended for veterinary use but can be easily bought online. It is much cheaper and comes in very large bottles, that should keep you pretty happy for a while. These water based lubes are generally clear and odorless, and their main advantage is that they are compatible with any kind of gloves, toys, or condoms. As I mentioned before, they dry up quickly and feel a bit sticky when they do.

2. DIY water-based lubes: These are essentially the powdered forms of the lubes mentioned above. The basic idea is you buy a powder, mix it with hot water, and shake it. Most of these lubes were, predictably, developed for veterinary use. The most famous example is J-lube, which is a reliable option, but I personally find K-lube a better alternative: though more expensive, you need a lot less powder to make a batch, which actually works out cheaper in the long run. I also find it easier to clean up after, and a bit more forgiving with getting the proportions right when mixing. If fisting is more than an occasional indulgence for you, you will definitely want to learn how to mix the right lube for yourself. This is an art in itself, and I am sure to come back to the subject soon. There are many opinions on water temperature, proportions, shaking methods, and optional additives that we need to talk about. A fun trick to note though, is that unlike pre-mixed lubes, these powdered lubes can be “reanimated”: when the lube starts drying up, dipping your hand in water will make it nice and sleep again. This is actually a pretty good technique to use for fist punching instead of having to reapply lube constantly. Another thing to note is that there are “non-industrial” options in this category: essentially baking products, a type of carbohydrate like Xantham gum, which will give you the same result. Some people prefer these “natural” alternatives. One thing to note, however, is that with these lubes being mostly sugar-based, they do spoil after being mixed – refrigeration works for a few days but they won’t hold forever. The natural options seem to spoil even faster than the veterinary ones. Finally, a tip you’ll be grateful for: the secret to cleaning up this sticky mess after play is salt. Yes, kitchen salt, the coarser the better.

3. Edible fats: Cheap alternatives to butter made of vegetable fats, usually used in baking and generically called “vegetable shortening”, the degree to which this should be called edible is debatable, but they definitely work great for fisting. Every country has its own variants, but the most famous one is the American version, Crisco. If you are in the US, do not make the mistake of buying this in a sex shop: it is much cheaper at the grocery store. In Europe Crisco is generally not sold as food, so I would recommend going with one of the European equivalents: Trex in the UK, Bizkin in Germany and so on. Crisco has a big advantage: it does not require refrigeration while the can is still sealed. It’s also generally harder than the European versions, and that is one of the advantages of these lubes: because they are solid in room temperature, you can insert them easily in “lumps” and then allow them to melt and lubricate from the inside. If you prefer the softer, more creamlike alternatives, the coconut-oil based versions are the ones to go for, and if you would prefer something natural there is always coconut oil itself. Now, about the concern that anally inserting these saturated fats into your body will make you fat or give you heart disease: Unless you are some into seriously deep fisting, you’re not going to be pushing lube into the small intestine, where the body absorbs fats. As you will discover when you are trying for hours to get the grease out of your ass, it all stays in there. An important note about any fat-based lube: these are not compatible with latex gloves or condoms, and they will eventually destroy rubber toys as well. If you are using disposable latex gloves it’s not a big deal, as they are not going to break apart before you will naturally want to switch to clean ones. Thick electrician gloves are different – the fat-based lubes will eventually start to discolour them and cause cracks around the knuckles. As these can be quite expensive, consider yourself warned. Finally, the tip for cleaning in this case is dish liquid!

4. Non-edible (petroleum-based) fats: Basically rebranded versions of vaseline or petroleum jelly, these are what you will find in most sex shops under catchy names like Elbow Grease and Slam Dunk. Some of them have variants that include lidocaine, benzocane or other local analgesics, and occasionally a chemical that gives either a cooling or warming sensation. They tend to be pretty expensive for a fairly small container, but they work well and stay slick much longer than water-based commercial lubes. They are also much easier to clean than cooking fats. Of course there are also options that are not technically sold for “internal use”, like vaseline itself and aqueous cream (in the UK). If you are thinking twice about putting these petroleum-based products in your gel, look at the ingredients and realise that the commercial “fisting” gels or creams contain exactly the same stuff: mineral oils, paraffin, alcohols, emulsifiers. So there’s not a lot of “organic” options in this category. Based on the cost alone, I tend to avoid these lubes. I don’t really think they have any advantage over cooking fats, except for the fact that they don’t need a refrigerator – and Crisco has that covered too. I used to buy a small container of the “black” or “extreme” version of some of them – it tends to be the one containing benzocaine – until I found out you can buy lidocaine as a paste for oral use without a prescription. A final note: the rules about latex and rubber apply here as with other fats and oils.

5. Silicone: The most expensive option, this is really not a practical solution for fisting. Silicone is great in many ways: it stays slick forever, it is compatible with all types of gloves and almost all toys (though do not use silicone with silicone toys, it seems counter-intuitive but trust me on this one!), it is fairly easy to clean up and we feel pretty certain it doesn’t have any undesirable health effects. Seriously though, trying to get fisted with silicone is like trying to cut down a tree with a scalpel. When it comes to fisting, silicone is a great addition when mixing your own lube, as it can keep a water-based lube “alive” longer, but on its own it’s not really workable. I would recommend that you use silicone only if condoms are going to be part of the agenda for your session.

Before I get to to the number one rule on fisting and lube, one ingredient to watch out for: Glycerine is the enemy. Glycerine or glycerole is clear gel-like substance used in many commercial lubes. However, the reason why it is normally found in this gel-like state is that it attracts and withholds water. This is what it will do to your tissues when you put it inside you. It will draw water out of your soft tissues and bulk itself up. This can have varying effects depending on how sensitive you are and how deep we are talking. Glycerine can irritate the colon or the gut, which is why it is actually used for enemas. Now, it feels pretty dumb to use an enema as a lube, doesn’t it? In the worst of cases it actually causes an intense burning sensation. In all cases it dehydrates the colon, which you really don’t want to be doing when you’re planning to further stress the colon. You might have a better experience than me, but I would stay away from any lube containing glycerine as a rule. In general, lubes containing sugars draw water from the body, but glycerine (which is actually derived from fats, not sugars) and alcohols seem to be the worst for it. 

And now, the secret you’ve been waiting for. My Number One Rule about the best lube for fisting is: all of the above. No, not any of the above, but all of the above, together. Mixing two or even three kinds of lubes together will give you the best result. As a rule, I try to use a water-based and a fat-based lube together, based on the situation and the location of play. When I mix my own water-based lube I tend to add some silicone – it used to be aqueous cream but now I prefer to make my mix latex-safe. Not to mention that I haven’t been able to find the German equivalent to aqueous cream! Now, there are two ways to combine lubes: pre-mixing, which generally means melting the fat-based lube into the warm water-based lube you made (the softer fats work better – for Crisco you might need a blender), or mixing during play, which is actually a lot easier than you might think. The general rule is to start with the fat-based lube, which acts as a coating and will stay put for your whole session, and then continue with your water-based lube which is slicker. You can also use silicone or one of the benzocaine/lidocaine “extreme” lubes as a starter instead. Any of these will tend to make your session last longer, as they will prevent that early “wearing-out” of the outer muscles which is normally the earliest sign that the bottom’s had enough.

Of course, everybody has their own experiences and preferences, but I believe these guidelines will help you find the right lube for you if you are just starting out. Really, the best thing to do if you are new is try everything out there, and make your own mind up. Because I play with many different bottoms, I also play with many different lubes, as it is, after all, up to the bottom to decide what they’re going to be putting into their body. If you have anything to add to this list, or your own preferences to share, I would love to hear from you!