Articles: drugs

How to be about injury

How to be about injury

MLFB: How to be with the risk of injury

Warning: I mention suicide and drug use here.

1. A story of injury
2. Hobbies come with risks
3. The pearl with a turd in it
4. Doing it anyway

1. A story of injury
I’m prompted to write this because in recent months I’ve been in more immediate contact with fisting injuries. We did a triple interview about it on the podcast in a recent episode,  plus more people whom I know personally are getting injured (I stop short of thinking this marks an increase in injuries – it must just be time passing and my circle of fisting contacts getting ever larger). Injury can be in the form of infections from fisting (monkeypox and bacterial infections from unwashed hands occur to me), and also from my favourite kind, the one that fascinates and scares me most, the colon perforation. That is the one I am focusing on here, though you could translate what I write to other kinds of injuries such as the abovementioned. 

So yeah, I’ve been in more immediate contact with the idea of colon perforation because it happened to a friend a few months ago, someone who I met before he was a fistee and someone I encouraged and coached a bit occasionally as he began his fisting journey. We fisted once and it was beautiful, he’s got a great hole and is a very sexy young man. Then more recently, while he had been playing with someone, he had texted me saying he was worried he might have injured himself, and I helped him calm himself down and wait and see, reminding him that while injuries are to be taken seriously, they are also rare. He decided to keep playing, and then went to sleep. Upon waking up, the pain was worse, so I recommended he go to the hospital. He had a perforation in his depths, at the depth where the elbow enters the asshole. He had emergency surgery, and I visited him in hospital a few days later. He recovered well, only needed one operation and no colostomy bag (hence not needing to go back and get it reversed again). He seems to be doing well.

Another friend last night took a full foot inside his butt. He’s a beauty, smart and sweet, with a huuuge hole that I wake up thinking of with a raging hard-on. He said the foot was “an interesting experience”, reminding me of what people who take a full foot usually say about it, i.e. that it isn’t a fist and doesn’t feel quite right and maybe not some pleasure to be running back to. Again I thought of the risk of injury, which of course is heightened with a foot because it is a) attached to a leg that is much more powerful than an arm and can therefore do much more damage if it goes wrong, and b) the foot is not nearly as sensitive in terms of nerve endings and doesn’t have the same practice in anal insertion as the hand does. (You have the same brain, so if you’re a good and sensitive fister, you’ll do just fine shoving your foot in someone, I’m sure. Nevertheless, the risk does exist, obviously). Thankfully the foot inserting sounds like it was sensible (as can be), and didn’t do any damage.

Hearing of both of these cases, I thought of an acquaintance back in Australia many years ago who was a voracious bottom, back when I wasn’t even a fister yet. He was cute, young, blond, muscled, smart, would have had a great future ahead of him. He perforated his bowel riding some poor man’s arm to/over the elbow while high on crystal meth, something that he must have been very practiced at doing to be at that extreme level. We weren’t close, so I only heard all of this second hand, but my understanding is that the injury was so bad that he had to have multiple surgeries (colostomy bag included). Because we weren’t friends, I don’t know to what extent this hampered his daily life or any details about the decline in his mental health, but I can tell you that his body changed completely, gaining a lot of fat in a very short time, and in his posts on facebook he was very open about his struggle with depression. He killed himself a couple of years later. He was a big Doctor Who fan. He was you, and me. 

So when I think about injury, I think about him. And I think about calculated risks, risks in the heat of the moment, and our responsibility for our bodies and for the bodies of our play partners. When we play, we (especially whoever is topping at the time) create a balance between pushing boundaries and lowering risk (the bottom shouldn’t need to be thinking about this as much while he is off flying somewhere on the ceiling). And when I hear about friends pushing boundaries in their butt, I have to just hope that the balance of risk and safety is not being pushed off too far. I get protective of my friends when I fist them, and even more so when someone else is fisting them. At first I want to admonish them for taking extra risks; secondly I think to myself if they’re going to do it I at least want myself to be the top so that I can control the risk vs safety balance…but what stupid, unrealistic, hubristic things for me to think! People are going to play however they play, and with whomever they play with, and the safety of their body cannot possibly be my responsibility in the sex they are having with others. Also I would be hypocritical: like all fisters, I enjoy playing with risk, and have taken some very extreme risks in the past and continue to take more in the present. 

I only have two solutions for this. One is to have open conversations about risk when necessary so that in the fisting community we are making risk reduction obvious and bankrupting its taboo, together. Talk about ways to reduce risk; be clear and overt about your risk reduction ideas during a session (eg. wearing gloves if playing in public, washing hands, even something simple like adding more lube). The other is to accept that accidents do happen, and some people unfortunately endure injury and learn lessons in the process. Anecdotally I gauge that only a very small portion of those who get injured die; but that doesn’t speak to the mental health and lifestyle restrictions that injuries inevitably come with for survivors. 

2. Hobbies come with risks

We as fisters take risks, perhaps even for various subconscious reasons based on our childhood or other factors (yep, still living out my teenage rebellion). You can’t expect a risk you take to produce a win 100% of the time. Like when you play tennis, you don’t expect to sprain your ankle, but you know that there is a small risk that that or any other imaginable tennis injury could happen. You play tennis anyway, because it’s fun and it’s exercise and it’s just all-round great. For fisting it’s fun and it’s sometimes exercise, it’s intimate connection and deep relaxation and exhilaration and it’s just all-round great too. So we accept that small amount of risk that comes along in the shopping cart. I don’t expect tennis players to talk about the risk of ankle sprains often, especially not directly before a training session or a match. Likewise with most partners it would be weird and mood-killing to talk about injury risk before a fisting session (though I know I’m not alone in having had such conversations at such times). But our art involves a risk that is far further towards the life-and-death end of the risk spectrum than if we were to assess tennis’s injury risk; accordingly we ought to be having conversations with our friends about risk minimisation, keeping ourselves in check about our risk taking, preferably at other moments over coffee. Or over bowling on Sunday. It can be helpful to hear how your partners think about injury, risk, and emergencies. It can build further trust and love. And if your partners are those who would sooner throw you out on the street than help you get to hospital (yes I have come into contact with such people), you might seriously consider whom you are allowing into your hole, Janice.

What could these conversations look like? If we take a general look like at the beginning, I mentioned hand washing as something we can talk about. If it comes to bowel perforation, we can talk about the responsibility of the top to go slow, be the calculating mind in the scene. We can talk about what to do when something goes wrong, a protocol of not dismissing your partner’s concern if they are worried they might have injured themselves; taking them to hospital if there are any doubts, and how to keep each other calm in those situations. Beyond that I really don’t know. But the last thing I would want is to be ill-prepared for an emergency situation; the second last thing I would want is to not have honestly considered and actively accepted the risk associated with my hand puppetry. Knowledge is power, baby. 

3. The pearl with a turd in it

The Netflix film “Stutz” is a sort of documentary featuring actor Jonah Hill and his psychiatrist, Dr. Phil Stutz (put aside for now whatever you might think of Jonah Hill). In conversation with Hill, Stutz gives us a bunch of tools for dealing with life better. One of these tools is “The pearl with a turd in it”. It goes like this: we go through life stringing pearls on a necklace. Every task we complete is a pearl that we string; but every pearl has a little turd inside it. So tasks have that little negative element, and even really awesome lovely tasks we have to do have that little bit of turd, the thing that isn’t pleasant, but we do the task anyway because the payoff is far more than the turd. Noticing and accepting this has been helpful for me. Take getting up out of bed as an example: the pearl is that getting out of bed we start our day and get to experience the fruits of that day; the turd is that we no longer get to snuggle in our warm bed, all comfortable, cozy and safe. Fisting’s the pearl, and the turd is the risk of injury. We accept the turd, it’s not going anywhere, and it doesn’t make the pearl any less a pearl.

4. Doing it anyway

So do. It. Anyway! This is for those of you who are intimidated by injury, as I have been on and off for my whole fisting timespan. Actually, I hope you are all like me: I hope you are intimidated by injury. I hope it doesn’t keep you up at night, but I hope you are able to have some proper respect for it. But do the fisty-fisty, the schlumpy-schmlumpy anyway. Take that risk. We’ve seen that there is an inherent risk, one that you can reduce through educating yourself and being in conversation with your partners. We accept the risk, and decide to play anyway, because living a life without risk is a life not worth living (thanks Hallmark™); it’s not having the pearl or the turd. Throw yourself into the risk properly and you can even have some erotic fun with the intimacy that the collective acceptance of such risk provides: trust is an intimately erotic thing to share. And pray to the fisting faeries that your injuries are few, and that you and your partners act appropriately if they do happen.

The takeaway

So remember the above, but remember perhaps as a bottom line to take care of your mental health in the present. We can’t completely remove the threat of injury, but we have a coping apparatus: our minds. If you injure yourself, and you already have some training in things like psychological tools and techniques (like the tool of the pearl with a turd in it), meditation, responsible and open communication, and practice being loving and good to yourself, then you are more likely to be able to manage your mental health through said injury. I speak from experience these days, having experienced psychological trauma in recent years. Our mental health is the one thing we have to cling to when anything terrible happens. We need to strengthen it and rely on it when the time comes, which inevitably it does in life. Tools for robust mental health are things kids should learn in every school. We should be supporting each other to openly talk about our fears, the risks we take or have taken, and in so doing, facing the realities of injury together.

Thanks so much for reading. 

– Jaz x

Reasons Not to Spray

Reasons Not to Spray

Trigger warning

My aim here is to inform about and to discourage the use of ethyl chloride sprays. If you are triggered by drug use and overdose, consider carefully whether you want to read this, especially the testimonials quoted further down in the article.

Common brands of ethyl chloride spray so you can recognise and avoid them:

Maximum Impact


Dr. Henning’s Spray

Red Czech




(not to be confused with Hardware poppers)

Quick intro

Ethyl chloride is a synthetic chemical that was used during the 20th century for various reasons, among them to induce general anaesthesia for hospital surgery, and to treat superficial injuries, eg. during sports. The latter use required it to be sprayable onto the skin, and it is this spray that some doofus fister somewhere at some point (back in the 70s I guess?) sprayed it onto a cloth and breathed it in, just like people sniff paint to get high. If inhaled, it enables depression of the central nervous system, allowing the anal muscles as well as inner guts to be stretched further without pain. People take it for the same reasons as taking poppers, to take the edge off, which is why the two are often confused. So far so good, right? WRONG, bitch! Poppers and ethyl chloride spray are vastly different substances that interact with the body in vastly different ways. Poppers are not nervous system related: they simply dilate the blood vessels, which improves blood flow and relaxes sphincter muscles.


Where poppers have been proven to not be deadly, inhaling ethyl chloride has been proven to be responsible for killing people. Poppers = ok. Maximum Impact spray = death in a can.

The sickest part is that there are companies that market the spray legally towards gay men, despite the evidence that it is deadly. All praise capitalism! It’s a similar progression to the poppers marketing explosion that happened over the last 50 years, the difference being that poppers are not a cause of death unless you drink them (read “Deep Sniff: a History of Poppers and Queer Futures” by the wonderful Adam Zmith). The masculine thrill of Maximum Impact, Hardware and Thunderbolt lure us in cunningly.

Also not helpful is that due to privacy reasons in coronary reports, researchers are prevented from being able to compile statistics on sex drug related deaths of any kind. If someone knows otherwise, please let me know, but this is my understanding. The studies that do exist documenting these deaths can only provide isolated case studies. This means we don’t even know the rate at which people in our community are dying from this drug.

It’s personal for me. I tried taking ethyl chloride spray a few times over the past 10 years, as I was curious about what kind of feeling it could enable and how it might be helpful for the chasm I wanted to create inside my butt. My first attempts were rubbish – I just went completely numb inside and wasn’t into the feeling at all. For that reason I would go for a year or more without trying it again, but the curiosity always crept back. The final time I ever tried it, it was suddenly amazing, no lie. I was taking huge doubles from a guy I love, having the time of my life. After the fisting party ended and everyone went to bed, I was so hooked on the feeling and result that I even continued playing secretly with some toys in the playroom alone, huffing on the spray as well as sniffing poppers for over an hour. Following this experience I became more curious to learn about this substance, and that is when I first read recounts online of people dying suddenly while using ethyl chloride spray. You can read some of these accounts from partners and friends of victims further below. Knowing what I know now, it is a small miracle I didn’t die during that session.

Then last year I heard via twitter that a fisting friend in New York died while playing alone, huffing ethyl chloride spray. He was 42 years old. His partner and I got in contact, and he told me all about what happened, and how he wanted to get the information out into the community that this substance kills.

I have tried writing this blog post so many times. This issue is the most serious thing I have ever tried writing about. Not only is it about the death of someone I knew, but it is about the mortality of us all in the pursuit of pleasure. Death and sex, a bizarre combination linked in many ways, both extreme, both ultimate, both suggesting danger and thrill. As fisters we are probably confronted with the idea of death by sex sooner or later, whether it be someone you know overdoses on drugs during fisting (I do not endorse drug use for sex, but aim to always reflect how the community is), or has a bowel perforation (heard of another one just today). I have had a big long reflection in recent years around both of these aspects that bring death close to our pleasure. My stance these days is to acknowledge and have respect for the inherent risk and play accordingly, and to minimize any extra, unnecessary risk. This means staying away from drugs that are going to increase risk significantly, such as this fucking spray.

There are 4 more things I want to share with you:
– More detailed info about how the spray works;
– 8 Testimonlials
– Final thoughts – starting a movement
– Further reading

More detailed info about how the spray works WebMD says:

This medication is used to prevent pain caused by injections and minor surgical procedures. It is also used for the temporary relief of minor sports injuries. Ethyl chloride also helps to relieve deep muscle pain when used with muscle stretching techniques. Ethyl chloride is a cooling substance that is applied to the skin to numb it. This medication is for use on the skin only. It is applied by a healthcare professional. Do not apply to broken skin or mucous membranes (such as inside the nose or mouth). Do not spray into the eyes. Do not inhale the spray.

So you can see why it’s helpful for stretching out your bott-bott. Notice how the guidelines say it’s for use on the skin only. Reminds you of poppers already, with its advice to use it as a room odouriser or to clean your DVDs. Maybe this is also why we are willing to ignore the advice – we have practice with that already with poppers, and that turned out fine. And just like poppers, people take it via breathing it into the lungs (from a cloth), and the effect hits your nervous system in no time. But the exchange that happens in your lungs causes a potentially deadly problem. My rudimentary understanding of science doesn’t allow for any better an explanation than this: the spray freezes or incapacitates the insides of the lungs, making the regular uptake of oxygen into the bloodstream difficult. The more you spray, the less functional your lungs become. Spray enough, or in the wrong circumstances, and your body is unable to receive a minimum requirement of oxygen, leading to complications such as heart attack and stroke. If your lungs aren’t able to get oxygen for longer than 4-6 mins, we’re talking death – the so-called sudden sniffing death also attributed towards sniffing paint, glue etc. Ethyl chloride seems to also be capable of causing other complications such as anemia and heart arrhythmia.

Personal testimonials from an online forum
In my search for personal recounts I found a forum on specifically about people’s experiences using ethyl chloride sprays. Below are some that I really want to share with you. Many statements involve death, addiction and brain damage, so consider yourself warned. Remember also that these are people from our own community. This is so close to home. I also noticed first-hand how difficult it was to leave the spray can alone that one time, and though the temptation still exists now, reading these comments is enough to help me distance myself from the substance and not use it. I must stress my recommendation that you do the same.

Testimonials retrieved from


Maximum Impact is death in a can. My husband is addicted to that outrageously priced product and he is a mess. He doesn’t even do it for sex, but just huffs it. The aerosol needs to be banned. It leads to huffing Computer Duster…It leads to Death.


My partner died June 28th from using it. It’s called Sudden Sniffing Death.


24. March 2017: My partner was using maximum impact and poppers for years before i met him. We used them during sex and I was worried he used too many, he would basically pass out. Then about three years into our relationship I discovered him in the bathtub using them. I thought he was getting ready to play with someone else, he was not. He did them by himself. He hurt himself many times, hot water burns, scrapes, cuts, I heard him fall in the next room, had to come in and pull the soaked cloth out of his clenched teeth. I begged and threatened and tried to get him to stop. I thought he did, more than once. We stopped using it together at all. Twice after that he showed up with slurred speech for several days, it was aphasia. He came out of it both times. I was so angry. I thought we were doing well, he said he was seeing a therapist. One night recently he didn’t come home. He was found dead in a no-tell motel, he had been using inhalants. Dead. This addiction went on for more than the decade I knew him. He. Is Now. Dead.


When I tried Max Impact I loved it, but I have heard of sudden sniffing death which makes me weary of continuing to use it. I also looked at the ingredients on the bottle and found that there were carcinogens (cancer causing agents) inside it, which also made me nervous. Does anyone know if alternatives like Bolt are prone to the same dangers? I loved the way it felt but I also enjoy being alive…


Pharmaceutically it is an anesthetic and prolonged or habitual use can lead to neurotoxicity or neural damage. I’ve read that the effects will go away after a period of time, but other medical papers on its toxicity aren’t as clear. Second issue is one of its anesthesia effects. Heavy use or breathing in too high of a concentration can render you unconscious with possible lethal consequences. Another side effect is that when you go out you may vomit all over and your bowels and bladder may release with decidedly messy consequences. If you inhale/aspirate your vomit you could also suffocate. As an anesthesia while you do get “high” or euphoric, it also may deaden your sexual arousal as apposed to poppers (nitrate inhalants). Be careful and used in a well ventilated area.


I use poppers Nitrate based poppers. Was seriously curious about Maximum impact and I showed up to a hook up where I witnessed a beautiful black stud built like a god, take a hit of maximum impact and he experienced a siezure like episode and he had two of them relating to his immediate inhalation. I believe he will die from his use if he doesn’t stop. I love my community of men and I want us to have fun, but after burying 47 friends from AIDS I refuse to not ask ouselves WTF are we doing. These are extroadinarily dangerous. Please dont use them .I am not judging just scared I will lose more friends and this data is in. They are not worth the dangerous risk.


I was using maximum impact, I noticed a pulsating behind my left ear after using it. I seen my doctor had Test’s done. Turned out the maximum impact had actually killed off my red blood cells causing anaemia. I spent 5 days in hospital having three blood transfusions and one iron infusion.

Please take my warning DO NOTuse maximum impact or other brands.

It’s deadly to humans.


ethyl chloride is an industrial solvent. it is NOT poppers. it’s known to cause sudden death. it sensitizes the heart to stimulants and can causes fatal arrhythmia. all that is in addition to permanent brain and peripheral nerve damage. you might as well be sniffing glue or K2r.

Final thoughts

The big question is what to do in the community to stop us from becoming addicted to and dying from this substance. Ultimately all you can do is educate yourself, consider the consequences for yourself and your partners, have open conversations, and decide what your boundaries are. This big question of course applies to all drugs that you might be confronted with during play.  I won’t lie when I say I have made and continue to make decisions which are borderline destructive behavour, but the older I get the better I finetune where my hard lines are, and I develop failsafes to stop where I would have otherwise continued, be it with poppers, rough fisting, other drugs, or the company I’m amongst. Take the time to reflect and decide where you want your hard lines to be. It can be difficult, because sometimes it means giving up a great pleasure that you think you can’t live without. But you can and you will. Also, don’t make yourself wrong for your habits – you’re a human being!

If you think you have signs of addictive behaviour and would like help, there are plenty of programs to apply to.
Alcoholics Anonymous will also handle addictions to other things such as drugs, gambling and sex addiction, as will Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Alternatively, speak to your local health department for advice on where to go to get help for addiction and substance use.

The start of a movement?

One good thing came out of research and discussion together with a friend in Berlin. In the biggest pharmacy on the traditional gay street in Schöneberg, we noticed that ethyl chloride spray was displayed prominently on the gay shelf, together with other sex supplies such as lube, gloves and condoms. Though the pharmacy never admitted to knowing what they were doing, it was pretty obvious that this was being marketed towards gay men. With some pushy correspondence between my friend and the pharmacy, they eventually removed it from its prominent position in the gay section, thereby at the very least no longer promoting its use as a sex drug. One step at a time! Consider visiting your local pharmacies to get the ball rolling there, too.

Further reading:

Canadian Government statement about the difference between poppers and ethyl chloride (May 2019)

A case study of a death from ethyl chloride spray (first published 2019)

Be responsible for each other.
– Jazzmatazz