Article Thumbnail

How Do People Finger Each Other with Long-Ass Fake Nails?

While you’d think that prodding a sensitive hole with razor-sharp talons would be dangerous, pros and amateurs alike have figured out a number of ways to make it safe — and hot

Though the pandemic wreaked havoc on many areas of 30-year-old Cassandra’s life, the shuttering of nail salons was one of the trickier changes to navigate. A professional dominatrix with a spicy home life, she often uses her long, acrylic nails to please both her femdom clients and her husband, relying on her neighborhood salons to keep her talons preened. 

“I had a client who only ever wanted photos of fresh [nail] sets holding wads of cash,” she tells me over Twitter. Her husband, meanwhile, has another reason for loving his wife’s long spiky nails — he enjoys the feeling of sharp nails dragging across his balls. 

But while nail fetishes are very real, the average long-nailed lover faces another pressing quandary: Can I still finger my partner with these bad boys? 

The thought of someone sticking a sharp acrylic nail up your vagina or ass might sound daunting, but many people swear it’s doable (and even pleasurable) if done correctly. To find out how, I spoke to fingering aficionados, porn stars, sex educators and even nail artists about how to use long fingernails as an asset (and not a weapon) in the bedroom.

Learn the Basics

Believe it or not, fake nails tend to be duller than real nails. The added acrylic (or gel, or whatever) makes the nail thicker, and therefore not as sharp, which is why some people say their penchant for long nails is never an issue in the bedroom. Actually, that’s partially why it’s so common to see fingering with long-ass nails in porn — the nails are thicker, so they’re less pokey than they seem. 

“I’ve never had a problem with it,” says 27-year-old Isabella James, a self-titled “spiritual bimbo” and OnlyFans creator who often uses her long nails to finger male scene partners. “Any type of nail might nick on something incorrectly — it’s all about being aware and cautious of what you’re doing down there.”

Get Clean Before You Get Dirty

Unless you clean your fingernails regularly, there’s probably some nasty shit under there. According to one study, there are hundreds of thousands of bacteria per fingertip, and a longer-than-normal nail leaves room for a lot more. This is even more concerning when you consider that a long, sharp fingernail could tear someone’s sensitive hole skin — i.e., if you’re fingering them with dirty nails and you happen to injure them, you could be introducing bacteria directly into the wound. 

“Be sure to have clean hands and nails before sex,” says Stella Harris, author of Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink and Relationships. “Wash hands and use a nail brush.” 

If you’re thinking, “Wait, a nail brush?” I understand your frustration. But while a full-on sanitary manicure might not always be realistic, you should both be cleaning your hands pre-coitus — no one deserves an infection because you decided to finger them immediately after rolling a blunt. 

Lean into the Long Nail Kink

Not only are long nails generally safe for vaginas and buttholes, lots of people enjoy them for sensation play, too. “Long nails [are] a big fetish in BDSM and so is prostate play,” says Ness Cooper, a U.K. based sex consultant and dom. “It’s very common for a sub to desire scratching from a dom’s nails and then prostate milking in the same session. It’s just all about listening to your partner and paying attention to the pressure you use on different areas of the body.”

Ethan, a 46-year-old IT professional who prefers to be called “Jaguar” has been on the giving and receiving side of kinky scratches. “Acrylic nails have been broken on my back and I don’t mind it,” he says. While he doesn’t deny that it hurts, he likens the pleasurable pain to being bitten or scratched. He also dons his own removable 3D printed claws (purchased via Etsy) to replicate similar painful pleasures for his partners. 

“I know one woman who loves them, and another that used her safe word from across the room while we were fully clothed and I just put them on to show her,” he writes. “The sneak up behind and claws to the throat and raked across the belly literally makes my friend Katie shiver like a leaf.” 

Consider Using Condoms… For Your Hands

The professionals like to use a combination of gloves and cotton balls for a poke-free and painless fingering experience. Basically, the finger-er dons gloves (fancy latex gloves or even the common latex or nitrile ones you can buy at any drug store) and places cotton balls in the tips of the gloves to act as a buffer between their nails and your hole(s). 

Both Harris and Cooper co-sign the glove-and-cotton-ball technique, and Harris goes so far as to consider gloves a requirement for penetration — again, nails can be rife with bacteria. 

That said, MEL contributor Chingy Nea says she only uses gloves and cotton balls for fisting. “Generally, for playing with pussies and dicks, it’s not a problem if you aren’t flopping your hand around like a Magikarp,” she tells me.

Ask for the ‘Femme-icure’ 

If you’re not certain if your partner’s hands have Magikarp-like tendencies, you can always take them to the salon and have them ask for what GO Magazine dubs the “femme-icure.”

The femme-icure (which Harris calls the “classic sex manicure”) involves leaving two nails short (typically the pointer and middle finger on the dominant hand) while the rest of the nails are as long and wild as you’d like. “It’s a great way to combine both style and function, and can be a good conversation starter or subtle way to flirt,” Harris explains. “People who know will know.”

Of course, you can always ask for a simpler, more finger-friendly style, too. Teelee, a 27-year-old nail tech based in North Carolina, recommends short natural nails or “maybe almond if they’re feeling kinkier” for sexual activities. “I wouldn’t want any surprises under the nail, so [the] shorter the better.” 

When in Doubt, Use a Toy 

If your partner’s nails scare you, but gloves seem awkward, you can always ditch the manual labor and go straight to the toys. James uses them for penetrating her partners, but she’s fine fingering herself with her nail-daggers. “I’m in control of my hand, so I know I can [finger myself],” she says. “But I wouldn’t do it with another person as I can’t tell if I’m not hitting the spot correctly and it hurts.” 

Nea suggests a unique toy called a “pig hole” for combining nails with fingering (though they’re more often used for fingering of the butt). The modestly named Pig Hole Fuckplug, made by the brand OXBALLS, is sort of like if a plug and an O-ring had a baby — the plug stretches the user’s booty hole open, but it’s hollow inside to allow their partner’s fingers (or something else) to join in on the fun. The silicone walls of the toy would likely shield the butt from any sharp or dirty nails their partner may stick inside. 

Practice Makes Perfect

James says that acting like you can’t finger someone because you have long nails is similar to acting like you can’t take your contacts out with long nails. “You can, you just have to be cautious,” she tells me.

So, next time your partner cites their nails as the reason they refuse to take the trek downwards past your gooch, remind them that fingering a booty hole with acrylics is just like any other skill — if they put 10,000 hours in, Malcolm Gladwell will call her an expert.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information