How To Hookup With A Girl When Your Nails Are Long AF

You don’t have to trim those chic talons, we swear!

Photo by Unsplash

The queer internet has been abuzz about one topic lately. Fingernails. The ever-lasting debate about whether or not people can finger f*ck with long, luxurious, lacquered nails. And as your resident queer sexpert, I’m here to let you know that yes, you absolutely can f*ck vaginally and anally with long nails.

While I thought this discussion was settled a long time ago, I’ve been watching as think-piece after think-piece comes out taking a decisive stance on whether or not queer femmes can rock acrylic nails and still have sex. And while everyone has a lot to say about acrylic nails and queer sex, no one is really giving any guidance on how to successfully do it with long AF nails.

When I first came out, I was persuaded by my queer elders that long nails just weren’t a thing for queer people who liked to finger f*ck. There was this predisposition that femmes who rocked these nails were all pillow princesses or consistently bottoms. All of this is simply incorrect. Not to mention, shaming femmes with fabulous nails is layered with so much femmephobia — nails have historically been a way femmes flag to our community that we’re here and hella queer.

“I don’t understand why everyone gets so turnt and dramatic about this. In college, I had acrylic nails and so did my girlfriend. We regularly had penetrative sex. Acrylic nails are actually way blunter and less sharp than natural nails — as long as they aren’t filed to a point, there is not much risk in cutting. So we can all stop being so thick skulled and admit that it’s possible,” says fellow GO editor Dayna Troisi.

I’m also unsure how people who think that long nails are going to jab someone’s vagina or anus are having sex. When you’re fingering someone, you want to use the pad of your finger against their g-spot — and if you’re fisting, you use the base of your knuckles to give them pleasure. And when you’re stimulating someone’s clit, you also want to use the pad of your finger (or your tongue).

“I recommend leading with the pads of your fingers with your preferred lubrication! Take it slow, check in with your partner and you can be successful with longer nails,” says Ty Chantal, a femme who rocks extended nails. “I honestly have felt it’s so much fun with my nail extensions in both receiving and giving perspectives!”

Plus, an acrylic nail softly dragged along the vulva feels hot AF — but maybe that’s just me. Either way, there shouldn’t be any horizontal nail jabbing happening here that will endanger the babes you’re having sex with (and if there is, let it be consensual and because y’all find pleasure in that pain).

Chantal make a valid point that there is a certain finesse to having sex with long, pointed nails. At first, you might clumsily poke your partner somewhere awkwardly but it would actually take a lot for your nails to “tear up her vulva” as many Reddit and Twitter users are wont to say. If you’re a newbie to having sex with long nails, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Regular nail maintenance — no matter length.

First of all, whether you have short nails or claws — nail care is definitely important when it comes to fingering. Painful fingering doesn’t come from the length of the nail, it happens when there are jagged edges or hangnails or chapped fingers. Manicured hands give for a much more pleasurable f*cking experience. Acrylic nails are actually going to be much kinder to someone’s pussy or anus than natural nails that have rough cuticles.

Practice makes perfect.

If you’re nervous about jabbing your partners inside with your talons then have fun practicing on yourself. Yes, I mean masturbating. All you baby femme dykes out there, just lube up and explore all the ways in which you like to use your nails on yourself.

Trust me, you will perfect your long nail sex tactics in no time. No matter the nail length, if you know what you’re doing — all of your partners orifices are safe in your hands.

Gloves and cotton balls or silly putty. 

If you like to go for lacquered nails that have a stiletto tip, then you might want to invest in some cotton balls or silly putty and gloves. You just stuff a bit of cotton or silly putty into the tip of your nail to soften it and cover with a glove (might I suggest nitrile, which you can find in many different fun colors). Gloves are great to have on hand for sex regardless of nail length. They help protect from sharing STIs and can be great for enhancing your fisting experience.

If you’re anally penetrating your partners, gloves are pretty standard because anal tissue is delicate, more so than vaginal walls. And again, whether you have long or short nails — gloves can be a great additive for anal sex (and of course, lube).

If this seems like a lot of maintenance for you, then you can keep your manicures rounded with a smooth tip so all you need is a little bit of lube.

Enhance your play with long nails.

There are so many sensations you can explore with long nails. You can gently trace your nails along your partners skin for a soft and incredibly relaxing sensation. While long nails might look intimidating, they don’t have to cause pain during play. Unless that’s desired.

You can make straight lines with your nails, I’d suggest starting off with little to no pressure and building up to an intensity that the recipient finds pleasurable. There’s also the technique of flipping your nails up and down with your stroke. You start by scratching with your finger tips down and then go in the opposite direction with the smooth side of your nail going into their skin. Long nails can also be used stationary for digging into your partners skin making indentations or even drawing blood.* After intense scratching or nail digging, using the pad of your fingertips to caress their skin can be soothing for you partners.

* If you are exploring with blood play, be sure that all partners have been tested and know their status and that appropriate barrier methods are used (unless you are fluid bonding).

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It’s personal, babe. 

“Though it is possible, I prefer to f*ck without fake nails. Short well kept nails are easier and just feels better on both ends, in my personal opinion. But everyone is different. I say do you, babe,” says Troisi.

Only you get to decide how you want to f*ck and how you want to get f*cked. If you love what nails add to your sex game, then go for it. But if it’s not for you, then you have every right to say no.

“I love the aesthetic of wicked long, Lana Del Rey stiletto nails but never thought I could have them because I like to get down and dirty with the sex and I don’t like anything — even the most gorgeously decorated long AF nails to get in my way,” GO editor Zara Barrie says.

“One time when I was in the throes of a bad breakup I got super long acrylic nails in hopes to NOT HOOKUP with anyone, sort of to protect myself from ~temptation~ because I was in too dark of a place for one night stands. Alas, it didn’t work. I still had a one night stand, but luckily I have flexible fingers so I sort of stretched them and was still able to make the girl cum.”

But I also like to employ a general rule of thumb to not yuck anyone else’s yum — basically don’t say “ew” or “not possible” to what gives other people immense pleasure. Making generalized statements that femmes with fabulous nails can’t finger their partners is absolutely NOT okay (and not true, as you now know). Just because you’re not into it, doesn’t make it impossible or not pleasurable.


The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace or substitute for any medical, or other professional advice or help. For concerns requiring psychological or medical advice, please consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist This column, its author, the magazine and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice contained within this column.