Fingering (sexual act)
Fingering is the act of touching of the clitoris, vagina, vulva or anus for the purpose of sexual arousal and stimulation with the fingers. It is like the handjob (manual stimulation of the penis). It is a common form of foreplay  or mutual masturbation. To "finger oneself" is to masturbate in this way.
Vaginal fingering [change]
Vaginal fingering can end in orgasm. It also may or may not include the entire sexual encounter. It may be part of foreplay or part of a start to other sexual activities. These activities can provide sexual pleasure to a partner when penetrative intercourse is not possible or desirable for whatever reason.
Anal fingering [change]
Fingering of the butt and rectum is commonly enjoyed in preparation for further anal sex. Anal fingering can arouse a person, allowing them to relax their anus and prepare them for the insertion of a penis or a dildo.
The practice is generally considered safe sex as long as the hands are protected with a latex gloves.
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- Sonnex, C; Strauss; Gray (Oct 1999). "Detection of human papillomavirus DNA on the fingers of patients with genital warts". Sexually transmitted infections 75 (5): 317–9. doi:10.1136/sti.75.5.317. ISSN 1368-4973. PMID 10616355.