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Guide to Butt Plugs and Anal Toys

Men and women alike fantasize about giving and receiving anal sex, but many aren’t sure how to begin.

Some are too shy to try it, others think it will hurt too much, and some men want to try it but worry that enjoying anal will mean they are gay. The truth is, everyone can enjoy anal, it doesn’t indicate anything about sexual orientation, and, as long as new users start slow and work their way up, it can feel amazing!

In this guide, we will talk about what anal sex is, what butt plugs and anal toys are, how to best play solo or with a partner, the anatomy of anal pleasure, and what the best toys are for different types of anal play.

Guide to Butt Plugs and Anal Toys

Men and women alike fantasize about giving and receiving anal sex, but many aren’t sure how to begin.

Some are too shy to try it, others think it will hurt too much, and some men want to try it but worry that enjoying anal will mean they are gay. The truth is, everyone can enjoy anal, it doesn’t indicate anything about sexual orientation, and, as long as new users start slow and work their way up, it can feel amazing!

In this guide, we will talk about what anal sex is, what butt plugs and anal toys are, how to best play solo or with a partner, the anatomy of anal pleasure, and what the best toys are for different types of anal play.

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Table of Contents

Anal Sex and the Anatomy of Anal Pleasure

Anal sex is defined as any type of erotic play in or around the anus. This can mean penetration by a penis into the rectum, but people also enjoy penetration with fingers or “rimming” (licking the entrance with the tongue).

Here’re helpful diagrams:

Male:
Female:

Male:

Female:

There are a few spots that, when stimulated, create amazing orgasms.

For men, the P-spot (prostate) is stimulated by entering the anus and massaging or thrusting into it with fingers or a dildo.

For women, the A-spot (see above) is a unique hidden spot deeper in the vagina, past the G-spot, and pressure inside the rectum from anal play can stimulate the A-spot to give a deeper orgasm.

What is a Butt Plug or Anal Toy?

Anal toys are anything that is used to eroticically stimulate or play with the anus or rectum. Butt plugs are the most common toy used, but people often use dildos, ribbed or textured gloves and insertable vibrators as well.

A butt plug is specifically meant to be inserted into the anus and be left in place. It can often look like a short dildo, but most often it has a tear-drop or bulb shape, a small neck and a wide, flared base to keep it from slipping inside the rectum. If a toy gets sucked inside by anal muscles when they contract, it will require medical assistance to remove it.

The biggest difference between a dildo that gets inserted into a vagina and one that gets inserted into an anus is use (usually people prefer to have separate toys for their vagina and their anus as to not cross-contaminate bacteria) and design (the flared base).

As long as people play safely with the right toys and take your time, anal sex and anal play can be a rewarding experience and can create intimacy between partners.

Why You Should Try Anal and How To Start

Anal is something anyone can enjoy, regardless of gender. Understanding our own bodies and what brings pleasure is an important part of developing a great sex life.

People enjoy anal for several reasons:

  • It can help them achieve intense orgams.
  • Men can access their P-spot (prostate).
  • The feeling of fullness and added pressure stimulates the surrounding erogenous zones
  • Women can experience the DP (double penetration) fantasy.
  • Psychologically, it can feel very vulnerable to receive anal and so it can help couples bond and get closer.
  • Men who receive anal pegging from their partner can explore their submissive side, and women who explore the dominant role of pegging find the act very empowering.
  • It is an easy way to add excitement and explore new things in the bedroom, even with a long-time partner.

Because of the taboo nature of anal, it can be hard for some people to talk about it with friends or learn what to do. It’s important to have the right information before you begin so everyone can have an enjoyable first experience.

For those just starting, start off simple.

  • Start clean and fresh. After a bowel movement, clean the outside of the anus with soap and water.
  • To start relaxing the muscles, apply some lube on your fingers (or a glove) and start massaging the anus.
  • The more relaxed someone is, the easier it is to enter the anus. Slow and deep breathing may help.
  • Experiment with inserting a finger (or two, or more) past the sphincter.
  • Males, look for the P-spot: it feels like a soft, spongy bulb about 2 to 3 inches inside the rectum. It’s easier to find the spot when highly aroused.
  • Applying pressure on the P-spot can induce the feeling of needing to pee, which is normal.
  • If a partner is present, invite them to explore your anus with their tongue and try out rimming.

If it feels good to play with fingers or tongue, upgrade to toys!

  • For the first time, it’s recommended to try it alone and take your time.
  • Clean the anal region: some people choose to have a bowel movement and clean with soap and water or use enemas and anal douches.
  • Place a towel beneath the ass in case of any mess and make sure to have lots of lube available.
  • Start with a small butt plug.
  • Place a condom over the plug (this will help keep the toy clean if it’s porous) and use lots of lube on both the toy and the entrance to the anus.
  • Relax, breathe slowly, touch yourself with your free-hand or a vibrator and just explore the sensation of the sphincter opening and taking in the toy.
  • If it hurts, slow down or stop and try pushing your limits farther another day.
  • If using a butt plug, once the widest part of the plug goes past the sphincter, the anus will contract around the smaller neck keeping the toy in place.
  • Enjoy the sensation. See how it feels to move your body with the plug inside.
  • Try tugging or pulling at the toy to explore the sensation.
  • When it becomes easy to slide the toy in and out, consider trying the next size up.
  • Females can try inserting a dildo into the vagina while the butt plug is in place to enjoy the added pressure.
  • For extra intensity, use a vibrator on the clitoris for women or the perineum (also known as the “taint”) for men.
  • When playing solo feels comfortable, invite a partner to join!

Types of Butt Plugs and Anal Toys

There are lots of different toys for anal play. People have gotten creative about how and what to insert inside and so there’s something here for everyone. The list is rather extensive, so here’s a breakdown below:

Butt Plugs for Beginners

  • Classic Butt plugs (small, medium, large) These plugs are typically tear-drop shaped and have a wide flange at the base to prevent losing the toy inside the anus.
  • Curved Anal Plugs Designed for better reach, these are angled to target different spots inside the anus. Great for prostate and a-spot play.
  • Anal Plug with Cock Ring Enjoy an intense orgasm by keeping the penis erect with a cock ring while stimulating the anus and p-spot. Finger Rimmers About the size of a finger, these silicone toys come in different textures and shapes for a variety of sensations.
  • Tails Think classic butt plug with an attached tail. These are great for those who enjoy Pony Play, Puppy Play, or even want to play the Devil

Anal Toys for Intermediate Users

  • Anal Beads or Pearls Are a string of round balls on a rope. One ball is inserted at a time, and then the user or their partner either pull them out slowly or all at once. People who enjoy the sensation of the sphincter being penetrated tend to enjoy this toy.
  • Beaded Anal Plug Similar to an a butt plug, but it has multiple beads on it so the sensation of being full or stretched varies on how deep the user takes it inside themself.

High Tech Toys

Vibrating Butt Plugs

  • Prostate Vibrators Specifically meant to stimulate the prostate with vibration, rather than movement from penetration. Multiple vibration settings make this a very orgasmic toy.
  • Rimming Plugs For those who love to feel the sensation of being full or having their P-spot stimulated but also want to feel the sensation on their anus.
  • Simulated Fucking Toys These toys are different from butt plugs in that they aren’t simply inserted and left in place; they are inserted and then they move, simulating sexual intercourse. With the added benefit of vibration and even swelling features in some toys, this can make for a very intense anal experience solor or with a partner.

Electric Sex

  • ElectroStim Anal Toys Are toys that offer a low current of pulsating electricity into the toy itself for orgasms that are truly electrifying.

Plugs That Double as Cock Sheaths

  • Anal Sex Sleeves, Hollow Plugs and Tunnels Sleeves add girth and texture to the wearer similar to cock sheaths. Hollow Plugs and Tunnels are plugs that are inserted into the anus, stretching them out while providing an entrance into the plug itself. A penis can then be inserted into the hollow plug to add to the stretch and allow for deeper anal play.

Extreme Girth

  • Anal Anchors These toys are insertedby pinching the tips together to create a narrow entry, but then expand within the wearer to push their limits.
  • Dilators Dilators and dilator kits are sets of butt plugs from small to large that allow the wearer to train their anus to take larger and larger sizes.
  • Inflatable Butt Plugs & Dildos Yet another way to stretch the anal limits, this time with a plug or dildo that is inserted while uninflated, then the user pumps up to the desired size before deflating the toy after use.
  • Giant Butt Plugs For new users, these may look impossible to insert. However, after lots of practice and lubrication, many anal lovers upgrade to the intense and girthy giant plugs. These are not for the faint of heart.

Extreme Depth

  • Anal Snakes These toys are made of soft, high grade silicone and are meant to be inserted past the rectum, into the colon, and through the digestive tract. The tissue is very delicate and so these toys need to be kept clean and lubricated so nothing except the lube and the toy enters this organ. For those who want extreme depth in their anal play, these toys go the distance.

BDSM

Anal Accessories

  • Enemas & Douches clean the rectum and colon of fecal matter using water. Some users clean the anus and then use the enema to fill the rectum with other liquids.
  • Anal Lube is absolutely necessary with any type of anal play. Please check our Guide to Lubes to see which lubes are compatible with each toy.

Materials & Cleaning

Silicone

  • Most preferred material used for sex toys
  • Longer shelf life than most materials
  • Easily cleaned before and after use
  • Can retain heat and cold for long periods of time so it can warm to your body temperature
  • Hypoallergenic and non-porous
  • Click here for items made of silicone

To Clean: Boil the dildo for 5-10 minutes and then wash with an antibacterial soap.

Safety: Do not use with silicone-based lube.

Rubber

  • More affordable than silicone, great for beginners
  • More porous than silicone, so harder to keep clean; requires a condom
  • Can’t easily be disinfected
  • Can have a nice, heavy weight to them
  • Click here for items made of rubber

To Clean: Rubber is very porous and the chemical composition of each brand varies. Some rubber products contain phthalates which can be harmful to your health. It’s best to use a condom with these dildos. Wash with mild soap and warm water.

Safety: Use a condom, as this material is porous and difficult to clean. Remember to switch condoms when switching between holes or users.

Realistic Dildos

  • Often made from phthalate-free PVC or TPE
  • Realistic look and feel
  • Detailed design includes veins, realistic head and scrotum-like feel that contains the balls
  • Great for maintaining the fantasy
  • We recommend trying the line of products from SexFlesh
  • Another fun addition, Squirting Dildos allow users to simulate ejaculate and feel the texture and sensation of being filled with cum as they climax.
  • Click here for realistic dildos

To Clean PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or TPE (thermoplastic rubber aka “skin-safe rubber”): Clean with mild soap and warm water using a washcloth. Dry after each use before storing.

Safety: Use a condom as this material is porous. PVC is a plastic and TPE is a rubber, meaning they are more porous and sometimes contain chemicals harmful for the body, so make sure you buy ones that are labeled non-porous and phthalate-free or use a condom with it as a barrier. This type of material doesn’t stand up well to extreme heat, so store it in a cool, dark place.

Glass

  • Non-porous, phthalate-free, body safe & easy to clean
  • Pyrex-glass means it’s fairly durable
  • Smoother than silicone, which makes it great for insertion
  • Often handmade with unique designs they are pleasurable and aesthetically pleasing
  • Compatible with any lube
  • Click here for items made of glass

To Clean: Wash with soap and water. Pyrex glass toys are dishwasher safe.

Safety: Do not expose glass to extreme temperatures. Can be used with any lube.

Steel

  • Non-porous, phthalate-free, body safe & easy to clean
  • Strong and durable
  • Smoother than silicone, which makes it great for insertion
  • Heavy and weighted for added sensation
  • Compatible with any lube
  • Click here for items made of steel

To Clean: Soak or boil in a solution of 10% bleach to 90% water for 10 minutes, place in dishwasher, or use warm water and soap.

Safety: Steel can withstand more extreme temperatures than glass. If exploring with temperature play, be careful how hot or cold the steel gets before placing it in the body or on skin as it could burn or freeze the delicate tissue. Can be used with any lube.


Vibrating Toys:

To Clean: If it has batteries: Take out batteries. Hand wash and wipe down with a cloth using soap and water.

To Clean: If it’s rechargeable: Do not submerge in water or put in the dishwasher (even if it’s water-resistant). Hand wash and wipe down with a cloth using soap and water.

Safety: Pay attention to the material used and use the compatible lube. Use condoms when sharing with a partner or inserting into the anus.

Buyer’s Guide to Butt Plugs and Anal Toys

There are so many different anal toys, it may be overwhelming to know where to start! We’d like you to enjoy your first experiences, so here are some popular choices listed below.

Beginner

Apprentice 3 Piece Silicone Anal Trainer Set Each of the three anal plugs is designed to help beginners play and discover what size fits them best. Start with the smallest size, and gradually try the larger sizes! Silicone allows for long-term wear, and the rounded tips make for easy insertion. The suction cup base allows for mounting it on any flat surface.

Aria Silicone Vibrating Butt Plug Offered in three sizes, this butt plug is great for anyone curious about anal stimulation and enjoy being aroused by vibration, as well. This particular design allows for a comfortable fit between the cheeks for longer wear.

7X Slim Curved Thumping Silicone Anal Plug Curved and slim to stimulate the prostate or A-spot, this anal plug uses vibration and thumping technology to create a hitting sensation in the anus. Satisfying to both men and women.

Intermediate

Three Bumps for Your Rump Anal Plug This plug has three bumps that start small and get larger, allowing for gradual expansion. Great for those who enjoy anal beads!

Stainless Steel Anal Hook Couples who enjoy the visual and sensual pleasures of both rope and anal play will love this anal hook. Combined with the rope, it can be used to create a pulling pressure in the anus.

Power Pounder Vibrating and Thrusting Dildo This BBC is great for anal or vaginal play. This realistic feeling cock with veins and a bulbous head offers multiple vibrations and patterns. Use solo or with a partner.

Advanced

Giant Ribbed Anal Cone This textured cone is a great tool for stretching the limits of penetration. A small head allows for easy entry to start with, then the user can push their edges as they impale themselves on an enormous cone.

Black Baller Anal Beads For those who enjoy anal beads and want to explore stretching even wider, these are the perfect choice. Pop one large ball in at a time, enjoying the feeling of the asshole stretching, while simultaneously being filled with their girth.

Electrify Your Prostate Silicone E-Stim Kit This electrifying kit combines anal and prostate play with e-stim (electric stimulation). Insert the toy and play with different levels until the contractions cause shuddering orgasms.

Safety Tips!

Use lots of lube! (This is worth repeating).
The rectum does not self-lubricate like the vagina, and so it’s not only safer, it also will feel better for everyone.

Follow all basic lube guidelines about what lube to use with each toy and condom.
Remember that like does not mix with like; never use silicone toys with silicone lube - unless it is a hybrid. Check out our Guide to Lubricants for more details.

Do not force entry into the anus.
It will tear the tissue of the sphincter and/or rectum, and lead to a bad experience.

Use a condom when having penetrative anal sex with a penis.
There are chances that entry into the anus can cause micro-tears in the delicate tissue and make the receiver more susceptible to contracting an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection aka STD).

Use a condom to keep anal toys clean.
Except for glass and steel, most toys are still porous enough to allow some bacteria from the anus into the toy. This is very difficult to clean out, and over time the toy will start to smell like fecal matter.

Avoid long, inflexible toys. The rectum and colon are soft and curved in an S-shape. Toys that are soft and bend will be the most comfortable to use and the safest. Shorter toys can be hard, straight and stiff but may be painful for those just starting out.

Expert Tips & Advice

Start small and work your way up.
Try an anal training kit that has small, medium, and larger sizes so your anus has a chance to stretch and you have a chance to relax into it until you feel like a pro.

It’s normal to feel the urge to go to the bathroom when the plug is in the first few times.
This feeling can distract new users to the point they don’t relax. Make sure to have a bowel movement before playing so you can relax and be certain it’s only a sensation and not an urge to poop.

Play alone or with someone you trust.
Anal is very intimate and can make people feel vulnerable. When done in a safe environment, this opens people up to entirely new levels of sensation, intimate bonding and surrender. For those who have pushed their limits and eventually move on to larger girths and depths, they can have the experience of bottoming out where they may feel altered or inebriated by the rush of endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine that the extreme pressure can cause. When people are experiencing fear, they trigger either tension or elimination in the bowels, neither of which are the goal in anal play. Because of this, it’s recommended to experiment in safe places and with safe people.

Use Lube Shooters to get the lubricant inside the rectum.
Rubbing lube on the entrance to the anus is a good start, but it’s important to get it inside the rectum and past the anus. This tool not only minimizes mess, it gets the job done quickly and easily.

When using a douche or an enema, allow time afterwards for the fluids to drain.
When exploring deeper in anal play, it’s nice to clean the rectum thoroughly so no fecal matter is left. Unless using an extremely long toy (such as an anal snake) most anal toys or penises will reach no more than 5-7 inches at most. After using the enema or douche, let yourself empty out as much fluid as possible over the toilet. However, if a lot of water was used to clean out the rectum, it could have gone deeper into the colon. To help ensure all the water can exit the body, walk around and stretch, move the body, and then allow yourself a second chance to empty your bowels after 10-20 minutes before sexual penetration.

Lay a towel down.
This is just in case any fluids or fecal matter do end up coming out. Most people don’t enjoy the mess that sometimes happens when trying this out, but if you’ve used a douche or enema, it will mostly be water. The thrusting motion of a penis or toy paired with contractions from the pleasurable experience can create a suction that pulls any remaining water towards the rectum. If a mess does happen, it will happen on the towel, and all you have to do is remove the towel, take a quick rinse off, and grab a new towel to continue.

Use gloves if you have any cuts or open wounds on your hands.
STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections aka STDs) can be transmitted through open wounds or blood. The chances of micro-tears in the delicate tissue of the anus is high. Any open wounds on the hand or in the anus provide pathways through which STIs can pass. A glove creates a barrier of protection similar to a condom.

Use gloves if you want to play with the anus and the vagina.
If you want to play with both, take the gloves off when you play with the vagina, put them on when inside the rectum, or use two different pairs of gloves so you don’t bring fecal matter and bacteria from the anus into the vagina.

Numbing Agents in lubricants.
There are some anal lubes that include numbing agents such as lidocaine. This can be helpful for the receiver to relax the sphincter muscles and help with entry. However, if the same lube is used on a hard penis, it can cause the penis to numb and become flaccid. It’s best to use a condom. Additionally, the numbing lube is best used when learning how to relax for the first time or with new toys, but it’s also important to be able to feel the anal region and get feedback about if something hurts.

FAQ & Common Misconceptions

Only gay men enjoy anal.
Anyone with an anus can enjoy anal. There are lots of sensitive nerves and tissue in the anus, so it is a great area to explore!

Is it safe to put things up your rectum?
Only put body-safe materials in your rectum, and always make sure the toy is not rough, or pointy (it’s very dangerous to cut or poke the internal organs) and has a wide or flanged base to keep it from getting sucked inside the rectum. Most people who experiement with anal use household objects and end up going to the hospital with RFO’s (Rectal Foreign Objects).

I can just use a dildo. I don’t need an anal toy.
While people can technically use a dildo, it’s best to use dildos that are…

1. Made with body-safe materials as the rectum and colon are highly porous and absorb whatever is put in them
2. Have a wide, flanged base.
3. Specifically used only for the anus. Because of the chance of pH imbalances and infection from using toys in the anus and then in the vagina, most people recommend using separate toys or at the very least using a condom while inserting a dildo in the anus.

Do I need lube?
Yes! The rectum does not produce its own lubrication so synthetic lubricants are necessary for safe and enjoyable sex.

Can I have anal sex and oral or vaginal and still use the same condom?
No. Anything used inside the anus should not then be used inside the vagina due to cross-contamination of bacteria.

Anal is dirty and messy.
Fecal matter is filled with bacteria. However, when an enema is properly used and a towel or “SportSheet” is placed beneath participants, anal doesn’t have to be dirty or messy.


Disclaimer: XR LLC sells these products as novelty toys only and is not responsible for damages due to use or misuse.