How to choose an anal toy
Anal play can add variety to your sexual repertoire, not to mention awesome pleasure and enhanced orgasms. You know what especially rocks about anal play? Anyone can enjoy it! The anal opening is full of sensitive nerve endings that just love to be stimulated. Inside the butt, there is even more fun to be had. Many folks with vaginas experience anal pleasure because the clitoral legs extend to the anus. Most folks with penises are blessed with a prostate gland, which can facilitate intense orgasms when stimulated.
Of course, we are big fans of utilizing sex toys during anal play. Introducing toys is a good way to experiment with the many sensations of anal stimulation. Selecting an anal toy can seem like a daunting task, but we’re here to take the guesswork out of the process. Don’t worry; it won’t take too long, and you can get to playing with your butt very soon!
Before we get started on helping you find the butt toy of your dreams, here are a few important rules for anal play.
- Always use lube when playing anally! We recommend a thick, cushioning lube, such as Sliquid Sassy, Almost Naked, or Sutil Rich Fine Botanical Lubricant. For a super targeted lube experience, pick up some Lube Tubes. If you are using a toy that is not made of silicone, you can use a silicone lube such as Uberlube or Migliori Lubricant, which is a thicker silicone lubricant that has the cushion of a water-based, but the slickness of a silicone. Lube is absolutely necessary because the butt does not self-lubricate. The walls of the rectum are sensitive and thin, and they can be irritated by too much friction. Lube greatly reduces the amount of friction, making for a smooth and pleasurable experience.
- Make it a rule that only toys with flared bases are welcome in your ass. Without a flared base, the toy could get lost in your colon, resulting in a trip to the emergency room.
- Relax and don’t rush. If you’re new to anal play, try having an orgasm first, or have someone give you a massage so your anal sphincter muscles will be more relaxed. If someone is using an anal toy on you, communicate with them constantly. If, in the midst of using your toy, you begin to feel pain: stop.
- To avoid vaginal infection, never take a toy that has been in the ass and put it in the vagina. If you want to do this, use a condom on the toy and replace it when switching orifices.
Gauge your experience level — and be honest
Above everything else, size is the most important factor when it comes to anal toys. It can be tempting to be ultra enthusiastic and try to challenge your ass, but you should do so slowly. The butt is delicate, and toys often feel bigger than they appear. A few of our anal toys come in multiple sizes, so you can graduate to bigger diameters on your anal journey. If you’re interested in that, take a look at the Pleasure Plugs, the three sizes of the Fun Factory Bootie, and Pure Plugs.
If you’ve used fingers for anal penetration before, that is a good way to determine what size anal toy you’ll want (toys are usually measured by diameter, so try to estimate diameter). Here are some guidelines for choosing a size based on your experience level.
Beginner: You’ve never used an anal toy, or have only used small anal toys or a finger for anal penetration. Stick with a diameter of 0-1″ or so, and a lightweight or pliable material (hard plastic or silicone). Don’t get a toy that looks especially long. Avoid unique shapes or textures, or toys that bulge out a lot in the middle. Ultimately, just keep it simple! Our favorite beginner toys are the Baby Carrot Butt Plug, the small size Pleasure Plug, Portland Toy Company Gem, Aneros Helix Syn, and Fuze Quattro. You’ll probably want a butt plug (more on them below), as they allow your body to adjust to the sensation of anal penetration.
Intermediate: You’ve had experience with anal toys and feel ready to try something new, or something a bit larger. Stay in the 1-1.5″ diameter range, roughly. You can graduate to heavier materials, like glass, or introduce some movement, like with the b-Vibe Rimming Plug Petite. Perhaps anal beads sound interesting? A lot of folks are also very into vibrating anal toys, and one of our favorite is the We-Vibe Ditto, which is also app-compatible!
Advanced: You know who you are. You want something large and in charge, with a diameter of 1.5″+. The large Pure Plug is probably right up your alley, with both its weight and size (not to mention its shininess!). If you can handle more length, you can look into dildos with flared bases. If you would consider yourself a very advanced player, check out the Pure Plug 2.0 or the OxBalls Rosebud Plug.
What do you want it to do?
Moment of truth — do you want this toy to stay put in your ass, or do you want it to move around? Keep this answer in mind. If you have a prostate, you may want a toy that is built specifically for stimulating it. Or perhaps you’re looking for something to penetrate a partner with, so you may want a harness-compatible and butt-compatible dildo. There are several types of anal toys, all meant to stimulate in different ways.
Butt plugs: Butt plugs are the most popular type of anal toy, for both beginners and veterans. They are meant to be inserted and then left inside. Butt plugs come in all shapes and sizes, but they generally have a narrow “neck,” which the sphincter naturally closes around, right before their flared base. Because butt plugs stay inside, they help to relax and open up the anus. They can be worn during virtually any activity, from intercourse to masturbation to grocery shopping, to create a sensation of fullness. During sexual activity, a butt plug may even intensify your orgasms, as your muscles contract around the plug.
Anal beads: Anal beads are a series of connected, often graduated spheres, and they’ve come a long way in recent years. They used to be horrifying little PVC beads on strings (yes, actual strings). Now, there are body-safe options such as the Blush Novelties Luxe Silicone 10 Anal Beads and the Petite Sensations Pearls, which are made entirely of pure silicone. They’re floppy and can be manipulated any which way. Anal beads are meant to be inserted one by one, so you can take your time and allow your body to get used to the feeling before inserting more beads. The best part is, you are in control of the amount of fullness you feel!
When used during vaginal intercourse, anal beads may shift around and stimulate you that way. They can also be gently tugged on before or during orgasm, so that the popping of the beads pairs with your muscle contractions for an enhanced climax.
Prostate toys: Prostate toys have a specific goal in mind: to stimulate the prostate gland in folks who have one. The prostate is located about 2 inches into the anus and, when stimulated, can produce unique pleasure and powerful orgasms. Like the G-spot, the prostate responds best to curved toys. Many toys that were designed for prostate stimulation — like the Duke and We-Vibe Vector — are meant to work their magic hands-free. G-spot toys may also be used as prostate massagers, but only if they have flared/pronounced bases. (Hint: if you’re an advanced player, the Pure Wand might just blow your mind.)
Dildos: As long as a dildo has a flared base, it will work for anal play. Anything labeled “harness compatible” (vibrating and non-vibrating) is safe. Dildos are often longer than butt plugs, so ensure that you can handle length first. Dildos can be hand-held, or used in a harness. If you’ll be anally penetrating someone with a strap-on, look for a dildo with a gentle curve, a smooth texture, and a diameter that your partner can handle. We like the Mistress and Trinket, or if you’re looking for realism, Spur or Mustang. Double-ended dildos like the Fuze Tango Real can be used in a similar way, with or without a harness.
Just a couple more questions!
You probably have a good idea of what you want at this point! You know what size and type of toy sound good to you. Now there are just two more questions to ask yourself. These should seal the deal.
Which material do I want? Silicone is a pliable, all-purpose material that warms quickly to body temperature. Then there are smooth, hard materials — wood, stainless steel, plastic, and glass — which are best for targeted stimulation. The weight of a material can also add intensity to the stimulation. Stainless steel is the heaviest (most intense), followed by glass, silicone, wood, and plastic. All of these materials are non-porous and body-safe, but the heavier materials should be used with extra care.
Do I want it to vibrate? Vibrations can help your butt relax, but they may also tickle! Still, one of the great things about vibrating toys is that you don’t have to turn on the vibrations if you don’t want to, so if you’re intrigued, check out our vibrating plugs, vibrating prostate massagers, and vibrating dildos!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the perfect anal toy for you! For more in-depth information on everything anal, we carry several books about anal sex, such as Anal Pleasure & Health or Anal Sex Basics: The Beginner’s Guide to Maximizing Anal Pleasure for Every Body.
Finally, if you have more questions, feel free to reach out to us via the web chat feature in the bottom left-hand corner of our website. We’d be happy to help!