Anal Toys for Curious Beginners
As the topic of anal sex continues to become less taboo, even total strangers to the act—maybe like you—are becoming more curious. And you're right to be: Both men and women have loads of nerve endings in the butt, making it a highly sensitive and therefore erogenous area.
Whether you're a complete novice or you've already begun testing the waters, get ready to take a spin through how safe anal play works and several different types of anal toys.
4 tips for safe anal play
The butt is most often employed as an exit from the body rather than an entry, so there are a few pointers you need to follow to ensure there's as little discomfort as possible.
1. Time your bowel movements
"All you have to do is make sure you're not close to a bowel movement and wipe your butt beforehand," Lords explained.
If you're nervous about seeing poop during the act, Lords recommends using an enema to produce a bowel movement or douching with water to clean out the area. She also mentioned further hygiene recommendations:
"Avoid penetrating the butt with a toy, finger, penis or dildo, and then immediately penetrating the vagina," Lords advised. "If you want to move back and forth, you'll need to use condoms and change between the two, since the bacteria in the rectum should not be introduced to the vagina."
2. Use silicone or water-based lube
Make sure you have lots of lube handy. During anal play, lube is your best friend.
Moore recommends a silicone lube since it keeps the penetrative object lubricated for the longest time. However, if you're using toys, double-check the material, because if they're made out of silicone, silicone lube can damage them. If you're using silicone toys—or you're not sure—it's better to go with a water-based lubricant.
3. Start with foreplay
Before using an anal toy, it's best to warm up by "massaging your anus using your finger, your partner's [finger] or their tongue—if that's okay for both of you," Moore advised. "Start really slowly to see if you enjoy being touched there."
Once you're ready, slowly insert the lubed finger inside.
Lords suggests that as you're putting something in your butt, push out as if you're pooping. This seems counterintuitive, but it helps your butt open up to allow more of the toy, finger or penis inside.
4. Use a small toy
Moore recommends a small butt plug no larger than 1 inch in diameter that's made of medical-grade silicone. It's important that the silicone be nonporous, since you don't want chemicals leaching out and bacteria getting in.
The most important part of an anal toy is the base.
"A good anal toy should have a T-shaped or wide-flared base to avoid having it sucked in during passionate play and not get out," Moore explained. As for the shape, look for a small plug with a pointed tip that starts small and gradually gets wider for easier insertion.
Types of toys
While all the toys accomplish the same goal, it's best to explore and research the ones that sound like they'd be the right fit. Below is a list of different types with explainers on how they work and why they might be best for you.
The primary purpose of anal beads is to ease you into anal play. The beads start small and gradually increase in size as you move up the strand.
"The beads stimulate the anal muscles and nerve endings when inserted and removed," Moore explained. She described the feeling as "small pops of pleasure," rather than the feeling of fullness you get from a plug or larger toy.
Beginners should look for a starter set, one that includes three beads with different exciting shapes. These kinds of sets are fairly inexpensive, made of soft silicone and—importantly for a first-timer—they're not too big. There are also safety loops on the end for easy removal.
These are the "go-to anal toy for beginners, but experts can enjoy them, too," Moore said.
There are a wide selection of butt plugs available, but make sure you look for one where the base is larger than the plug. You really do not want to lose a toy during play.
When you're first starting out, look at an anal training kit. A typical set usually comes with three different-sized plugs and is ideal for beginners.
Some butt plugs vibrate, which can help relax the anal area when you're first getting started in a session.
"They vibrate thanks to their built-in motor or removable bullet vibrators," Moore said. "With built-in vibes, you can cycle through a variety of vibration patterns and speeds."
A good-size plug for beginners and intermediate users typically ranges from 1.5-inch diameter to 1.75-inch.
The prostate—also known as the male G-spot (P-spot)—can be stimulated using an anal toy.
"Prostate massagers are designed for the famed P-spot orgasm," Lords explained. "Some only focus on internal prostate massage, while others stimulate both the prostate and the perineum, often causing more explosive orgasms."
Both Lords and Moore recommend prostate massagers that have a larger head, but with a slim design, to pinpoint prostate stimulation.
The bottom line...
Yes, anal can be intimidating if you've never tried it before, but it can be extremely pleasurable, and provides adventurous and experimental fun.
A 2019 survey of 880 sexually active adults in the U.S. found that 52.8 percent have tried anal toys or fingers on themselves and 48.9 percent have tried them on a partner. So, really, what are you waiting for?