You’ve seen them in porn and heard about them in jokes about lost bets– butt plugs and anal beads. The final frontier for some of us grown-ups, but a well-worn trail for others. If you’re here, more than likely anal sex is new ground for you, but perhaps you’ve experienced digital/manual anal play (as in, maybe you’re playing with fingers and tongues but haven’t quite made it to penetration yet). Never fear, brave adventurer. Your favorite professional slut is here to teach you how to pick one out!
This post won’t address anal prep! You’ll have to come back when I’ve written that post in order to read it!
The Most Important Rule
The first and most important rule about putting a toy in your butt is this: it must have a flared base. This means that the part that stays outside your body goes from very narrow to very wide, like in the lovely photo I’ve included here. If you do not use a toy with a flared base, you risk losing it inside your ass. “But Kay,” you say. “You must be exaggerating in some way.” I totally the fuck am not, my dear, horny friend.
See, the anus is known amongst doctors, biologists, and other weirdos as an “open cavity.” This means that, unlike the vagina, which is closed off by the cervix and therefore nothing inserted inside can be “lost” (I will say, things can get stuck in the vagina, which is an important distinction here, and a conversation for another day), the anus is not closed off by any additional organs, and foreign objects can go missing unless anchored by a flared base. “But Kay,” you protest again. “Surely I can just poop it back out if this happens?” If you’re quick, yes! But if you’re enjoying yourself, or you panic, or you change positions, or or or any number of things! Wouldn’t you rather just start off with a flared base, like you’re supposed to, and have a worry-free sexual experience? I rest my case.
Where To Find One
In a changing world, the only real constant is e-commerce. Here are my favorite small shops in the business of pleasure, discreetly shipping their responsibly-crafted adult wares to your home.
- Smitten Kitten Located in my beautiful home of Minneapolis, Minnesota, this vibrant, queer-owned and operated toy store has my favorite selection. Their inventory contains the best of the toys in the industry, from the smallest of silicone-pourers to the newest in sex technology. I can’t wait for their retail shop to open up again! I miss browsing in their warm, friendly atmosphere.
- Spectrum Boutique This Detroit-based toy shop has both a vast collection of carefully-curated toys and an advice column that is so worth reading. Only follow this link if you want to also lose a couple of hours reading their amazing content. But first, browse the shop. They’ve probably got the perfect first anal toy waiting for you, ready to ship!
- Beauglyful Holy aesthetic. This is my favorite naughty Etsy shop. If you’re the type of person who keeps their sex toys out as decorations and you want synchronicity in your tools, shop with this fabulous store.
Okay, So What Do I Look For?
Sex toys are made of a wide variety of different materials, some far safer to use in your body than others. Here are the three main categories of toy materials, and what I suggest to look for, and what I suggest you avoid!
Medical grade silicone is safe for your body because it is non-porous and of the safe material squad, feels the most like skin. It’s probably the most popular thing to find butt plugs and anal beads made of these days, and it comes in a variety of price points, though you’ll find the vibrating variety is spendier. I have plenty of silicone toys and use them frequently, but silicone isn’t actually my favorite anal material…
Here’s my favorite anal toy material. As safe for your body as they are pretty and versatile in use, I think of glass as the premium toy for booty exploration. But the real reason I love using glass toys? You can safely use silicone lubricant with glass toys, which sets it apart from silicone toys. Never heard of the silicone lubricant rule? Read all about it in my lube post here!
The Bad Shit
Skip it. Yes, it’s cheap, yes, the girl on the package looks as innocent and new to anal as you are. Ignore her. She sells you lies made of suspicious plastic with so many microscopic holes to hold bacteria inside. Turn away. Find another material.
But what else do I want out of a first toy?
As with anal play of any kind, the best advice remains to Go Slow. If this is your seminal foray into butt stuff, find yourself a plug which is no thicker than the girth of three of your fingers together. This way, you have the ability to work yourself up to accommodating the toy manually, and reduce your risk of injury. If it’s within your budget to do so and you’re feeling ambitious, seek out an anal training set, which usually contains 3 plugs of different sizes to allow you to work your way up gradually.
Don’t get hung up on fancy toy features just yet. In fact, with your first anal toy, I would encourage you to even skip the vibrating ones. No, really! For some folks, the enjoyment of anal play comes from the feeling of being filled alone, and the extra movement is… overwhelming. Try a static (non-vibrating) toy first. If you are a person with a prostate, some of the most stimulating toys designed for your body are simply shaped to place pressure on the prostate, and many folks find that does the job just fine.
If you’re planning on solo play, I would further recommend checking out ergonomically-shaped anal toys. Designs that allow stimulation through internal flexing alone are an incredibly comfortable option. There are also these plugs that feature a bottom that allows you to rock against a hard surface for added stimulation.
You’re not going anywhere without a bottle of something slippery! The anus does not self-lubricate (so grateful, that would be gross) so you’re going to need to bring your own moisture to this backyard party. Yes, you can use spit… but should you? Only in a pinch, and if you’re buying a toy anyway, you might as well grab some lube.
You’ve got three options when it comes to personal lubricants, but only two when it comes to sex toys.
The most popular sort of lubricant, least likely to stain your bedsheets because water is washable! Thicker varieties of water-based lubricant are ideal for anal sex, because the downside of using it is that you’re going to need more when your body eventually absorbs it during play, and as with all sex, the wetter the better! A versatile and excellent option, but if you’re looking for performance and luxury, I gotta recommend…
The silk! The slip! Silicone-based lubricant is perfect for anal sex, because its synthetic nature creates as much slip as you need, and possibly then some. Unfortunately, you can’t use it with your silicone toys, because it will melt the finish, and that’s why my winning combo will always be silicone lube and glass toys for the anal new-cummer.
Not today, soldier. There’s a time and a place for oil-based lube, but not with toys. Oil will also disintegrate the material of your beautiful toys. Save it for when you’re ready to take a real human fist.
My final piece of advice, specifically around my winning combo of silicone-based lubricant and glass anal toy: try to do it on carpet instead of tile. Slip is good, but breakage is real.
Alright, my pupil– you are ready. Armed with adequate knowledge and savvy tips, you will make the most informed choice on a first anal toy possible. I believe in you; have fun, and happy loving!