Health

17 Butt Plugs That Sex Experts Recommend For Safe Anal Play

Curious about anal sex? The most important thing to know if you’re just starting out, is that you can’t just stick anything up your bum. Although you might already have a drawer full of dildos, many dildos aren’t safe for anal play. It’s very important that any toy you use for butt stuff has a flared base. “If not, when you orgasm and the muscles contract, it can have a vacuum effect where the toy can slip in and get lost in the rectum,” says certified sex therapist and clinical psychologist Megan Fleming, Ph.D. That’s a good way for a sexy night to go disastrously wrong. 

The good news is that there are lots and lots of safe, fun, and interesting anal sex toys to try out, no matter where you are on your anal play journey. Butt plugs come in lots of different sizes, materials, and textures. You can find a butt plug that vibrates or one that feels like rimming (mimicking the sensation of someone licking your anus). There are also heavy, metal butt plugs that provide plenty of pressure. Or, even plugs with furry tails. 

What butt plugs are best for beginners?

The best rule of thumb is that beginners should start with a toy that’s smaller in size.  Small plugs should be roughly the size of a finger or two for easy insertion, so you can gently stretch the tissue around your anus. Eventually, you may want to work up to larger plugs, which can get as big as a fist.

Dr. Fleming suggests choosing a small metal or glass butt plug, specifically, because they’re non-porous (so pathogens, like certain bacteria, have a harder time settling into the plug) and easy to clean. Both materials are also safe to use with any type of lube, whether water-, oil- or silicone-based. 

What are some tips for trying anal play for the first time?

Lube is crucial for anal sex because, unlike the vagina, the anus does not lubricate itself. “You can never have too much lube,” Dr. Fleming says. She explains that because silicone lubes tend to be more slick and last longer, people experienced in anal play tend to like silicone lube better. The only thing to keep in mind is that silicone lube is unsafe to use with silicone toys because it breaks the toys down and can introduce space for pathogens, like some bacteria, to thrive. If you’re interested in trying silicone lube, opt for a metal or glass butt plug. 

Finally, Dr. Fleming stresses that anal play isn’t something you get right into. “I can’t recommend enough the importance of only introducing any anal play when you’re already highly aroused,” she says. When you’re aroused, your body relaxes—including your anal sphincter. So the more turned on you are, the more enjoyable anal sex will be. 

With so many options available, we asked sex educators to narrow down some of the best butt plugs out there, from finger-sized plugs that are perfect for beginners to more advanced options for people who are slightly more experienced with anal play.

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