Already into anal and want to know how to use a butt plug? Just peach-curious and still wonder 'what is a butt plug?' We've got you.

By Gabrielle Kassel
August 13, 2019
anilakkus/Getty Images/Amazon

If there's anything the internet loves more than Monday memes or a Beyonce scandal, it's anal sex. Seriously, stories on anal sex positions and the best anal sex toys are alive and well on the interwebs, but what about the OG butt plug? Alicia Sinclair, certified sex educator & CEO of b-Vibe, an anal play product company calls the butt plug "the pleasure product for any body and anybody".

One important note about butt plugs that you might not know: Just because you use a butt plug don't mean you have to have anal sex.

Here, sexperts explain what a butt plug is (and how the heck it's different from other booty toys), why it deserves a place in your bedroom, and how to use a butt plug for maximum pleasure.

So, What Is a Butt Plug?

Plugs for your bathtub; plugs for your ears, plugs for your butt—they're all intended to go in and stay in. Well, until you're done using them that is. Simply put: "Butt plugs go into your back hole and stay while you play," says Sinclair.

The specific shape of the butt plug is what makes it a butt plug, she says. "It has a tapered end for easy entry, a larger bulb for the sphincter to rest against, and then a thin neck and a flared base for easy removal," she explains. That flared base is very important for retrieving the toy. Unlike the vagina which ends at the cervix, the anal canal keeps going and going and going up to the digestive tract and colon. "If a toy doesn't have a flared base, there is a chance that it gets sucked inside the body and stuck in the colon," says Sinclair. Simply put, when it comes to butt plugs, go with a flared base or go home.

There's a decent bit of variation in the look of these bases. Some toys have ring-shaped (like these Satisfyer Anal Plugs; Buy It, $14 for set of three, amazon.com or this NJoy Pfun Butt Plug; Buy It, $63, amazon.com) bases, some have simple handles (like the Doc Johnson Mood Plugs; Buy It, $16, amazon.com), and there are even tail butt plugs (like this Levin Stainless Steel Anal Plug; Buy It, $19, amazon.com) that, yep, resemble an animals tail, if you're into that.

Wait, are butt plugs different from anal beads? If you've never seen anal beads, they look kind of like a bulky string of pearls (Can't visualize? Check out the Utimi Silicone Anal Plug; Buy It, $17, amazon.com). "Anal beads are intended to be pulled in and out, as opposed to the butt plug, which stays just stays put," explains clinical sexologist Megan Stubbs, Ed.D. The sensation is pretty different, she adds. (Related: Your Guide To The Twelve Main Types of Sex Toys).

Okay, and what about butt plugs versus dildos? For starters, dildos don't have a flared base. "You wouldn't want to insert a slimmer profile dildo into your butt and then leave it there," says Stubbs, for similar "lost and found" reasons. However, she says using a strap-on harness and dildo for butt play is safe. Just know the sensation is going to pretty different. (Related: 14 Best Vibrators to Use with a Partner)

Why You Might Want to Use a Butt Plug

If you're clenching your glutes at the mere thought of wearing a butt plug, consider this: "The anus is loaded with nerves and is super, super sensitive," says Sinclair. "And while that means anal sex can be painful if not done slowly, carefully, and with a lot of lube, that means it also holds a lot of pleasure potential," says Sinclair. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Lube)

"You can a butt plug them during almost any sexual act—regardless of your or your partner's gender, genitalia, or sexuality," says Sinclair. Yepp, butt plugs can be a great addition to a good 'ole dry hump, oral sex, manual sex, penetrative sex with a penis or dildo, and more.

Butt plugs are great during penetrative play if you enjoy the sensation of feeling full or stuffed. "The anal canal and vaginal canal are next-door neighbors, so when you put a butt plug in, it decreases the width of the vaginal canal," explains Sinclair. This increases the chances that your partner will hit your G-Spot. And if your partner has a penis, it can create more pressure that feels good along their shaft, she adds.

Sinclair compares receiving oral sex while wearing a butt plug to receiving oral sex while having your nipples played with. "It makes the play a more full-body experience," she says. Plus, if the butt plug is long enough, it may even hit your A-spot (also known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone), which is located a few inches deeper than the G-spot in the vaginal canal and can be reached during anal penetration. You just might get to experience the coveted blended orgasm. (Related: 7 Different Types of Orgasms You Probably Didn't Know You Could Have)

And remember, "while butt plugs don't have to equal anal sex, they are a great way to work up to anal sex, if that's something you and your partner might want to try," says Sinclair. This is called anal training and entails teaching the anal sphincter how to relax by slowly increasing the size of your butt plug (over the course of weeks or months!) until you're ready for penetrative anal sex. There are kits like the B-Vibe Beginners Anal Training Kit (Buy It, $65, bvibe.com) and the Blush Novelties Anal Butt Plugs Training Kit (Buy It, $21, amazon.com) made for this exact use.

How to Prepare to Use a Butt Plug

Even if you want to get ~down and dirty~ you probably don't actually want to get…dirty. So, let's not beat around the bush and get the poop question out of the way. Here's the deal: Waste is stored in your upper bowel, not in your anal canal where the butt plug will be hanging out, so any fecal fears you have are pretty groundless, according to Sinclair. You can do a little pre- or post-clean-up if you want with a fragrance- and chemical-free wet wipe or a shower if you want. (See more: How to Prepare for Anal Sex, According To Experts).

Ready to get down to business? If you remember one thing from this article make it this: Never use a butt plug without lube. "The anus is not self-lubricating like the vagina is, so having some on hand is a must," says Stubbs.

Keep in mind that silicone-based lubes aren't compatible with silicone-based toys—silicone attracts to itself, so using the two together can warp your plug and create a tacky/swirly texture. That's why Sinclair says, if you're using a silicone plug, use a water-based lube.

If you're using a glass or stainless-steel plug, though, silicone lubricant is a great option because it's thicker and typically lasts longer, says Sinclair. (Related: I Tried Foria Weed Lube and It Totally Changed My Sex Life)

Lube isn't the only ingredient in pleasurable butt plug use though. You also need foreplay to help prep the body for insertion. "You wouldn't go from kissing to vaginal penetration, would you?" asks Sinclair. Follow that same principle for butt plug use…and then go three to ten times slower, she says.

Then, when it's time to insert lube up the anus and the toy, inhale, and slowly press the butt plug to your anus. The best position for inserting a butt plug comes down to personal preference. Stubbs says that if your partner is putting it in, lifted missionary or doggy style work well. If you're inserting a butt plug yourself, you might try putting it in like a tampon (by bending over and then going between your legs). Now that it's in? Enjoy! (BTW: No, anal sex isn't supposed to hurt.)

Where to Buy a Butt Plug

Whenever you're purchasing a sex toy, you want something made out of a non-porous material—that means that the toy doesn't have any tiny microscopic holes that bacteria can get lodged in. For a toy that's going to come into contact with the bacteria in/around your anus that's of utmost importance.

"Porous toy can also absorb any lubricant you use, and this is going to cause the area to dry out more quickly," says Sinclair. Plus, porous materials can cause sex toys and butt plugs break down over time." (See More: How to Buy a Safe, Quality Sex Toy).

Opt for silicone, stainless steel, or glass butt plugs. "Silicone is best for beginners because it's flexible, so it will move with your body," she says. "But metal and glass toys can add a nice sensation of weight, are really easy to sanitize, and will work with any lubricant."

Beginner Butt Plugs

Start small. Like, ridiculously small (especially if you've never had so much as a finger back there). Hold up your thumb…that's about the size you're going to want for your first beginner butt plug. The B-Vibe B-Vibe Snug Plug 1 (Buy It, $35, amazon.com), Doc Johnson Naughty 1 (Buy It, $16, amazon.com) or Naughty 2 (Buy It, $11, amazon.com) and Tantus Little Flirt (Buy It, $27, amazon.com) are all great beginner butt plugs.

When you're ready, there are a few ways to upgrade your butt plug. For starters, you can increase the diameter or length of the plug. Tango specializes in making girthier butt plugs, and the Doc Johnson Platinum Premium Silicone Plug (Buy It, $23, amazon.com) and the B-Vibe Snug Plug 4 (Buy It, $55, amazon.com) are great options, too.

You might even try a vibrating butt plug or rotating butt plug like the Doc Johnson Platinum Premium Vibrating Plug (Buy It, $34, amazon.com). "This can add a whole new level of sexy sensation to plug use," says Sinclair. And if you're feeling fancy, you can always try Lelo's 24 Karat gold butt plug, Earl (Buy It, $2,590, lelo.com). Luckily, you don't a golden butt plug to have a luxuriously good time.

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