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What Is A Butt Plug And Which One Is Right For Me?

Butt Plugs

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

By Stephanie Delgado and Liz Klinger, CEO & Co-founder of Lioness

Table of Contents

Whether you’re just starting to look into butt plugs or you’re a veteran conn-ass-eur, finding the best butt plug for you is a great way to add something new and spice up your sex life.

With so many choices, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Fortunately, we’ve got this great guide to butt plugs to help you find one (or more) that fit your needs.

And for those who need an introduction or refresher, we’ve put together a great guide, covering common questions like what butt plugs do, how to insert a butt plug, what options you have for size and material, and more!

What is a butt plug?

Like most sex toys, butt plugs (also known as anal plugs) are aptly named based on what they do: butt plugs are inserted into the anus and literally act as a plug for the orifice.

To someone who has never experienced butt plugs or anal play, the question “What is the point of a butt plug?” may come to mind.

To someone who has used one, however, the answer is simple: pleasure.

Why are butt plugs great?

Butt plugs come in all shapes and sizes and provide different sensations to both the wearer and their partners. Below are just a few ways butt plugs enhance or offer new sexual experiences:

Butt plugs and new sensations

Unless you’re living in a Margaret Atwood dystopia, you probably have sex with the goal of feeling good. Anal play—in all its forms—is one way to make those feel goods happen by opening up a whole new world of sexual exploration.

If you haven’t made your way to that part of Pleasuretown, however, butt plugs are a great way to introduce yourself (or your partner) to anal play.

Wearing a butt plug during partnered play or masturbation is often associated with a sense of “fullness.” This added dimension of pleasure is great on its own, or coupled with other forms of stimulation, such as penetration, vibrations, prostate or clitoral stimulation, oral sex, and more.

Butt plugs during sex

If you’ve ever used a sex toy during sex, you probably know that certain toys can be difficult to maneuver around two or more bodies. Even toys that are designed with couples in mind can present weird obstacles.

That’s not the case for butt plugs.

Depending on what position you’re in, butt plugs during sex are often out of sight and out of the way. Even when they’re visible, however, their flared bases often keep them from getting in the way of other forms of pleasure.

Butt plugs as practice for anal sex

In addition to their immediately pleasurable effects, anal plugs are a great way to prepare your body for anal sex (that is, penetration involving a penis or similar sized sex toy in the anus).

Starting with a smaller butt plug and working your way up is a great way to prepare your mind and body for anal sex. Just remember, it’s not a race. Take your time and use them for pleasure, not obligation.

Butt plugs in public

If you’re looking for a way to heighten arousal for yourself or your partner(s), wearing a butt plug in public is a great way to go. Since they are out of sight, anal plugs are very easily hidden below clothing.

In addition to public play, anal plugs are great for exploring domination/submission, humiliation, or other kinks.

While there are other toys that provide similar discreet-yet-public play time, they often fail to do what they’re supposed to. Even most vibrators designed to be worn in panties don’t stay in place or stimulate well. If you want to make a grocery trip more interesting, wearing a butt plug and whispering it to your partner in the cereal aisle is often way more arousing.

Kink wear and die

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Butt plugs are inclusive

One of the greatest things about anal plugs is they’re an inclusive sex toy. As long you have a butthole and want to use one, butt plugs are for you.

People with penises can enjoy butt plugs as a way to push on the prostate. People with vulvas can enjoy them with or without penetration or clitoral stimulation. They make great additions to all kinds of oral sex, and they’re even fun on their own.

Butt plugs are a great way to celebrate having a butthole and being able to use it for sex—sex, sexuality, gender, and relationship status be damned!

How to use a butt plug

We can’t stress this enough: if you’re new to anal play, start small and slow. And use lots of lube! While it can be tons of fun to eye that big butt plug in the sex shop, working your way up to it is important. It’s a goal and you’re going to have to work to get there.

If you’re not sure what size to start with, consider the size of anything you’ve already experienced in your anus. If it’s a finger or less, don’t go much bigger than that. If you’ve already experienced (and enjoyed) anal sex from a toy, penis, or fist, feel free to go bigger but remember the sensation may be different.

Once you have a reasonably sized anal plug to start with, follow these tips for ensuring you enjoy your new toy:

Step 1: Use the bathroom

If you’re squeamish about poop or want to minimize your risk of having any involved during your anal play, go to the bathroom before you do anything else. Keep in mind, however, that whether it's you or a partner using a plug, you are playing with a butthole. The chances of seeing or touching poop are high here.

Beyond relieving yourself, you can also use a shower head or bidet to make sure your anus is as clean as possible before inserting your plug.

Step 2: Turn yourself on

One of the best ways to guarantee a positive experience with an anal plug is to make sure you’re aroused.

Instead of jumping right to your anus, turn yourself on (or have a partner turn you on) with other kinds of stimulation. Relaxing this way is important; any hesitation or tension you have will melt away much more effectively, ultimately making inserting the butt plug much easier...and pleasurable.

Step 3: Grab the lube...and lots of it

Having anal lube on hand is the next best thing you can do in preparation for any type of anal play, including inserting a butt plug.

Since the anus doesn’t self-lubricate, there is no work-around here. Spit will not suffice, so please don’t give yourself or your partner a bad experience. Say it with me: Lube. It does a body good.

Instead, grab a lube that is compatible with your sex toy and lay it on thick. While water-based lube is generally great with sex toys, silicone-based lubricants do last longer. If you’ve got a metal or glass butt plug, feel free to use silicone-based lubes. If your anal plug is made of something else, water-based lube is the safest choice. If you’re not sure, sit aside 5 minutes well before using the two together and do a lube test (test it on the handle if it's the same material as the part that penetrates) to make sure they’re compatible.

Putting lube on a plug

Step 4: Listen to your body

For some people, anal play comes naturally. For others, it may take some getting used to.

While you explore your anus and your butt plug, pay attention to what your body is telling you. For example, if you’re having trouble inserting the plug because your anus is tight or you’re experiencing pain, don’t force it. Instead, stop trying to insert the toy and go back to steps 2 and 3. A little more arousal and a lot more lube can make a big difference.

Step 5: It’s not a race

While you may be excited about having that butt plug inserted (and rightfully so), remember that it’s not a race. Faster is not usually better, especially in this case. Getting the plug in faster has more of a chance of negatively affecting your pleasure than improving it.

Besides, slowly sliding a butt plug in can be a pleasurable experience all on its own!

Taking the time necessary to stimulate, lubricate, and arouse yourself before insertion is key to having a positive experience with your anal plug.

Bonus! Step 6: You may need to try a few times to get the hang of it

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (But only if you want to!)

If you weren’t able to successfully use your butt plug the first time, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to use it. Similar to learning how to ride a bike, learning how to use a butt plug (especially if you want to use a larger one) can take practice. You may want to get smaller plugs or try fingering techniques to work your way up to something you want.

It may take some time and patience to figure out how to use a butt plug safely and pleasurably, and that’s totally fine and normal. Once you *do* figure it out, the journey and practice will be all the more worthwhile!

I tried a butt plug and I just didn’t like it. Is that normal?

As with all sex acts, some things sound interesting in theory or are super arousing to think about but end up being a hassle or unenjoyable in reality. Other things, like butt plugs, can just not feel good. And that’s perfectly fine!

Checking off every single thing on a sexual bucket list is only important if you want to try it, not if you feel like you have to or should. If butt plugs (or anything else) don’t work for you or excite you, don’t feel bad.

Since pleasure changes over time, you may find that you’re more interested at another point in your life. Maybe trying it another time when you’re interested could yield a better outcome. Or, maybe you just don’t like butt plugs!

Either way, there is no shame to be had in finding that butt plugs just aren’t your thing.

What do look for in an anal plug

While it’s true that almost every person in the world is compatible with a butt plug, it’s not true that every toy is an anal toy.

Make sure your butt plug hits all the points below before inserting it into your body:

Flared bases are non-negotiable

So some aspects of a butt plug will be up to preference, like vibrations, material and size. A flared base, on the other hand, is not about preference; it’s about safety.

The point of a flared base on an anal plug is to ensure that—should you lose your grip—the toy is not lost in your rectum. Regular old dildos, smooth wands, or creative DIY butt plugs are a bad idea. And by bad idea, we’re saying do not ever use them in your anus.

Getting a sex toy stuck in your rectum may result in a trip to the hospital, not an orgasm. In fact, it’s very common for doctors to remove objects improperly used as anal sex toys from bodies.

Be smart about your sex toys and what you choose to stick up your anus. If you don’t want to have to tell a triage nurse that it’s stuck in your rectum, then don’t risk having something stuck there in the first place.

Besides butt plugs, rabbit vibrators are also potentially compatible if and only if the clitoral stimulator or nub is flared enough to keep the toy from becoming lost in the rectum. (We’ve actually used the Lioness Vibrator for this purpose!)

Use body-safe materials

The anus and the vagina are similar in that they’re both very good at absorbing chemicals and materials that can jump the bloodstream. Even though your toys are solid, they’re made out of materials that your body may absorb. Some toys are made of phthalates and other materials that are not body safe.

Check out the list below for body-safe materials that are not absorbent and make for great anal plugs:

  • Silicone
  • Stainless steel
  • Glass

holding butt plug

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Size and weight

We mentioned size briefly before, but it’s worth noting again. When you go in search of your first butt plug, you’ll notice they come in all shapes and sizes. Everything from short and stubby to long and skinny and in between will be available.

That said, if you’re new to anal play, start small. When you’re ready, though — and for the folks that prefer bigger or thicker toys — larger toys are out there.

In addition to the size of your butt plug, you’ll want to consider the weight as well. Anal plugs that are more weighted can provide added stimulation, however, if you’re not used to using one, it may also feel like your toy is at risk of falling out. While that’s unlikely, the sensation itself can feel uncomfortable and be less pleasurable.

If you’re looking for something lighter, unweighted silicone based toys will be among the lightest toys of the group. Stainless steel sets on the other end of the spectrum are among the heaviest options, and glass falls in the middle. (If heavier toys are a part of your turn on, there are also some silicone toys that are deliberately weighted specifically for people who are looking for that kind of stimulation!)

To vibrate or not to vibrate?

That is the question!

Some butt plugs do not vibrate — the shape and how you move the butt plug can be stimulation enough. Some butt plugs offer vibrations or rotating beads to mimic a rimming sensation—some of these are even remotely controlled. This can add yet another layer to both the sensation you experience while you use your butt plug (including whether you involve other people). If you find that you enjoy vibrations, handing the reins to a partner is a great way to explore butt play further!

Shapes, colors, and other cool designs

If design is your thing (or if you’re looking for something that stimulates you in other ways), butt plugs come in all shapes, colors, materials, and designs. You can find everything from anal plugs adorned with Swarovski, animal tails and more.

Even the base of your toy might be in the shape of something you like, such as a flower or heart!

Butt Plug Recommendations

Below is a list of some butt plugs we highly recommend for their quality, functionality, and aesthetics!

Sinclair Institute small butt plugs

Sinclair Institute

If you’re wondering what are the smallest butt plugs out there to get started, we searched far and wide to find it.

If you're just getting started and looking for something small, Sinclair Institute makes some really small butt plugs that'll get you started. They're a nice combination of not-too-expensive but also easy to clean, and very approachable when starting out.

Get it here.

B-Vibe sex toys for anal play - basic plugs, weighted plugs, vibrating butt plugs, and anal beads

B-Vibe

B-Vibe is a company that is entirely dedicated to toys for anal play. They have basic plugs, weighted plugs, vibrating butt plugs and anal beads, remote control vibrating butt plugs, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They're also made of body-safe silicone so you know that you're using something that is fun and safe for your body.

Get it here.

Njoy Anal Plug, small - stainless steel butt plugs can adapt well to temperatures for warm/cold play

Njoy

Want to play with a completely different sensation? Njoy creates stainless steel butt plugs that have a nice weight to them and can adapt well to temperatures for warm/cold play.

Get it here.

Crystal Delights butt plugs

Crystal Delights

Crystal Delights is the original creator of glass butt plugs with Swarovski crystals at the base (as well as some fun butt plugs with tails made of high-quality hair and furs!). Like stainless steel, a high-quality glass toy is also a lot of fun to play with. It has a different feel to it, adapts well to temperature, but is lighter than stainless steel and can come in fun colors and designs.

Get it here.

Batt plug geeky sex toys

Geeky Sex Toys

Nananananananana BATT PLUG!!!

If the sound of a nerdy sex toy is your match in heaven, then Geeky Sex Toys is for you. In addition to a variety of sex toys, they have a variety of anal plugs... Captain Anal? Piky Pikachu plug? Need I say more? Their silicone products are body-safe and hand poured by the creators.

Get it here.

Onward, pleasure seeker...

That's all the advice we have for you now to get started! Hopefully this guide gives you some ideas on what to look for, how to use plugs in your sex life, and some of the best and most interesting products out there. Enjoy your exploration!

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