When it comes to anything going near your region back there — and yep, that means your anus — there's a good chance that you probably aren’t the biggest fan. Because of cultural stereotypes, most heterosexual men are hesitant to explore any type of backdoor play, worried about what it says about their sexual orientation or why they can feel stimulated in a region not typically associated with pleasure for men. While many guys will experiment with a little anal finger play, and will likely be interested in penetrating their sex partners' anuses — their experiences with tantalizing their own anal areas is likely limited. If you're
Let us be the first to shed some light on this for you: there are so many ways to make yourself incredibly turned on when you let go of a bit of control. In addition to fingering and if your gal is up for it, some tongue action, using butt plugs either on yourself or on your partner can be a spicy addition to your sex life. While we highly recommend you try to introduce butt play positions, discussions and methods when you’re in a healthy, accepting and committed relationship, being unafraid to explore the various dimensions of your sexuality could take your sex game from pretty okay to pretty stellar.
If you’re intrigued enough to keep reading, give us the chance to show you just how much fun you could have with some lube and an open mind. Here’s everything you need to know about butt plugs:
- 1 What Are Butt Plugs?
- 2 How To Use A Butt Plug
- 3 How Do You Talk About Butt Plugs?
- 4 Where Do Butt Plugs Come From?
- 5 How Can I Use Butt Plugs As Part Of My Sex Life?
- 6 Product Recommendations
1. What Are Butt Plugs?
Though the term itself leaves very little to the imagination, it is good for explaining the tool itself. Just as it sounds, Hunter Riley, a sexual expert and educator and the manager of operations and outreach for Self Serve Toys, explains the very essence of a butt plug in terms of sexual play:
“A butt plug is a sex toy that can be inserted in your butt safely, because it has a flared base. When butts get excited they can sometimes suck things up, or push things out. A butt plug generally has a flared base that anchors the toy outside the body,” Riley says.
“You should never put anything in a butt that doesn't have a base that is wider than the widest part of the toy. Butt plugs are often worn during other kinds of sexy play. They are typically inserted and left in. This can feel good because the sphincter muscles often contract naturally during arousal and orgasm, so if you're wearing a butt plug, the natural movement of your body can move it back and forth. And if you have a prostate, that movement can be a great way to get prostate stimulation! Lots of men love wearing a butt plug while they penetrate their partner because the combination of movements and sensations can feel incredible!”
If you're part of a heterosexual sex partnership, another way to incorporate butt plug action into your sexual routine is to have your female partner wear one. Especially if she is open to trying anal sex, she might enjoy the double-penetration-like action that a butt plug could provide for her, and if she’s had any experience with sex toys in the past, this could help make her more comfortable.
“It is shaped similar to a dildo, sometimes to resemble a penis, but with a flanged end (wider base) to ensure the plug is not lost inside during possible rectal contractions," notes Angie Gunn, LCSW, sex therapist and sex therapy expert for Talkspace. "Some bases are shaped with a loop to grab onto, or a flat end so as not to get in the way during vaginal penetration."
2. How To Use A Butt Plug
Once you’ve both decided that you’re ready and willing to give butt plugs a try within your relationship and sexual dynamic, you might be overwhelmed figuring out where to start. With dozens upon dozens of options made in all shapes, colors, size, formats and materials, knowing which one is best for your body (and for her’s) could be more complicated than you’d expect. The same goes with how to um, put it up there, right? No worries, the experts have you covered with their best tips on getting started with butt plugs:
It’s likely been quite a long time since you were a virgin, but when it comes to anal play and using butt plugs, there's a pretty decent chance you still have your V-card. Just like you didn’t quite know what you were doing as a teenager or a young adult when you first had intercourse, you want to give yourself a break, have some patience and take it really slow when you first start.
“Start small and slow. It's really important to start with something really small to get the anal sphincter muscles accustomed to having something inserted,” Riley says. “I recommend start on the opening to anus with the pad of your finger and bunch of lube. Use massage and pressure to warm up the sphincter. Think of like knocking on a door before you enter someone's house. It's just common courtesy.”
Always Overdo The Lube
When you have anything coming into the back door, lube is your best friend. It makes the whole process less gross and more slippery. “There's no such thing as too much lube, because the rectal lining doesn't produce natural lubricant the way a mouth and vagina do. Lots of people experience pain or discomfort during anal play because they aren't using enough lube. And no, spit doesn't count,” Riley explains.
“I recommend trying a silicone based lube and a water based lube to see if you have a preference. A new oil-based lube, called The Butters, has been getting rave reviews for butt play. But beware that oil-based lubes are not safe to use with most barrier methods, so only use that if you are having barrier-free [i.e. unprotected] sex. Also, I highly recommend using a lube shooter to help get the lube where you want it, as opposed to only at the anal opening.”
RELATED: The AskMen Guide To The Best Lubricants For Sex
If you’re using the butt plug on your partner and she’s hesitant, a nice way to make the act feel more intimate and less scary is to put those massage skills to work. “It can erotic to play with the idea of anal stimulation telling you partner how you are going to insert it and slowly move the tip around the anus as one talks gently pushing the tip into the anus until the person is relaxed enough to allow it all in. A huge part of anal play is relaxing the muscle so that it does not hurt and that is also about relaxing the mind,” relationship and sex expert and author, Dawn Michael Ph.D. suggests.
If you’re doing this and you’re a bit creeped out — hey, we do have anuses for a very specific reason! — don’t worry. Riley notes that latex gloves, like the ones doctors and dentists wear, can be a welcomed accessory to match your butt plug closet. “If you are putting your hands in someone's butt to warm them up for a butt plug, and also putting your hands other places, you need to be very aware of which hand goes where,” Riley says. “With gloves, just know that the gloved hand is the butt hand, so before you put that hand anywhere else, you can take off the latex or nitrile glove. Also, gloves help smooth over hangnails and calluses, which can feel much more intense in a butt than in a vagina or mouth.
Experiment With Various Sex Positions
When you’re first exploring butt plugs, you’ll want to figure out what the best sex positions will be for you and your partner. Gunn recommends a few to give a chance to first: “During vaginal penetration from behind (doggy style or standing leaning over a bed) it can feel really good to have additional pressure from a partner pushing slightly with a finger or their body weight on the end of the plug,” she says. “Intermittent pressure can feel like anal penetration, adding more intensity to the sex.”
And if you’re both open-minded to the plug use, consider playing a swapping game. Making sure of course, you cleanse between insertions: “Explore taking turns using the plug while in different angles or positions, or on its own to create increased pleasure,” Gunn says.
Use It When You’re Not Getting It On
Even the very thought that your partner is doing daily chores or cooking dinner while wearing a butt plug can be enough to excite you far before dessert time. Make the lead-up to butt plug sex just as much fun as the act itself by using it frequently, regardless of whether you’re in the mood to get it on or not. “It can be fun to wear a plug while out in public or doing tasks around the house as a reminder of eroticism between you and your partner, to build anticipation for an upcoming sex act or to help your rectum to become more accustomed to penetration as preparation for anal sex,” Gunn says.
A word of caution though: “It’s not recommended that you wear a plug for more than two or three hours, so be sure to get to business by then,” Gunn advises.
3. How Do You Talk About Butt Plugs?
"Hey honey, I kind of want to stick this up your ass — is that cool?"
While that is a very straightforward approach, the experts don’t suggest leading with your newfound curiosity right off the bat. In fact, Riley suggests talking about it while you’re both fully dressed to ensure that everyone can consent without pressure, since sexual consent is of utmost importance, regardless of what you're trying.
“It's definitely not OK to surprise someone with anal play or butt plugs. I would recommend visiting a sex shop online or in person and going to look at their butt toy section. If you feel nervous about approaching the subject, use a yes/no/maybe list to get on the same page with your partner,” she says.
Be prepared for other conversations that might arise from a yes, no or maybe list, too. As Gunn says, the ability to talk openly, proudly and confidently with your partner about fantasizes might open many horny doors. That’s why communication must be your utmost priority here.
“In terms of beginning to explore the use of butt plugs in sex, the conversation is highly dependent on what’s currently happening in your relationship or sex. Are you and your partner pretty adventurous and creative? How is your communication about sex and your wants and needs, fantasies and fetishes? If you communicate openly, it can be easy to discuss the pros and cons of a new activity like adding toys or plugs,” she says.
“If not, creating some space and openness for these conversations is your starting point. Show acceptance, flexibility and curiosity about your own and your partner’s erotic triggers, listen and seek to understand. While every fantasy does not, and maybe should not, be explored in person, it can be really fun to seek intersections between your fantasies and those of your partner, and try a few.”
4. Where Do Butt Plugs Come From?
If you’ve ever found yourself oddly turned on by a piece of equipment or used something, say like, a bar of soap, to masturbate with, than you know that many inventions are not only used for their intended purpose. “Butt plugs, like many other sex toys, have been around for a long, long time, and some are were used as medical devices to treat challenge or concern patients were having,” Riley says. This is exactly what happened in 1892, when Frank E. Young created the dilator. Meant to help those who struggle with obnoxious constipation and piles (better known as hemorrhoids), the device was meant to be shoved, um, up there to build your muscles.
The vintage advertisement read, “First warm dilator in warm water; then lubricate outside of dilator with Dr Young’s Piloment (or if it is not available, with vaseline) and while in a squatting position — or while lying on the side with knees drawn up — gently insert in the rectum as far as the flange or rim. Hold in place a minute and the anal muscles will hold and retain it. Sit or lie down and allow it to remain for half an hour or an hour to get the best results. Ten minutes will accomplish much. When ready to go on to the next larger size, it is best first to use for a few minutes the same size you have been using, inserting and withdrawing it a few times.”
It wasn't an easy task or a quick fix as you might think or how it’s explained, according to Gunn. “The device was 4.5 inches long and quite girthy, so likely not the best starter plug for most,” she noted. In fact, a few years later once more standards were placed on the regulation of medical devices in 1940, they were outlawed. Why? False advertisement, the hearing declared that "it would be dangerous to health when used with the frequency and duration prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the following labeling.”
Though Young didn’t mean to evolve a whole plethora of sex toys that reach the G-spot and tantalize thousands, we can thank him for inventing the butt plug.
5. How Can I Use Butt Plugs As Part Of My Sex Life?
Though anything evolving the rectal area is often associated with homosexual intercourse, specifically that of gay men, if you're a straight guy, butt plugs can be an exciting addition to the sex you have with a female partner. “Butt plugs can be used during heterosexual sex to add additional sensation for either partner, as the anus is an erogenous zone,” Gunn notes. From how you use them for oral and intercourse, let the experts guide you into your first adventure into butt plug play:
Use It As A Blowjob Accessory
Though what feels the best about oral sex for you is the warm, wet sensation of your partner’s mouth stroking your erect shaft and the subtle sucking she’s seemed to master, the visual isn’t half-bad either. Being able to look down at someone you care about (and who wildly gets you excited) as they give you an incredible blowjob is a stimulant for your brain and provides plenty of imagery for later masturbation sessions. To add another layer of hotness, why not throw in a butt plug?
As Riley explains, “Butt plugs can be used in heterosexual sex in lots of different ways. They can be used by the woman to enhance stimulation during vaginal penetration. You could insert a butt plug into your girlfriend's butt and have her give you a blow job.”
Make Her Feel Full
Your might hear people complain about having a ‘food baby’ after pigging out with one too many slices of pizza, but during sex, the feeling of ‘being full’ can actually be a turn on. This is why some women are excited by double-penetration, either with two partners, or with one penis and one sex toy. A butt plug can provide this stuffed sensation while you’re having sex. “Lots of people just enjoy the sensation of being full, so having a butt plug in while you other types of sex just adds to the experience,” Riley explains.
Get Her Warmed Up For Anal
If your girlfriend is still on the fence about whether she’s going to let you penetrate her other hole for your birthday present — or on the honeymoon once you’ve put a ring on it — a more gentle approach to test out the area is to try a butt plug. Riley says that oftentimes, plugs can lubricate that area and help her understand how it will feel to have anal sex. While you’re doing this, try going down on her or caressing her body or truly indulging in a long makeout period. This will help her feel more turned on and thus, more excited for anal sex in the future. “For the female the insertion of the plug, and the presence of the plug during other sex acts creates more pleasure due to the high concentration of nerve endings stimulated,” Gunn says.
Touching Your G-Spot
If you don’t know that your magic zone is actually located in your prostate, it’s about time you discovered just how mighty an orgasm can be when stimulate your male G-spot. As Riley explains, using a butt plug on yourself during sexual intercourse or foreplay ignites a whole new world of desires you likely didn’t know your body could experience. “Butt plugs can also be used by the man while he receives oral sex, or penetrates his partner. Lots of men report heightened sensation and pleasure when they wear a plug, especially one designed for prostate stimulation, while they penetrate a partner,” Riley says. “It can also make your orgasm much more intense. Butt plugs can also be used as a warm up for pegging.”
Explore The Unknown
Oftentimes it’s the activities or the sexual acts that feel forbidden or dirty that are the most enjoyable and pleasurable. Butt plugs can do this for your relationship, connecting you together and building intimacy as you finally allow yourselves to dip a toe (or um, a plug) into anal voyages.
“The anal area is rich in nerve endings, and as I like to say, your butt is having a party every time you get aroused, you get to decide whether or not you attend the party. While there is a lot of taboo around butt play and anal sex, it's one of the most common questions people ask me […]. So we know lots of people are curious,” Riley says.
“If you have a prostate, there's even more reason to explore butt plugs. Prostate play can intensify sensation, increase erectile and prostate health, and help men experience a different kind of orgasm, according to many men who have experimented with prostate play.”
Gunn echoes Riley, adding: “It can shift power dynamics or gender roles, as well as connect pleasure sensations with a thing which negative stigma is attached, namely buttholes. Erotic triggers and the process of physical arousal differs dramatically for each person. Psychological arousal can be as powerful as touch or penetration, thus creating another dimension for having sex,” she explains.
“Playing along the edges of your erotic mind can include doing things which challenge you, trying things outside your usual comfort zone, or experimenting with a fantasy that has remained only in the realm of fantasy or pornography until then, such as butt plug play.”
6. Product Recommendations
For Your First Time
If you're losing your back-there V-card, you don't want to invest in anything significant without knowing if it's actually up your ally. That being said, you also don't want to get something low-quality that could be damaging, or ya know, painful. Start with this curved toy that makes inserting easy and you don't run the risk of losing anything, um, up there.
Stock Up: Bootie Small, $34.99 at Funfactory.com
For Your Classic Collection
There's a reason this is called 'the perfect plug kit' — it has everything you need to get started — and maintain — butt plug play in your life. It comes with both a slender (for when you're warming yourself up) and a thicker (for when you're comfortable) version that's ribbed, to give you options of how far you'd like to (literally) push it.
Stock Up: Tantus Perfect Plug Kit, $48.21 at Amazon.com
For A Vibe Option
Ready to go full throttle and truly play? Invest — and challenge yourself! — to step outside of your comfort zone with this vibrating anal play toy. With a lot of settings, pulses and a remote control for added naughtiness, this is sure to be something that'll spice up your bedroom — and fast.
Stock Up: My 1st Anal Explorer Kit, $24.95 at Adameve.com