The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Anal Toys
While it’s definitely true that anal play isn’t for everyone, it’s also no longer the taboo it once was. It’s not just for kink lovers anymore either. The more open and positive society becomes about sex and sexual pleasure in general, the more comfortable average, everyday people become with fully exploring how wonderful anal play can feel when it’s approached properly.
Anal toys can definitely add a lot of stimulation and excitement to the mix for individuals and couples alike. The sheer number of options out there on the market today can make choosing something to experiment with confusing though. Here we’ll go over everything you need to know to make sense of your choices and ensure a positive play experience you’ll love.
How Do Anal Toys Differ from Other Toys?
If you’re brand new to anal toys, it only makes sense that you’d wonder why there are even anal-specific toys in the first place. Why can’t you just use the same fun toys you already enjoy using on other parts of your body? There can’t really be that big of a difference, right? Actually, there really is and paying attention to that difference comes attached to several benefits.
Safety: No one pictures their next play session ending in an embarrassing trip to the emergency room, but it’s definitely something that can happen if you’re using the wrong toys. Anal toys come complete with safety features like large bases or oversized retrieval rings that keep the toy from becoming struck or lost inside the body. You get to enjoy your play to the fullest without worry or anxiety.
Pleasure: Your anus is more than just an alternative hole to consider when you want to spice things up a little. The entire area is very nerve-rich and possesses its own unique landscape. Many anal toys are specially designed to locate, activate, and stimulate all the sweet spots involved, so they’re essential if you’re serious about getting the most out of your experience.
Practicality: Let’s face it. As pleasurable and exciting as anal play can be, it can sometimes be messy as well. Anal toys (and multi-use toys that are marketed as “anal safe”) are made of materials that won’t harbor harmful bacteria or be a pain to clean.
Each type of anal toy you’ll discover as you explore your options brings its own unique sensations and experience to the table. The following are some of the most popular ones you’ll want to consider as you build your collection.
Anal beads may look simple, but they can actually be pretty powerful ways to explore what your anal nerve endings can do when stimulated. The beads are connected via a flexible shaft or cord, are inserted one at a time, and can be worn inside the body during intercourse or masturbation for a pleasant feeling of fullness. However, their real benefit is in how they feel when they’re pulled out as you play. Many people like to remove theirs right before they orgasm for a considerable pleasure boost. Beads come in a variety of sizes, designs, and materials.
Pros: Their manageable size and unique ability to stimulate anal nerve endings make anal beads a great choice for people that are new to toy-assisted anal play. Most bead chains start small and gradually become larger, so even absolute beginners often feel comfortable using them.
Cons: The flexible shaft that connects the beads can sometimes make getting them into place challenging. Most people get the hang of it after the first few sessions though.
Butt plugs are very popular and widely used, so you’ll definitely want to consider experimenting with one at some point if you really enjoy anal play. Most options feature a tapered head that helps make insertion easy, as well as a flared base that prevents the toy from becoming lost inside the body. Once in place, the plug is then worn during intercourse, love play, or masturbation to provide additional stimulation and intensify orgasm. Some people take things one step further and wear their plugs for even longer stretches at a time.
Pros: Butt plugs are great choices for people that love what long-lasting, continuous anal stimulation brings to their play experiences. They also stay perfectly in place and do their job all on their own, so your hands stay free and available for other purposes.
Cons: Not everyone enjoys the feeling of having something placed inside their anal opening and left there continuously. Also, a butt plug’s relatively simply design and purpose doesn’t leave room for a lot of bells and whistles.
Anal dildos are meant to simulate the deep, satisfying sensation of having actual anal sex, so they’re ideal for people that love being penetrated. Like standard dildos, anal dildos come in a wide variety of different shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. They can be massive and filling or small and petite, incredibly lifelike or very simple as far as design goes. Many anal dildoes are harness compatible, so they can be used to explore penetrative play with a partner as well. All anal dildos feature materials, features, and designs that make them safe for anal use.
Pros: Anal dildos are longer than plugs or many other types of anal toys, so they’re ideal for people that love the feeling of being deeply penetrated anally.
Cons: Anal dildos can be a little too much for people that don’t like or crave the feeling of deep anal penetration. They can also be intimidating for beginners.
Many anal toys come in versions that include integrated vibrators to bring even more excitement and stimulation to your play. For instance, there are vibrating butt plugs, vibrating anal dildos, and vibrating twists on anal beads to name just a few options. Some are made specifically to stimulate the male prostate while others are meant to activate the sensitive nerves in or near the anal opening itself. They’re ideal for people that love stimulating, intense anal play.
Pros: Choosing a vibrating version of a type of toy you already love is a simple, easy way to really turn up the dial on your experience. Because of their sheer popularity, vibrating anal toys come in a wide variety of different forms, speeds, and designs so there’s truly something out there to suit everyone.
Cons: Although a lot depends on the design of the exact toy you’ve chosen, anal vibrators can be difficult to clean thoroughly if they’re not also waterproof.
The prostate (or P-spot) is to men what the G-spot is to many women – a hidden, underutilized hot spot that can lead to incredibly intense orgasms when stimulated properly. As with the G-spot though, the prostate can be difficult to actually locate, leaving many people unsure of whether or not they’ve ever actually found theirs. Prostate stimulators are specially designed to take the guesswork out of locating the P-spot, so they’re musts for men that love anal play.
Pros: Prostate stimulators leave little room for error when it comes to not only finding your prostate, but delivering the kind of stimulation you’re looking for. This makes them ideal for people that don’t know where theirs is or aren’t yet sure how to activate it.
Cons: Some prostate toys can be awkward to use or operate, so there’s sometimes a learning curve to integrating them into your play. They’re also male specific toys, so female enjoyment would be limited to using a prostate stimulator on her male partner.
Anal Training Kits
If you or your partner is truly brand new to anal play of any kind, a good training kit might be of interest to you. Although your options will vary from product to product, most kits include multiple toys in various sizes ranging from “beginner” to “advanced”. The idea is to prepare you for anal sex, toy play, or any other type of anal stimulation both mentally and physically so you’re fully ready for the experience when the time comes.
Pros: Anal training kits are ideal fits for people that are really interested in exploring anal play, but feel a bit anxious about simply diving right in. They’re also great ways for a beginner to start exploring the full potential of that area of their body.
Cons: The average anal training kit is pretty simple and straightforward, so they may not come with enough features to suit more experienced play lovers.
It goes without saying that personal lubricant is really great to have around when it’s time to have sex or take your favorite erotic toys for a spin, but the right lube becomes essential when you’re talking about anal sex or anal play. Anal lubes have lots in common with standard personal lubes in that they help smooth the way for penetration. They’re different in that they’re made specifically with anal play in mind.
Pros: Although the actual benefits may vary from product to product, anal lubes are generally thicker than standard lubes and formulated to last longer. Some products are scented, flavored, or fortified with warming or cooling agents for experimenting with different sensations.
Cons: Anal-specific lubricant may be thicker than you like for vaginal intercourse or other types of play. As with standard lube, it’s also important to make sure the option you choose is safe for use with your favorite anal toys, with condoms, and so forth.
Contrary to popular belief, the anus and rectum contain very little fecal matter the great majority of the time, but hygiene is still a huge concern for some. Many people love the confidence boost that comes with knowing you’re squeaky clean down there after a recent douche, enema, or cleaning session. Others enjoy those experiences specifically for the unique sensations they bring.
Pros: Douches, enemas, and other anal cleaning routines can help improve the anal play experience for everyone involved by removing any possibility of mess or accidents from the equation. Knowing you and/or your partner are immaculately clean down there can be great for boosting confidence, releasing inhibitions, and so forth.
Cons: Not everyone likes or is comfortable with the idea of deep anal cleansing.
Choosing and Using Your Next Anal Toy
By now you probably have at least some idea which type of anal toy is most likely to deliver the type of experience you’re after. Now it’s time to decide on the specifics, the better to ensure a purchase you’ll be happy with. Ask yourself the following questions and keep your answers in mind as you shop.
- Do you want your toy to be firm or flexible? Does it need to be completely effortless to care for or are you willing to perform a little more upkeep in exchange for the right experience? Your choice in materials determines the overall use and maintenance experience you’ll have. If you like flexible toys, go for soft silicone, TPE, or TPR. For firmer options that easy to take care of, choose plastic, glass, or metal.
- How much do you want to spend on your new toy? You’re well within your rights to really treat yourself to something that comes complete with lots of bells and whistles, but there are plenty of great anal toys out there that fit easily into even tight budgets.
- What about size? Are you looking to be filled, stretched, and challenged or do you prefer something more manageable? Double check the dimensions of your toy before finalizing your purchase, especially if you’re buying something marketed as big or extra-filling.
Make sure you keep cleanliness, safety, and comfort in mind as you play with your new toy as well. Always clean your anal toys both before and after each use, especially if you share your toys with partners. Sprayable antibacterial sex toy cleaners work great for times when getting up and washing a toy with soap and water is inconvenient or impractical. Just spritz it on, wipe it off with a lint-free cloth, and enjoy!
You’ll also want to double check that the anal lube you use with your toy is safe for use on that specific material. When in doubt, stick with water-based lubes to avoid any possible chemical reactions. When you’re done playing with and cleaning your toy, be sure to store it in its own storage bag to keep it clean, safe, and separated from your other toys. Play safely and enjoy yourself!