Anal toys, or butt toys, are pleasure products commonly used for anal play, or sexual activity involving the butt. There are plenty of nerve-endings in and around the anus, so penetration, vibration, or other forms of stimulation can feel intensely pleasurable to some. Learning how to use anal toys properly can make the experience even better.
Editor’s pick for getting started with anal toys: B-Vibe Anal Training & Education Set
How to use an anal toy
Consider following these steps if you are new to using anal toys.
1. Learn the type of butt toy you have
Butt toys fall into four main categories, and each can serve a different purpose. How you use an anal toy depends on the type you have.
- Butt plugs. Butt plugs have a taper at the end and a handle or base to hold onto. You can even purchase butt plugs attached to underwear for experimentation in public, ones that expand when pumped, hollow plugs that work with other toys, and many other kinds.
- Anal beads. This type of anal toy has a row of beads that get larger from one end to another. They create a sense of fullness and stimulate the nerve-endings around the sphincter as you slowly insert and remove them.
- Vibrating plugs. This type of butt plug vibrates and massages the rectum and prostate. They can often help you have longer and more intense orgasms.
- Dildos. While dildos aren’t exclusively used for anal play, they’re a frequent part of people’s anal play pleasure chests. Double-ended dildos and strap-on dildos are especially common in partnered anal play — but most dildos can also be used for solo anal play.
2. Apply lube
The anus is not self-lubricating, so there’s no such thing as going overboard with lube. Water-based lubricants are generally best because they are compatible with most sex toy materials. We recommend Sliquid Naturals H20.
3. Start small
If you’re new to anal play and anal toys, it’s important to smart small. Anal training kits can be good for beginners because they come with varying sizes of butt toys so you can work your way up from smallest to largest and discover what feels best for you.
4. Check for safety features
If you plan to use an anal toy for penetration, look for built-in safeguards to prevent it getting stuck, like stoppers and flared bases. Other features to check for are: tapered tips for comfort, waterproofness (if that’s important for you), and travel safety, like removable batteries and a travel lock.
5. Clean the toy before use
Clean your butt toys before using them for the first time and between uses. Non-porous materials such as silicon, glass, or hard plastic, are the most hygienic and easiest to clean as bacteria is less likely to get stuck in nooks and crannies.
6. Get turned on to relax your muscles
Unlike the external anal sphincter, which a butt toy would penetrate first, the internal anal sphincter can’t be controlled involuntary. That second sphincter requires a bit more coaxing to open up enough to let a penis, toy, or other object pass through comfortably. Playing with yourself, watching porn, or letting a partner turn you on can help you relax the muscles enough to make anal play pleasurable.
7. Experiment with a finger first
Touch yourself in and around your anus to discover what feels good. Start by slowly and gently tracing the rim of your anus with a finger. Then insert a lubed-up finger into your rectum — slowly push in, pull out, and try varying speeds and motions.
8. Test the toy’s vibration patterns and intensities
If the toy has varying vibration patterns and intensities, feel them on the palm of your hand. Get a sense of if you think you might like it before placing the toy near your anus. Practice controlling the modes, manually using buttons on the toy, or using an app or remote.
9. Don’t go straight for penetration
Even if you are turned on and lubed up, try moving the toy around your anus in gentle circular motion before inserting it into the rectum. Get a sense of the material and feeling of the toy. A silicone toy, for example, can feel soft on the skin. If you have a glass toy, perhaps you might like it to feel cooler or warmer for some light temperature play.
10. Ease the toy inside the rectum, slowly
With your hand, slowly move the toy over the surface of the rectum. Slowly wiggle it on the rectum as you apply light pressure to ease it in for penetration. At the same time, you might try pressing yourself against the toy, and then slowly sliding it in and out of your anus, putting only as much of the toy inside you as feels comfortable. If you are using a butt plug, grasp the flared base of the toy between your fingers as you move the toy. You may enjoy putting it all the way in, with only the flared base sticking out. If you’re using anal beads, try inserting one or two beads first. Be sure your anus and the toy are thoroughly lubed up.
11. Size up toys gradually
If you find you enjoy a more full feeling, you can work your way up to larger toys. If you’re using anal beads, try inserting more beads into your rectum. Butt plugs and dildos also come in all shapes and sizes and you can experiment with what feels good to you by gradually sizing up. You might enjoy pushing barriers by experimenting with the largest toys, but it’s important to gradually work your way up to that point.
3 tips to intensify pleasure with anal toys
Now that you know how to use butt toys, make the experience even better with these tips.
1. Soak in an Epsom salt bath
Classic methods for relaxation, like taking an Epsom salt bath, can help limber up your muscles and relax your mind before anal play.
2. Experiment with angles and speeds
Some butt toys have adjustable or flexible arms that allow you to specifically target different areas, like the prostate. If you are using a butt plug or a dildo, try moving it in and out of your anus at varying speeds and motions. For example you might try slowing moving a butt plug in a circular or spiral motion while slowly inserting it in and out of the anus.
3. Go for a blended orgasm
Using a butt toy while also manually stimulating your penis or clitoris can lead to blended orgasms. In blended orgasms, the stimulation of different erogenous zones causes multiple sensations simultaneously.
How to use butt toys with a partner
Butt toys are great for solo play, but if you plan on using the toy with a partner, there are plenty of fun ways to incorporate the toy into sex.
Involve a toy during oral or penetrative sex
Exploring butt play alongside oral sex or penetration can make for more intense pleasure. Try removing the toy right at climax to make orgasms stronger.
Try a little kink
You can choose a butt plug with a tail and have your partner crawl around with it inserted. You might even lead your partner on a leash. Wearing a butt plug while you’re out in public can also be a sexy secret for yourself or between you and a partner — especially if it’s a vibrating butt plug you or your partner can control.
Incorporate some power play
If you’re in a partnership where penis-in-vagina sex is the norm, using a butt toy (like a strap-on dildo for pegging) can be a fun way to swap roles and place the typically submissive partner in the dominant position.
Positions to try using a butt toy
Some butt toys may work better or feel more comfortable with certain sex positions than others because of how they’re used. Here are just a few sex positions to try that may work particularly well when using butt toys.
Toys designed to be inserted and removed during anal play can be used in place of a penis in pegging or any anal sex position. In the missionary position, for example, the giver (on their knees) can penetrate the receiver (lying on their back, legs open and knees slightly bent) with a strap-on dildo, standard dildo, or anal beads.
In this position, the receiver is on their back with knees bent toward their chest. This allows for their anus to be fully exposed to their partner who can then insert an anal toy, like a butt plug, and then give them oral sex.
Butt toys work great with all kinds of anal sex positons, but this more advanced position can be especially hot because the ass is fully exposed. The receiver lays on their back with their legs in the air, extended back over their head. This allows the giver easy access and a full view of the receiver’s anus. After performing a rimjob, the giver can lube up the receiver’s anus more and slowly insert a butt plug or anal beads. If the receiver has a vulva, the receiver may also penetrate the vulva for double penetration.
Pair butt toys with:
Silicon- or hybrid-based lubricants, rather than water- or oil-based lubes, work best for anal play. Lubes created specially for anal play have unique properties that make the experience more pleasurable, like relaxing your body and encouraging elasticity.
➡ We recommend: Pjur Back Door Comfort Anal Glide
Toy cleaning spray
Cleaning butt toys between and after uses will maintain how long they last and reduce the spread of bacterias like sexually transmitted infections.
➡ We recommend: Lelo Antibacterial Toy Cleaning Spray
Harness and dildo
While a strap-on isn’t specific to anal play, it can be a great way to explore anal penetration, especially if you want to try pegging.
➡ We recommend: Sportsheets Entry Level Harness.
The bottom line
Once you get comfortable using butt toys, you may find you love the experience and want to expand your repertoire even more. There are many types of anal toys to try, and different products offer different kinds of stimulation. If you’d like to explore, check out our curated catalog of butt toys to get started.