This butt plug 101 guide will explain exactly what a butt plug is, why they can provide you (and your partner) with more sexual pleasure and most importantly…how to use a butt plug safely and enjoyably. I’ve also added some extra butt plug tips near the end for those that want freakier/kinkier sex 😉
What Is a Butt Plug?
A butt plug is a sex toy meant to be inserted anally. Plugs consist of an insertable portion known as the shaft or bulb, a base that remains outside your booty, and a thinner neck (or stem) that connects the parts. From straight on, many plugs look like a spade.
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There’s plenty of variation when it comes to butt plugs, however. They can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, wood, silicone, and metal, to name a few. The shaft may be tapered or more rounded and can have multiple bulges. Furthermore, many plugs are straight, but some may have curved shafts or necks.
The base may be flat, squared, round, or even shaped like a hook or anchor. The base can also serve as a handle and may be a loop or circle. Some plugs have decorative gems at the base or animal “tails,” which add an element of fantasy to your play.
It’s understandable if you’re asking, “What does a butt plug do?” At its most basic, it just fills you up. There’s no thrusting or motion. But some plugs also vibrate (some even come with remotes to control them), while others may be connected to cock rings or other toys, which allows them to serve two functions at the same time.
Why Is the Purpose of a Butt Plug?
The easiest answer is to provide pleasurable anal stimulation. However, there are specific reasons or aspects of using a butt plug that appeal to some people.
- Spicing up sex – people like using butt plugs because they’ve novel, and some especially like the taboo of anal play or that they can wear butt plugs in public without anyone knowing. 14 incredible tips to spice up sex.
- Pleasurable stimulation – using a butt plug can feel good because it’s filling or stimulates the prostate. Some people can have anal orgasms while using a butt plug!
- BDSM punishment – butt plugs can be used as a form of punishment, especially if they’re large and/or uncomfortable. Here are another 16 BDSM punishment ideas to keep things spicy!
- Anal training – you can train your anus to take larger toys through anal training, which is done both for its own sake and to prepare for anal sex. Read: Anal training guide.
- Role play – butt plugs with animal tails can function like costumes during role play, especially during pet play.
- Double penetration – combining a butt plug in the anus with a penis, sex toy, or fingers in the vagina is one way to experience double penetration
How to Use a Butt Plug Safely
Before you actually try using a butt plug, you absolutely need to know how to do so safely. Improper use of sex toys, including butt plugs, or inserting anything to your anus that isn’t designed for you to do so safely can result in toys becoming difficult to remove or traveling deeper into your body.
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Sometimes this requires a trip to the emergency room and surgery to fix – People really do end up in ER to have lost butt plugs removed, along with sex toys or some other item they inserted anally. There is even scientific research on this…
One study found that 41% of items that had to be surgically removed from the rectum were sex toys !
Make sure it has a flared base – The most important way to avoid this uncomfortable, awkward, and expensive trip to the doctor is to always choose anal toys with a flared base or handle. The base should be noticeably wider than the stem/neck. Otherwise, your anus could swallow it right up! This is actually why it’s a bad idea to insert anything just because it fits.
Narrow neck – A narrow neck also ensures that the butt plug sits in place. If the neck isn’t narrow enough for the size of the shaft, the plug might slide out because your anus can’t close enough. Similarly, make sure the neck is long enough to let your anal sphincter close around it as much as possible. This isn’t a safety issue necessarily, but it can be annoying.
Make sure it can’t break – Although this guide focuses on butt plugs, avoid any toys with rough edges or items that could break off. This includes vegetables and candles!
Be careful with glass butt plugs that have looped handles, which could be more susceptible to breaking than other bases.
Is the material body safe? – Finally, the material can play a role in butt plug safety because some materials are porous. This means that they have tiny holes where bacteria can hide even after you wash the toy. Not only can those materials lead to reactions with your own body, but you should absolutely never share toys made of jelly or swap them between orifices.
That’s right, don’t use any toy vaginally after it was in your butt (the same goes for a partner’s body parts!).
Fortunately, non-porous toys don’t harbor bacteria in the same way. Soap and water cleaning will do a better job of removing all those germs. You can also disinfect toys made from nonporous materials such as metal, glass, or silicone by boiling, spraying with a 10% bleach solution, or popping them in the dishwasher (top rack, no soap, not with dishes).
Proper cleaning is important no matter what your butt plug is made from. Slipping your plug into a condom can make cleanup even easier.
How to Insert a Butt Plug
If you need a step-by-step guide to using a butt plug, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to skip sections if they don’t apply to you. For instance, you may already have talked to your partner about using a butt plug or only plan to use it by yourself.
Try It Alone First?
If you want to try butt plugs, you have to decide whether your first go will be by yourself or with a partner. Going solo might be less pressure and give you a chance to see how your body reacts and deal with any mess.
On the other hand, it might be easier for a partner to insert the butt plug because they can position themselves behind you. Or you may specifically want to use a butt plug during other sexual activities.
It’s all up to you.
Talk About It First
You don’t want to insert anything into someone else’s butt without asking first. Some people may not be interested in having anything in their back door at all. Others may want to prepare first. This preparation is key to minimizing messy accidents and pain.
So talk to your partner about it, whether you’re interested in trying a butt plug on you, having them wear one, or both. Remember, you don’t have to start anal play with a butt plug. Fingers are smaller and may be a better way to ease into it.
Prepare for Penetration
Like any backdoor play, butt plugs can require a little preparation. It goes without saying that if your GI system doesn’t feel great (gas, loose or compacted stools, etc.), inserting a butt plug is probably a bad idea!
Similarly, the friction from anal play can make hemorrhoids worse , so it’s best to wait until they’re healed if you are suffering from them.
Cleaning – Having a clean bowel movement is usually a sign that you’re good to go with a butt plug. Using wet wipes or showering after your bowel movement can give you additional peace of mind. You don’t generally need to use an anal douche or enema, although you could if you really wanted to be squeaky clean.
Get more tips in our guide to preparing for anal sex.
Shaving – Similarly, you don’t need to shave, but you might prefer to. If your hair is especially long, it could potentially catch on a butt plug, not to mention catch debris that you’d rather not deal with during sexy times.
Even if you’re regular and clean-shaven, using a butt plug can be a bit painful, especially your first time. That’s why we recommend starting with a small plug – something similar to the size of a finger or two.
We cannot stress this enough:, you can always move on to a larger butt plug, but you can’t undo a painful experience with a plug that’s too big.
Assume the Position
You can pretty much use a butt plug in any position where your backside is exposed. But some positions might be more comfortable or be easier to insert a plug, especially if you’re going solo. The following positions are all good options when playing with a butt plug.
- Doggy style
- On your back with your knees pulled to your chest
- On your side with the knee of your top leg pulled to your chest
Because the anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina, you should use lube. Saliva isn’t enough. Although some people like the tightness or friction, not using lube can cause micro-tears that bacteria or viruses love to take advantage of, potentially leaving you with an infection that needs medical care.
Check out our guide to lube to find out which type will work best for you.
You can lubricate your booty, the butt plug, or both. It’s up to you, but we recommend both.
Slow is key when it comes to using a butt plug. Before you insert the plug, you might even want to experiment with fingers first. Of course, you can skip this step if your toy is about the same size as fingers, you’re already experienced with anal sex or other types of backdoor play, or you’re dead set on diving in.
When it is time, slowly insert the lubricated butt plug. The entrance to your anus is a ring of muscles known as the anal sphincter, and you need to push the shaft of the plug past that point for it to stay in place.
You can relax your body to make penetration easier. It might sound contradictory, but slightly pushing your sphincter against the toy can make insertion easier. Some people even say that relaxing your throat will do the same to your anus.
If you experience too much pain, pause with the toy in place and breathe. Let your body get used to how the butt plug feels. If it’s too much, you can remove it and try again later.
You should never use numbing products for anal play. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. And if you numb all pain, you may not notice injuries right away and could make them worse.
Instead, go slow. Breathe. Listen to your body and work with it.
8 Kinky Ideas when Using a Butt Plug for Kinkier Sex
You can always insert a butt plug and leave it, but if you want to fully incorporate a plug into your sexual activities, check out the suggestions for using anal plugs below.
Try stroking your clit or penis with a butt plug inserted. You could even skip genital stimulation to see how you can pleasure yourself with just the butt plug!
Butt plugs work well as foreplay in multiple ways. First, you and your partner can play with plugs before moving on to other activities.
Psst, these other foreplay tricks are great if you want to mix things up. However, the real butt plug tip might be this:
Foreplay can start well before you’re in the same room as your partner. Pop in a butt plug earlier in the day to help get your body and mind ready for what will come later. The sensation can be pleasurable and naughty. This is the same reason some people like to wear ben wa balls during the day.
3. During Sexual Activities
A butt plug can easily be worn when giving a blow job or eating pussy, fingering, or a handjob. If there’s a toy, cock, or fingers in your vagina, it’s one way to experience double penetration without inviting someone else into the bedroom. And if you have a penis, you also have a prostate, and a butt plug is one way to stimulate it.
Check out this podcast about prostate play to learn more.
4. During Everyday Activities
Whether you’re following directions from your dominant, getting horny for a date later, or training your ass, you can wear a butt plug during your daily activities, perhaps sending your lover a message to let them know what you’re doing.
Related: 43 Sexy Text Messages
Just make sure the plug is comfortable, and you can move with it in.
Psst, some readers gave us this advice for using a butt plug during the day: wear a thong to keep it in place.
Respect your body while using the toy, even if it means not sleeping with a butt plug.
5. Anal Training
Anal training is the process of getting your anus ready to take larger items or body parts. It’s kind of like gauging your ears–you start small and increase the size incrementally until you can take a toy or cock that’s much bigger than what you could have taken without preparation.
You can buy plug sets for butt plug training or simply purchase toys in different sizes. Anal training might happen during a single session if your next toy isn’t significantly larger. Or you could start by inserting a butt plug and finish with anal sex, now that your butt will be able to handle it easier.
Related: How to Prepare for Anal Sex
If you’re nervous or anal penetration is especially painful, training might take longer, however.
6. Role Play
As we mentioned above, some butt plugs have tails or are decorated in ways that make them perfect for role play. Adding some blinders, a riding crop, and other tack with the right plug will complete your pony play wardrobe, for example.
However, you’re not limited to a single species during role play.
Looking for a different role play butt plug idea? Try wearing a plug as a character who is smuggling something in their anus!
Are you into BDSM? Our BDSM for beginners guide will get you up to speed.
Whether you’re into bedroom bondage or lifestyle BDSM, a butt plug can elevate your kinky play. Try one of these butt plug techniques on for size.
- Spank your partner while they wear a plug
- Tease your partner with a remote-controlled vibrating butt plug in public
- Make your partner wear a butt plug and gender-bent clothing
- Pull out a plug in a public place and make your partner insert it in the bathroom
- Use a butt plug and chastity device/cock cage at the same time (because prostate orgasms don’t necessarily need penis stimulation)
- Give the remote to a vibrating butt plug to your partner during cuck play (works great if you’re into cuckqueening)
8. Hot and Cold
The final technique for using a butt plug you might want to try is temperature play. You can either place the plug into a bowl of cool or hot water (never microwave it, which could cause burns!) or apply warming or heating lube. If you’ve never used the lube before, test it out before slathering a butt plug with it.
Butt Plugs for Beginners
When choosing your first butt plug, you may be so excited that you accidentally choose a plug that is too large and feels uncomfortable.
Our advice is to start out first with anal fingering from either your partner or by yourself to get an idea of what size would feel best for you. Once you have an idea of what feels right, choose a plug that is a fraction smaller than you think you need. This way you reduce the risk of uncomfortably stretching yourself.
Once you can comfortably insert and wear this smaller size, you can get one that’s a little bigger if you want to feel fuller or stretched.
Try to stick to silicone or glass plugs. Reviews on the manufacturer or retailer’s site can be helpful, as can those by sex toy bloggers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Butt Plugs
FAQ #1 – How long can you wear a butt plug?
You can safely wear a butt plug for two to three hours. However, you should work your way up to that. Start by wearing it for just a few minutes. You can do this while you’re alone if you want to eventually use a butt plug during sex.
If you’re comfortable, try doubling the amount of time you’re wearing a butt plug. It’s okay if you cannot comfortably wear the butt plug for a full three hours. You can put in a butt plug right before masturbation or partner sex and take it out immediately after.
Some people do go beyond two hours, even wearing a butt plug all day. You can try using a butt plug for longer than three hours but should slowly increase the time. Stop using a butt plug as soon as you notice any tenderness or injuries.
FAQ #2 – Can you sleep with a butt plug?
It’s definitely best not to try this. Unless you’re an incredibly short sleeper, you spend far more time sleeping than it is safe to wear a butt plug. On top of that, you won’t be able to tell if something goes wrong if you’re asleep.
FAQ #3 – Are butt plugs better than other anal toys?
This really depends on your preferences and what you want to get out of wearing a butt plug. If wearing a butt plug in public or training your ass to take larger objects is the goal, then a butt plug is ideal. You might choose butt plugs because you want to wear them during other activities, which might be difficult with a dildo or different toy.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in prostate play, a butt plug might not do the trick. Look for toys that are curved or angled to hit the prostate. Some also offer prostate stimulation from the outside at the same time.
Because butt plugs stay in place, they might not do much for you. Consider using anal beads or a dildo (flared base for safety), which are intended to be moved or thrusted. Using a strap-on is a great option for penetration and motion. A vibrating toy might also be more stimulating if you find a basic butt plug a bit underwhelming.
Psst, did you know that when a woman penetrates a man with a strap-on, it’s known as pegging? Learn how to peg your man.
FAQ #4 – Are there different types of butt plugs?
Yes, you’ll find a variety of butt plugs.
- Curved for p-spot play
- Plugs with animal tails
- Jeweled or decorative plugs
- Hollow plugs
- Inflatable plugs
- Phallic plugs (human, animal, or fantasy)
- Glow-in-the-dark plugs
- Electric plugs
- Suction cup plugs
While this list covers most of the butt plugs on the market, there are always unique toys. For example, some butt plugs are also floggers. When using them for impact play, you use the shaft of the toy as a handle.
Related: Impact Play 101
You’ll even find some novelty butt plugs, including one in the shape of an ice cream cone or with a base that looks like Valentine’s heart candies or even emojis!
Basically, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to butt plugs.
FAQ #5 – How do butt plug sizes work?
Some butt plugs come in multiple sizes. However, universal standards for these sizes don’t really exist. However, the difference between a small, medium, and large butt plug is generally much smaller than the difference between a small (around 1” diameter), medium (1.5” diameter), and large (2” diameter) dildo.
For example, the one popular butt plug brand we looked at offered 3 sizes: small, medium and large:
- The small model is 3 inches of insertable length and 1.1 inches wide.
- The medium model measures 3.7 inches in insertable length and ranges from .7 to 1.4 inches in width
- The large model has 4.4 inches insertable length and ranges between .7 and 1.6 inches in width
Another butt plug brand we found, measures a bit differently:
- Small – 2.5 inches insertable length and 1.1 inches wide
- Medium – 2.9 inches insertable length and 1.2 inches wide
- Large – 3.3 insertable length and 1.4 inches wide
These are just two examples. Not every company makes toys in sets or in similar shapes. Pay attention to the specifications for each toy to figure out which one will work for you.
Remember that butt plugs are tapered and may have bulges or other shapes that aren’t the easiest to measure.
FAQ # 6 – How can I make using a butt plug more comfortable?
Have you tried a butt plug only to find it’s too uncomfortable? Here are some butt plug tips that can help.
If the discomfort is mostly internal, try a smaller plug or one that’s shorter or contoured instead of straight. A “poky” sensation may be due to a sharp point at the end of a plug: try a more rounded design instead.
For plugs that are curved or angled, turning them might be more comfortable–or even feel good!
The base of a butt plug can also be an issue. Many are rectangular, which may not be the most comfortable. Try a toy with a longer neck or rounded base.
A base that’s much longer than it is wide might feel much better if you wear it between your cheeks (up and down). Some people describe these as T-bar butt plugs. Bases that look like anchors–longer, narrow, and curved–are often more comfortable than wider or rectangular bases.
FAQ #7 – How do you clean a butt plug?
This piece of butt plug advice is essential! Soap and water will do for routine cleaning–you don’t need fancy toy cleaner or wipes.
But if you plan to use a toy anally and vaginally or want to share it with partners, it’s a good idea to disinfect it first. You can do this in a few ways.
- Spray with a 10% bleach solution. Let dry, then rinse thoroughly.
- Boil for three minutes (only for toys without motors).
- Place in the dishwasher on the top rack and run a cycle without soap or dishes (again, not for toys with motors).
Now that you know how to use a butt plug, why some people like them, and what safety precautions you need to take, you’re ready to try one for yourself!
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