Butt plug is not just perfect insult from the '80s, it’s also an anal sex toy shaped like a teardrop. As the name suggests, it’s meant to be placed, or “plugged,” into your butt(hole). The base of a butt plug is specifically designed to be wide so it doesn’t get sucked into and “lost” in your rectum. Now that’s an embarrassing trip to the ER.
According to Tristan Taormino, a sex educator and author of The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, “[A butt plug] is designed to go in your ass and stay there. If you like in-and-out penetration, then you want a dildo.” (It's also worth trying a strap-on, which is a dildo with a harness that you wear around your waist, so the sex toy doesn’t get lost in there.) She says that people experience pleasure in the butt differently—some like a feeling of fullness there, which is what a butt plug accomplishes. When inserting a butt plug into yourself or your partner, always go slow, and ask questions to see if the speed and sensation is doing it for them. Lubing it up isn’t a bad idea either, since butt holes don’t lubricate themselves naturally the way vaginas do.
Taormino also explains that some of the nerve endings in the rectum respond to pressure rather than massage. Butt plugs can be used as a “warm-up” for other sorts of anal play like using dildos, larger toys, anal intercourse, or they can be left in while you perform other sex acts. Start out with a smaller plug and work your way up.
The Healthy Bear, a gay sex education website, recommends using butt plugs made from silicone, vinyl, or rubber. According to the Healthy Bear, “When buying any sort of anal toys it’s best to avoid cheaper toys as they can be made of low grade materials including petroleum products that can burn the lining of the anal canal.” High-grade silicone is the way to go here.
Anal beads are another type of tush toy that provide a different sensation than a butt plug. These beads are usually attached together and can be varying sizes on the same string. Anal beads are meant to be inserted and then removed. “For some people, that feeling of initial penetration where the sphincter muscles relax enough to let something in is really hot and sexy and pleasurable,” Taormino says. “With anal beads, you can experience that over and over again. You lube them up, you put a bead in, it goes in your ass, and then there’s this narrow part separating the beads, so your sphincter muscles close again. Then you put another one in. They’re really good for beginners because they can be quite small and manageable. Some anal beads can be graduated, so you’re working your way up to bigger and bigger beads.” Removal of anal beads can intensify or even trigger orgasm too. Heyo.
BUTT PLUGS IN POPULAR CULTURE:
Jennifer Lawrence talked to Conan O'Brien in 2013 about how a hotel maid found a stash of butt plugs in her room that someone had given her as a joke and then proceeded to display them beautifully on the dresser:
Perhaps the greatest public butt plug display, though, occurred in Paris when artist Paul McCarthy built a blow-up public art sculpture called “Tree.” But it was really just a giant butt plug and everyone knew it.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.