How to Pick the Right Anal Toy for You

Whether you’re an old hand at it or someone who’s ready to give it a shot for the very first time, it’s never a bad idea to stay as informed as possible about the potential perils, as well as pleasures, of anal sex.

This is especially true when it comes time to select a toy to use. The good news is that there are certainly plenty of options right now in that department, with company after company offering a huge range of toys in just about every size, style, and composition. The bad news, if you could call it that, is that this sometimes-staggering amount of options can be a tad daunting, causing old hands and novices alike to stare at their browser-of-choice like deer-in-the-headlights.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, because there are pretty simple criteria that anyone can use to narrow down that selection and, who knows, maybe even lead to picking their absolutely perfect anal sex toy… or—at least—the perfect one until they discover something even better.

Basics of Anal Play

graduated size butt plug
Example of a ‘knobby” anal sex toy

Let’s take a moment to briefly refresh our knowledge of “anal play.” As this is going to be a quickie, I heartily encourage folks who haven’t tried it yet to take the time to get a much more in-depth education on the subject. While it can be a lot, and I mean a lot of fun to do, it also comes with some pretty serious caveats.

Possibly the biggest thing to keep in mind about anal sex play is what the anus does. By this, I mean that this part of the body has evolved over millions of years to push stuff out of it, and because of this, inserting anything into it requires a large amount of care and forethought.

For example, take things slowly: anal play is definitely not anything you want to rush into. So be gentle and patient when you first start out and if anything hurts, for any reason, then immediately stop what you’re doing. And, should anything really hurt or keeps hurting, please get yourself to a doctor as soon as possible. Yes, it might be embarrassing, but that’s a very small price to pay to avoid what could possibly be a serious injury.

Second, never forget that lubrication, and a lot of it is essential. In fact, there’s an old saying in anal-sex circles that if you think you have enough lube, then you don’t. So don’t hold back! The anus, along with having evolved to push things out also withdraws moisture after all, so you’re going to have to keep things extremely moist to avoid discomfort or even injury.

Next, you need to know your lubes. It used to be that oil-based things like shortening were the thing, but now we have lubes that have been scientifically designed just for anal-sex play. So pick up the most highly recommended one you can—and, again, never scrimp on the application. As with toys, finding the right one might require some thought, as well as buying and trying many different types, but the end goal of then having the right lube for the right job is always worth it.

The same is true with protection, such as condoms and gloves. Both you should always (and I mean always) be using. Not just to prevent transmission of possible disease, but that the anal tissues are very delicate and can tear easily: so never fail to protect yourself and the person you are playing with!

Finally, you should be very aware of the risks involved, including the potential transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as what might cause serious injury to the anus. Alas, there are too many of these to cover in just this one article, so (yet again) I suggest to really educate yourself by using one of the great online resources available to you—especially before trying any kind of anal sex play.

Off the top of my head, I heartily recommend beginning by consulting Planned Parenthood and San Francisco Sex Information to get you going.

What Goes In, Must Come Out

large butt plug
A fun and rather colorful anal sex toy

When it comes to toys and anal sex I can’t say this strongly enough: only use something that has been designed and built for that kind of play. Do not, under any circumstance, just pick up any old object—even if it’s another variety of sex toy—and insert it, willy-nilly, into anyone’s anus.

Not only could this cause serious harm but it also can get… well, I guess you could say ‘stuck’ up there. Emergency room doctors the world over can attest to this: they often trade jokes about the ridiculous as well as very dangerous objects they’ve had to extract from people.

So, nothing but anal sex toys in anal sex play. Got it? Good. So, getting back to the subject of this article, how do you select that just-right toy for your anal play antics?

Getting Equipped

An important thing about anal sex equipment is that it comes in sizes. Sure, other sex toys sometimes also come large, medium, or small varieties, but when doing anal play is particularly important.

While flexible—it does push out occasionally large amounts of… stuff, after all—the anus still has its limits, and pushing those limits it never a good idea. Therefore, if you are relatively new to anal play, don’t pick the biggest, baddest toy available. Instead, select one on the small, or even very small, side. This way you can train yourself with it, and if you like the sensations, you can “graduate” at some point to something more medium-sized.

If you are a little inexperienced, it might be a good idea to go with a toy that’s simple and basic before leaping towards ones that vibrate, oscillate, or play classic show tunes. Okay, that last one I made up, but it wouldn’t come as a huge shock that someone, somewhere, is designing an anal toy that does that very thing.

Picking the Toy for the Job

anal toys
Anal sex toys come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors

If you do pick up your beginner’s toy and, after a good long time having a blast with it, you might consider trying out a different size or type. As mentioned, here’s where it can be a tad intimidating as there are so many possibilities to consider.

Unfortunately (for your bank account that is), you may very well have to do some trial-and-erroring by simply buying ones that pique your sexual interest. That being said, you can whittle down your possible options by considering the following:

Do you like active penetration?

By this I mean: do you like having a toy, finger, or penis inserted and withdrawn repeatedly. If so, and you want to try this sensation with a toy, then you might want to consider one that is smooth and not, for instance, textured or equipped with knobs and the like.

Do you like prostate stimulation?

One of the big allures of anal sex play is the stimulation of the prostate gland—for those who are equipped with them, of course. If you find this pleasurable, then selecting a toy that has been specifically designed for this activity might be the way to go.

Do you like being filled?

When you look at sex toys, you no doubt spotted the kind frequently referred to as plugs, and just like they sound, they are created to often fill as much of the anus as possible. If this is kind of play is what you find yourself enjoying, then a plug might be up your… alley. (See what I did there?) Though, once again, don’t leap for the largest one until you get your body used to those kinds of dimensions.

Do you enjoy anal sex?

Kind of harkening back to our first point, if you enjoy anal intercourse with a penis-equipped partner—both biological as well as artificial—and you want that same kind of sensation in toy-form, then you might want to pick up a toy that looks more like a penis than one that doesn’t.

Do you like rimming?

Many people find oral stimulation of the anus to be very exciting, followed sometimes (but not always) with penetration. While there aren’t exactly toys—yet, that is—that mirror this particular sensation, you can get frequently close by using toys that vibrate, like a vibrating butt plug. Just, for heaven’s sake, don’t insert anything that isn’t specifically designed for anal penetration. Again, this could cause harm or require a visit to the emergency room to extract.

From the Bottom Up

graduated bead anal toy
Maybe this will be your favorite anal sex toy!

Anal sex can definitely be a lot of fun, and now, thanks to all those sex-tech geniuses out there who have put their erotic intellects hard to work dreaming up all kinds of delightful devices, we can experience its pleasures like never before.

While this selection of options can be intimidating, hopefully this guide can assist you in picking what could very well be your perfect anal sex toy, or at least put you on a good path towards some fun sexual self-discovery until you do.

But as you go shopping, and then have hopefully anal sex fun afterward, keep in mind that this kind of activity always requires a great deal of forethought and care to be done safely. And that forethought and care can only come through taking your sexual education seriously, by putting aside time to teach yourself as much as you can about what might go wrong, what to do when things do go wrong, how to take precautions to minimize those going wrong things, and that, more than anything, to stay educated. Understand that new techniques to play safely are being discovered practically all the time and it’s your responsibility to stay informed.

Do this and your anal sex activities—with or without toys—won’t just be as safe as they can be, but because you are informed and conscientious, you and who you play with can relax, and thus have an even more enjoyable and overall way more exciting time!

Want more anal content? Check out Threesome Anal Temptations 2 exclusively on HotMovies!

M. Christian is a highly regarded author (if he does say so himself) of kinky books and stories, informative non-fiction articles on sex and futurism, and—when he’s not writing—teaches BDSM classes with his pal, R. Greco Jr. Check him out at and be sure to tune the podcast he also does with Ralph: ‘Licking Non Vanilla.’

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