How Do Butt Plugs Work? What Are Butt Plugs Used For?
The purpose of a butt plug is primarily to deliver sensation. They give a feeling of fullness inside the rectum, and they can apply pressure to either the prostate (in prostate owners) or the A-spot (in vagina owners) depending on the user’s anatomy and the shape of the plug.
Butt plugs can be used as pleasure toys all on their own. However, they come in many different sizes and can be worn discreetly, so many users will choose to use them as an adjunct toy as well. They may be worn in public on a date, at home while doing chores, during oral or vaginal sex, or used as a wearable dilator to relax the anus and anal muscles. The question of “why do people use butt plugs” isn’t directly answerable, because, well, butt plugs do a lot of different things. People use them for many different reasons, and even individual users may use butt plug play to achieve different goals at different times.
What is a butt plug?
A butt plug or an anal plug is a toy that plugs the anus and rectum. They taper in partway through the toy and then flare back out to ensure that part of the toy stays on the outside of your body. This is essential: toys without a flared base are not safe for anal use, as they can get lost in the smooth muscle lining your rectum. So, put down the bullet vibrator and reach instead for an anal-safe toy.
Wearing a Butt Plug: What Does Butt Plug Feel Like?
Butt plugs can be enjoyable for many different reasons. While many users simply like the mental and physical feeling of fullness they deliver, they’re well-located to stimulate the perineal nerve, anal nerve, and prostate (in users with prostates) or the anal nerve, G-spot, and A-spot (in users with vaginas). If you’re not experiencing a lot of sensation while using a butt plug, try adjusting the toy to reach different spots while you’re already turned on. Some erogenous zones are more sensitive during different stages of arousal, so it may take time to find the spots that leave you feeling like a delicious puddle of dopamine.
For more sensation across the board, users can opt to increase the size of their sex toy, switch to a textured sex toy (like a string of anal beads), or select a vibrating butt plug. b-Vibe is a great place to start if you’re looking for a vibrating butt plug; they’re a very inclusive brand that makes toys with an extra-pronounced flare at the base, making each plug super safe to use.
Another option is to purchase a butt plug with a holder on the exterior portion for a bullet vibrator attachment, which you can choose to insert or not insert for each session. Feel free to ignore marketing such as “butt plugs for women” and “butt plugs for men” while shopping: The rectum functions the same for bodies of all types, so go with whatever marketing feels the most comfortable to you.
How to Insert a Butt Plug
With an anal plug or any kind of anal toy, step one is always, always this: Use lube. Use lots of lube and reapply as needed. The anus is not self-lubricating, and it is made of delicate tissues that are easy to tear. Water-based lubes made for anal play, like Sutil Rich, are plush and easy to clean up but will evaporate over time. For longer sessions, try something like the silicone-based Überlube or hybrid Sliquid Silk.
To insert an anal plug of any kind, use lube, relax, and take your time. Try this guide on preparing for anal sex if you’re having trouble getting started. Anal stimulation should never be intensely painful – if it is, that’s a sign that your body’s delicate tissues could tear, which increases your chance of infection or disease transmission. Never use a numbing product during anal play, and start with a small butt plug if you’re having trouble using a certain toy. You can slowly work your way up to a bigger butt plug if that’s what your goal is.
Make sure to clean your butt plugs and anal sex toys well before and after each use. Choose toys made from non-porous materials when possible and wash with soap and water. Silicone, glass, and stainless steel are popular choices for sex toys, including anal toys, as they are super easy to clean. Try setting your stainless steel plug in a bath of warm or cool water to add temperature play to your sex or masturbation session. To eliminate bacteria and smells, use a 10% bleach solution on your anal toys. If they’re dishwasher-safe, you can also use the sanitise setting on your dishwasher to clean them.
Butt Plug Benefits & Different Kinds of Butt Plugs
When it comes to anal play and butt plug play, you have a ton of different options for sex toys. Plugs will stay in you in virtually any position. You can use them sitting, standing, lying down; even running around doing errands! You can find both big butt plugs and small butt plugs, as well as plugs with special features like vibration, fantasy tails, and crystal gems on the end.
However, you can also find anal stimulation from toys like anal beads and dildos, which tend to be longer. Anal beads create a lot of sensation when they’re pulled in and out, and dildos are often favoured for their density and girth. Other options that you can consider are anal trainer kits, which function as dilators for the anal sphincter, and prostate massagers, which have a more pronounced shape to apply pressure or vibration to the prostate from the inside and the outside. Some big names in prostate massage include Aneros and Nexus.
Just like with a butt plug, make sure that any anal toy – including anal beads and dildos – features a flared base or wide handle.
Butt plugs are a great way to warm up for anal sex, become more comfortable with anal sensation, and can heighten sensations in other parts of your body while they’re in use. For a toy that delivers unique sensations that can be enjoyed alone or layered with other sexual acts and stimulation, consider a butt plug for your next play session.
Rae Chen (they/them) is a queer Canadian writer who covers sex, tech, and beauty in between decaf oat milk lattes and trips to the dog park. Their work and interviews have been featured in Teen Vogue, SELF, InsideHook, Bloomberg, and more.