Lifestyle A Sex Therapist Shares Her Favorite Anal Toys — And Why You Need One Here's everything you need to know about getting into butt play. By Rachel Wright Rachel Wright With a Master's Degree in clinical psychology, Rachel Wright has worked with thousands of humans worldwide, helping them scream less and screw more. She has brought her message to stages across the globe, was SHAPE Magazine's Sex + Relationships Coach, and created the virtual workshop series What You Wish You Learned in School: Sex Ed and is currently one of mindbodygreen's article review experts. She also has a residency at Green Room 42 in NYC called "One Night Stand: A Night for Sexier & Healthier Broadway." Rachel has been featured widely in the media, including on Cheddar TV, as a regular contributor to SHAPE, INSIDER, mbg, InStyle, The Dipp, Well & Good — plus Cosmopolitan Magazine, PIX 11 (NYC), Women's Health, NBC News Radio, Huffington Post, CTV (Canada), and hundreds of other outlets. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on October 12, 2021 @ 10:00AM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Stocksy If you're curious about anal play, you've come to the right place. While the world of 'butt stuff' may seem intimidating for beginners, it's a great way to explore and experiment with new sensations... and it also brings loads of pleasure. One way to do that: Anal toys. From butt plugs to prostate massagers, there's a whole world of toys out there for anyone of any gender to get started with anal play. Your Ultimate Guide to Butt Plug Play "Someone might want to try a butt plug or anal beads to experience pleasure," queer sex educator Marla Renee Stewart previously told us. "Some people have amazing anal orgasms and some folks prefer these over genital stimulation, so it's worth it to give it a try." Especially if you have difficulty orgasming from genital stimulation! First thing's first, a few quick tips when it comes to anal play. Go Slow and Be Patient Anal play is best and most pleasurable by going slow and taking your time. Use all the nerve endings the anus has to warm up through non-penetrative anal stimulation before penetration. You can start by simply touching the area with a finger and lube, circling the outside of the anus. As that feels more comfortable, start putting your finger in slowly and see what that feels like. Then, you can work your way up to a small plug (more on that in a minute). If you're feeling tense, try stimulating the clitoris at the same time — it will help relax your pelvic muscles, including your anus. Use SO MUCH Lube The anus is not self-lubricating, so using lube is a must for pleasurable, pain-free booty play. (It will also help prevent microtears in the anus by reducing friction.) My favorite lube for booty play is Cake's Tush Cush, a silicone and water hybrid that's lightweight and long-lasting — everything you need in a lube! (If you're looking for a water-based option, I would highly recommend combining GoLoveCBD's Intimate Serum with Sliquid's Sassy Lubricant — you're welcome.) A Little Discomfort Is Typical; Pain Is Not If you're brand new to anal play, it's going to take some time (patience is a key theme here!) to figure out what angles, lubes, toys, and/or body parts are going to feel the best. During that exploration process, you will find that some things cause a sensation you do not like, and that is important to note and communicate to your sexual partner(s) if they're involved. A new sensation may feel uncomfortable or even create a feeling of discomfort physically, and it's vital that you can distinguish between pain and temporary discomfort. Sex is never supposed to hurt — unless you're asking specifically for pain as a part of your sexual play. The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to BDSM Communication Is Key If you plan to explore booty play with a partner, communicating beforehand is the best way to warm up. Talk to your partner about your concerns, boundaries, or limits. Share your fears and fantasies, as well as what turns you on and off. Then, hear all of theirs! An open conversation beforehand will lead to more communication during play. Also, it can help to have a safe word as an "emergency stop" button and use a red/yellow/green system for communicating STOP, GO, and "I'm almost close to this being too much," which is yellow. What About Hygiene? Let's be honest, encountering poop, or producing poop is a fear almost everyone has with booty play. We all do it, and shit happens! If a poop fiasco happens to you, remember that you aren't gross, and it's normal. If you are concerned, there are helpful steps to take to get as clean as possible before anal play begins. One major perk about an ever-evolving sex-positive industry is there's a toy, lube, or product for everything. Future Method, an anal care company founded by Dr. Evan Goldstein, has an incredible enema bulb and a very gentle cleansing solution designed to clean your tush! A few hours before booty time, take a shower (this is when you can use the enema bulb if you want), put a FuxPad, Liberator Throw, or towel down for during play — and enjoy. Want to Try Anal Sex for the First Time? Read This My Favorite Anal Toys of 2021 1. b-Vibe Rimmers b-Vibe has a wide range of plugs (non-vibrating, rimming, and vibrating) that come in different sizes and intensities, making them perfect for beginners and experts alike. Their line of remote-controlled rimmers (which simulate rimming), vibrate while beads stimulating the anus with a pleasurable circular motion. These toys can be fun for solo, partnered, or group play. Vibration can help relax the anus, which is excellent for beginners (and leads to more exploration for the more experienced). Bonus: b-Vibe's rimmers are made of body-safe silicone that is soft and flexible, so it feels good sitting in your booty. To buy: From $145; bvibe.com 2. Tango Butt Plug for EveryBODY Tango is one of my favorite companies that strives to make toys for all genders —because everybody deserves to experience and explore pleasure in new ways. They only make one plug, and it's the best simple butt plug around. In fact, I recommend it to my clients, friends, in most articles, and to most people searching for a good butt plug! It's made of medical-grade silicone that pairs well with water-based lube and is a breeze to clean. It comes in one beginner size for ease and comfort for all, but it's also a great, wearable plug for those more experienced with anal play. To buy: $28 3. Aneros Helix This toy is known as the world's most popular hands-free prostate massager. Because of its wavy design and ability to be hands-free, it's the ultimate pleasure toy for prostate owners. It is made from body-safe silicone, is completely waterproof, and is super easy to clean. Because of its hands-free nature, prostate-owners can wear this toy while other sexy shenanigans are going down (how fun!) and makes it easy to move around during sexy time. It's also simple and doesn't have any vibrations, so this is a great starter toy for those wanting to explore prostate play — solo or partnered. To buy: $55 4. Crystal Delights T-Stem If you haven't felt the firmness of glass in your butt, you're missing out! Crystal Delights is one of my favorite glass toy companies because they make toys for all bodies, are eco-friendly, and all their toys are created using hardened borosilicate glass. Using borosilicate glass means it will not crack under extreme temperature changes, pressure, or easily break if mishandled. The Crystal Delights T-stem is a fun, easy-to-use shape that fits comfortably for most body types. The glass aspect makes this toy compatible with both water and silicone-based lubes (or hybrids!), easy to clean, and leads to a new world of sensations. Glass toys can be warmed up or cooled down for temperature play, and the heavier, rigid structure of glass enhances stimulation. Last but not least, this will last you a lifetime if cleaned and cared for properly. To buy: From $40; crystaldelights.com 5. Fun Factory B Balls DUO For more diverse anal stimulation, I highly recommend the Fun Factory B Ball DUO butt plug. This plug is a unique toy with weighted balls that move and bump a bit when you move. Talk about a new world of sensation! You can add this plug into the mix during your solo play, partnered sex, or spanking to keep the weighted balls moving and adding immense amounts of pleasure. Besides the weighted balls, this toy has a tapered tip for easy insertion, making this plug extra comfortable for the booty. Due to the ridges on this toy, I recommend using a toy cleaner to ensure every little spot gets cleaned after use. (Some of my favorites are Sliquid's Shine, SweetVibes Foami, and Cake's Toy Cleaner.) To buy: $40; funfactory.com 6. We-Vibe Ditto The We-Vibe Ditto is a fun anal toy that encourages couples to explore different pleasure points — for prostate and vagina owners alike. This toy's shape and design were crafted with prostate pleasure in mind and controlled by an app. It's also super user-friendly, which ensures that it won't be intimidating to get to know if you're a beginner or a seasoned anal play partaker. Plus, there is a fun feature on the app where you and your partner(s) can create your own vibration patterns to use with the Ditto. It is also 100% waterproof and made out of super-soft, body-safe silicone. This toy is great for all genders to use and has deep, rumbly vibrations. To buy: $129; we-vibe.com 7. V for Vibes Cybele Have you wanted to try triple stimulation but were not sure where to start? V for Vibes Cybele is the toy for you! This toy is a wonderfully designed triple vibrator to simultaneously stimulate the vagina, clitoris, and anus. Great for beginners and the more experienced alike, it is designed to be inserted anally and vaginally while the clitoris is stimulated with vibration. It is made of medical-grade silicone making it soft, flexible, easy to clean, and compatible with water-based lube. Plus, this toy comes with a remote control, making for easy and dynamic solo and partnered play. If you want to try a whole new world of sensations, this is the toy for you. To buy: $79; vforvibes.com 8. We-Vibe Vector The We-Vibe Vector is a sleek, smooth silicone toy designed to bring pleasure to the prostate and the perineum through vibration. The Vector connects to the We-Vibe app, allowing it to be controlled through your phone. It has six different vibration settings that range in intensity and is entirely waterproof. If you're looking for a toy that takes your masturbation game or partnered play to the next level as a prostate owner, this toy is for you! To buy: $139; we-vibe.com Rachel Wright, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist, sex educator, and relationship expert based in New York City.