Anal Toys 101
Written by Frederik A.K.A Toytoture
Finding the right anal toy and keeping it in good shape so it lasts for a long time can be a bit of a challenge. There are many aspects to consider when choosing an anal toy. Especially when buying the first one and have not developed personal preferences yet, giving each aspect some thought is a good idea because a good anal toy is quite an investment. But if chosen wisely will bring fun for years to come.
Choosing the right material
The material which an anal toy is made out of has a big influence on the play experience. The first step in finding the right material is considering which lube will be used most often with the toy. Not every lube can be used with every material. Some lubes will actually cause to disintegrate certain materials. The following chart shows which lube can generally speaking be safely used with which material. Of cause individual material composition can lead to unexpected effects. The safest lube is water-based which works with every material. When inserting anal toys slowly a thick lube which stays in place like Elbow Grease H2O Thick Gel should be used. For quick fucking something more slippery like Swiss Navy is better.
Next the material firmness should be considered. Which degree of it is good is depends on the usage situation. For training an ass to open up a softer toy is better because it adjusts a bit to the sphincter. For wearing a toy for an extended period of time a harder material is better because the sphincter will adjust to the form of the toy which is more comfortable in the long run. Also with hard surfaces the likelihood of skin folds and thus a pinching sensation decreases. The firmness also impacts the structural integrity. The firmer the toy the easier it will stand up by itself. This is especially important if the toy should be used ride or sit on it. If it is too soft, it will collapse.
Furthermore the surface structure is important. The smoother the surface the easier the toy glides in and the easier it will be to clean.
Choosing the right form
There are two major form factors: Dildos, which are compared to their thickness relatively long shafts with a tapered tips for easier insertion, and plugs, which are shorter and between the maximum diameter and the base taper again so they can stay inside the butt.
Dildos are probably the oldest sex toys humans invented. Stone penises as old as 28.000 years have been excavated. They induce a friction sensation on the nerve endings inside the sphincter while sliding in and out and at best hit the prostate. Depending on the glans’ shape there can be some stretching sensation.
Dildos come in two varieties. The first one are realistic dildos. They mimic the penis shape. Most of the time the shaft is textured with veins which intensify the friction and thus the sensation. At the bottom end most of them feature a base shaped like balls. The second variety is shape dildos. They are bullet or torpedo shaped and lack natural texturing.
Somewhere between dildos and plugs are shape dildos which consist of a series of bulges. The most extreme expression of this form are anal beads. They are a series of balls connected by a string or tubes which are inserted into the ass and then slowly pulled out. Of cause these toys aim to create a stretching sensation rather than a friction one.
A special form of dildos are so colon snakes trainers like the Crackstuffers Depth Trainer. They are very long, made out of flexible materials and don’t have much texture. They are designed to seduce the second sphincter to gradually open up to prepare for deep fisting. Since this sphincter is not used to physical stimulation and unlike the anus can’t be relaxed purposefully, training it takes some time.
The shape of a butt plugs is best compared to the bottom half of a sand clock. From the tip they gradually increase in diameter and then – depending on the plug – either taper again or go directly into a short neck which is attached to a base. Through the gradually increasing diameter the main sensation of plugs is a stretching one. So plugs are good to slowly train the sphincter to open up to a certain diameter.
A special form of plugs are hollow or tunnel plugs like the Oxballs Pig Hole. Their outside form is like a butt plug but instead of being solid they have hole in the middle. Through the opening in the middle the tip is dull. So even if you can take the maximum diameter of the plug you might not be able to take it or only after a long pre-stretching. The hole is useful for many things. Through it lube or other liquids can be poured or the closing function of the sphincter can temporarily be taken away. The plug also protects the nerve endings in the sphincter from friction. Thus hollow plugs are especially useful in combination with depth trainers. Such plugs shield the anus from the friction sensation allowing the bottom to focus on what is happening at his second sphincter. When the tunnel plug is made out of a stretchy material (and is large enough) it can be used to fist through it making a formally too small toy interesting again or put it over a standard butt plug to increase its size.
With the increasing popularity of pet play there is a growing market of tail plugs. Instead of a base an appendix mimicking the look of an animal’s tail (most common are dog and pig tails) is attached to the plug’s body. When choosing a tail, it is important to keep two things in mind: Don’t buy a too small plug section because if it slides in too easily it will also slide out easily which can lead to losing the tail when walking or wagging. Furthermore the mass ration between the plug and the tail should not be off too much. The center of gravity should be at the plug, otherwise there is also the danger of the tail popping out easily. Tails are also popular with switchers not into pet play. When fucking somebody the tail will develop a momentum which is transferred to the plug section which than stimulates the prostate.
Choosing the right size & shape
When starting out into anal play 3cm to 4cm is a good size diameter. For further training the maximum diameter should not increase more than 1cm at a time. When progressing in training the position of the widest diameter becomes an important aspect to keep in mind. Since the colon is a quite small body cavern when the maximum diameter is too far away from the tip the toy might be too long to be inserted completely.
Beside the diameter the slope is important. It defines how quickly the diameter from the tip on increases. Even though the anal sphincter can somewhat voluntarily be relaxed it still is a muscle humans cannot control completely. It needs to be seduced to open up and in order to establish a certain training level it needs to be carefully stretched like every other muscle. Thus generally speaking steeper slopes are better because they allow the sphincter to open up more gradually. Especially when being a novice staying away from toys with large dull tips is wise because it will just press against the sphincter.
At butt plugs there are two slopes to look at: The one leading the maximum diameter and the one tapering toward the base which determines how easily the toy will come out again. When training a sphincter a steep slope is preferable. Once inserted the plug can be used for slow fucking, enjoying the stretching sensation. For wearing a plug for an extended period of time a duller to non-existing slope is preferable because it makes involuntarily popping out more difficult. On the other hand when wearing a plug long-term, the “warm-up” of the sphincter after pushing it in slowly fades, so seducing the sphincter to open up again and release the plug becomes increasingly more difficult the longer the plug is worn.
Some toys are textured which add stimulation. Groves, bumps and ridges are the most common textures in ascending order of intensity. Which form delivers the best sensation is very individual. But a good rule of thumb is: the higher the texture is shaped, the stronger the stimulation. Since texture increases the friction of a toy it makes the insertion more difficult so the maximum diameter should be smaller than the when choosing a smooth toy. This of cause means that these toys are meant for play when the hole is already relaxed so it is not about the stretching (sensation) but about teasing the nerves in the sphincter.
Caring for your Anal Toys
Cleaning & Safer Sex
From a Safer Sex point of view a toy should either be used only by one person or covered by a condom. If both are not an option cleaning the toys the right way is essential.
To clean anal toys after play fill the sink with water between 40°C and 50°C, add dish soap and let the toy soak for approx. 15 minutes. The dish soap should be without perfume or lotion because these additives are bad for rubber and some PVCs. To break down water-based lube two tea spoons of salt can be added. After the soaking the toys should be scrubbed with a soft brush and the soap water rinsed off. In order to sanitize the toys and deal with some unpleasant odors another 15 minutes soak with vinegar-based cleaners is recommended. After another rinse and drying a sanitizer should be used. The agents in the sanitizer can make glossy surfaces dull so should be spray on the base first where the blemished surface is inconspicuous.
In order to have long lasting fun with anal toys there some simple storage rules in mind. Toys should always be cleaned after using them. The lube or body fluids otherwise can foster chemical reactions which might harm the toy. The storage place should be dry and at best well ventilated. The toys must never touch! The different plasticizers used by different manufacturers and materials can cause the toys to dissolve when touching or the air being filled with them. If the process started (an area getting sticky or gooey) it is too late. Sadly the process is irreversible. Especially soft toys should be stored upright (or in case of depth trainers loosely rolled up) otherwise they might get permanent creases.
Who is Frederik?
Frederik discovered his passion for kink quite early in his life. Living in the scarcely populated northern German provinces for most of his life has not stopped him to explore Leather, Rubber, Fisting and BDSM.
Being a toy collector and user as well as a masochistic switchy sub at heart he started ToyTorture.com in 2012. The websites focuses on reviewing the best BDSM toys for gays and talking about play and kink from his perspective. Following his motto “Perverting the world one kinkster at a time” he is giving speeches and demos on BDSM. He is also a member of the Chicago Hellfire Club and the Quälgeist e.V. to support organizations which foster a welcoming and open environment for kinksters.
If you want to keep up with him and his kinky life follow him on Twitter @ToyTorture.