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Anal sex toys: we’ve come a long way since these Victorian butt plugs

Question: would you buy a ‘recto-rotor’? Sold as a device to help alleviate – among other things – constipation and prostate trouble, this remarkably-butt-plug-shaped device was advertised in magazines and newspapers back in the early 1920s, next to proud claims that they could provide certain health benefits.

Here’s what it looked like: would you fancy having a go with one?

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Anal sex toys: what’s the appeal?

Ever since humans have been around, they’ve wanted to put things in their bums. We just can’t help it! Done right, putting things in your bum feels good – especially if you have a prostate – and with the invention of proper sex toys, no one needs to rely on the old excuses used by Victorians that this butt plug would somehow help digestion. It doesn’t need to help digestion: it’s just fun.

If you’re curious about butt plugs or prostate massagers (I’ll explain the difference in a second!), know that you’re not alone. In fact, butt plugs are so fun that they are consistently one of the most popular search terms on my own sex blog, as well as one of the most common things people search for when they arrive at the site.

What is a butt plug?

Let’s start with the very basics: a butt plug is a shaped sex toy with a flared end (the flared end is very important!) that you lube up and insert in your butt for pleasure. Although our Victorian ancestors might have been tempted by its ‘constipation relieving’ properties, the medical benefits of a butt plug are questionable: basically we’re doing this for pleasure.

What makes it so pleasurable? Well for a start your butt is a pretty sensitive place – with lots of nerve endings, particularly around the entrance. Some people enjoy the sensation of feeling stretched out and full (which you can achieve with different sizes of butt plug, depending on how much stretch you’d like), and others – like me – enjoy it mostly because it adds an extra bit of variety to the options you have when you shag.

If you have a prostate, things get even better, and as most men have prostates anal sex toys for men are incredibly popular. A butt plug or prostate massager will put a gentle pressure on the prostate (which is located just inside your anus, about an inch or two up, at the front of the passageway), which can feel intense and in many people stimulation of the prostate alone is enough to induce orgasm.

Anal sex toys: what’s available?

While butt plugs are arguably the most popular anal sex toy, there are plenty of other anal sex toys to try out if you’re into butt fun.

Prostate massagers often look similar to butt plugs but with a slight curve or shape to better focus the pressure on the prostate. Vibrating prostate massagers, like the Svakom Vic, have powerful vibration settings to stimulate the prostate while the massager is inside you.

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Anal beads like these Loving Joy triple ripple ones are inserted one bead at a time, so you can try them out by inserting the smaller beads, then gradually work your way up to the larger ones if you’d like experience more stretch and internal pressure on the prostate.

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Anal douches, like this one by Loving Joy, are often used in conjunction with other anal toys – you can use douches to clean yourself out before an anal session if you’re worried about hygeine, or simply use them for the sake of getting pleasure from the sensation of body-temperature water squirting into your bum. It’s surprisingly satisfying even for someone like me who doesn’t have a prostate.

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How do you use a butt plug (or other anal sex toys)?

If you’re trying anal sex toys for the first time, make sure that alongside your toy order you also throw in a good amount of lubricant. You’ll need to make sure that the toy is well lubed up before you try to put it anywhere near your nethers. Although the vagina sometimes provides natural sexual lubricant, your anal passage doesn’t, so make sure to dollop on a good serving of lube before you begin.

The second thing to note is that you should always check that your anal sex toys are 100% safe to use anally. Anything that goes in your bum should always have a flared base so that it can emerge again afterwards: never fully insert a sex toy into your anus, as it can get stuck and mean you have an embarrassing trip to A&E.

Once you’ve got all the basics sorted, it’s time for fun! Begin by inserting something small – like your lubed-up finger (or your partner’s) and when you start inserting the toy do it slowly. You want to give yourself time to get used to the erotic sensation, and not stretch the anus too far, too fast. Insertion and removal should both be done relatively slowly, to give your body time to adapt. Once you’ve played with anal sex toys a few times, you’ll have a better feel for how fast or slow you prefer to play, but to start off with slower is always better!

After the exploration stage, feel free to mix it up a bit! Some of my favourite ways to use butt plugs aren’t mentioned often in these ‘how-to’ guides, so I’ll share my 3 favourite butt plug tips:

  • If you have a prostate and you like anal play, try putting in a butt plug before having sex, then sitting on a hard surface while your partner rides your cock. The pressure on the plug each time they slide down is – I am told – a pretty excellent experience!
  • If you don’t have a vibrating butt plug or prostate massager, try pressing a powerful wand vibrator against the base of the plug while it’s inside your anus. The vibrations will travel pretty well – especially through glass butt plugs – giving a whole new layer of erotic stimulation!
  • Try wearing a butt plug around the house! OK I know this one might sound weird if the idea of casual sex toy use hasn’t occurred to you before, but I assure you this is one of those kinks that plenty of people find very sexy. Not only can it be a good way to get you used to anal toys if you’d like to practice, but it also means you have a constant reminder of your sexy secret, meaning more opportunities to get horny and daydream about hot things while you’re getting on with the housework!

Hopefully these tips – and product recommendations! – are helpful if you’re thinking of trying anal sex toys. And if you do decide to take the plunge, spare a thought for our poor Victorian ancestors, who had to pretend that butt toys were for health rather than pleasure reasons. And they didn’t even have any decent vibrating ones as far as I know…

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