While it’s hard to pinpoint the first beginnings of sex toy usage, there is a reference to anal sex as far back as the ancient Greeks and in northern Peru. While there was no indication of anal toys being used, the depictions of anal sex were thought to be as a means of birth control.
The dildo has a rich history and one that can be traced back, but when it comes to anal toys, things are a little sketchy. It’s known that anal beads have been around for thousands of years, and anal hooks were used as a form of torture, back in the day. However, one of the easiest anal toys to track back in history is the butt plug.
One of the earliest reports was something called “figging,” where ginger was peeled into the shape of a butt plug and inserted into the anus (or the vagina), and this was a form of punishment, and still occurs today in consensual BDSM role play.
The earliest reference of butt plugs dates back to the late 1800s where a set of anal dilators was patented. The set included various increased sizes of dilators that were made from rubber. These were to be used from the smaller one and increased in size. At the time, these were to help relieve constipation, or for aiding with hemorrhoid healing. They were also prescribed as a means of curing insanity. In 1931, there was the first anal prostate massager the ‘Recto Rotor’ which was longer than the first butt plugs. From this time, more products were showing up, and glass dilators were hitting the market too.
Aside from being able to order out of catalogs, the first brick and mortar sex store that sold any form of an anal toy was in the 1960s. This was Beate Uhse’s Specialty Store for Marital Hygiene and was opened in Germany.
What is an Anal Sex Toy?
Out of all the categories of sex toys, one of the most extensive sections is anal toys. So, what are anal sex toys exactly?
These sex toys are specially designed to suit and to stimulate anyone who has desires for anal stimulation. There is a large variety of devices, and they are often suitable for both males and females. Although it can be a bit daunting stepping into the world of anal play, many of these anal toys don’t require too much experience before users can begin.
Additionally, many can be used for solo anal stimulation or for dual play with partners. Anal toys can range from the very simple to the highly exotic and sophisticated, with some models being remote controlled as well.
Because the anal region is tighter than a vagina, many come with tapered ends for easy insertion, or they are thinner all the way along the shaft. That being said, there are options for the more experienced user that blow this design out of the water too.Benefits
From the 60s and onward, there have been more toys introduced, but because the subject of anal play was considered taboo, and mainly the thing that gay men did, it has been something which has been kept under wraps. Nowadays, things are very different, and there are various anal toys for either solo play or to use between couples and partners.
Prostate stimulation: This is one of the significant benefits for men. The prostate can cause problems in some men, so stimulating it can help to alleviate these issues. However, it is the equivalent of the G-spot in women. Men can receive very different types of orgasms than penis-induced ones. These whole body orgasms can leave them drained, or they can go on and have multiple orgasms with little rest time in between.
Women can have more orgasms: When some anal toys are used, there is internal pressure that pushes toward the vagina. This can help the G-spot to be stimulated easier, and not only that, the inner vaginal walls are stimulated from both sides which adds to sensations too.
Increases intimacy: Because there’s a high level of trust between partners for any form of anal play, it can bring partners closer together. It can also help to spice up a dull sex life when partners have been together for a long time.
Power play: BDSM is widespread, and now couples can introduce power play into their bedroom antics. This can be for any gender, and there is all manner of ways that power play fantasies can be realized. This can be female to female, male to female, male to male, or female to male (pegging).
Makes anal sex easier: When butt plugs are used, the muscles in the sphincter can be stretched and will relax. This makes it more comfortable for anal sex to occur over time. From this, countless nerves are stimulated which allow for a very different kind of orgasmic experience.
Different Anal Toy Types
There are many designs of anal toys that can add lots of diversity to anal play. Here are the more common anal toys you can find…
Anal beads: These sex toys are made up of several spheres that are all balls that are connected together. Based on older designs, these were joined by a cord. However, newer models are connected together through strands of silicone. Anal beads are not designed to give continual pleasure, but each time one is inserted or pulled from the anus; that’s when the point of stimulation is received. Anal beads are gender neutral so they can be used on men or women. The way they are often used is when you are about to climax. Here, they are eased out of the anus (one by one) to deliver undulating sensations.
Stainless steel butt plugs: This type of butt plug delivers very unique experiences. While they might be the same shape, they are a dense material that doesn’t mold to the body, and can also be used in temperature play. Stainless steel butt plugs are also heavier than their counterparts, so there is the feeling of weight inside as well as the fuller feeling which is desired. Stainless steel butt plugs are ideal for prostate stimulation because they deliver direct pressure while still being smooth. These butt plugs can also be worn for extended periods for day-long.
Vibrating butt plugs: These come in all manner of shapes and sizes, but what they all have in common is their ability to deliver lots of additional stimulation to the thousands of nerves around the anus. Vibrating butt plugs are more about stimulus than just stretching the anus for intercourse, and these are designed to be used during sex where both partners can feel the powerful motors vibrating.
Training butt plugs: There is no question that when you are new to anal toys or anal sex, it can be hard work. Training butt plugs are the solution to this and often come in kits of varying sizes. Users can begin small, and once they are accustomed to this size, they can work their way up. This allows for larger anal toys to be used, or it can make anal sex more comfortable. Until the anus is relaxed, these can also be worn during vaginal intercourse to replicate double penetration.
Anal dildos: This type of dildo was designed with anal penetration in mind. They do come in a variety of sizes, but in many cases, these anal dildos are a little smaller than their vaginal equivalents. While butt plugs are designed to sit stationary inside the rectum, anal dildos are designed for the thrusting action to replicate intercourse. This doesn’t only have to be for solo play, and they can be used during regular intercourse to deliver additional stimulation too.
Anal hooks: These are unlike any other anal toy, and are not designed to deliver comfort. When used in BDSM predicament play, they can heighten sensations while the wearer is forced to remain in position. The steel hooks can be used as a means of prostate massage by twisting and turning, or they can be used on women in addition to being tied with rope while deep vaginal stimulation is delivered to the wearer. These are generally used for role play.
Anal douches: Not designed to deliver pleasure. This isn’t to say there are no models out there that can provide unique sensations. In reality, anal douches are intended to clean everything ready for further anal play, and there is no other real way to promote anal hygiene (other than douching) before you proceed. These come in a variety of designs, from simple bulbs that deliver a direct jet of water, to penis-shaped shower attachments that can spray water in every direction.
Where Can You Use Your Anal Sex Toys?
Possibilities are endless, and as there are a few of these anal sex toys designed for role-playing, they can be used in any scenario where this fits. Butt plugs can be used for solo play, or with a partner.
These can also be used as an easy way to simulate double penetration, or to add more stimulation and vaginal tightness when masturbating, during sex, when alone, or with a partner.
Tailed butt plugs are often used when there are a group of people, and they are used for decoration, but there are also the people who have a fetish for fur and like the idea of having sexual play with something that has a furry appendage. It’s a style thing too.
Prostate massagers are frequently used on a male partner, not for health reasons, but to give them the sensation of having an all over body orgasm. These can induce very different orgasms that are nothing like a penis stimulation orgasm.
All the other toys are versatile and can be used for fun play and are designed for ease of anal penetration, or they are used between partners to deliver never before experienced levels of stimulation.
Anal sex toys (for the more experienced) are sometimes used in group settings where humiliation is one of the main motives for anal play. Anal hooks are one of the easiest ways of making the wearer feel this in a BDSM or bondage setting. It can make any sexual interaction all the more intense through limited movement before feeling discomfort or even pain. Always have a ‘safe word’ that is a trusted word between parties. Discuss this before sexual play begins.
Rubber: This is often the cheapest material you can find for anal toys. But, it is far from the best and should be avoided. There can be latex added, and in some individuals, this can cause allergic reactions. Rubber is often used in stiffer products such as dildos, while still delivering some flexibility. This material is porous and cannot be thoroughly sterilized, so bacteria can breed under the surface. If you do opt in here, make sure it’s from a reputable seller who acknowledges great cleaning procedures as a necessity.
Silicone: This material is one of the safest available for anal toys, mostly because it can be sterilized in boiling water. The coating can also be ideal for newer users as it is soft and it does give a little, and therefore it will mold to the body. Silicone is soft to the touch and is hypoallergenic, so there is hardly anyone who will have an allergic reaction. Silicone is also non-porous and also hinders bacterial growth which is another reason it is so popular for anal toys.
Stainless steel: There are lots of anal toys that are made from stainless steel. This is (in most cases) medical grade, but some of the manufacturers at the cheaper end of the market do add nickel which can cause reactions. Steel is hard and doesn’t give to pressure. This means the sensations it can deliver are more intense than softer materials. It is hypoallergenic and can be sterilized in hot water if they have no vibrating units.
Glass: This material is hypoallergenic and 100% body safe. It delivers a smooth surface no matter what bumps or ribs are added to it. It is a non-porous material, so there is no chance of bacteria or moisture getting under the surface. Additionally, it is straightforward to clean too. There are two types of glass used, and one is more durable than the other. Soda lime glass is used in the USA (and some other countries) for anal toy production. European anal toy glass is borosilicate glass and is the same as what Pyrex is made from, and this is more durable and can withstand heat better.
How to Choose the Right Anal Toy for You
With such a variation of sex toys available, it can be hard to know which one to go for. Each toy has its own unique design and use, and might be used for solo masturbation or for use with a partner.
One of the first things you need to consider is experience level, and when deciding this, you do need to be honest with yourself. There is little point in thinking you can handle something more substantial than you can. This will only lead to disappointment, and in many cases, discomfort. Adding on to this, there’s the size you need to think about, because not all anal toys are about size, but instead, it’s the stimulation factor. If this is your intent, then smaller anal toys can deliver as good an experience as one of the larger toys can. This will be more evident if you are seeking something like prostate stimulation because these are generally thinner and angled in the direction of the prostate gland.
Next up there is the material choice, and in the case of new users, it is better to stick to softer materials as these can mold to the body and are not as intense. When you compare silicone to steel, there is a considerable difference between the two in the sensations they deliver, for example.
How to Take Care of Your Anal Toys
All anal toys need extra care when it comes to cleaning. This is purely because of the body part they are being used on.
Because there are many different materials in play, there are different considerations for cleaning and care.
Glass, steel or silicone anal sex toys can we washed under warm soapy water, and for full sterilization, they can be placed in a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes, or they can be run through the dishwasher. Once this has been done, they need to be dried thoroughly. Glass and steel can be stored safely in their original packaging before being placed in a safe, cool and dry place, while silicone might feel sticky after being cleaned. These will need coating in cornstarch (or powder bought for the toy) before they are placed in a protective bag and stored in a sex toy storage box. Place them away from bright light and high humidity.
It’s best to make sure none of the softer types of toys can touch each other, and this is to prevent them from deforming or sticking to any other anal sex toy of a similar material. Additionally, bacteria spread and mold is also possible too. Clean before and after use, drying thoroughly.
Many of these anal sex toys are more durable in nature, and with careful care, they can give plenty of years’ service.
Some Safety Considerations
Because all of these toys are designed for anal use, there are some unique variations of safety measures and considerations.
Most of the butt plug devices have flared bases so they won’t be able to slip too far inside the anus. Anal dildos and prostate massagers are also designed so they won’t venture too far unless you choose a longer length, but when it comes to slippage, they are safe. Anal beads might be the one anal sex toy which is different though. There is a loop, but this doesn’t mean the person pushing the beads in has their finger through the loop. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines before use.
The more significant safety concerns are when you begin using the large butt plugs and the inflatable butt plugs. These can put more pressure on the anus, and if your body isn’t used to it, they can cause pain or in a worst case scenario, they might tear the sensitive skin of the wall inside.
Anal douches don’t have many safety concerns, apart from making sure you have some lube on the small tube, and the water you use isn’t too hot. This can be a nasty shock when you squirt it into the anus. What is warm to your hand might be too hot for the inside of your anal cavity.
Out of all the anal sex toys that can cause damage the most are the anal hooks. If they are being used and the person they are inserted in to slips, they may be unforgiving and cause severe pain and possible tearing or bleeding. These are for very experienced users only. With anal sex toys, cleanliness needs to be adhered to with all types.
Additional Things to Consider
One of the most significant things to consider is: what you’re looking for your anal toy to do. Anal hooks are not for new users, and they are not intended for solo play. This edges more toward BDSM and predicament play, so if this isn’t to your liking, then a toy of this nature is no use.
Butt plugs are one of the more common types of anal toy, but even with these, there are different uses. If you’re looking to wear your butt plug throughout the day, then it will need to be made from stainless steel. This won’t be affected while it’s inside the body and is more comfortable to wear.
Stimulation levels are also a consideration because many toys deliver these in unique ways. Anal beads are very different from vibrating butt plugs and can be used in very different scenarios too.
All-in-all, you do need to think on whether it’s stimulation you are looking for… or you if you intend to train the anus for more extended play or intercourse. Not all anal toys are designed to prepare the anus and are, in fact, designed as a means of additional stimulation.
Lastly, there is the care of your anal toys. This includes the cleaning of them as much as how to store them safely. Glass and steel are the easiest materials to care for, and will last for many years if they are cared for correctly. So, remember to keep these things in mind, before purchasing your awesome anal toys.
Common Questions People Ask
I have heard anal can hurt, is this true?
The sphincter is a strong part of the body, but it is also delicate and contains thousands of nerve endings. Readying the body for anal play does take time. This is the reason a lot of anal sex toys are tapered so as not to go full force. With lots of lube and taking your time, the anus will relax and get used to anal play. You might even “come” to love it, pardon the pun!
Which position is best for anal play?
If you are new to anal play, the most natural and comfortable position is doggy style. This is the same for solo play or with a partner. Suction cup anal dildos are ideal for this, mostly because you can set the height and control how hard you back on to the dildo to receive the best amount of comfort and pleasure. Mmmm…