Butt plugs date back to the 1800s when the patent was applied for. Like the more modern trainer kits, these came with dilators which increased in size. This first set was made out of rubber and was intended for constipation relief as well as a cure for hemorrhoids. Glass dilators followed these rubber ones, but these weren’t open to the market for sale and could only be ordered through a catalog.
It was many years later (in the 1960s to be exact) that the first sex shop opened in Germany. This was the first place that butt plugs could be purchased in person.
What is a Butt Plug?
Butt plugs have become one of the more popular forms of sex toy that are used in anal play. Although they are very simple by design, they allow users to enjoy hands-free anal stimulation which can be pleasurable for extended periods of time.
A butt plug performs a simple task and does so in a very effective manner. Like some anal toys that might want to vanish inside a rectum, a butt plug will stay precisely where it’s supposed to be.
There are a large number of individuals who use a butt plug as preparation for further anal play. They can stretch and relax muscles that make this possible. However, this is not their only use.
A butt plug will generally consist of a tapered end which can easily be inserted into the anus, and then it increases in size toward the middle of the device, before narrowing again by the base. In fact, it has the flared base to prevent the vacuum created by the anus sucking it in, and it has the bulbous portion that stops it from falling out too.
Benefits of Butt Plugs
Anal sex can be comfortable: Many butt plugs are used to stretch the anus to such a size that larger anal toys or anal sex can be performed. When these are in situ for a period, the muscles relax to the larger size. Once further play proceeds, there are thousands of nerve endings that can receive lots of stimulation.
Power play: This isn't gender-specific, and can be performed by either sex. BDSM is widespread, and fantasies can be maintained with ease. Butt plugs can be at the center of this and can play a huge role in many humiliation scenarios too.
Increased Intimacy: When partners partake in using butt plugs, there is a significant element of trust between the two people. Partners can be pulled closer together, and the use of these butt plugs can add plenty of spice to dull up sex lives between partners who have been together for many years.
Prostate Stimulation: The majority of butt plugs are solid in construction. This is truer in glass or steel. These can deliver precise stimulation to the prostate. Because they are shorter, they sit in the correct position to reach up to the prostate, and some models even go away from the teardrop shape and are curved to facilitate this stimulation.
Numerous orgasms: There are many women who are unable to have orgasms through penetrative sex alone. While using a butt plug, they can receive additional stimulation, and there is internal pressure inside the vagina as the penis pushes against the bulb of the butt plug. These are also used as a means of stimulating double penetration.
Different Butt Plug Types
It began as a simple-looking anal toy and has changed quite considerably with the number of variations you can now choose. Many fulfill the same roles but with a few (very unique) twists on what they deliver.
Stainless steel plugs: These deliver the most intense feelings once they’re inserted into the anus. These add weight as well as the stretching capabilities, so there is also weight play included. This delivers a unique experience which can’t be found with other butt plugs.
Glass plugs: Second to steel, these butt plugs are the hardest materials you can get. These deliver a very smooth surface no matter what bumps or ribs they contain. Some are fully transparent, so one partner can have a view of inside their partner's These are also considered to be for more advanced users because they tend not to be small and this is due to safety precautions.
Silicone plugs: This butt plug is often seen as the beginner's butt plug due to the smooth surface of the toy. These are soft, so they are not as intimidating as the harder materials mentioned above. While they do allow for easy insertion for new users, this doesn’t mean there are not larger varieties available. Silicone is one of the materials of choice for making butt plugs.
Inflatable plugs: Butt plugs are meant for anal training in essence, but some individuals want to go beyond this. This is where inflatable butt plugs fit the bill. They can be inserted like a regular butt plug, and from a small hand pump, they can be inflated to any size the user wishes. This type of butt plug is ideal for the times when you feel the butt plug isn’t delivering anything new. These give the ultimate full feeling once inflated.
Hollow plugs: Unlike a regular butt plug, a hollow one deviates away from this slightly. These have a hollow core and are much softer when inserted. These bring with them the chance of a partner being able to perform stimulation with fingers, view inside the rectum, or other methods for stimulation.
Jeweled plugs: The jeweled butt plugs are intended for long-term wearing. They are often smaller in design and come with jeweled bases that can add plenty of flair to proceedings. Like all butt plugs, these can be worn by both males and females and will deliver sensations throughout the time of wear. They can be worn under clothes, and out in public if users so wish.
Large plugs: These deliver the ultimate in experience and are intended for the more experienced anal players. These can deliver the maximum fullness of feeling and will stretch the anus to the limit.
Princess plugs: While lots of users like the stretching that butt plugs deliver, this isn’t the case for everyone. These princess plugs allow users to receive stimulation around the sphincter muscles while not feeling any of the discomfort. They are designed with discretion in mind and can also be used in temperature play if they are resigned to the bedroom.
Tail plugs: Animal play is popular, or there are users who love the slinky feel of fur against their inner thighs while they masturbate. While wearing a tailed butt plug, the wearer falls into a submissive role, and the addition of a tail enables this position to be fulfilled more easily. Different animal tails are available.
Vibrating plugs: Stimulation is the name of the game with these butt plugs. While they do still deliver some stretch to the anal muscles, their main focus is on stimulating the thousands of nerve endings around the anus. This can make solo play more fun, or both partners can benefit from the undulating vibrations as intercourse is performed simultaneously.
Where Can You Use Your Anal Plug?
Anal plugs can be used in all manner of ways or locations. Many women or men wear them while strolling around. This can deliver intense stimulation as they walk.
Other occasions can be in solo play, where a woman wants to simulate double penetration. She can easily insert a butt plug and use a dildo inside her vagina. Likewise, she can do the same with a partner and wear an anal plug while they have straight sex too. This not only delivers a benefit to her, but the vagina might feel tighter, and the partner may feel the anal plug through the thin membrane inside and receive stimulation that way.
One of the more common ways anal plugs are used is in preparation for anal sex between partners. This can be a timesaver when they are having vaginal sex and wish to change over to anal. Using a butt plug in this way means the anus will be relaxed and ready for more anal fun.
Silicone: This is the most popular material in use for the creation of butt plugs. It’s a non-porous material that can withstand hot or cold temperatures so it can be easily sterilized in boiling water for cleaning. In many cases, it’s called platinum silicone and can give a soft feeling while retaining firmness.
PVC/Jelly: PVC/Jelly are cheaper materials that are often used, and because of this, they do come with a taste and a distinct odor. Many of these come from manufacturers who include toxic chemicals to make them more flexible, in many cases this is phthalates. These are known to cause reactions in a lot of people. Always choose body safe materials.
TPE: These are a mix of silicone, polyvinyl chloride, and thermoplastic elastomers. These will often be known as cyber skin. These give a very soft touch but are not used in many butt plug designs. These are also porous and can’t be sterilized.
Steel: Medical grade stainless steel is most commonly used which makes this choice one of the most body safe materials you can get. These can be thoroughly sterilized as they are non-porous. They also deliver unique sensations as they don’t adapt to the body’s form.
Glass: This comes in two types when used for butt plug construction. European glass is borosilicate and is the same makeup that cookware has. In other countries and in the US, butt plugs are made from soda lime glass which isn’t quite as durable, but is still a unique choice. Glass can be thoroughly sterilized and isn’t porous.
Fur: This is used in tailed butt plugs and can be synthetic or real. These are very hard to sanitize so care must be taken. Also, some people might be allergic to the type of fur you choose if it’s real.
How to Choose the Right Butt Plug?
When it comes to choosing the right butt plugs, there are a few things to consider, mostly because there is a wide variety to choose from. Let’s take a look…
- Size: Butt plugs can fill the entire range from a beginner’s size all the way to a large butt plug for the more experienced user. On many occasions, length isn’t an issue because butt plugs are designed to sit in the anus to deliver stretching to the muscles. Size here can make all the difference, because selecting one that is too small won’t stretch, and selecting one which is too large can cause discomfort, or it can’t be inserted at all. Girth or circumference of butt plugs can range from around 2 inches, or go upward to 3 inches-plus for larger ones.
- Materials: With a wide range of materials available, you need to consider this carefully. Silicone will adapt and warm to the body, so they deliver a comfortable experience. Glass and steel are unforgiving, so the body needs to adapt to the butt plug. These harder materials also deliver more intense feelings once they’re inserted.
Cleaning & Storage Tips
Butt plugs are quite easy to care for, but you do need to care for them carefully. It isn’t only the materials in their construction, but the sensitivity of the anus the next time you use your anal plug. And this is why so many individuals choose the nonporous materials; they are easier to clean and running them under warm water with soap is often enough before they sterilize them. This can be done in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
Any butt plugs which come with extra features, such as vibrating anal plugs, princess plugs or ones with tails attached, will need removal of what is able, and clean them according to the manufacturer's recommendations. No vibrating units should be submerged in water because this can corrode the electrical contacts.
Softer plugs might feel sticky once washed, and to correct this, all it takes is a quick dousing with cornstarch or a powder bought from the seller. Storage areas need to be dry and cool and your butt plugs need to be placed inside protective bags for extra protection from germs, lint and dust.
Some Safety Considerations
There are some careful considerations to make when it comes to safety. Never share them with a partner or friend because they can easily pass on any bacteria or infections.
Lube is another area where you have to pay caution, the anus doesn’t produce its own lubrication, so you do need to lubricate during use. If you are wearing it around town, this can be more crucial as the chance of lube drying up is a definite likelihood.
Pain is a sign that you don’t have enough lube, or the butt plug is too large for you. As soon as there’s any discomfort, you must stop immediately. On occasions, if you have an allergy to the lube in use, or get one that is not from a reliable supplier and the materials are not body safe, you might feel itching or even a burning sensation. Stop and wash yourself. Always buy from a reputable seller.
One thing to keep in mind is that removal is harder than the insertion in most instances. As well as easing it with your fingers, try to use your body muscles to push it out.
Additional Things to Consider
Anal play can be daunting in the beginning, so it will be vital for anyone looking to purchase their first butt plug to consider the size. This isn’t because of what will fit inside the anus, it is the insertion part. A butt plug that is too large can easily tear the skin around the anus. This isn’t only painful, but it can easily let bacteria inside too. This scenario defeats the purpose of using one.
With bacteria, you need to know that any use of a butt plug will require lots of anal hygiene. Because the anus is being stretched, the natural reaction for the body is to evacuate itself, so having clean and empty bowels needs to be thought about. You can purchase anal douches to help with this factor.
Additionally, there is a need for lubrication and lots of it. If you are wearing a butt plug for an extended period, then there will be the need for additional lube to be applied. For glass and steel, this isn't as crucial, but for other materials, it is a definite necessity. One thing people often overlook isn’t inserting the butt plug but removing it, actually. This can be just as hard --if not harder to do so. This should also be done in an area where any mess can easily be cleaned up, just in case.
Flared bases are also crucial, and it doesn’t matter if you’re using a princess plug or one of the larger butt plug types. The base does need to be as wide, if not more extensive than the broadest part of the butt plug. These are there to prevent the butt plug from sliding all the way in.
One final thing to consider for butt plugs which will be worn for extended periods is; if the base is too large, it can rub between the buttocks and chafe the skin. Some models come with anchor-shaped bases to alleviate this problem, but it’s definitely something you really do need to think about.
One final thing that needs a choice to be made is: whether or not you’re looking for stimulation. Some vibrating butt plugs have potent motors, and if they’re used for extended periods, they can cause the nerves around the anus to become numb. If you feel a numbing sensation or a tingling, you do need to dial down the speed. It can help to twist the butt plug to get the circulation moving again. Have ‘on and off’ periods from the vibrations to give your body a rest in between sessions.
Common Questions People Ask
Can I use my butt plug for temperature play?
If your butt plug is made from suitable materials such as glass or steel, then yes, they can be used for temperature play. Just don’t forget; what is warm or cold to the hand can be very different when you insert the butt plug internally. Be super careful, every time.
Will a glass butt plug ever break?
Reliable manufacturers use the same type of glass that is used in cookware. This is very strong, but if you decide on a glass butt plug, you’ll need to check the neck of the glass plug to make sure it’s reinforced enough. If you ever drop a glass plug, you’ll also need to check for cracks no matter how strong they say the glass is. Safety must always be the goal.