If your high school sex-ed experience was anything like mine, it was just informative enough to render all the barely-pubescent kids utterly confused. Most topics were kept vague, and some were skipped over entirely. Well, you can consider this your guide to the best anal sex toys for beginners if you're looking to expand your horizons, but don't know where to begin. I got in touch with Anne Hodder, ACS., who's a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach, and her insights on the matter are sure to help any beginner out.
First, a few ground rules: "The most important piece of advice for anyone looking to try a sex toy for anal fun (aside from use lube, lube, and more lube): 'without a base, without a trace,'" Hodder says. "If there is no flared base on the toy, meaning some kind of wide point at the end, that product can easily be pushed too far into the anus and get stuck in the rectum — with no way out without the help of the emergency room."
"Also, go sloooooooooooow. Slower than slow. Like with most things, don’t force a toy if it doesn’t seem to be moving smoothly — and the instant you feel pain, stop what you’re doing and take a minute to breathe and survey the scene." Hodder also recommends starting with an orgasm. "Muscles (and minds) will feel especially relaxed, which will make the insertion process that much more pleasurable."
Finally, Hodder recommends making sure that the material of your toys is solid and hygienic. "Look for platinum-cured silicone, stainless steel, borosilicate glass, treated wood, certain stones, or even ceramic. Make sure to avoid any material that is porous, because bacteria in and around the anus can easily get trapped inside — and it’s nearly impossible to clean them out." Other than that, "there’s a nice array of body-safe hygienic anal toys that are shaped and sized perfectly for someone’s first time."
Hodder recommends beginners try one these eight easy to use anal sex toys.
1. This Tiny Plug That's A Little Bigger Than Your Thumb
For the beginner, Hodder recommends Funfactory Bootie Anal Toys. "Cute, unconventional color schemes and a super-smooth silicone angle that slips right in, thanks to its thoughtful angle. Plus, the company is super sex-positive and clever in its marketing and design." It's also flexible, body-safe, and easy to clean.
2. No Curves, So It's Easy To Insert
Hodder also recommends the Tantus Little Flirt because it's "an adorable and super-slim first-time plug made of silicone. Without the angles or curves, this one is one of the easiest to insert and takes up the least amount of space once inserted. Plus, its narrow flare base feels comfortable between the cheeks!" Get it in your choice of black or purple.
3. This Hygienic Option For Those Who Prefer Gradual Stimulation
"Silicone anal beads like these from Climax Anal are a nice way to enjoy the feeling of being filled up gradually, rather than the sensation of a stationary plug," says Hodder. "Hygienic styles like these are often made of one solid strip of silicone, rather than old-school beads on a string (major hygiene problem — never use anal beads that are on a rope), and can not only slowly be inserted one bead at a time, but also removed — this is a plus for those of us who realize that insertion and removal are their favorite sensations."
4. This Stainless Steel Option For More Experienced Beginners
For those who have tried anal toys before, but still consider themselves a beginner, Hodder says, "njoy is famous for making anatomically shaped anal plugs (and other fun accessories) made of heavy, solid stainless steel," like this small Pure plug. "These feel amazing in the body (thanks to their hefty weight) and the slick-and-smooth stainless steel surface makes them glide into the anus with a smooth sensation. The smallest Pure Plug size is quite manageable and do-able for a first-timer, but its angle and heft make them ideal beginner-level plugs."
5. If You're Looking To Graduate To Larger Sizes, Invest In A Set
According to Hodder, a set of graduated sizes is a good investment, "so users have the convenience of beginner and more intermediate sizes without having to purchase them separately." A good example is the Letsgasm Anal Commander Collection, which comes in three different sizes for beginners and is made from 100 percent medical grade silicone. "Kits like these are great for users who are comfortable with anal toys but want the convenience of graduating to larger sizes at their own pace without having to make multiple purchases."
6. For Those With Prostates, Try A Curved Vibrator
"For people with prostates, there area variety of vibrating dildos and plugs that are curved specifically to make contact with the prostate gland, a walnut-like gland a couple of inches deep," like this IMO wireless prostate massager. It's rechargeable, easy to clean, and rounded at the end. It's even got a remote control and USB charger for convenience. "Firm pressure and massage can feel quite pleasurable [with a prostate toy], and many report having more intense orgasms when combined with penis stimulation."
7. This Anal Lubricant That's Safe For Silicone Toys
"Saliva is not an ideal lubricant for a variety of reasons," says Hodder. "It’s not a great idea to introduce bacteria from the mouth into the anus (or vulva…or vagina for that matter)." That being said, "Oil-based lube is popular among some anal fans because of its stay-smooth consistency." Boy Butter personal lubricant is an oil-based lubricant that's a good option because it's ultra slippery, made from coconut and vegetable oils, and safe on all non-latex toys. However, "keep in mind the materials of the products and accessories you’ll be using," says Hodder. "If you’re using a condom, stay as far away from oil-based products as possible (that includes body lotions, coconut oil, and Crisco). Oil deteriorates condoms and renders them ineffective."
8. Add A Little Glam To Your Anal Toys
"There are a variety of simple spade-shaped flare-based plugs whose main purpose is to enhance the outside appearance of the wearer as an accessory," says Hodder, like this Akstore Small Super Steel Fetish Plug. It's made from non-porous stainless steel, small for beginners, comes in multiple different colors, and is designed for long-term wear. "For those of us not looking for a foxy tail but like the idea of a little butt bling, some anal plugs feature giant gemstones on their base, which catch the light and look extra-glam."
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.