Butt Plug 101

What exactly is a butt plug?

A butt plug is anal sex toy that's meant to do exactly as the name implies, plug the butt. "For people with prostates, a butt plug can put pleasurable pressure on the zone that is sometimes called the P-spot," Adam Lewis, co-founder of Hot Octopuss, a sex toy company in the UK, tells Health. "And if you don't have a prostate, the plug can create the pleasurable sensation of being filled, and stimulate the nerves in the anus." Butt plugs also stimulate the internal part of the clitoris and G-spot, which is why some women like to wear one during vaginal penetration.

Just like vibrators, butt plugs come in all shapes, materials, and sizes. But if you're a newbie, you'll want to start with a small, slim model; this is not the right time to be ambitious.

Butt plugs are often used as prep for anal sex. But it can create pleasure in other ways, says Lewis. Wearing a butt plug during penetrative sex has the secondary effect of narrowing the vaginal canal, Stuart Nugent, educator and brand manager at sex-toy company LELO, tells Health. "This can massively increase the sensitivity of sex for partners in penetrative sex, especially if it's a vibrating butt plug."

Why do people like butt plug?

The anus has a lot of nerve endings, and is near both the male and female g-spots. It is common to stimulate the anus for sexual pleasure.

People with prostates enjoy butt plugs because they stimulate the gland, potentially leading to a prostate orgasm. Even if one doesn't occur, most still report that it feels good. There are butt plugs that are specially shaped to reach the prostate.

People with vaginas also enjoy butt plugs. Wearing one during penetrative vaginal sex can simulate double penetration—getting penetrated in the anus and vagina at the same time.

People who enjoy anal sex use butt plugs to warm up the anus before sex. They may also masturbate using a butt plug when they are by themselves to enhance the experience.

Butt plugs can also be part of dominance and submission games.

how to use a butt plug

How to insert a butt plug

There are three parts to a self-retaining plug: the head, the neck, and the base. For safety and ease of insertion, the head of a plug should be somewhere approaching an egg shape in its long axis, with the smaller end facing away from the base. The one thing a plug absolutely should not do is to end in anything approaching a point, because perforating the bowel can kill you from sepsis, but it is surprising how many plugs show precisely this design fault. Some plugs have a spherical head and those are perfectly safe, but can be more difficult to insert, because the internal sphincter of the anus has to stretch quite abruptly over them, instead of taking its time as it would with the progressive stretching caused by an egg shaped head. Another solution to the taper problem is to make the head out of a series of balls of increasing size set one atop the other, with the largest ball next to the neck. A plug of this type stretches your sphincter in stages as it goes in, and equally can generate all sorts of interesting sensations when it is slowly pulled out again… or so they tell me. Just don’t forget to use a lot of lube.

How to remove a butt plug?

What goes up must come down, right? In this case, not quite. The problem with silicone plugs in particular, is that the water-based lube that must be used with them wears off during insertion, and will be totally gone after about ten minutes. By then, the anal sphincter will have contracted back down, and the first time you retrieve a plug of this type you may end up with visions of having to wear it forever.

A silicone plug can give every impression that it has no plans to budge, at least to begin with, but be patient, hold the base and apply a gentle, but firm pull. After a few seconds, the plug will start to come out, and now is the time to rock it backwards and forwards — slowly — which will gently stretch the anus and help it open. Now relax… you will feel the plug come down and then, as it passes through the internal sphincter, everything will feel very tight and you will get the urge to push. Once the plug starts come out faster, the best thing is to push back on it, using less force than you need to push it right back in (unless you are planning to do that), and just enough to slow its progress through the sphincter. This is much more pleasant that letting the body just eject it.

How to Play With a Butt Plug

Start slow. Anal play is often more enjoyable when you are relaxed. If you are tense, an anal tear may occur. Pay attention to how you are feeling. If something hurts a lot or doesn't feel right, slow down or stop.

Start with something smaller than the butt plug. A finger is usually a great tool for warm up. If you don't want to spread bacteria from the anus to other parts of the body, or you want to keep your hands clean, wear a disposable latex or nitrile glove. Put lube on your finger and rub the rim of the anus gently before inserting your finger. Once you fit a finger or two in there comfortably, move on to inserting the butt plug.

Experiment with different positions for butt plug insertion to find out which one is best for you. Each person is different and will find different positions most comfortable based on their specific anatomy. Some people use numbing creams to avoid discomfort during anal play. However, this will prevent you from feeling when your body wants you to stop. For your safety, avoid using numbing cream when using a butt plug.

  • Wash Your Hands

Even if your anus is clean, it can still harbor bacteria that can cause infections in the vagina. After you touch the anus, make sure to wash your hands before touching other genitals. Wash with warm water and soap to prevent UTIs and yeast infections.

  • Care and Cleaning

Most silicone toys can go in the dishwasher as long as they don't have a motor in them. This kills bacteria. Boiling glass, silicone, and stainless steel toys will also disinfect them. Make sure to do this before sharing a toy with a partner. Even if you only use the toy on yourself, disinfect it periodically to stay clean and healthy.

How to clean your butt plugs?

If all of the information presented so far causes you to be intimidated, do not worry. The good news regarding all of these things is that cleaning your butt plug is extremely simple and takes very little time.

Most people, in fact, clean their sex toys with one of two main methods:

  • You can clean any sex toy by washing it with a mild soap and warm water. Many people use baby shampoo to clean their butt plugs, which works perfectly because baby shampoo cleans thoroughly but gently. Wash it for a few minutes to make sure that it is thoroughly clean and that you’ve removed everything that is harmful to you so that the toy is squeaky clean.
  • You can also use a special cleaner made specifically for sex toys, which can be found in all reputable sex toy stores. Most of these cleaners are sprayed on the toy and then wiped away and they are usually antibacterial as well. In addition, some of the cleaners are made with all-natural materials including tea tree oil and lavender so they can smell just as good as they work.
  • After you clean your butt plugs -- indeed, any sex toy that you own -- you should either let them air-dry, which is the recommended method, or clean them with a clean, lint-free towel or cloth.
  • After they are cleaned and dried, they should be stored in a cool, dry place and stored separately from other sex toys.

As you can see, cleaning and storing your butt plugs is not time-consuming at all so there is no excuse for not following this simple step.

Those above are some about butt plugs. Please leave comments when you have some questions and some good ideas about butt plugs.

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