Anal August: Butt Stuff Basics
The end is near! The end of Anal August, that is! What? You didn't know it was Anal August?!? Well, that's okay, you still have plenty of time to "celebrate". Buckle up, buttercup, cuz we're talking butt stuff! Do you have a butthole? Then this article is for you! Contrary to popular belief, anal play is for EVERYONE! Whether you're a seasoned pro or completely uninitiated in anal excitement, read on for some truths, tips, and tricks to help you make the most out of your backdoor adventures.
Butt Stuff is for Every Body.
We're all very used to experiencing sexual pleasure through our "front stuff"...we grow up exploring our pleasure sensations there, learning more about our anatomy, and being taught that it's normal to experience good feelings through stimulating our genitals. When it comes to our "back stuff" though, not so much. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma and shame associated with enjoying anal pleasure, and we just don't learn about it like we should, unless we branch out on our own, as adults who can look up stuff like this article on the internet. There's a lot of misinformation surrounding the topic of butt stuff, like the persistent myth that only men enjoy anal pleasure because only they have a prostate gland. More on that later, but it's false! Many women like butt stuff, too, and have every reason to enjoy it! There's also the ridiculous misconception that enjoying anal play means you're gay...that is just patently false and outrageous. The only thing that makes you gay is actually being gay! Everyone has a butt, so everyone can enjoy butt stuff! Like it or not, your butthole...everyone's butthole...is an erogenous zone. This means that if you stimulate and touch it in just the right ways, it causes pleasure...extreme pleasure, in some cases! Anal stimulation can take a little more prep work, bedroom acrobatics, and getting used to than sexual play involving your more obvious erogenous zones, but it doesn't have to be intimidating, and it will pay huge dividends in the orgasm department regardless of what genitals you have!
RELAX. No, seriously.
The most common complaint about any kind of anal sex is that "it hurts". If you've tried before and have encountered that problem, there are a few things you can do to help, and they're actually mostly just little mindset tweaks. You need to approach anal sex from a mood of relaxed arousal. Maybe take a bath, light some candles, and treat it like you would a night of really special sex or self-love time with a favorite toy. On that note, you may be more comfortable experimenting with toys before anything else. Try an anal training set where you can work up in size from small to large so you can ease in and find your comfort levels. Training your sphincter muscles with a kit like this actually helps tone them so they are more relaxed when resting, making for easier and less painful entry when you're in the mood. Go into any anal play encounter with a smile on your face and an attitude that you're really going to enjoy it, and you probably really will!
If you need a little more of a boost to feel relaxed enough for comfortable entry, anal serums can help. We love the safe, natural products from Intimate Earth. Adventure Anal Relaxing Serum is perfectly formulated for women, Daring Serum provides the same for men, and the Lover's Lane Private Label Comfort Anal Serum is great for everyone! These products do not contain benzocaine which can cause an icky numb-tingly sensation, but they do assist your muscles and tissues to relax enough for comfort during anal play without compromising feeling.
Lube, lube, lube. Did I mention LUBE?
Unlike the vagina, the anus is NOT a self-lubricating orifice. Any time you're inserting anything into the rectum, whether it's a finger, a toy, or a penis, you need to use *lots* of lube. Put lube on and around the opening, lube up whatever is going in, and get some lube "all up in there", too. The best way to accomplish that last one is with a lube launcher, a specially made applicator for squirting lube into the anus before anal play. B-Vibe makes a great set of Lubricant applicators that come with an educational guide if this will be a new experience for you. Plenty of lube at every step of the process will allow for much easier penetration and more comfort and pleasure for both partners.
What type of lube should you use for anal play? That depends on what you'll be doing. Generally speaking, silicone lubes are going to provide you the best "slip n' slide" sensation and the least friction, so they're great for anal penetration. Most silicone lubes are NOT toy safe, though, so you can only use them when you're playing with just body parts. Some silicone lubes like Pjur Backdoor are created with moisturizing ingredients that make them especially great for anal play, but any silicone lube will work. If toys are going to be involved, you need a water-based lube. Intimate Earth's protective water-based anal glides Soothe and Defense both contain gentle natural ingredients to help soothe those sensitive tissues and prevent damage & irritation. If you think things might get a little messy with all that lube, lay down the sensuously soft Fascinator Throe from Liberator to protect your sheets and sop up those messes! Just relax, lube up, and enjoy!
Tushy Toy Time!
Sex toys designed especially for anal pleasure come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and functions. Let's take a quick look at some of the most popular categories and a few featured items from each:
These are probably the simplest style of anal toy, and what most people immediately think of when they hear about anal toys. Generally speaking, a butt plug is a teardrop-shaped plug with a flared base or "stem" for comfort and easy removal. Butt plugs are for anyone who enjoys them. They create a sensation of pressure and fullness that many people find very titillating. Some plugs are best for short-term wear during sex or bedroom playtime, while some people like to wear them around for long periods, even to work or to the gym. The Renegade Rattler Plug is a great one for long-term wear and has metal beads inside that freely clash together creating amazing unique sensations. Plugs come in all different sizes, and some come in sets like Fun in the Bun or Her Little Gems, so you can use these for training or just wear the one that's perfect for the occasion. Some plugs vibrate and can be controlled by remote, heat up like the Elegance Heating Anal Plug (pictured, left), or inflate after you have them inserted for extra layers of unique sensation that will drive you mad with passion. Some plugs even have gorgeous fur tails for kinky fetish fun. Use with lots of lube, and you'll never go wrong with a butt plug!
Anal beads are probably the most intimidating-looking butt toys, but they can also be the most exciting. Generally speaking, they are a long, chain-looking structure of beads, which are frequently graduated from smaller to larger as you go down the chain. This builds excitement and also helps you to relax and "work up to it" as you insert them. The most common use of anal beads is to insert them before having conventional sex, then quickly pull them out as you are orgasming. The timing can be a little tricky to learn, but once you get it, it's INTENSE. Some come in different sizes for different experience levels, like the Excite Silicone Beads from Nexus in small, medium, or large. Even more unique are the vibrating bead toys, like the B-Vibe Cinco (pictured, right) or The Quaker Plus, with 10 powerful vibration modes and that famous graduated bead shape.
These are the anal toys that ARE specifically designed for men, to stimulate that little walnut-sized gland that only men have, and that can only be accessed for stimulation through the anus. It is an extremely sensitive pleasure zone, producing orgasms similar to a woman's g-spot, so it makes sense that you'd want to massage it to your heart's content! Put yourself over the edge with a simple insertable vibrating prostate massager like the Aneros Vice (pictured, left), or level up with the rotating and vibrating motion of the Nexus Revo Intense Prostate Massager. If you want to be more in control, or put your lover in charge, a handheld prostate massager like the LELO Billy 2 is the way to go (hint: the Billy is curved perfectly for reaching a woman's g-spot, too!). Many prostate toys, like the Duke from Fun Factory, also have a vibrating motor that rests on your perineum on the outside, too...stimulating both the prostate & perineum at the same time will BLOW. YOUR. MIND.
Everyone knows the business that goes on with your business end, so it doesn't necessarily have to be embarrassing if things get a little...messy. If the thought of this makes you queasy though, there are some things you can do to prepare and help keep things cleaner. Before engaging in anal play, it's always recommended to bathe, shower or at least wash up. Pay special attention to the rectum and area between the butt cheeks, and clean your external bits gently with a body-safe antibacterial soap. If you really want to remove the risk of interference from the dreaded lingering #2, you can also try an enema, sometimes referred to as an anal douche. You put water in the bulb and squirt it in your anus to get the inside as clean as the outside. SexDrive.com has a whole department devoted to hygiene products specifically for butt stuff, so don't let fear or shame of cleanliness down there keep you from these amazing experiences. Don't forget about the importance of keeping your anal toys clean, too. They can get a little funky right after use, but a wash or two with a good toy cleaner will rinse all of that down the drain. Pat your toys dry after scrubbing thoroughly with a foaming toy cleanser, and if you still notice an odor, give it one more wash.
Diamonds are a girl's (or guy's) best friend! Keep one where it counts as your sparkling little secret with the Master Series Diamond Jewel Butt Plug from trusted manufacturer XR Brands. Made of beautiful, smooth & shiny chrome-plated steel, this plug is heavier than average (5.2 oz.), so it will definitely provide a special sensation and allow you to know you have it in. This is a petite-sized plug, with two inches of insertable length and a one-inch maximum diameter, so it's comfortable for long-term wear and great for experienced or new users alike. Remember to use lube to insert it, and you'll have a smooth, cooling experience. If you're looking for a new "princess plug" to keep you smiling all day long or just in the bedroom, look no further than this little gem!
If you've read all of this and are still a little intimidated or confused, that's OK! It's a lot to take in (see what I did there? ;) )! Check out Butt Stuff Basics - an amazing video series from our amazingly educational vendor partner B-Vibe - to hear the sexperts talk about their tips, tricks, and what tickles their fancy in a casual, fun, and visual way. Remember, anal play is for everyone, and the only "right" way to do it is what feels best to you and your lover. End Anal August with a bang and try spicing up your sex life with butt stuff today!
~The Intimacy Advisor