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Back door basics, explained.

Back door basics, explained.

The most common questions about butt plugs.

Employing your first butt plug can be a plenty daunting task—even if anal pleasure is already in your repertoire. In fact, any tool meant to be used on the body with the term “plug” involved can feel a bit...unnerving. That said, the rectum is a major pleasure center—and even as we normalize the use of sex toys writ large, it can often feel like “back door” instruments are shrouded in mystery. 

But here’s the thing: For centuries, folks have been using some form of butt plug—if not today’s current, sleek iteration. And while the old world DIY model might have consisted more readily of, say, a cucumber than a silicone vibrating mechanism, the desire to use some form of a butt plug is certainly not a new one. 

So, in the interest of encouraging your future anal play—or perhaps just de-shrouding the notion on the whole—we’re answering the most frequently asked questions that seem to linger around the use of butt plugs across the internet. 

How do I choose the right butt plug for me? 

Most experts recommend starting small and working your way up. Unsurprisingly, it’s easier to move forward than backward. You’ll want something with a tapered tip as well to ensure easy insertion. Then, you’ll want to consider the material: If you’re allergic to any kind of rubber or latex, be sure you’re opting for a silicone toy. 

If you’re interested in longer wear usage, it’s generally recommended that you go for a plug with a smaller diameter around where the anal sphincter will rest, so the thing will be more comfortable to wear. 

Of course, once you’ve moved on from the basics, there are plenty of wild and fun butt plug options out there—but be sure to start with square one, get comfortable, then move on up to a larger, bedazzled version. 

How long can I wear a butt plug? 

Most standard guidelines will tell you that 2-3 hours is the best threshold for wearing your butt plug before the area may become painful or irritated. That said, there’s little confirmed research on the matter. If you’re bleeding or in notable pain, it’s certainly recommended that you remove the plug immediately. 

The logic behind the ~3-hour limit is largely anecdotal—but due to the design of your standard butt plug, the edge can begin to injure the very delicate lining that sits between the anus and the anal sphincter after longer wear, which can cause some notable damage (like an ulcer) if left for too long. 

Can I wear my butt plug to sleep? 

While this question comes up fairly frequently—and there are certainly folks who enjoy slumber with their butt plugs in place—it’s not exactly recommended that you do so. Your pain receptors are more dormant while you’re sleeping, so your body may not alert you to the fact that it’s time for the plug to be removed. 

Why do butt plugs feel good? 

This one is fairly simple: The anus can be an incredibly sensitive stimulation center. While originally designed for men (who tend to have fairly easily stimulated anal nerve endings), these things can be enjoyable for just about anyone. 

Can women wear butt plugs? 

Absolutely. While initially butt plug marketing was primarily directed towards male-identifying folks, plenty of women have long enjoyed all forms of anal play—and a butt plug is just one more way of leaning into that. Sure, women may not have prostates, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a pleasure center or erogenous zone to activate. 

Should I wash my butt plug? 

The short answer here is yes. That said, the washing instructions for your butt plug may vary, so be sure to read them carefully. Either way, keeping your butt plug clean will certainly feel key to reducing the possibility of infection, so it’s highly recommended that you clean yours as thoroughly (and as frequently!) as possible. 

Can you use a butt plug while pregnant? 

For plenty of pregnant women, more traditional forms of penetrative intercourse can be particularly uncomfortable—which is why anal play can feel newly enticing (if it isn’t already part of your standard rotation). And thus far, there’s no reason to believe that a butt plug may be harmful during pregnancy. That said, check with your doctor before usage—just to be sure there are no complications specific to your body to be wary of. 

What kinds of butt plugs are there? 

Like with, say, the vibrator market, the breadth of available butt plug options is near limitless. “Princess” butt plugs are fairly popular—which come in varying shades of pink with faux jewels attached, generally marketed towards women. There are both vibrating and non-vibrating options. Additionally, you’ll find suction cup butt plugs, inflatable butt plugs, and even “expanding butt plugs.” Take a gander at your local sex shop or make a point of browsing the internet, and see if any alternative options appeal to you. 

What kind of butt plugs should I avoid? 

We’re not here to yuck anyone’s yum—but we are here to keep you safe. It’s generally advised that you avoid glass butt plugs for fear of breakage (and thus irreparable damage to your asshole) or cheap plastic due to potential infection. Otherwise, you’ll want to be sure that you’re using a toy that doesn’t irritate your skin, and that’s easy to wash for prolonged usage. 

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