The Freddie Guide to: Anal Toys

28.6.2024
6 min de lecture
L'équipe Freddie

Want to experiment with anal toys? Read Freddie's guide to choosing and using toys for anal play.

What are anal toys?


Want to level up your sex life? Sex toys can help! Whether you’re with a partner or playing solo, anal toys can help you figure out what you like. They can also get you on your way to bigger, better orgasms. 

Anal toys can also help you prepare for bottoming. If you’re new to anal play, they can help you learn what to expect and make things more comfortable. This can make sex easier when you try it with a partner.

Toys can do things no human could, unless you’re sleeping with a robot whose hands vibrate a hundred times a second. But with so many out there, it can be hard to know where to begin. Read on for our guide on types of anal toys, along with how to use, clean and store them.

Choosing a toy

Sex toys are designed for different body parts. It’s important that you use the right kind of toy for the right kind of play. This is extra important for anal toys.

Unlike vaginas, the anus doesn’t “stop”. Toys can get lost up there – this can cause serious injury, and you’ll need medical assistance to get it out. Nobody wants to tell an ER doctor that you’ve got a sex toy stuck up your butt.

What makes a toy safe for anal? 

Two words: flared base.

A flared base means that the base of the sex toy is wider than the toy itself. The wider, the better. Some toys even will have a T-bar base, which, unsurprisingly, gives the toy a “T” shape. These are the safest.

Choosing a lube

As with all anal play, lube is a must. This is because the anus doesn’t naturally self-lubricate. Lube helps things feel more comfortable and it reduces risk of tears or abrasions.

Water-based lube works with all toys and condoms. It can dry out faster so you may need to re-apply.

Silicone-based lube works with condoms and most toys (except silicone ones). It lasts longer but it can cause stains.

Oil-based lube is not compatible with condoms. It lasts longest but it only works with non-porous toy materials (silicone, glass, metal, plastic). It can also cause stains.

The best lube to use will vary depending on what your toy is made out of. To learn more, scroll down to our “Toy materials” section.

Types of anal toy

There’s many kinds of toys for anal play. Here’s our guide to the most common.


Butt plugs

These are bulb-shaped toys that go in your butt and stay there (hence “plug”). They have a tapered end and are widest in the middle, often with a T-bar base.

Butt plugs come in a range of sizes. These start small for beginners and get larger for more advanced play. You can get vibrating versions as well. 

Prostate massagers

These toys are designed to stimulate the prostate (the “P-spot”) in people who were born with a penis. When you do it right, many people can have mind-blowing orgasms.

The prostate is a small gland full of nerve endings. It’s close to the rectum, so you can stimulate it through anal play. You can also externally stimulate it by massaging the area between your balls and anus (the perineum, or taint).

Prostate massagers are all similar shapes and often have vibrator settings. They look like long, slightly curved butt plugs with bulbous parts designed to hit the right spots. Their base will usually be designed to hug or stimulate the perineum, making an “L” or “T” shape.

Dildos

Anal dildos come in all shapes, sizes and materials. If it’s vaguely dick-shaped and goes inside you, it’s a dildo.

Dildos can be realistic, futuristic, or just… a stick. They can be flexible and flesh-like or firm. You can even get double-ended dildos, so two people can use it at the same time. Some come with suction cups so you can attach them to a wall or shower – just make sure you don’t slip!

Important: Anal and vaginal dildos are different. When choosing a dildo, make sure it’s safe for anal play. This means a flared or flat base. Some realistic dildos will come with balls, which work the same way.


Anal beads

These are a long string or thin flexible wand connecting a set of round balls (“beads”). You or your partner insert the beads one by one and then slowly pull them out. Doing this can make orgasms more intense.

When choosing anal beads, make sure they come with a handle at the end. This will avoid them getting “lost”...

Toy materials

Toys can be made of all kinds of materials. Some of these are better quality, easier to clean and safer for your body.

The safest materials are non-porous. This means they don’t absorb moisture, bacteria and viruses, so you can clean them properly.

Before buying a toy, check to see what materials it’s made of. If you go to a sex shop, you can ask an assistant for help with this. Check if there are any ridges along the toy from when it was assembled. These can trap bacteria, and are more likely with cheaper toys.

Silicone

Silicone is flexible, safe for your body and non-porous. This means it's easy to clean.

Silicone toys work with all types of lube except silicone lube. This can cause it to degrade.

Glass

Glass toys can be used with all types of lube. They are non-porous and easy to clean. 

Regularly check glass toys for any chips or scratches – these can trap bacteria or cause small cuts.

Store and use glass toys carefully. As with any glass object, they can crack or smash if dropped. Cracked toys should not be used.

Metal

Metal toys should be made of stainless steel, which is safe to go inside you. They can be used with all types of lube. They are also non-porous and easy to clean.

Plastic

Hard plastic toys can be used with all types of lube. They are non-porous and easy to clean.

Softer plastic toys can be porous, which can trap bacteria and viruses. If you use them, it's good to do so with a condom.

Hard plastic toys can crack if they are dropped. If you drop yours, check it carefully afterwards. Cracked toys should not be used.

Jelly

Jelly toys are soft, flexible, and often look translucent. You can use water-based or silicone-based lube with them.

The bad news: jelly toys can be made from a mix of ingredients, and research now suggests that some of these can be bad for your health. The surface is also porous, which means it can trap bacteria and viruses.

For these reasons, we don’t recommend using them. If you do, you should use a condom.

Cyberskin

Cyberskin is a soft and flexible material designed to feel like real body parts. It can be used with water-based lube only. 

Cyberskin is a porous material, so it can trap bacteria and viruses. For this reason it’s a good idea to use a condom with these toys.

Some people sprinkle cornstarch on cyberskin toys after cleaning them to keep the surface smooth. If you do this, only use cornstarch – do not use talc.

Cleaning and storing toys

You should clean toys before you use them for the first time and after every use. You can do this with antibacterial hand soap and warm water or a special toy cleaner solution. Specialised cleaner is best to prolong the life of your toy.

Make sure you rinse off any soap or cleaner fully. When your toys are cleaned, leave them to air dry. Don’t use a towel.

Only store toys when they are thoroughly dried. If you store them wet, they can grow mould or bacteria – you don’t want this going inside you!

Store your toys in a cool, dry place away (in other words, keep them away from direct sunlight and damp environments that could encourage mould). Many toys will come with storage bags or pouches, which can help keep your toy free from dirt and dust.

Toy safety

If you’re a beginner with anal toys, start small. Use plenty of lube and take your time.

If you’re not used to anal play, it can feel uncomfortable at first. However, it shouldn’t be painful. If you experience pain – stop. If your pain is severe, doesn’t stop or you see more than a few drops of blood, seek medical help immediately.

Sharing toys can be hot, but it also carries a risk for STIs. To reduce this risk, you can use a condom on a toy for each new partner. 

You should also use and switch condoms if you’re swapping the same toy between anal and vaginal (front) sex, even if it’s for the same person. This is because bacteria can transmit between the anus and vagina, raising the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in people with vaginas.

Ready to explore?



Want to try out anal toys for the first time? Great!

We recommend going to an in-person sex shop, if there’s one near you. Independent sex shops are a great resource and they're often queer-run or queer-friendly. Plus, you'll be supporting a local small business!

At physical stores you can see and touch the toys before you buy. You can also chat to an assistant about what’s best for you – they are experts in their products, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

Shop local, grab some lube and enjoy!

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