In this guide, we’re going to look at everything you need to know to make an informed decision on buying your first anal sex toy, including:
- Sex toy material
- Choosing the right length and girth
- The best shape for anal sex toys
- Other important features (like a base)
Ok, you’re feeling clean and ready to go. Before you begin, it’s important that you have the right tool for the job.
Not all sex toys are suitable for anal play, and there are special considerations to take into account when choosing the right toy for your anal adventures. We’ll look at the following factors to consider when choosing your first anal sex toy:
- What material to choose: silicone, glass, or metal?
- Size: what’s a good length and girth for a first anal toy?
- Which shapes are better and worse for anal play
- The different types of bases and their impact on use
Best Anal Sex Toy Materials
There are 3 main options for anal sex toy materials: silicone, glass, and metal (steel and aluminum). Although probably 80% of the sex toys out there use silicone as the primary surface material.
We’ll dive into each of these individually, but here’s a quick comparison of these 3 popular materials:
Silicone Anal Sex Toys
Most of the anal toys you see online or in a sex store will be either silicone or some kind of jelly. Note that these jelly toys are NOT safe, and should never be purchased or put anywhere near your mucous membranes. Read more at our sex toy materials safety guide [coming soon!].
That said, silicone toys are perfectly body safe, and most of the affordable anal toys out there are made of silicone. Silicone is soft, flexible, fairly affordable, and really easy to clean and take care of. We generally recommend anal first-timers get a silicone plug or training set as their first purchase simply because silicone is very forgiving material for the reasons listed above. And if you get the size wrong, silicone is cheaper than the alternatives to replace.
Metal and Glass Toys
Metal and glass anal toys can be an exciting option for a few reasons. First, both materials provide a unique sensation and stretch that silicone toys just don’t give. Secondly, they conduct temperature, meaning they provide additional sensations when first inserted and can be heated or cooled even further.
That said, we tend to recommend metal and glass anal toys less to inexperienced users for 2 main reasons:
- Hardness – hard materials have no give, and often feel ~.25″ larger than an identically sized silicone toy. Also, if you don’t get the right length toy, hard toys can be quite uncomfortable when fully inserted.
- Cost – glass and steel are ~2 – 4 times the price of an equivalent silicone plug. You want to know exactly what size and specs you want before making an expensive purchase.
Although if you do feel confident about the sizing, the quality and overall experience of these adult toy materials is amazing!
Check out our detailed guide on the best metal butt plugs for more info.
Choosing The Right Size for Your First Anal Toy
When it comes to anal toys, girth is generally more important than length. Remember, most people’s rectum is between 4 – 6 inches long, which is conveniently sized to fit most anal sex toys and penises. As long as your toy isn’t longer than 6″ or so insertable it’s probably fine.
If you do want to get into depth play with a longer toy, you’ll want to be sure it’s made of a very soft and flexible silicone to fit the contours of your sigmoid colon and beyond.
Length is also important if you’re a guy – the prostate is located anywhere from 1.5 – 3 inches inside the rectum, along the front side of the body. If you’re looking for a prostate massager you’ll want to make sure it’s ribbed at the right length to actually reach the p-spot! For most toys you’ll want at least 3 – 4 inches insertable to give you some variability and control over the depth and angle of prostate stimulation.
As we mentioned in part 1, the anus is comprised of an exterior (voluntary) and interior sphincter (involuntary). Since the trickiest part of getting prepared for anal sex is relaxing the inner sphincter, the girth of your toy (or your partner) is the most critical factor to having a good time. We generally recommend toys around 1″ – 1.25″ diameter for absolute beginners.
A little thinner if you’re petite, a little thicker if you’re bigger.
A great way to figure out what girth you need is to get in the shower and lube up a finger. See if you can relax and move it in and out without any discomfort.
One finger is roughly between .5″ – .75″ diameter depending on your hand size. This is smaller than even most small anal toys, so if you’re having a hard time with this you may want to take your time. If this is all you can handle, then we recommend a small anal toy, no bigger than 1″ in diameter.
After a minute or two, try two fingers. Two fingers is likely to be wider, but flatter that most anal toys you’ll buy (so the total circumference is probably similar to many small/medium toys). If you can comfortably fit 2 or even 3 fingers in your ass, you’ll definitely want to start with something closer to 1.5″ diameter to start out with.
Shape: Tapered vs Bulbous
Another important consideration is the actual shape of your anal plug or dildo.
Tapered anal toys are ideal for beginners, or for practicing taking bigger objects. The low angles on a long taper means your ass can gradually stretch out to take more and more of the toy.
A single large, smooth, tapered butt plug can do more for practicing anal sex than an entire fancy anal training kit!
Bulbous tips are more generally exciting for those experienced with anal play. Round tips are also better for prostate stimulation, as you need something protruding to actually hit the prostate. Bulbous tips are also great because they stay in place better once inside the ass. This is because the inner sphincter needs to get over the entire bulb, which helps keep the toy in place for long-term wear or use during sex.
A happy medium is to also get a rippled or graduated anal dildo, comprised of multiple bulbs where each one is larger than the one before. This creates an overall taper effect to the toy, while still providing some texture for additional stimulation.
Getting Down to Base-ics
All anal-safe sex toys need an appropriate base. This is because you need something to prevent the toy from pulling up into your ass! This actually happens quite a bit – especially with some of those cheap princess plugs that have been all the rage these past few years.
Never, EVER put a dildo or toy with a small base or no base into your ass, unless you want to undergo a painful passing, or possibly even an emergency trip to the ER!
Round Base Plugs and Dildos
- Space for aesthetic options like sparkling jewel, animal tails, or a suction cup.
- Doesn’t occlude the vagina for douple-penetration.
- Generally strap-on harness compatible.
- Biggest risk of the toy pulling inside your ass.
- Larger bases, which are the only kind safe for long-term wear, feel less comfortable over time.
The most common option you’ll see is the round-based option, like so:
Round bases are typically found on butt plugs and dildos (for use in a strap-on harness). They can be used by men and women, but we’ve generally found round based toys to be an excellent choice for women, as they don’t block the vagina for double penetration during sex.
Round bases also provide the surface area for a suction cup, so that’s also a possible feature to look out for. Just be careful that the base is big enough and doesn’t get pulled into you during sex!
T-base Butt Plugs
- More secure for long-term wear. No risk of pulling into your ass.
- More comfortable for solo wear, the T-shape sits snugly between your cheeks.
- Can block the vagina for double-penetration during sex.
- Hardest to use with a strap-on harness.
A popular option on anal wands and butt plugs is the T-base. This shape is great for anal use because a T-base is less almost impossible to pull up into your rectum, while also sitting comfortably between your cheeks. This makes T-base butt plugs ideal for extended wear, or for use on prostate stimulating toys.
T-bases are much harder to use with a strapon harness, although it is possible depending on the specific harness/toy setup. A harness with a small O-ring should be able to make use of some T-base toys. They also don’t have room for a suction cup for solo use or shower play.
Some butt plugs like the nJoy Pure Plug have an O-ring base, a variant of the T-base. It’s effectively a T in how well it stops from pulling up inside you, but the O-shape helps hold on to the base with lubed up fingers.
Realistic Dildo Bases
- Ideal for strap-on use
- Most likely to have enough room for a suction cup
- Most realistic looking
- Usually only available on traditional dildos and bigger toys
Lastly, a sort of hybrid base is the “balls base” seen on realistic anal dildos. The ball shape more closely resembles the T-base is appearance, but has the features of the round-based anal toys. Namely, they can be used in a harness and they can sometimes have suction cup bases as well. Obviously this base type applies to dildos and not butt plugs (who ever saw a butt plug with balls?)
Our Recommended Beginner Anal Toys
Putting it all together, here’s a quick flowchart to take you through some of our favorite beginner anal toys currently available:
Starter Butt Plugs
We compiled a mega-review looking at the best small butt plugs for beginners. For more specifics on individual toy recommendations check out the full article. But we’ll still do a quick overview here.
If you’re looking for a starter butt plug, there’s 4 basic questions to ask yourself:
- How much do aesthetics matter?
- What material (and firmness) are you looking for?
- What size do you need (see above)
- Do you want any additional features
Budget Butt Plugs
- Planet Dildos by Tantus – A far-out, spacey feeling line of 16 budget butt plugs with unique shapes.
- Anal Fantasy Set – About as basic – and budget-friendly – as it gets.
- Avant Pride plugs – standard silicone butt plugs with a nice taper, great colors, and a great price point.
- Petite Vibrations – a great $20 starter butt plug with a vibrating bullet base.
- Rianne S. 3-Piece Kit – small, medium, and large silicone plug set for just $40. And they come with a sexy jeweled base in clear or purple.
Butt Plugs with Features
- Bootie plug – has a bulbed head that’s great for prostate stimulation.
- Egg plug – the softest silicone, full shape, and 9 sizes from beginner to expert to choose from.
- Tantus Pure Plug Kit – a 2-piece starter set perfect for beginners. The larger plug also has a vibrating bullet.
- Lelo Hugo – a premium vibrating butt plug that has great features for couples.
Specialty Butt Plugs
- nJoy Pure Plug – the best metal butt plug, period.
- Crystal Delights – the best glass princess plugs, available with gemmed base or animal tails.
- Icicles no 26 – a much cheaper, but still decent quality glass butt plug.
- LovePlugs tail plugs – the widest selection of animal tail plugs, and fairly budget-friendly too.
- Rosebuds Cristal – the best of the best jeweled princess plugs if you’re looking for something luxurious.
Beginner Anal Dildos
For anal dildos the main considerations are:
- Do you plan to use it with a strap-on harness?
- How smooth vs contoured do you want it to be?
If you don’t plan to use it in a strap on, then we recommend either the Blush RealNude lineup (for their suction cups) or the nJoy Pure wand. The Pure Wand is one of our favorite toys, and is great for beginners or experienced users alike because each end of the stainless steel wand has a different girth.
If you do plan to buy a toy for use with a strap-on, you’ll need some kind of harness-compatible base. For a soft, realistic option with medium contouring (the veins), we recommend the VixSkin lineup. They’re not cheap, but their silicone does have a very realistic feel and the quality is next to none.
Now that you’ve got an anal toy picked out, check out Anal Sex 103: Choosing the Right Lube.