How To Use Anal Toys: Anal Sex Toys For Beginners

Dr. Evan Goldstein

The Fun Stuff January 23, 2020

What Are Anal Toys?

Anal toys are designed to be used for, well, anal play. That means they’re optimized for pleasure, while helping avoid discomfort and even injury. While one could argue any toy is an anal toy, that isn’t actually true. Anal toys are ones that have a distinct base that helps prevent them from getting lost inside your rectum. This can not only lead to an embarrassing visit to the ER, but also be dangerous to your health. While I recommend investing in a good set for anal training to prepare for bottoming, plenty of people enjoy them for pleasure, too, whether to enhance masturbation / solo play, to add to foreplay with your partner(s), and for penetration with a strap-on. Now that you know what anal toys are, let’s discuss how to use them.

How To Use Anal Toys

Using anal toys should be simple and fun, but there are a few precautions you should keep in mind. Once you’ve found the right toy for your needs–one that has the right length and girth for your level of experience (there’s no such thing as ‘too small’ when you’re new to anal sex) and has a base that fits your needs (more on that below),–you’ll also want to invest in high-quality lube–and lots of it! But picking out your toy and stocking up on lube is just half the process. Read on for more beginner tips on how to use anal toys:

1) Start slow, then grow

When picking out your first toy, keep in mind that many butt toys have a rather bulbous “tip”, so using these for your first dilation can be somewhat traumatic. Top tip: if it looks like a doorknob, it will feel like sticking a doorknob in your butt.

Top tip: if it looks like a doorknob, it will feel like sticking a doorknob in your butt.

Ideally, your first purchase should be an anal training kit, featuring three distinct sizes that increase in a subtle, yet noticeable, way. Find a set that has a more cone-like or tapered design, which lets your butt musculature relax gradually as you guide the toy in.

In our article, Bottoming for Beginners, we offer advice on the best routine to get you fully dilated if that’s your goal. Here are a few quick pointers to get you started:

  1. Lube up your toy with copious amounts of toy-safe lube before inserting until you feel like you’ve hit resistance (this ‘resistance’ is probably the first sphincter).

  2. Remove the toy, re-lubricate, and try again, hopefully pushing in a little further each time. Steps 1 and 2 should be repeated 6-8 times in order to get all 3 sphincters to fully relax and the toy fully inserted comfortably. While doing this, pretend like you’re having a bowel movement and push out (don’t worry - you won’t have an accident).

  3. Once the toy is fully inserted, don’t completely remove it. Instead, move the toy in-and-almost-fully-out 10-12 times (3-4cm motions).

  4. Finally, repeat these steps while putting pressure on the left side, then right side, then top, and finally the bottom of your hole. This allows you to properly strengthen and improve the elasticity of the skin, as well as allow for full sphincter relaxation.  

2) Don’t get stuck

The best beginner anal toys are those whose base goes directly to the handle (i.e. one that doesn’t have a narrowing or ‘neck’ between the handle and the part you play with). This is a good idea, as it means you can’t leave the toy inside you completely for prolonged periods of time. This can cause swelling in the region, leading to hemorrhoids and/or tearing, especially when it’s time to take the toy out.

Some have a flared base, others have a suction cup for hands-free play, and others even have testicles to keep things realistic. Using a toy with ‘balls’ is a definite positive—they not only make your experience more realistic – if that’s what you’re into – but also from a medical perspective, this barrier prevents you from losing the toy completely inside your butt (a definite win-win).

3) Relax and get comfortable

When your mind is at ease, your booty will be, too. There are three sphincters–one internal and involuntary and two external and voluntary–and relaxing both of them is essential for a pleasurable experience. This takes a lot of practice, so don’t think it’s just an on/off switch. However, when you take your time, you practice dilation, you’re with a patient partner, and you take deep, yoga-style breaths, you’re well on your way for a comfortable (and pleasurable) experience.

4) Practice good hygiene

Keeping your anal toys clean will not only keep you safe but also prolong the lifespan of your toys. It’s important to clean your toys with warm water and soap before and after each session. Be sure to dry them off completely and store them in a dry place in between uses. Silicone toys, over time, can degrade if they’re stored with other silicone toys, so it’s best to keep them separate (a lot of toys nowadays come with a storage bag). Please don’t share toys between partners without thoroughly cleaning the toy. If that’s not possible, you can opt to use a new condom each time you switch partners. Lastly, do not switch between vaginal and anal use without properly cleaning or switching condoms in between. Much like we’re supposed to wipe front to back, only switch from front to back during playtime.

5) Explore new techniques

Toys with suction cups are available that permit mobile, hands-free play. Per the above, the suction cup also helps keep at least part of the toy safely outside your butt at all times.

As you start to experiment more, you must remember there are multiple facets that can enhance or limit your play, with higher chances of local trauma and injury. Bear in mind the angle of your pelvis in relation to the toy you’re using. Depending on that angle, the toy may aim towards the front or back of your butt canal. This might be pleasurable, but it might also be painful on your prostate (for guys) or the sacrum (the base of your spine). 

By all means experiment, but make sure you consider your height, pelvic angle, and where you stick this thing, and adjust where needed. That way, you keep things fun but keep things safe as well.

When you’re new to anal play, finding the right toy can be daunting. With so many shapes, sizes, materials, and prices, we get it. And when you’re putting something in your body, you want to be extra sure you’re picking the right one. People ask me all the time, “What are the best butt toys out there?” You’re in luck because I’m going to help get to the bottom of the best beginner anal toys.

Beginner Anal Toys

There is such a thing as first-time anal toys because some shapes, sizes, and materials are considered better for beginners. What’s great about beginner toys is that they’re versatile enough to be used for training and foreplay. Once someone has mastered the use of them, they can graduate to more advanced, expert toys after getting used to these. Continue on if you’re looking for my guide to anal toys.

Anal Beads

Anal beads is a sex toy that is comprised of a string of balls that are either consistent in size or gradually get bigger, and are either abutting or with a small space in between each ball. As an anal surgeon, anal beads are not my favorite anal toy. When someone uses them for extended periods of time and there’s space in between each bead, the sphincter can get inflamed around it, making removal difficult (and in rare instances, impossible without medical assistance). However, if you’re interested in trying them out, I recommend finding one where the beads are right up against each other, which will provide pleasurable sensations as the beads move in and out of your body, without the potential for irritation or discomfort. Please note that because of the varying shapes and sizes, don’t push and pull them too quickly or roughly as you’ll increase your likelihood of injury.

Bonus tip: if the beads increase in diameter, they can be used to help with anal training and dilation.

Butt Plugs

Consider this my shameless Butt Plug 101 (see what I did there?). I love butt plugs. They have so many benefits, from anal training and dilation to solo play to partner play. Nowadays, there are plenty that are vibrating (some that can even be remotely controlled by a partner), as well as those made of glass, metal, and silicone. For beginners, I recommend finding one that has a tapered design (it’ll resemble a cone), which allows for gradual insertion rather than a blunt tip. You can leave it in during masturbation or switch things up and use one while topping or enjoying non-penetrative sex with a partner. However, despite what the name might suggest, they should not be left in for extended periods of time.


Anal vibrators are like vaginal vibrators, except they are designed to stimulate either the p-spot or a-zone. The added vibrations can send waves of pleasure throughout the body and can help intensify anal orgasms. If you’re asking yourself how to use an anal vibrator, you’re in luck because the answer is quite simple: start slow and low and then increase the speed and vibrations as you feel comfortable. With anal vibrators, it’s less about repeated in-and-out movements and more about leaving the toy inside and letting the vibrator do all the work. Just don’t be surprised if your whole body shakes when you orgasm–it’ll be that intense! 


Anal dildos are dildos that typically have a phallic shape, except they also have a base to help prevent them from getting lost inside you. They can range in size, girth, and material, and some even have life-like features. Don’t worry about how to use an anal dildo–it’s just like the real thing. Make sure you use copious amounts of toy-safe lube, start slow, reapply lube often, and try experimenting with different positions to find the ones that are most comfortable for your anatomy. If you’re using dildos in between playtime with a partner(s), I recommend finding one that closely resembles your partner’s member. That way, you’re constantly training your sphincters to be able to accommodate this size, making bottoming more pleasurable for everyone.


Whether you’re new to butt play or you’re a seasoned expert, beginner butt toys can be enjoyed by everyone. Learning how to use anal toys properly is important, but oh so rewarding. Choosing the right size, shape, and material that fits your needs (and booty), as well as stocking up on plenty of toy-safe lube can create a pleasurable experience. For beginners, using toys is a great way to explore your body on your own time, introducing it into foreplay with your partner, or even using them as the main event. There’s no shortage of uses for butt toys.

About the author

Dr. Evan Goldstein is the Co-Founder of Future Method and the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical, the leading private practice in health and wellness for gay men. He received his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Goldstein is the go-to butt and bottoming expert, having been published in Huffington Post, Men’s Health, Healthline, and more. Learn about Dr. Goldstein by visiting his practice,

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Future Method, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.


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