The pleasures of butt stuff
It will come as little surprise to anyone that has read this blog to date that I like things up my butt. It has been an established rule from the outset of my current relationship that I sleep with a butt plug (and that has of late usually been the big one, because that’s the kind of slut that I am). Courtesy of a brand new rule in my life as of yesterday, I am also plugged as I write this. So butt plugs are a big and prominent thing in my life. This will continue to be true for the foreseeable and likely eternal future.
If you’ve ever experienced the joy (or discomfort) of something up your butt before, this state of affairs will likely be leading to a fundamental question: “Just how can you keep a butt plug in your bum for that long?” Followed very quickly by, “Doesn’t it hurt?!?”
The answer to the first question is, “Because it’s awesome, keeps me squirming for the entirety that it is in, and pretty much makes me the meltiest, most submissive bear on the planet.” (In the eyes of my partner, this is a decided feature). The answer to the second question is, “Nope! But it could!!”
Which brings us to the point of this article. Having invested far too much money buying far too many butt plugs that have been found far too wanting, I’d like to save you the real, metaphorical and financial pain that is induced by the acquisition of inadequate butt plugs.
What makes them awesome
An awesome butt plug is a thing of beauty and joy and absolute perfection. And it feels so amazingly wonderful.
There are a number of reasons for this. If you come equipped with a prostate, the right butt plug with the right length and the right angle will rub so deliciously against that little acorn of pleasure. (Yes, that’s pretty much as hard as that sounds, so don’t count on it).
The reality, though, is that butt plugs are an equal-opportunity indulgence. Partly because we all have an anus. But mostly because the anatomy of our anus is wired for pleasure, as soon as we open up to that reality.
Your anal region has the benefit of being a wonderful source of pleasure and delight. There are large numbers of nerve endings, making it an incredibly sensitive region. It also feels a little bit naughty, which is no bad thing. Stimulating your butt is a lovely complement to other attentions (and your other regions are in no way obstructed and are often enhanced as a consequence). Finally, you can wear plugs (or be required to wear them) under your regular attire, and feel the delight of having a delicious, kinky secret that no one else knows about.
What makes them horrific
For all that I wax poetic about the wondrous bliss that a butt plug has to offer, butt plugs do not come without their consequences. To be clear, the vast majority of butt plugs are woefully wanting. It should not be this way. The fact that it is makes me suspect that the designers of said wonder-toys do not—to put too fine a point on it—eat their own dog food.
The annals (pun intended) of horrific butt plug experiences are legion. Uncomfortable insertion. Unintended evacuation. Projectile launching across the room. Disturbing sucking of said plug all the way in. Painful removal. Difficult retention. The growing throbbing agony of pressure points as your anatomy attempts to safe-word.
If this has been you, and you have flat-out declared with emphatic indignation that never again shall a plug darken the doors of your nether regions, hang tight. The bear’s got you. I promise.
Anatomy of the butt
The first thing we need to reckon with in thinking about butt plugs is… your butt.
We all have them. We all use them. Many of us feel vaguely ashamed of them. And that is all the sad.
The amazing thing is that, for all of our other bits of sexual anatomy feeling different in qualified and specific ways, butts are largely one-size-fits-most (Sort of. Butt plugs can grow on you, and grow in you).
The thing that most people don’t quite understand about butts is the way that they are designed. We are often tempted to think of our anus as being this little pucker of a ring, that with the right prompting and relaxation opens up to reveal the wonders of the galaxy.
That’s lovely as far as it goes, but it’s not entirely true. The anus actually has two rings, spaced fairly close (but not that close) together. The outer one is the one we can mostly consciously control. The inner one, however, tends to listen more to the unconscious mind rather than the conscious one. We can encourage it to relax, but it’s not necessarily under our direct control. If you’ve ever felt pain inserting something back there, sort of like a circular charlie-horse of throbbing intensity, that is your inner ring being caught unawares and protesting in indignation.
Anatomy of a butt plug
Butt plugs are theoretically all designed the same way. Certainly you would think this should be the case, given the relatively consistent configuration of our posterior regions. It seems reasonable to assume that plugs for the butt would pretty much be guaranteed to slide home with deliberation and confidence. This is sadly not the case.
To be an informed consumer of butt plugs, it’s helpful to understand a little bit of butt plug anatomy. So let’s turn our attention to the following diagram:
Your basic butt blug features are:
- A rounded tip, for easy insertion. Trust me, you want this. You don’t want pointy things nudging up against your mucous membranes under any circumstances.
- A flared plug. This is the business end of the butt plug, and comes in an earth-shattering (when done right) array of sizes, shapes and dimensions. The point of the flare is that it encourages you to open up as it goes in, and then has something to hang on to afterwards.
- A neck. The neck seems like an afterthought relative to the plug. It is nothing but (pun also intended), as we’ll discuss in a very short while. For now, suffice it to say that the neck connects the plug to the base, and that’s a very, very important function.
- A base. The base serves one sole but significant purpose. It keeps the plug from getting sucked in where the sun doesn’t shine (requiring in best-case scenarios pushing down on it like you are having a poop, and in worst case situations visiting your local emergency room, where yes, they’ve dealt with this far too many times to count).
What they should be made of
An important consideration of butt plugs is what they are made of.
Sadly, sex toys in general are made from a ridiculous number of materials, of varying degrees of safety and desirability. Part of the reason for this is cost. Some of the reason is seemingly ignorance. When it comes to your butt, however, I advocate being very particular about the materials you choose to insert.
Part of the material challenge is the perception that softer and squishier is better, particularly where butt plugs are concerned. I get this, to an extent. There’s an absolute delight in feeling the give-and-take of expansion and contraction as your muscles experience something pliant and malleable keeping your hole open. It’s a losing battle, because the plug is going to win, but it can be a fun battle nonetheless.
The problem is that many of the squishy materials are also the bad materials. Never, ever, ever put a jelly-like plug up your butt. Over time, they break down, and their chemical composition is toxic and painful. If you ever insert something (that isn’t ginger) that burns, get it out of there as quickly as possible, and throw it out immediately.
Many other materials that look like they are safe and non-porous (and are even described that way on the label) actually aren’t. One of my early favourite plugs for long-term wear came from Doc Johnson, and was (for reasons to be discussed) an utter delight in terms of sensation. Over time, however, the surface of it discoloured horrendously. This is a sign that it is, in fact, porous, and is not, in fact, being properly being cleaned between uses. Another favourite, by the same manufacturer, is entirely delightful, safe and comfortable and is in no way diminished by months of enthusiastic use.
There are three materials (and for all practical purposes, only three materials) that ever want to see the light of day in the darkness of your butt: silicone, surgical stainless steel and glass. Glass and stainless steel are obviously hard. Silicone can come in a range of softnesses. They are all truly non-porous and able to be sterilized. This is what you want.
How they should be shaped
Most of the attention on a plug focusses on the pluggy portion. The bit with the flare and the prominence and the visibility. In the world of butt plugs, this is all mirrors and sleight-of-hand. The whole point of the flared portion of the plug is to open you up on the way in, and have you close down around it once it gets to the good place. Some of my plugs are blunt and round, and others are long and slender. With very few exceptions, this reality doesn’t actually matter all that much.
What makes the difference in all instances is the neck of the plug. This is where all of the action is. Ignore this truth at your peril.
Remember the point that your sphincter is composed of two rings? This is crucial and fundamental. Both rings need to be comfortable around the neck. If they’re not, mortification and peril await you.
That time where the plug projected itself across the room, taking out your cat just when you were about to climax? The flare was too small relative to the neck, and those consequences were inevitable. That bit where the plug got sucked into you and you only managed to get it out again through prayer and pushing? The base was too small relative to the rest of it, and your sphincter gave way gracelessly and with much chagrin.
Bottom line, both of these problems are a consequence of two things. First, the neck has to be long enough for both rings of your sphincter to clench down with enthusiasm and find their happy place. Secondly, the thickness of the neck has to be narrow enough compared to the width of the flare and the dimensions of the base that your muscles are able to relax. If both of these truths aren’t self evident, there are going to be consequences.
How to use them comfortably
Another important and fundamental truth: it is easy for your eyes to be bigger than your butt.
Even without being a size queen, there can be a temptation to believe that bigger is better. This is true up to a point, but the law of diminishing returns kicks in rather quickly.
The size that we can accommodate in our anuses is perhaps the most personal and unique thing that exists for each of us. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is not a competition. The entire point of this exercise is your pleasure. If it doesn’t feel good, you are doing it wrong. As with so much in life, the boundary between awesome and overwhelming is an incredibly fine one.
I’m a very big bear, so it is perhaps unsurprising that I enjoy a larger-sized plug. If it doesn’t have a size of “XL” or more on the label, I’m probably not looking at it. However, as women will attest with outright indignation, there is no such thing as standard sizing in couture or corks. One company’s XL can be another company’s “meh,” or alternatively “overwhelming giant titan monstrosity.” I wish I were kidding.
For practical purposes, a really comfortable (meaning, not in any way a stretch) plug for me is about 1.5” in diameter. For many, this is really, really big, and it’s really important for you to know that. The smallest of plugs usually come in around 3/4” (somewhere in the ballpark of the diameter of a human finger). 1” or 1.25” are also pretty common.
Things get interesting for me around 2”, and 2.25” is a particular sweet spot. The largest plug that I wear regularly with comfort (and that I’m wearing as I write) is about 2.4” in diameter. Anything over 2.5” (because degrees matter at this point) requires patience, deep breaths and the possibility of intense throb before it goes anywhere.
The point being that once your limits are approached, even a fraction of an inch makes a really big difference. Know your limit, and play within it.
Who to trust
A big question in all of this is, who should you be trusting your butt with?
On this score, I have learned to be particular. For the two mainstream plugs that I’ve highlighted so far, they are made by the same company. One is awesome. One is… less so. That is more than a bit disturbing to me. If you know how to do it right, then I struggle with being okay with wrong.
Where it comes to your butt, bespoke is good. Finding reliable quality providers of butt products is a really safe strategy. That will vary by material. There are quality providers of glass, silicone and stainless steel plugs. They just aren’t the same places.
The really good ones tend to be small, focused and have an air of crafts-person-ship about them. They care about what they do, and they want you (and your butt) to be happy.
My preferred material is glass. Over time, I’ve found a couple of providers that are amazing. Of the three plugs that I wear in regular rotation, two are made by Luscious Playthings. My “small” plug is 2.25” across, but the rosebud is entirely comfortable and pleasant for enormously long-term wear (I choose t-handles for all of my plugs, because I find they nestle well between my cheeks without creating pressure points). My medium plug has the same width, but is a little longer. For me, it is exactly the right length to stimulate my prostate and drive me absolutely out of my ever-loving-mind with extended use when venturing out into the real world.
My favourite and largest plug is a one-off. It is made by Simply Elegant Glass, who are wonderful people running a wonderful company. It’s big (in their size standards, it’s an XXL, with a diameter of 2.4” and an overall length of 7.5”). Sadly, they don’t make very many of them. Of the plugs currently available on their site as I write this, there is one large plug (diameter of 1.6”) and the rest are—in their vernacular—medium or small. They’ll do custom orders, though, so feel free to hit them up.
If you like (or like the idea of) stainless steel, N-Joy has an awesome reputation. And if you’d like silicone, there are a number of craft providers to consider. In Canada, there is Topped Toys. Square Peg also make a range of plugs of silicon yumminess. A thing to keep in mind with both of these companies is that many of their plugs are more about the stretch than the retention, so my guidance around neck size is going to be crucial to your ultimate experience.
Indulging your inner butt slut
Butt play is awesome. Truly.
I never feel quite so submissive as when I have a plug firmly lodged in me, and am left to marinate on my purpose and my service for an extended period.
Doing this well depends on finding the right plug. In a world of a ridiculous number of butt plugs, only a few stand out and deserve to be inserted in. At this point, I can pretty much recognize at a glance which plugs are going to make the grade, and which plugs are going to be abandoned along the wayside (please dispose of your inadequate butt plugs properly).
What I look for are four things, in a relatively predictable sequence. First, the width of the plug has to be in my sweet spot. The width of the base also needs to be roughly comparable. The length of the neck needs to be appropriate (minimum of 1”, and preferably 1.25” to 1.5”). The width of the neck needs to be proportional to the width of the flare (optimally 50% to 60% of the maximum width). Tick these boxes, in the right material, and you’ve likely got a plug you can savour and squirm over for many happy months and years to come.
That is all to the good. Because once your butt has experienced your first awesome plug, you can never go back to inadequate. You will be spoiled for anything less.