Pumped Up Pleasure: A Guide to Inflatable Sex Toys

Originally published 1/10/2023

Written by Jen Schwartz, Lovehoney Editorial Team.

Learn how to size up your fun with inflatables!

When the topic of inflatable sex toys comes up (a frequent occurrence, I’m sure), your mind likely goes to blow-up dolls. Though love dolls do technically fit the descriptor, that’s not the type of inflatable sex toy we’re talking about today.

Are you scratching your head? No worries, you aren’t alone, and soon your knowledge will balloon up. In the biz, inflatable sex toys refer to inflatable dildos and inflatable butt plugs. This lesser-known pleasure product category changes sizes once inside you, with users controlling the rate and extent of expansion.

Why do people use inflatable sex toys?

Intrigued? You should be! There are loads of enticing benefits to inflatable sex toys.

Multiple sizes and custom fit


Owning an inflatable dildo or butt plug is like having five (or more!) sex toys in one. Whether you’re in the mood for a mild or wild stretch, you can scratch your specific itch using a singular amazing inflatable. Your toy’s pump (or remote control, depending on the model) puts you in complete control of girth and length at any given time. No need to switch to a larger toy if you suddenly crave more sensation; simply pump up the volume on the one currently inside you!

This trait is particularly valuable for vagina owners since vaginas expand as arousal increases. Inflatable dildos like the pictured Inflatable Vibrating G-Spot Pleaser 6 Inch let you match the size of your toy to that of your love tunnel, so you don’t get a decrease in sensation as your pleasure builds.

Size training

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Size training (commonly referred to as “anal training” for booty-related play) is a must for fisting, anal, and the enjoyment of XL toys. For those unfamiliar, this orifice stretching practice utilizes insertable sex toys in an expanding range of sizes to safely increase how much girth your love hole can handle.

Inflatable dildos and butt plugs are a fab alternative to traditional size training tools like dilators and anal training kits, as inflatables don’t require an arsenal of toys to reach your next hole goal. Additionally, you can fully tailor an inflatable sex toy to the exact right size for where you are in your stretching journey.

Exotic sensations

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Have you ever felt something grow substantially while it’s inside you? What about the sensation of having your vaginal or anal walls filled to the brim while your opening remains unstretched? If you’ve never played with inflatable sex toys, the answer to both those queries is likely a resounding “no.”

Inflatable butt plugs and dildos offer a sensory universe to journey through - one that adventurers might not be able to access through other types of pleasure products. These particular kinds of internal stimulation may feel peculiar at first, but many come to crave them once the initial “whaa?” is replaced with a “whoa!”

Big size with little trouble

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Those who love playing with giant dildos and other ample toys know that big sizes can come with a few challenges like storage and comfortable insertion, woes that diminish with some inflatable sex toys.

Inflatable butt plugs, for instance, let size queens, kings, and royal they/thems and zes delightfully devour considerable length and girth internally without the potentially problematic big-time stretch of the anus. This is because the base of inflatable butt plugs is not inflatable, but its body is. Big booty pluggers can use this to their sensitive b-holes’ advantage by choosing an inflatable anal plug with a slim neck yet ample growth possibilities in the body.

Another XXL toy qualm inflatables alleviate is the need for an XXL space to store toys in. Inflatable sex toys provide an avenue for plenty of stretch during playtime while maintaining a reasonable size when not in use. See the pictured Inflatable Weighted Butt Plug 3.25 Inch, for example, wherein the top left picture displays the toy in its deflated state and the bottom left depicts its expansive growth opportunity. A slightly shrunken form can save you inches in your bedside table, which every sex toy collector knows is valuable real estate.

How to use inflatable sex toys

Regardless of what hole you’re playing with, you should follow the below steps to safely and satisfactorily enjoy your inflatable sex toy.

1. Get to know your toy

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Though you may be eager to pump up ASAP, it’s important to experiment with your new inflatable’s functions before inserting it into your anxiously awaiting opening. Hold the toy’s body in one hand and the pump or remote in the other and explore how it works and responds to controls first.

How quickly does it inflate once you pull the trigger, so to speak? How much growth does one pump produce? How does its largest size look and feel to you? These are all questions you should know the answer to prior to your first foray into blown-up eroticism.

You’ll also need to know how to employ both gradual and quick deflation of your inflatable sex toy.

2. Safety checks and prep


The last thing you want during inflatable butt plug or dildo play is the inability to deflate your toy post-insertion, so take a few simple precautions to ensure this doesn’t happen!

For remote-control-operated inflatables, it’s a good idea to make sure both the toy and its remote have a decent charge on them. Having either die on you mid-bloat is no bueno.

For manual toys, check that the valve, pump, and hose are securely attached to each other and the inflatable itself.

3. Super-lube it and insert


A hefty amount of compatible lubricant like our best-selling Lovehoney Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant is crucial to inflatable sex toy adventures, regardless of arousal levels or which orifice is at play. Lots-o-lube will protect your vaginal or anal walls from deliciously full stretching, so don’t be shy in your application! You’ll want to coat both your inflatable sex toy and opening before you begin.

For insertion, you’ll want to consider the rigidity of your unpumped toy. Firm inflatable sex toys can enter waiting holes as is, while more pliable toys may require a few pumps to get out of their flaccid state.

4. Go slow, experiment, and enjoy

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Resist the urge to go from 0-100 and opt for a more gradual size increase at first so your internal walls can adjust to the ongoing stretch.

Once you’re warmed up, you can play around with different pump speeds and inflation/deflation patterns to see what you’re into. With so much customization, there’s much to discover in the unique world of inflatable sex toys.

No matter your experience level, be sure to listen to your body if it’s telling you to take a break or if the size/stimulation is too much for you. For this reason, never use any type of desensitizing creams or gels that could block pain receptors.

Slow, steady, and safe wins the orgasm race!

5. Deflate, remove, and clean


After you finish playing, fully deflate your toy while it’s still inside you until it reaches its smallest size; then, you’re free to slowly and safely remove your inflatable dildo or anal plug. Once the inflatable sex toy is absent from your body, you should thoroughly cleanse it with a compatible cleaner like Lovehoney Fresh Toy Cleaner for optimal hygiene and an increased sex toy lifespan.

The best inflatable sex toys for beginners

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