How to Use Anal Toys

Medically reviewed by Dr. Justin Lehmiller.

Written by Lucy, Lovehoney Editorial team.

Last updated 02/21/2023.

Everyone has a butthole, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, which means that everyone can enjoy anal play, regardless of their gender identify or sexual orientation! This area is packed with sensitive nerve endings that, for many, can feel amazing when stimulated.

Anal play can be great and offer a completely new (and potentially more intense) way to climax. That being said, it’s important that anal players proceed with proper preparation and slow progression to prevent pain or injury.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but if anal play is something you’re interested in exploring, read on to discover our top tips for maximizing your booty’s pleasure.

Get clean


With your butt's day job being what it is, it should be obvious why anal exploration might take a little extra prep in the hygiene department. A clean bum isn't just a courtesy to those anally stimulating their partners, either – having a clean hiney can also provide peace of mind to the receiver, helping them to relax and better enjoy the experience.

For many, pre-play anal cleanliness may be as simple as making sure they’ve had a bowel movement that day (a high-fiber diet is particularly helpful here) and having a good wash of the external area in the bath or shower prior to using an anal sex toy. Others might prefer a more thorough cleansing process, opting to flush their anus with an anal douche before switching from butt business to butt pleasure.

Anal douching should take place around 45 minutes before play time. You’ll also want to be careful not to over douche. Cleaning too deeply, with too much force or pressure, or too frequently can potentially lead to irritation and other problems. Keep douching to a minimum and be cognizant that you don’t need to evacuate the entire contents of your intestinal tract to enjoy anal play.

Learn more in our how-to guide on anal douching!

Use lube


Unlike the vagina, the anus does NOT self-lubricate, making it IMPERITIVE to use lubricant during any type of anal penetration - no ifs, ands, or but(t)s about it! And, as always, formula and ingredients should factor into your lube choice.

We recommend using a water-based anal lube like Lovehoney Discover for bum fun. Water-based lubricants are compatible with all sex toy material and condoms, while anal-focused formulas are thicker and longer-lasting than most traditional lubes for enhanced comfort and pleasure.

Warm up


No, we don't mean jumping jacks (though it probably wouldn't do you any harm). Warming up for anal play means starting with shallow penetration using a small toy or single finger rather than jumping straight to large objects or body parts and deep thrusts.

Begin by getting comfy and lubing up before slowly and gently exploring your backdoor. The goal is to help the muscles in that area relax and for your anus to dilate. A lot of people like to use a small, tapered anal toy at this stage. A beginner's butt plug is a great choice here.

Once your booty is used to accommodating smaller items, you can progress to larger toys or more fingers if you desire. Just make sure any toy you’re using for anal fun – no matter the size - has a flared base so it won’t get sucked too far up your rectum and become irretrievable.

Toy around


Playing with an anal toy can be extremely pleasurable on its own and doesn’t need to be a precursor to anal sex if you don’t want it to be. Explore a range of different anal toy styles to experiment with various sensations and discover what you like best. There are a wide variety of anal sex toys to choose from like butt plugs, anal beads, prostate massagers, and anal vibrators, to name a few. Just remember that the best toys for beginners have a tapered tip and slender girth, and ALL anal toys should feature a flared base to prevent over-insertion.

If you're struggling to insert a toy to its full depth (and you'd like to), try adding more lube, bearing down slightly (yes, as if you were on the toilet) and lightly pressing on the base of your toy.



If you've climaxed while an anal toy was inside you (particularly in the case of butt plugs), you’ll need to wait a few moments before removing the toy. This is because climax causes muscle contractions, so the muscles must relax again so they aren’t clenched around the anal toy. A lil extra tip for removal: you may find that adding a drop of lube helps your toy slide out more easily.

If you’ve used the toilet for a #2 and done proper prep before playing, it’s highly unlikely you’ll encounter any ‘messes’ on your toy post-play. But if you do find a bit of poo on your toy, there’s no need to fret or feel embarrassed. Shit happens, y’know? It’s simply a risk we take in the pursuit of anal pleasure. Just give yourself and your toy a thorough clean and you’ll be good to go!

Pleasure and safety tips

For safe and pleasurable anal play, keep the following information in mind:

  • Only engage in anal play if it’s something you want - not because you feel pressure to try it.

  • Use plenty of lube (we can’t stress this enough!). Apply lubricant generously at the beginning of your experience and reapply as needed throughout play.

  • Avoid excessive douching! Instead, try a high-fiber diet or fiber supplement to keep things tidy.

  • Stop what you’re doing if you experience any pain. Take a break, relax, and try again later with more lube. However, if you find anal play to be consistently painful, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider in case there’s an underlying health concern that needs treatment.

  • Start small, slow, and shallow when penetration is involved. You don’t need to insert something large and deep to experience pleasure - but if that’s what you want, you need to build up to it and not rush it.

  • Get creative and try different toys and positions. Figure out what feels best for your body.

  • Only use toys with a flared base so they don’t get stuck inside you.

  • If engaging in play with a partner, communicate early and often about what you want, what feels good, and if you experience discomfort.

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Video: 5 Things You Must Know Before Trying Anal

If you're new to the world of anal play, then this starter video will help you on your way.

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