Without giving away too many spoilers, there’s a moment in the final installment of the Fifty Shades franchise when Ana encounters a butt plug for the first time. The scene is quick, but there’s a chance that even the most stoic viewers will find themselves pulling a thinking face emoji about butt stuff afterwards. Here, three anonymous women explain exactly what it’s like to use a butt plug — from what makes it different than other vibrators or sex toys, to how it enhances their orgasms, and yes, what to expect for clean up afterwards.
How old are you?
Woman A: Thirty-one.
Woman B: Thirty-four.
Woman C: Twenty-six.
When and how did you first experiment with butt play?
Woman A: It wasn’t until I was 29 [when I] had a partner I felt comfortable experimenting with. I got my first plug and wanted to start exploring butt play.
Woman B: The first time I had anal sex wasn’t consensual. I was drunk, it hurt, I bled, and it totally sucked. But then I had a boyfriend in my early twenties who kind of re-introduced it to me. He encouraged me to be on top, which gave me all the power in terms of how deep and how fast to go. That was when I learned that I really do enjoy anal play under the right circumstances.
Woman C: I started having anal sex with a partner in high school. It’s been something I really enjoyed from the beginning and have incorporated it with several partners since then.
Tell me about your first butt plug.
Woman A: It was my own idea. My first butt plug was a silicone plug set that came with three sizes and the ends had handles on them.
Woman B: I think I got my butt plug about two years ago. I just have one. It was my idea. I just went to Babeland and picked a medium-sized silicone one. I knew that I liked anal play in general but had never owned a butt plug so I wasn’t really sure what the options were, and I wanted to start simple.
What is it about butt plugs that you enjoy?
Woman A: I love the feeling of the space they take up and the heightened sensation you experience when you include them in play.
Woman B: There’s something really sexy about the process of warming up for anal play — using lube, spending time making sure it’s comfortable, using fingers. It kind of makes the reward greater when it does get more intense. And if you’re not as into the friction of anal sex, [butt plugs are] a way to stimulate that area without committing to too much. The fact that using toys and anal play are [considered by some to be] somehow transgressive adds some erotic charge.
Woman C: The sensation is really different from vaginal penetration. I love the feeling of having something in both my butt and vagina simultaneously, and there’s something really interesting about the way the butt muscles tighten around a plug. It definitely feels very “full,” which I enjoy.
How does using a butt plug compare to having anal sex?
Woman A: I prefer anal sex over plugs because I enjoy the repeated penetration. Of course you can use plugs for repeated penetration but for me, it’s more cumbersome. With that said, I love wearing plugs throughout the day and in that case, I’m able to experience stimulation and pressure when I’m unable to have anal sex.
Woman B: I wouldn’t say I like one more than the other, since they’re pretty different. Of course you can move a butt plug around, or get a vibrating one, but it’s not generally moving in and out of you, so the sensation of anal sex is quite different. [Anal sex] can definitely be a lot more intense and sometimes uncomfortable at the wrong angle or without enough lube. I’d say using a butt plug is a better way to get started with learning what sensations you like.
Woman C: The two feel very similar to me with the exception of depth. Having anal sex with my husband is a bit more intense since his penis is longer than some of the plugs we use. A metal plug can feel different since it’s cold going in! Pretty intense. I don’t prefer one over the other — I really like both!
How do you like to use your butt plug?
Woman A: Butt plugs are quite the versatile toy. I’ll use a butt plug during solo masturbation combined with a vibrator or extra girthy dildo in my vagina.
Woman B: I mostly use it for solo play, so I typically combine it with my vibrator or dildo. The extra fullness and pressure of double penetration feels really good. And clitoral orgasms are also super intense while wearing it. I have worn it during sex too, but more often use it when I’m by myself.
Woman C: I use a butt plug in a few different scenarios: when masturbating alone I’ll use the plug combined with clitoral stimulation. If I’m having vaginal sex with a partner I find adding a butt plug makes the entire experience more intense and “deep,” which I enjoy. My husband enjoys using a few different plugs during play — we have a set of three that increase in size. He likes to start with the smallest one and work up to the largest.
What does it feel like to use a butt plug? Does it hurt?
Woman A: The key to anal play is lube. If you use lube and can relax your sphincter, the plug will go in much easier. When you put it in there is an absolute sensation of being stretched. When it’s completely in, there’s a closing type of sensation as your ass wraps around the base of the plug, which I find incredibly pleasurable. As you use a plug more, it becomes easier to insert; you are more aware of your body and able to relax more efficiently.
Woman B: It definitely shouldn’t hurt. I find that if it’s ever not comfortable it’s because I haven’t used enough lube — your butt doesn’t lube itself! There are kind of two parts to using it: inserting it, which, depending on the size of the butt plug, is a stretching sensation. Then once it’s in, it’s more of an internal stimulation.
Woman C: At the very beginning of experimenting with anal play it definitely was painful. There are some moments when your body just simply does not want something in its butt! It’s important to remember that all moments are not meant for all types of sex or penetration. It’s a matter of getting used to what you’re in the mood for and what your body specifically craves.
How does using a butt plug affect your orgasms?
Woman A: For me, my orgasms increase if I am receiving pleasure from multiple locations – and this includes wearing a plug.
Woman B: It definitely makes orgasms more intense. I’m not sure I understand exactly why, but it just feels like a more complete orgasm that I experience throughout my whole pelvis and not just concentrated in one area. I feel the waves of an orgasm more too, because your butt tightens around the plug when you’re coming. I love Maggie Nelson, and she has a section in her book The Argonauts where she talks about how she loves ass-fucking and says the clitoris “sweeps over the entire area like a manta ray.” I have thought a lot about that passage!
Woman C: Oh my god. My orgasms are so much more intense with a plug in! It’s almost hard to keep myself from orgasming if we’ve added a plug. It’s so delicious!
How do you talk about using a butt plug with a partner?
Woman A: I adore using plugs with partners. I approach it the same way I approach any conversation about sex. It’s like, ‘here’s a thing that gives me pleasure’ and I ask my partner to aid in that pleasure by engaging with that specific toy, and inserting it into me. I also really enjoy using plugs on my partners, especially when you recognize those sensations because you’ve also been on the receiving end with them.
Woman B: I have a butt plug in my bag right now that I’m planning on introducing with a partner tonight. I think with a partner it can be super fun, but butt stuff can always come with a bit of paranoia that something will go wrong or it’ll hurt and then be a let-down, or that something “gross” will happen. I know this partner is into anal play so I’m not going to have to explain it too much.
Woman C: My husband and I have a dominant/submissive dynamic in bed — if he’s in charge of what we do during sex then he’ll tease me and play with the plugs in different ways. I find I really love the feeling of him tugging ever so gently on the plug while it’s inside.
What’s clean up like?
Woman A: I’ve never experienced blood, and occasionally there is some fecal matter on the plug. I keep baby wipes nearby when I’m playing and always have toy cleaner around. I don’t try to empty my bowels beforehand, but I’m a pretty regular person.
Woman B: I’ve never really noticed much of an issue with that. I wouldn’t want to use it if I felt [constipated] or if my stomach felt weird. But I don’t worry about an enema or anything. I have sometimes noticed a tiny spot of blood on toilet paper after anal play but it’s usually not much. I definitely always use my toy spray right away to clean it off. I think if you’re going to explore anal play regularly you have to sort of live with the fact that it isn’t going to come out 100% clean, but also pay attention to your body and don’t go there if it doesn’t feel right.
Woman C: We always are really careful to clean with warm water and soap after play, and we keep the plugs in small clean bags in a drawer — away from germs and dust. I can tell before sex whether it’s a good or bad day for butt stuff depending on how my stomach is feeling and whether I’ve pooped already that day.
What would you tell someone who is curious about trying butt plugs?
Woman A: Go for it! Get a set of silicone plugs with various sizes and start small. And always use a water based lube for silicone toys.
Woman B: Get one with a tapered head, use lots of lube, start with a finger, and then try it in combination with a vibrator! I would definitely say if you’re nervous, to try it solo before doing it with a partner. Also try different positions to insert it — you can try sort of squatting and basically sitting on it if you’re having trouble getting it in from a regular lying-down position. Just remember to go slowly.
Woman C: Do it! Start with smaller, more flexible toys to get your body used to the sensation. Some silicone plugs can be really fun and not as intense as a solid material like metal or glass. Try putting a towel down underneath you in case there’s a little mess after. Use lube, lube, and more lube. Go slowly! You might discover that it takes a lot longer to insert something anally than you’d expect — it’s a very different experience than vaginal penetration. If you’re not into it — no worries! At least you’ll know you tried and it wasn’t for you.