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If you're a fan of penetrative sex, anal stimulation can be an exciting new way to receive pleasure from or give pleasure to a sexual partner. Considering the taboo nature of this type of play (especially among straight women), though, many people who are interested in exploring this type of pleasure are of unsure of where to begin or which sex toys to invest in. This uncertainty is particularly concerning with anal sex, given the fact that your rectum, unlike your vagina, is not self-lubricating, which increases the likelihood of injury when jumping into anal sex without proper preparation.
Still, this doesn't mean that pleasurable anal sex is beyond reach! Keep scrolling to check out our best tips, tricks, and anal toys for a safe and overall booty-ful experience.
Anal Tips for Beginners
Zachary Zane, a sex columnist and sex expert for P.S. Condoms (opens in new tab), recommends that if you're new to anal stimulation, you ease into it. "You definitely would like to start with something small," he advises. "A tiny butt plug or prostate massager is great for folks new to anal stimulation. I'd get a toy made from silicone instead of metal since silicone toys typically have a little bit more 'give.' Once you start getting comfortable with the butt plug, you can graduate to dildos, anal beads, anal hooks, and the like."
Meanwhile, Vanessa Smith, Director of Marketing at sex toy brand Emojibator, boils beginner anal exploration down to three key requirements: Communication, lubrication, and relaxation. "Get comfortable discussing anal play with your partner(s) and make sure they are too. If you're on your own, get comfortable thinking about it (and you can talk with yourself before/during/after play)," she says. And, on a logistical level, she adds, "Make sure you empty your bowels before indulging in any kind of anal play," so that you don't have to have any especially challenging conversations with a partner.
In terms of lubes, Smith says that this step is absolutely essential. "Remember: lube, lube, and more lube (but not numbing lube)! You want to be able to tell when something feels off or painful, so avoid numbing lube." In particular, she recommends Emojibator's Phuksaus Water-Based Premium Lube (opens in new tab) and/or their Phuksaus CBD Pleasure Gel (opens in new tab).
Finally, try to relax and remember that sex is supposed to be fun! Smith advises that, whether you're alone or using a sex toy with a partner, you should try stimulating other erogenous zones while exploring anal play. "Make sure you're aroused when trying anal stimulation," Zane agrees. "You can stimulate your vagina or penis while using [a] toy in your rear end. And do your best not to clench. Lastly, take, big deep breaths! Try to relax!"
"Relaxation makes all the difference," Smith admits, and suggests trying anal stimulation in the bath or shower. The setting will help assuage any anxieties about making a mess, and Smith says that "warm water can help relax the muscles even more."
Best Anal Toys for Beginners
There are many anal toys made with beginners in mind, and we've rounded up some of the best. Per Zachary Zane's advice, you should start small and consider thin, silicone toys, or relaxing tools like prostate massagers (just because women don't have prostate glands, doesn't mean they can't enjoy these). In a similar vein, Vanessa Smith recommends, anal beads, plugs, and training kits made for beginners.
But before you add a drawer's worth of anal toys to your cart, remember to explore the rectal area yourself (or with the help of a partner) first! "Start small by using just a finger with lots of lube then move up to toys," Smith agrees. After all, silicone's great, but there's nothing quite like skin-on-skin.
This kit comes with three plugs of steadily increasing lengths and widths, so that you can calmly, carefully explore anal play without hurting yourself. Several reviewers, who identify as beginners to anal play, cite this set as "perfect," "amazing," and "comfortable."
This toy includes 10 vibrations and is completely waterproof, so you can experiment slowly in the tub. Featuring a convenient finger loop, the product gives "beginners and experts alike the opportunity to explore new sensations whether solo or with a partner."
True to form, this silicone set is accessible, washable, and "makes it easy to work your way up."
Best Anal Plugs
Not sure what an anal plug is or what it can do for you? Vanessa Smith has got you covered: "Anal plugs come in all sorts of styles and materials," she explains. "Vibrating anal plugs can help relax the sphincter muscles and stimulate the g-spot or p-spot," which, she points out, makes the toy perfect for beginners.
Looking for a feminine touch? This 4-inch plug boasts a beautiful rose shape that one customer calls "a classy look."
This stainless steel toy looks a little intimidating at first, but never fear: Multiple reviews assure that it is small-to-medium sized, which makes it great for anal-intermediates.
One bubbly buyer referred to this toy as a "bootylicious" option that works for solo stimulation, partner play, and even as a wearable toy.
If you'd like to try an anal pump but want to take your time, this product may be your best bet. One customer advised that it took a few pumps for them to "feel anything," which assures wary buyers that this toy allows users to take pleasure into their own hands.
Best Vibrating Anal Toys
Not only are vibrators all-around fan favorites in the world of sex toys, but they're also great for those who are just getting started with anal. "Vibrating anal plugs are especially great for beginners," says Vanessa Smith, "because the vibrations help relax the muscles while providing extra pleasure to the sensitive nerves in and around the anus."
This toy is recommended by reviewers as an ideal first anal toy. One person in particular gave the item a 5/5 star review, and still said, "if I could give more stars I would."
This vibrator has a host of devoted fans, who call the toy their "new best friend" and "best buddy," and even recommend using the toy on a partner.
This toy is ideal for both beginners and experienced users and, in the words of one thorough customer, it "allows you to take your pleasure into your own hands with the intuitive app and adjustable curved head."
Best Anal Beads
What makes anal beads ideal for beginners and those in search of gradual anal stimulation? Great question! "Anal beads start very small at the insertion point and grow slightly larger and larger as you get closer to the end," answers Smith. This way, you or your partner can work your way up, bead by bead, and stop with ease if the pressure becomes overwhelming.
Straightforward and easy to use, customers confirm that this beaded anal dildo is most ideal for anal experts who are accustomed to penetrative rectal stimulation.
Reviewers say that this set of beads is perfect for beginners (so long as users start slow and use plenty of lube), but that they're also ideal for users with all levels of experience.
This set of beads is ideal for beginners, because it is on the smaller side and its beads start small at the tip before gradually increasing in size. The jewel at the end of it is also designed to "make playtime fun" and, it appears, a little more glam than usual.
Best Anal Dildos
Whether you or your partner are into strap-ons, double penetration, or traditional dildos, there are a variety of toys out there that are sure to please. And remember: If you're new to anal sex, start slow! There's no need to rush into any sort of sex act, nor is there any need to engage in the act at all if it's something you're not comfortable with.
This strap-on dildo is double-padded with velvet, which is not only sexy, but optimal for both you and your partner's comfort.
If you're looking for stimulation to your G-spot, rectum, and clitoris, this is the toy for you! Described as "exhilarating," it aims to produce the elusive "trigasm" and, according to dozens of satisfied customers, succeeds.
According to customers, this toys "curves in all the right places" and is exceptionally easy to clean.
I am flabbergasted by the absolute adoration emanating from this toy's reviews. It is referred to as, among other things, "a must-have," "the greatest sex toy of all time," and a product responsible for an orgasm that one reviewer "didn't think [she] was capable of."
For more, visit our Sexual Wellness section, where we unpack topics around consent, kink, sex toys, and more so you can have your safest and very best sexperiences yet.
Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things fashion and beauty. She's also written about politics, gender, and sex for publications like Bustle, HuffPost Personal, and The New York Times. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.