Butt plugs - what's up with that?

Dear Female Orgasm,

I have been looking at a lot of sex toy sites lately and I have been seeing a lot of butt plugs. What in the world is a butt plug? Is it just to put in your butt? Or are you supposed to do something else with it?

Dear Reader,

Butt plugs are pretty much as you describe – just to put in your butt. Butt plugs are specially designed with a recessed neck and a flare at the base. That way your sphincter muscles can close around the recessed neck and the butt plug stays put.

Butt plugs come in two different designs: those that are designed to stay in one place, and those that are designed to be moved in and out. Plugs that are more diamond-shaped are better for sticking in and leaving alone. Others are rippled or have other textures that make them more fun and stimulating to slide in and out.

The flared base at the bottom of the butt plug is especially important – any anal toy has to have a provision made for easy gripping. Otherwise, the toy can actually disappear into the anus and rectum, leading to a quick trip to the emergency room. So well-designed anal toys prevent this loss with a handle or flared base.

Butt plugs should be cleaned between use with mild, disinfectant soap and water. They shouldn't be shared between partners.

Keep in mind that butt plugs and other anal toys aren't just for gay men. Tens of thousands of heterosexual couples engage in anal play every year. So don't dismiss butt plugs out of hand.

Further reading: How to have anal sex, Butt plug recommendations