May 292013

Do you have any advice about anal beads? I saw them at our local sex shop on our last trip there, and I am wondering what they’re like, how to use them, and any tricks you might know of.

–Bead Curious

Anal beads come in many different varieties. One particular style used to be the most abundant and inexpensive: hard plastic beads on a nylon or cotton string. If you see those, steer clear of them: they are cheaply made, impossible to clean properly, and potentially unsafe (since the plastic usually has rough edges or seams). You want to look for an anal bead toy, which is one continuous piece of rubber, vinyl, or silicone. I recommend silicone, since it’s resilient, warms to body temperature, and can be easily disinfected with a sex toy cleaner or warm water and anti bacterial soap. Some bead toys have beads that are all the same size and others graduate in size; pick a size and style that appeals to you.

The thing that fans of anal beads love about them is the ability to experience one particular sensation –when the sphincter muscles relax, the anus opens up, the bead slides in, and the muscles close around it — several times (some toys have 5 beads, others as many as 10). Make sure to lube each part of the bead toy and go slowly as you insert each part. The fun thing about them is that once you have a portion or the entire length of the beads in your ass, you can pull the toy out all at once, creating an entirely different sensation! Some people like to pull it out just before orgasm to push them over the edge, while others wait until after they’ve come. Experiment and see what works best for you.

Apr 022004

My girlfriend and I like anal sex a lot, and we always talk dirty about using anal beads when we are doing it. I have no doubt she wants me to get them, but I am curious about a couple things. Are there anal beads for first timers? What do they do exactly? Is there a guide on how to use them? How can we use them so she gets the most pleasure out of the experience?

–Anal Lovers in Delaware

Anal beads come in a variety of styles. The beads can be made of hard plastic or rubber, and there can be anywhere from five to ten attached by a string that runs through them. The string is usually made of cotton or nylon, and the beads can be all the same size or they can graduate in size. I caution you when shopping for this particular kind of toy, since there are lots of cheaply made anal beads on the market. Avoid hard plastic beads with obvious seams that feel sharp to the touch of the finger — they will irritate the delicate lining of the rectum; some people may also find that the knots in the string between beads feel uncomfortable inside the ass. Remember that nearly all beads on any kind of string may be cleaned but not disinfected, so it’s not a good idea to share anal beads with others. There are other toys, made of rubber or silicone, that have designs which are reminiscent of anal beads, but are one continuous piece without any string. These are much easier to clean (although remember that only silicone is non-porous) and are generally more comfortable.

For first timers, I recommend you pick small beads, and gradually work your way up to larger sizes if you discover you like them. As for the how-to, here goes: for some people, the moment when the sphincter muscles relax and allow for that first moment of pleasurable penetration is incredibly hot. With anal beads, you can experience that first-penetration feeling over and over, since the muscles open to accommodate the bead, then close around it, then open for the next bead, and so on. You should slip one well-lubed bead at a time in your girlfriend’s ass. Once they are all in (or as many are in as she wants), you can (slowly!) pull the entire string of beads out, creating an entirely different, but equally intense, sensation. Some folks like this grand exit to happen when they feel close to orgasm, in order to push them over the edge; others like to wait until they are coming to intensify the climax. You can also keep them in until after you’ve come. Like any other toy, experiment and find out what works best for you.

Oct 082003

In Anne Rice’s erotic novel The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, there is a scene where Beauty was made to play a game: twenty roses were scattered all around a room where the Queen sat, and Beauty had to crawl around and pick the roses up and return them, one-by-one to the Queen, all the while being flogged to keep up her pace. Every time Beauty would bring a rose, the Queen would stick a large gold marble in Beauty’s ass. The trick being that the further along she got, the harder it was to keep going without dropping the marbles.

My husband and I thought this was really hot, and we’d love to play it out, but we are concerned with the idea of losing a marble inside my ass. Could that happen, and if so, what could we do to prevent it? We have worked with anal beads before, but there are only so many on a string, and those knots can sting! What can you suggest?

–Losing My Marbles

While I love erotic fiction as much as the next kinky reader, when it comes to representations of bondage, sadistic sensation play, and other BDSM activities, you need to remember that half of the stuff that fictional characters do in books isn’t even physically possible, let alone safe or meant to be instructional. Many, but not all, writers of leather smut have never actually done any of the things they write about. Or, even if they are players in real life, often they still indulge in fantastic fantasies they know are great to jerk off to; they don’t mean for anyone to try to replicate them.

The scene you describe from The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is an example of a sexy scenario that’s not practical, and could be physically harmful. In general, anything you put in the ass should have a flared base (like on a dildo or butt plug) or another way to stop it from going all the way inside (like the ring on the end of a string of anal beads). Obviously, marbles don’t qualify, and they could get lost inside your ass. You’ve already played with anal beads, and you’re right, most people find the knots of the nylon or cotton rope pretty uncomfortable.

I have several suggestions for scenes that may appeal to you. If you want to be surprised, now is the time to stop reading and hand the magazine over to your husband. Several sex toy manufacturers sell toys which are a continuous series of beads, but the toy is all one piece (no string, no knots); some have several beads of the same size, while others have graduated beads which get larger and larger. Your husband can insert the first bead, send you off to retrieve rose #1, then slide the second bead inside, and so on. It creates a similar effect as the marbles with a toy that’s completely safe.

Or, if the goal is to make it increasingly difficult to keep the object inside your ass as you retrieve the roses, he can begin with a silicone butt plug, and, each new round, replace it with a plug made of a heavier material, moving from clear acrylic to glass to marble to stainless steel. I’ve used all of these high-end toys, and can tell you that when you stand up with a steel butt plug in your ass, it feels like a barbell that’s fighting gravity! A similar effect can be achieved with only one butt plug and a series of small weights usually used for cock and ball play or genitorture. Find a way to attach the weights to the base of the plug (I suggest a small piece around the rounded base), you can keep increasing the amount of weight each time a rose is retrieved. Use the story in the book as inspiration, but then be creative and create a scene that’s clever, cruel, whatever works for you. Most important, make it safe.

Apr 141999

I recently visited my local hip sex shop, and was amazed how many sex toys there are! There was a whole shelf of “butt plugs” — are those the best for anal penetration? Are there other particular toys that are good?

–Overwhelmed by the Selection, Jamaica Plain, MA

Well, the Anal Advisor happens to work in a sex toy store (Babeland) which helps me keep my finger on the pulse of sex toy trends and affords me a discount to purchase and test all the sex toys my little perverted heart desires! Let’s just say I know a thing or two about toys. In fact, my toy box is overflowing right now with all kinds of tools to shove into various orifices — my own and those of my loved ones. One of my favorite toys to use right now is a butt plug called “Voyager” and manufactured by a company called Dils for Does. It has a flared based, a skinny bottom portion and a very bulbous head at the top; it comes in four different sizes, all the same shape. The great thing about Voyager is that because of its unique shape, it is very easy to hold inside. Even with the strongest of muscles, sometimes butt plugs tend to slip out, especially if other activities are going on. This plug stays in place no matter what. I’ve been spanked, flogged, paddled, and caned with the plug inside. I’ve even been made to stand upright, do household chores, and run around — all the while with Voyager nestled in my ass!

Now for my advice:

There are lots of different toys on the market, and you should make your selection based on what you want to do with your toy. Butt plugs come in many different sizes, but all have a similar shape with slight variety: they are usually narrow at the top, thickest in the middle, and narrow at the base, which is flared. Some are diamond shaped, others are rippled with segments going from small to large. The great thing about butt plugs is that they were made for your butt. The flared base insures that a plug won’t get “lost” or go too far inside your ass. Butt plugs can be inserted in the ass and worn for a period of time. Because of their shape, they are designed to stay in place rather than be pushed in and out, as the sphincter muscles close around the narrow bottom. Butt plugs are good for two things. Many people like the feeling of fullness they get from having something in their ass, while other activities are going on. Butt plugs are also a great way to get your ass used to having something in it; the longer the plug stays in, the more the anal muscles tend to relax and open up. Using a series of different sizes of plugs can help you work up toward having something larger in your ass, like a dildo or penis.

Dildos come in so many different shapes and sizes that there is practically one for every individual taste, need and desire. There are dildos that look like dicks (with balls and realistic-looking heads), dildos that look like torpedoes, and even dildos that look like dolphins. Dildos that curve up from the base (instead of straight out) are often better suited to anal intercourse because they nicely mirror the curve of the rectum. Dildos are the best tools for the in-and-out variety of fucking.

Vibrating butt plugs and dildos have all the pluses of their non-vibrating counterparts, with the added attraction of a little buzz. Vibrators are also great for anal penetration, and vibration can actually relax the anal sphincters. Just make sure that the vibrator is long enough — like over 7″ — for penetration, and, ideally, has a flared base.

Anal beads are latex or plastic beads on a string with a ring on the end. The beads can be the size of marbles all the way up to the size of golf balls. Regardless of their size, make sure the balls are clean, smooth (file the edges if they’re not) and well-lubricated, and that the string is at least seven inches long. Many people like to insert the beads in the rectum while having their genitals stimulated. You should insert one bead at a time, giving the rectum a chance to adjust to the sensation; plus, it can be quite intense to feel the anus contract around each bead. Some people like to feed the balls inside and then pull them out just as they are climaxing; others like to climax with the beads in and then remove them. Remember, withdraw the beads slowly and gently, and don’t try to pull the entire string of beads out in one motion too quickly or it may be uncomfortable.

The majority of these toys are made of either silicone or latex. Silicone is the best material for toys because it is completely non-porous and therefore very easy to clean and disinfect. It’s also very resilient and conducts body heat. Latex rubber is less resilient and more difficult to clean, however does tend to be less expensive than silicone. There are also toys made of lucite, pyrex glass, wood, and leather.

In general, when choosing a toy, keep the following rules in mind:

  1. Never put any sharp objects or anything with rough or jagged edges in the rectum.
  2. Always use a lubricant with a toy; remember, the rectum is not self-lubricating. I recommend a thick, water based lube like I-D, Slippery Stuff Gel, Lube de Luxe Gel, Probe (Thick) or Maximus.
  3. Make sure that your tool is flexible enough to maneuver the curves of the rectum. Very hard, rigid things (like candles, metal or wooden objects) are not a good idea for your ass.
  4. Make sure that you clean your toys after each use, with sex toy cleaner, antibacterial soap and hot water, or bleach (diluted one part bleach, ten parts water).
  5. Never put anything in a rectum that may get lost or will be difficult to retrieve. Make sure dildos, plugs, and vibrating toys have flared bases.
  6. It’s really not a good idea to put something of an unrealistic width, length, shape or size in someone else’s or your own ass. Use common sense.