Exactly How To Use Anal Beads
If you’ve been curious to test out anal play—and butt plugs or full-blown anal sex still feel a little, well, ambitious—anal beads may be the answer to your sex dreams.
They can add a little something extra to partner play or a masturbation session—and they may even take your orgasms to new peaks. “As the beads are removed, it creates a series of pleasurable sensations, like having a muscle massaged,” notes Sinclair, a certified sex educator and CEO of , a company that makes—what else—premium anal toys.
But how do you use anal beads? Here’s your definitive guide to everything anal bead-related.
What are anal beads?
They’re strings of small spheres designed for insertion into the anus. Often, a string includes beads of graded sizes—small at one end, gradually getting larger as you approach the other.
“Unlike a butt plug—which applies pressure and [is] only meant to go in and stay in—anal beads were designed to stimulate inside the body and move in an out of the bum,” says Sinclair. The beads are inserted into the anus one at a time, then pulled out at whatever speed you wish.
“There are shared nerves from the anterior wall of the rectum to the vagina,” Loanzon explains, so this rectal stimulation via beads can cause some major sexual pleasure.
How to use anal beads
1. Start with a finger.
If you’re new to anal play, start off by slipping a single finger up there, then experimenting with larger products as you get more comfortable with the sensation. (Sinclair calls this process “anal training”).
2. Figure out what you like…solo.
If you’re using anal beads for the first time, Sinclair recommends exploring on your own first: Doing so allows you time to figure out what feels good and what doesn’t.
3. Use lube…and lots of it.
“Your anus does not naturally lubricate,” Sinclair says, so you’re going to need to be generous here. “Lube is your best friend for butt play,” she adds. Stick with an oil-based product with your anal beads since silicone-based will destroy silicone sex toys.
4. Take things slow.
Insert the beads into your (or your partner’s) anus one by one, Sinclair advises. “Once they are inside, you’ll feel ‘fullness’ and receive pleasure as they move inside you,” she continues. Remember, you can stop wherever—you don’t have to insert all the beads.
5. Try using them during partner play.
There are many options when it comes to beads. You can make them the main event and “have your partner pull them out at varying speeds, to see what you like,” says Sinclair.
Or you can try incorporating them into penis-in-vagina sex. “This provides an extra pleasurable sensation, for both partners,” she explains because the presence of a toy in the butt makes for an extra-tight vaginal feel. Plus, if the beads vibrate, this can feel amazing for both partners during sex.
Oh yeah, and pro tip: “Removing the anal beads as you near climax can lead to pretty intense, toe curling, orgasm,” says Sinclair.
What should you look for in anal beads?
When selecting a sex toy, you want to stick with materials that are body-safe, meaning free from potentially hazardous chemicals and toxins, says Dr. Sheila Loanzon, a gynae and fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Most likely, she explains, that’s going to mean silicone, a bacteria-resistant material. This is also crucial considering the rectum and anus can house bacterial and viral infections, explains Loanzon.
Silicone toys are also easy to disinfect between uses (whether that’s between sessions or different partners), “all you need is mild soap and warm water,” says Sinclair. But she advises staying away from cheap plastic beads on a string. “There is no way to properly clean these and they harbor bacteria,” she cautions.
You also want to make sure your beads have a flared base or some kind of handle at the end, to keep them from getting lost up there.
Which anal beads are the best anal beads?
As with any sex toy, a lot comes down to preference. For beginners, Sinclair recommends beads that start small and gradually get bigger.
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