In the wide world of sex toys there are some products that are always bestsellers like vibrators and dildos, and others that get overlooked. Anal beads are one of those often overlooked toys but they shouldn’t be!
Like any industry, sex toys go in and out of vogue and trends shift with time, but anal toys remain a quiet mainstay in bedside drawers the world over. This is really no surprise, because anal beads are a great way to ease into anal play safely and comfortably.
Butt Stuff Basics
Before you leap into anal play, make sure that you have considered a few key things in advance:
- Lube is essential – don’t attempt anal penetration without lubricant. Unlike mouths and vaginas, the anus and rectum are not self-lubricating and are made of delicate, thin tissue that is easily torn. Anal tears and fissures are painful and can easily become infected, and nothing about that is sexy or fun.
- Choose your lube carefully – Not all lubricants are created equal and not all lubes play nicely with all toys. A water based lube may be compatible with your silicone toys but water based formulas soak into the skin and lose their slipperiness faster than thicker, oil based or silicone lubricants. Thick, slick formulas are best for anal but oil and silicone lubes should not be used with silicone or latex. If you are in doubt, read package directions carefully and consult the knowledge of the internet for more dos and don’ts of lube.
- Timing is important – Anal play can be really fun and really exciting. It can also get messy. There’s not a person out there who has not had a bit of a messy moment while engaged in anal play. If you want to mitigate the potential for mess, time your play session around your body’s clock. Choose a time 1-2 hours after you have evacuated your bowels for best results. Alternatively, anal douching is an effective preparation technique and douching kits can be found easily and affordably online.
Whether you are brand new to anal play or well versed, anal beads are a great choice because they are affordable, easy to find in body-safe materials and very much a go-at-your-own-pace type of toy. Because they come in such a wide variety of sizes, they are great for beginners who want an easy to use and easily retrieved anal toy.
Types of beads
Anal beads come in many variations, but they all fit within a few basic designs. Some anal beads can look a bit intimidating, but don’t let the length put you off – you don’t have to use the whole set all at once!
- Soft – The classic anal bead design is firm beads (in any one of a number of materials) spaced and fixed evenly along a chord or string with a loop at the end to pull them out when you are finished. The ‘string style’ is very flexible and each bead must be manually pushed in. This gives the user a distinctly “packed full” sensation because the string, although sometimes long, will fold up on itself once inside, allowing the beads to cluster together in the rectum (think of eggs in a nest) instead of staying neatly in a line like more rigid styles. One consideration with the ‘string style’ is the materials of the string itself. If it is a porous material you will not be able to fully sanitize your beads so sharing with a partner is not recommended.
- Firm but Flexible – A very popular style of anal beads takes the classic string style and makes it a one-piece wonder: a length of flexible material (often silicone) with graduated beads along it’s length with a handy-dandy built in handle. Being all one material and all one piece makes them easier to clean or sanitize but also easier to use. The advantages of this flexible but firm style is that they can be pushed in or pulled out in the same manner as a dildo which can be especially stimulating.
- Rigid – Often shorter than their more widely spaced counterparts, the completely rigid style of anal beads often have little to no gap between beads, giving the user less reprieve than other designs. When the beads are close together along the length of the toy the sensations can be quite intense and any penetrative in-and-out movements give a satisfying “bumpy” feeling.
Getting the most out of your anal beads
The basic design of anal beads makes it easy to go slow and take things one bead at a time. You can absolutely insert anal beads and leave them there, much like you would a butt plug, during vaginal intercourse or masturbation for consistent stimulation if that’s what feels best. Anal beads are more versatile than regular butt plugs, because they provide a unique sensation as each sphere is pushed into and pulled out of the body. Unlike plugs, which are intended to be put in and stay put, anal beads provide the most sensation when used more actively, pushing in and popping out. Beads are especially effective and stimulating when they are inserted slowly, each bead stretching the anus wider, and then pulled out smoothly (at any pace you wish) at the peak of orgasm. There’s no wrong way to use anal beads, as long as you are using plenty of lube, listening to your/your partner’s body’s needs and taking precautions to ensure that you don’t “lose” them inside. The human anus “swallows” things by automatically closing around them so always keep the handle of your anal beads well outside the body. When your playtime is complete, clean and store them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and take time to ensure that every nook and cranny is clear of lube or other material.
However you intend to use them, anal beads are a fun and economical addition to your pleasure product collection and can provide hours and hours of erotic sensations. They are the ‘diamond in the rough’ of sex toys, the hidden gem that you may not have considered trying because anal is still so taboo or because sometimes it’s messy. Just like any sexual experience, if you take your time, listen to your body and use quality products, you’re more than likely going to have a great time.