Butt Plug Safety Guide:
How To Use a Butt Plug Safely

Written by: Angela Watson | Updated: July 3rd, 2023

Butt plugs have burrowed themselves deep into the psyche of the sexually initiated for some time now, whether it be for added stimulation of the female anatomy or the bone-crushing intensity of the male prostate orgasm.

The prostate orgasm is so intense that jokes have been made to the tune of: "If God didn't want men to be gay, why did he put their G-spots up their bottoms?"

Naturally this desire to kick things up a notch has made some interested in a little spelunking work to see if the hype is worth it. The simple answer to that is that your mileage may vary when it comes to anal play. It might end up not being too special or you may need it every time afterward the first.

No matter your motivations, there's preparation required when it comes to shoving things up your butt. It requires a bit more forethought than most other sex acts, so hold on tight, it's going to get a little messy.

Choosing The Right Butt Plug

You might be tempted to go out and buy the most highly rated butt plug you can find right off the bat, and while it might be just perfect you it's worth noting that when it comes to anyone who's out there reviewing butt plugs, it isn't their first rodeo. Consider what you're comfortable putting up there if you're a newbie.


When I first started in the realm of butt plugs I wanted to ensure I got the much sought-after prostate orgasm and overdid it, it was too big for my liking and I realized quickly that I needed to crawl before I could walk, well, that's not how it worked with butt plugs but you get what I mean. Even smaller butt plugs can stimulate the prostate in all the right ways, so there's no need to worry about your first plug being too small to be effective. It's highly recommended that you start small and then work your way up as you become more accustomed to the sensations on offer: going to big too quickly will probably result in a bit of shock and a very loud yelp.


The material your toy is constructed from is highly important, body-safe materials are absolutely essential and spending a couple extra dollars to make sure your toy is made from genuine materials as opposed to re-purposed industrial waste could be the difference between a good time and a burning sensation that lasts for a week.

I shouldn't have to mention that anal toys made from glass are a terrible idea, but they're the last thing you'd like inside you while your insides contract involuntarily. Butt plugs worth their salt are made from vinyl, silicone, or rubber. All of these materials are smooth, lack the ability to be particularly sharp, and have a good ratio of "give" to firmness so they don't agitate the anal tissues but still have enough structural integrity to be moved deeper inside of the user and deliver the kind of pleasure that most people can only dream of. Make sure to buy from reputable brands that sell 100% pure medical grade ingredients, some toys you can take some risks with, anal toys are not one of them.


Every proper anal plug is comprised of three distinct portions: the bulb(s), the stem, and the handle (sometimes called the base). All three portions are important to the safety of the toy.

The bulb refers to the actual part that functions to stimulate the anal cavity, every toy has one and the shape and size of the bulb varies depending on personal taste. There's some that are more like a series of beads and some that are more like a very large and oblong acorn. Most bulbs are fatter at the bottom and taper towards the point, but there isn't really much else to comment on when it comes to bulbs, just look for what will be stimulating and comfortable for you. Beginners will do best with the simple bulb design before deciding to get more wavy and outlandish.

The stem connects the bulb to the handle. The stem should be thick enough for you not to worry about it snapping off while in use while still being thin enough not to agitate the sphincter (the butthole, if you must know) as this is where the stem will be once the toy is fully inserted, an uncomfortable stem can make an otherwise pleasurable toy completely unwearable for longer periods of time.

Typically silicone toys have a very firm stem that need not be too thick while still being soft and accommodating.

The handle is very important to the overall comfort and safety of the device: a handle that's too small or improperly shaped could result in the toy becoming lost inside of you, leading to panic. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of people losing not only a butt plug inside of them, but two or three extra items they used to try and fish it out afterwards because they didn't want to go to the ER. The handle should be sufficiently large that there's no worry of losing the toy no matter how carried away one might get. A simple circular handle can fit nicely while allowing for enough space to grab on to when it's time for removal, whereas others choose a linear design that fits nicely between the two cheeks.

Use Proper Lubrication

A mechanic friend of mine once said that lubrication is the key to life, and I tend to agree with him, although I doubt he's aware of how I apply the principle. The rectal cavity has very little in the way of natural lubrication so you'll need to make sure you have some outside help. I absolutely do not recommend going it dry, I'd like to hope you're here because you don't want to be Googling "how to soothe a torn rectum" once everything is said and done.

If we lived in a simple world, I'd suggest silicone lube and be on my way since it requires the least amount of reapplication and provides stellar friction control, but silicone toys are in general incompatible with silicone lube. So, my advice is as follows:

Silicone Toys

Anal toys fashioned from silicone should only be used with water based or oil based lubricants to avoid any warping or creation of micro-holes. Oil based lubes are preferred over water based as they last longer and are typically more slippery than water based lubes.

Rubber Toys

When it comes to rubber toys, oil based lubes are to be avoided. The recurring theme here is that like dissolves like. Go with water based or silicone, with a preference for silicone.

Vinyl Toys

You need not worry about what kind of lube you use with toys made from vinyl, the material won't be broken down by water, oil, or silicone based lubes. When it comes to anal play, I always recommend going with silicone as it has the greatest longevity of all lubes as well as a very desirable feel.

I've written a comprehensive guide to picking the best lube if you want to learn more!

Practice Good Hygiene

I would assume everybody is well acquainted with the purpose of the butt and what normally flows out of one. This means that cleaning after each and every use is essential to stop the spread of harmful bacteria as ell as ash off any blood that might have been left due to abrasions of the rectal cavity. Whether or not you can see it, there may be blood on your toy after use.

Plus, keeping your toys clean means there's no horrid smells coming from your toy box at the end of the day. 

A simple yet thorough wash with water, soap, and then antibacterial soap works with nearly every variety of toy without having to worry about damaging it. Don't use aggressive scrubbers or anything of the like as it will make the toy less smooth overall and contribute to the creation of small grooves where bacteria will soon call home.

Porous materials like silicone are best sanitized by rubbing it down with rubbing alcohol or submerging it for 3-5 minutes in a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) to ensure the entirety of the toy has been sanitized as well as it can be. Unfortunately bleach & alcohol are suitable only for cleaning vinyl and silicone toys, rubber toys will have their structural integrity damaged by their use.

Because rubber toys cannot be adequately sanitized, I would recommend avoiding them altogether on that fact alone. Rubber also can be made from dangerous materials and that's no good for your long-term health. But if you absolutely have to use rubber toys I wouldn't recommend having them around for long periods of time, you're really playing with fire.

Silicone or vinyl toys are the way to go for keeping things sanitary.

How Long Can I Wear A Butt Plug?

Largely, this one is up to how accommodating your hindquarters are, but there are some things to keep in mind.

If upon insertion of the toy there is any major discomfort or bleeding, the toy should be removed immediately. If there is a significant amount of blood or bleeding that doesn't stop after a significant period of time, seek medical attention. No matter how embarrassing it might seem, internal bleeding is no laughing matter and it's way more embarrassing to have died of butt hemorrhage than to have a few nurses and doctors know you're into some kinky stuff.

The total length of time a butt plug should be inserted for should not exceed 2-3 hours in total. This is because the anal cavity is very sensitive, sores may develop if a toy is left inside the anal cavity for too long.

Stay Safe!

That's more or less all there is to say about staying safe when using anal toys. Don't go outside of your comfort zone, make sure your toy is properly designed, don't wear it for too long, and keep it clean.

The world of butt plugs is one that requires a bit of bravery to dive into, but the rewards make most wish they weren't so scared in the first place. Women can derive great pleasure from the insertion of a butt plug because the wall of tissue between the anus and the vagina is shared, meaning that a butt plug can stimulate the vagina in ways dildos cannot and can provide a feeling of "fullness" during sex or masturbation. It's a common misconception that butt plugs are for men only.

So, get out there and explore, you might like what you find.

About Angela Watson

I'm a sex therapist by day and a sex blogger by night. I love to crush the taboos surrounding sex toys and help people become more sexually liberated. There's no topic too risqué for me to cover and I hope to educate and inform my readers on all things sex. All things that concern the female anatomy or require a more clinical approach than my husband Don can provide is covered by me. Have any questions? You can contact me via email.

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