15 Best Butt Plugs of 2023: Sex Toys to Unlock the Backdoor


Many people use butt plugs to prepare for anal sex, since the anal sphincters take time to relax and open up. You could use your fingers for this (or have your partner use theirs), and many people do, but Goldstein recommends butt plugs instead, because fingers have drawbacks in this area. “I’m not a huge fan of fingering because jagged nails and multi-jointed fingers can unknowingly cause injury,” he says.

While butt plugs are a precursor to anal sex for many people, they aren’t just a means to an end (so to speak)—anal stimulation can feel great on its own, whether you pop one in before a masturbation session, keep one inside you while going down on your partner, or just wear one around the house for the thrill of it. “It’s like a set-it-and-forget-it toy that will help maximize pleasure,” Goldstein says.

Pleasure, after all, is the point of most sex toys, and anal sex toys can help you locate the spots that’ll give you plenty of it. “Another great benefit to using butt plugs is if you find one with more of a curved shape, they can take the guesswork out of stimulating the prostate or A-spot, for those with vulvas,” Goldstein says.

What should I look for in a butt plug?

Material

Avoid anything made from PVC and thermoplastic rubber: those materials often contain phthalates, a toxic ingredient that can lower your fertility and cause birth defects. And avoid anything prorous, since bacteria will thrive in those pockets no matter how much you wash the toy. Your best options: silicone, metal, hard plastic (like ABS plastic), or glass.

Goldstein especially recommends metal and glass butt plugs for a specific reason: “They are incredibly smooth and fully compatible with silicone lube,” says Goldstein. “I’m not a huge fan of water-based lubes for anal play because, unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t self-lubricate and needs as much help as possible to remain as slick as possible from start to finish. The best way to achieve this is by using a silicone lubricant.” Since silicone lube dissolves silicone over time, leaching it into your body, metal and glass butt plugs will mean less needing to re-lube during play.

Size

In the world of butt plugs, size very much matters. Total beginners should seek out plugs with a diameter of 1” to 1.25”. Length is up to you, but the rectum curves upward after a few inches, so opt for a flexible material like silicone if you’re planning to use a longer butt plug.

Shape

Butt plug shapes are like snowflakes, though it’s worth knowing how to figure out what you like. First and foremost, you need—need—a flared base, unless part of your kink involves trips to the E.R. for X-rays. There’s a variety of ways to make a butt plug safe, says Goldstein: “Some butt plugs and anal dilators have a flared base, others have a suction cup for hands-free play, and others even have testicles to keep things realistic.”



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