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Are Sex Toys Safe?

Not all sex toys are made equal and we want you to make informed decisions about what you put in your body and to feel confident with the products you use. Are sex toys safe? Some of them are. Watch to find out which ones!

In this sex-ed video, learn about body safe sex toys, the best materials for sex-toys, unsafe materials for sex toys, and how to clean sex toys properly. 

Hi! So I’ve recently gotten into a new relationship and we’ve become really close sexually. It’s been amazing honestly.

Anyway to the point, he really wants to try anal and I am definitely okay with that. But I’ve had some bad experiences with it. Just being young and not understanding that the anus is not self lubricating lol. So I cringe when I think about it. All I can think about is that it’s going to feel like taking a painful poop lmao. Or that I am actually going to poop! He says that I should do an enema or clean myself out somehow but I’m worried that it’s not good for me or not necessary.

I told him we need to use plugs and start slow (he’s above average size) but I honestly don’t know where to begin and it kinda feels up to me to get the stuff. How should I start about this safely.



Thanks for asking an important question! Anal play and sex can be exciting, pleasurable, and a fun activity to explore with a partner, however it’s not usually the kind of pursuit you can do without some preparation first.

The first thing to consider is if you’re even willing to participate. Sure, we all do things for and with our partners to please them as partnered sex is a balance of giving and receiving. Taking a note from Dan Savage, a good sexual partner is GGG: good, giving and game (think 'good in bed,' 'giving of equal time and equal pleasure,' and 'game for anything—within reason'). If you’re not into anal sex but your partner wants to explore it, being ‘game’ to try is great. However, if anal is a hard no for you (maybe you’ve tried it before and hate it, it never feels good or hurts, or it’s just not something you want to do), that’s where the within reason part comes to play. It sounds like your consent to this activity is an enthusiastic yes, but it’s always something to keep in mind when a partner is making a request that you wouldn’t necessarily desire.

Ok! So you’re game, where do you go from here? It’s the prep time. Like you mentioned in your question, the anus is not a self lubricating part of the body so having a body-safe lube handy is a must. I recommend having both a water based and silicone based lube in your nightstand. Water-based is great if you want to use silicone toys, it’s easier to clean off of sheets, and it’s compatible with all barrier methods. Try Sliquid Sassy: a water based lube that has more of a gel like consistency, helping it to last longer. Silicone lubes naturally last longer than water based solutions which can be helpful to avoid needing to reapply. Though it may be tempting, avoid lubricant that have numbing agents in them. While numbing the anus may initially seem to make anal sex more comfortable, it removes your ability to gauge what you can take, which can lead to tears and abrasions.

You mentioned enemas in your question so let’s address that. While not necessary for anal, some people enjoy cleaning themselves internally before the process. This is to avoid any fecal matter that may be stuck in your rectum to make an appearance during sex. However, if you stick to a high fiber diet, only have light meals 24 hours before you engage in anal sex, and use the restroom beforehand, you should be able to avoid this build up of fecal matter. Some people, however, don’t want to make such restrictions to their habits and diet. If you want to try an enema, get yourself a reusable one that can be cleaned between uses. Only use clean water (purified is ideal) as solutions that contain saline aren’t safe for frequent use.

Moving onto toys that can help you adjust to the sensation of anal play, anal plugs are a great place to begin. Progressive kits that contain a few different size beginner plugs are a great starting point. I always recommend exploring plugs during masturbation first, so you have full control over the sensations. Try putting the plug in and taking it back out, wearing it during other self stimulation, and even around the house. You’ll probably notice that the fecal matter you come across is minimal, if any. When you feel comfortable, have your partner insert one for you and make it part of your foreplay. Remember, anything you insert anally should have a flared base. Items without a base can get sucked up into your rectum and maybe difficult to remove.

Ok so you have to tools, the toys, the lube, but you’re still having a hard time. This is completely normal. It can be difficult for anal newbies to think of their anus as a place of place of pleasure, and not just something you engage with when going to the bathroom. It may take time so be gentle with yourself. Also, anal should never hurt. Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but not painful. Pain is either a sign of not enough lubricant, movements being too fast, you’re being penetrated with something a little too big, or a sign that you’re not relaxed. If you’re having a hard time calming yourself try some deep breathing, some pre- sex yoga / stretching, ask your partner to give you a massage, or even some meditation. Being comfortable and calm is necessary in being able to relax your anus to avoid any painful tension.

Finally, take your time! There’s no rush to get there and an understanding partner will be accepting of this. You maybe able to engage with penetrative anal sex first time or it may take a couple weeks exploring plugs to adjust. You may never be able to completely accommodate your partner. This is all ok! Just keep listening to your body, take things slowly, and always use lube!

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