Anal beads seem like a staple in most sex toy stores, but how do you use the little balls on rope? Do they feel good? And are there any risks? We answer all the questions you might have about how to use anal beads in this post.
PICKING OUT ANAL BEADS
Before you can use anal beads, you need to pick some out. We’ve got some advice for that.
First, avoid the cheap style that is simply beads connected by a nylon string. Not only is this type of anal beads more prone to breaking, but you can never fully clean them. Gross!
Secondly, always opt for anal beads that have a handle or loop on the end. This ensures that they can never get lost, and it makes it easier to remove the beads. Some people say that you can use beads wihout a loop as long as you never insert the last two beads, but we wouldn’t run that risk.
We recommend a set of silicone anal beads, which you can sterilize. Bendybeads or Flexi Felix are two options, but many brands make silicone anal beads now.
Note that there are a few variations in anal beads. Some have vibrating bullets in the handle or base (manufacturer Rocks Off makes one), but you should never insert a bullet without a handle into your rectum as it can become lost.
Many beads are smooth, but you can find ribbed and bumpy beads if you prefer those textures.
You’ll also find toys with bulbs that are inspired by anal beads but aren’t flexible. Glass is a common material, and you’ll find them labeled as anal wands or glass massagers. The longer style with a bend allows you to safely keep your grasp when playing with them. Some butt plugs are more like anal beads because they’re longer and rippled/ribbed. More on butt plugs.
Once you’ve picked out your anal beads, lube is a necessity! The rectum doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina, and playing too roughly can easily cause micro-tears that are too small to see by the eye. These abrasions can make it easier for bacterial or other infections to set in.
ALWAYS USE LUBE
Lube is a personal choice. You can safely use oil-based products anally as long as you’re not using anal beads made from latex (and never if you plan to use a condom because oil degrades latex). Water-based lubes are compatible with everything, and thicker formulas provide cushioning. Your third option is a silicone lube, which will be slick and long-lasting. Low-quality silicone lubricants can degrade silicone toys, however. You can apply a bit near the base of your toy and rub vigorously to look for any reaction. If the toy becomes tacky, don’t use it with that lube.
Some lube is made specifically for anal sex, which can make the search for the right product easier.
Related: Why You Should Use Lube
You can choose to lube up your anus or the beads, or both. You probably don’t want to be soaked in lube because that can make it harder to insert the anal beads.
Although optional, you can use a condom over anal beads for easy cleanup. Just make sure the condom doesn’t enter your rectum where it can be lost.
PREPARE FOR INSERTION
You might wonder if you need to prepare for using anal beads. You can use the same preparation tips as you would for anal sex (read about preparing for anal). Wiping with a wet wipe makes people feel clean and reassured. A shower does the trick, too.
To get more reassurance, you can use a douche filled with lukewarm water over the toilet. You really don’t need to go any further than that, but if you’re into anal play, you might consider an enema.
Psst, did you know that some people have a kink for enemas? Read our list of kinks and fetishes to find out more.
There’s always a small chance of dealing with fecal matter when you engage in butt play, but it shouldn’t be a big deal.
POSITIONS FOR USING ANAL BEADS
When you’re ready, get into position. For many people, being on all fours is an ideal position. They can reach behind themselves and insert beads. But your arm length, flexibility, and body shape will determine what works best. You can also try these positions to insert beads:
- On your back with your legs in the air
- On your side with your knees bent toward your chest
HOW TO USE ANAL BEADS
When you get down to it, anal beads are all about insertion. You can pop them past the sphincter muscle one at a time with the tip angled toward your stomach (keeping your nails trimmed might be helpful for insertion).
If you’re feeling nervous about using anal beads, take a few deep breaths. Try to relax your throat, which has a similar effect on the anus. If you’re struggling to push a bead inside, you can gently push out with your sphincter muscles to get it inside.
You or your partner might need time to get used to the feeling of each bead before you insert another. That’s okay. Take all the time that you need.
Anal beads are flexible, so they’ll bend and potentially ball up as you add each subsequent bead. Beads rub against themselves and your anus when they’re inserted. You may need to twist and turn the beads to find the most comfortable position.
Once inserted, try any of the following to see what you like.
1. KEEP THEM IN PLACE
Some people enjoy inserting anal beads and then keeping them there. They keep the beads inserted while having sex, masturbating (get tips for masturbating), or even while going about their day. This is similar to how some people wear Kegel balls vaginally (more on Kegel balls and vaginal exercises). Although “wearing” anal beads isn’t for everyone, we definitely recommend giving them a try.
2. PULL THEM OUT
For some people, the pleasure involved with anal beads comes from pulling them out, slowly and one at a time. This creates a popping-type sensation, which varies depending on the size of each bead. Try pulling the anal beads out right before orgasm to make it more intense.
You might be tempted to pull them out all at once, but it’s smarter to do it slowly. Pulling them out too fast typically doesn’t feel good and can lead to rectal damage. It can also release fecal matter in a splattering and smelly mess.
3. BACK AND FORTH
Experiment with pushing anal beads in and pulling them out. Try pulling two out and popping one back in.
4. USE YOUR MUSCLES
You might like to see how much you have to pull on the anal beads when you’re clenching your butt muscles to keep them in. This can increase the intensity and create sensations that differ from when you just insert and remove the anal beads.
5. PLAY WITH TEMPERATURE
Run your anal beads under warm or cold water, which will change the temperature. See which you like best — or shock a partner by inserting cold beads! Just make sure they are not too hot or too cold as these temperatures can damage the skin.
6. ADD VIBRATION
Press your wand vibrator against the handle/base of your anal beads to add vibrations than run to the tip of the beads.
There’s no hard-and-fast rules about how to use anal beads. Figure out what feels good and how to do that safely.
Whatever you do, don’t insert anal beads that are bigger than you can handle. Many designs start with smaller beads near the end, and beads grow in size toward the handle. Some anal beads are all the same size while others alternate in size. There might be a little resistance and pressure when you insert a bead, but it shouldn’t be painful. Listen to your body’s response and trust it.
If you want to handle larger anal beads and toys, check out our guide to anal training.
Once you’ve had fun with your anal beads, it’s essential to wash them thoroughly. Yes, there may be some fecal matter on the beads. This is to be expected. You can keep a toy wipe on hand to ensure things are clean.
Hot water and soap ensure that your anal beads are clean. Wipe nonporous materials (plastic, silicone, glass, metal, etc) with 10% bleach solution to sterilize. Or you can boil silicone beads (without any mechanical parts) for 3 minutes to sterilize them.
Anal beads can be a fun experience, and you can absolutely use them safely. But if you don’t follow advice for hygiene and safety when using anal beads, you might find yourself with some regrets. Now you know how to use anal beads safely, however, so you don’t have to worry.