Butt Plug Safety 101

By Isabelle Uren / July 29, 2022

Butt stuff is finally becoming less of a taboo and people are more open the posterior’s pleasurable possibilities. However, with great pleasure comes great responsibility! Today, we are brushing up on your butt plug safety to make sure you enjoy safe and satisfying butt plug play every time! 

For something so simple, butt plugs can provide serious pleasure — yes, you can even have an anal orgasm! And there are so many different kinds of butt plugs to choose from, big ones, small ones, some the size of your head — yes, that’s a Lion King reference — I’m a 90s baby! Plugs that vibrate, rotate, or thrust, and even plugs specifically for pure prostate pleasure!

While butt plugs seem relatively straight forward — the name is pretty self explanatory, there are some simple guidelines to follow for safe play. This post will cover everything you need to know to keep your tush in tip top condition.

Are Butt Plugs Safe?

We’ll dive straight in with the main question for the day! In general, yes, butt plugs are safe. However, this is dependent on the butt plug you choose and how you use it. I’ll cover safe usage later in the post but first up, let’s look at what makes a butt plug safe.

What to look for in a butt plug

Not all butt plugs are made equally and, due to the lack of regulation surrounding sex toy, there are some butt plugs that are just not fit for purpose. But luckily sorting the good from the bad is relatively easy! I’m going to share 4 safety features to look for in a new butt plug, as well as things to avoid, so you can shop with confidence, knowing your butt is getting on the best!

I’ll explain each one in more detail below, but here is a quick and dirty butt plug safety check list:

  • The butt plug must have a flared base
  • Choose a butt plug made from 100% silicone, borosilicate glass, or stainless steel
  • Go for an appropriate size that suits your level of experience

1. Your Butt Plug Must Flared Base

The absolute most important thing when shopping for a safe butt plug is the base. A flared base anchors the plug safely outside your body and prevents it from slipping inside you. Not only is losing a plug inside of you scary, it can be extremely dangerous. Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t have a natural endpoint and if fully inserted, a butt plug can travel up your rectum and into your colon. This requires immediate medical attention and if it’s not removed, it could damage or even perforate your colon. Definitely not the worth the risk!

There are three types of bases:

T-Bar Base

This is my personal favorite type of base as it’s both safe and comfortable. The t-bar base is much wider than the plug, preventing it from being fully inserted. The slim design also means that it nestles comfortable between your cheeks. This shape is ideal for short and long-term wear. If you are looking for a plug to wear during penetrative vaginal sex, you will want to make sure the base is not so long that it blocks the opening of your vagina.

The thin neck and wide t-bar base of the Snug Plug from b-Vibe keeps it super secure and is very comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

Round Base

Many cute butt plugs and princess plugs have a round decorative base. You need to pay a bit more attention when shopping for round base butt plugs as the size, and therefore safety, of the base can vary. The smaller the base, the higher the risk of the plug slipping inside. If you like this design, look for a butt plug with wide, round base and slim neck.

This silicone plug from Love to Love has nice wide base that is bigger than the plug itself, making a safe option! It’s also topped with beautiful rose design to decorate your derriere!

Handle Base

This is a less common design but having a handle for the base can help with insertion and removal, as well as twisting or moving the plug for extra stimulation while it’s inside you. The safest handles will be made of a rigid material, such as metal, to prevent it from folding in.

The Njoy Pure Plug (left) is a great example of this as the whole plug and handle are make of stainless steel!

2. Choose A Butt Plug Made of Safe Materials

The lack of regulations for sex toy materials and a lack of sex toy education has left many people in the dark about what is and isn’t safe to put inside themselves. Unfortunately, many butt plugs are made from materials that are not body safe and sometimes even toxic! Considering your anus and rectum are highly sensitive and absorbent, you want to make sure your butt plug is made from safe materials. There are two main features you want the material to have:

  • The material must be non-toxic — Many cheaper materials contain toxic chemicals that leach out of your sex toy and into your body. There are lots of different types but phthalates, some of which are endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, are a common offenders that are often found jelly rubber sex toys.
  • It needs to be non-porous — Porous sex toys contain microscopic holes that provide the perfect place for mold and bacteria to multiply. Given the amount of bacteria inside your anus, a porous butt plug can get pretty nasty pretty quickly and lead to possible infections. Non-porous materials are much easier to keep clean!

Butt plug materials to avoid: PVC, jelly, rubber, vinyl, soft plastic, TPR/TPE —non-toxic but still porous

What are the safest butt plug materials?

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find butt plugs made from non-toxic and non-porous materials. Silicone, borosilicate glass, and stainless steel tick all the boxes for butt plug safety. All three of these materials are easy to clean and you can even sterilize them by boiling them as long the butt plug doesn’t have any electrical parts.

Silicone

If you are trying butt plugs for the first time silicone is the best material as it is the softest of the three. The flexibility also makes it the best material if you want to a plug for extended wear. Always make sure the butt plug is 100% silicone and not a blend. As silicone can degrade silicone, only use water-based lube with a silicone butt plug.

Glass

Don’t rule me out as crazy just yet! Glass butt plugs should be made from borosilicate glass which is much stronger and safer than regular old glass. So strong in fact that you can heat or cool them safely for some exciting temperature play! It’s also compatible with every type lube!

Stainless steel

Stainless steel butt plugs have many of the same great qualities as glass ones — you can heat them or cool them, use them with any lube, plus they have a satisfying weight to them that creates an extra full feeling! The smooth metal also slides so easily when combined with some slippery silicone lubrication!

Stainless steel is one of the best metals for butt plugs, but there are other options for metal butt plugs too!

3. Choose the Right Size Butt Plug!

Butt plug size guide diameter

We’ve all been in the situation where our eyes are bigger than our appetite and it can be tempting to go for a big shiny butt plug! But, believe me, you feel every millimeter back there as the anus isn’t as stretchy as the vagina. Luckily, butt plugs come in a really broad range of sizes from tiny beginner plugs right up to huge ones! Getting a butt plug that is too big is going to leave you at best, disappointed, and at worst, sore! We want to avoid that at all costs, so we’ve put together a whole guide on choosing the best size plug for you.

How to Use a Butt Plug Safely

Now you have all the info you need to shop for a safe butt plug, we’ll take a look at some butt plug best practices!

Butt Plug Dos

  • Lubrication is essential as your anus doesn’t self lubricate. For glass or steel butt plugs, silicone is the best option as it is longer lasting. If you have a silicone butt plug, you should use either an oil or water-based lube. If you have a plug made from porous soft plastic, stick to using a water-based lube only.
  • Reapply your chosen lube if you feel any dryness or friction.
  • Always start out with a small, manageable butt plug. Even if you want to use a larger butt plug, it’s best to warm up with something smaller to help your anus relax into the experience!
  • Start with some anal foreplay. Use your toy or fingers to gently massage your anus while you also stimulate your other sensitive areas to get yourself in the mood and allow your the muscles around your anus to relax.
  • Wear your butt plug for short amounts of time to begin with and gradually work your way up to longer times if you wish to. If you want to wear your butt plug for longer, look for a specially designed wearable butt plug.
  • Always listen to your body and if you feel any pain, irritation, or discomfort, remove your butt plug immediately and assess if there is any damage that needs to be treated or if you just need a break.
  • Clean your butt plug before and after each use. If your butt plug is waterproof, you can use warm water and a fragrance-free antibacterial soap. You can also boil any non-electrical butt plugs to fully sanitize them.

Butt Plug Don’ts

  • Don’t share butt plugs with other people as this can spread infections.
  • Do not use anal numbing lube as blocking out the pain signals increases the risk of injury.
  • Don’t wear your butt plug continuously for more than a few hours.

What Can Go Wrong with Butt Plugs and What to Do about It

Or… when butt plugs go bad!

So i’ve answered the question, ‘Are butt plugs safe?’ now let’s take a look at the flip side — ‘Are butt plugs dangerous?’ I’m sure you’ve heard a butt plug horror stories or two. Hopefully though, if you follow the guidelines above, you and your butt should be good! That being said, as with putting anything in your body, the risks are never zero. Knowing what to do if something goes wrong is all a part of butt plug safety and can help you limit the damage. Here are some possible scenarios and how best to manage them.

What to do if a butt plug gets stuck inside you?

If your butt plug accidentally gets fully inserted, stop the play immediately, and try to push it out as if you were doing a poop. It can help to sit on the toilet or squat down while you bear down. You can try to use a finger to hook the base. If it doesn’t come out relatively quickly, get yourself to the emergency room asap! It doesn’t take long for the plug to travel up further into the colon, where it could do some serious damage. You shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed at all, they are professionals who have seen this before and their only concern is your health and safety!

What to do if you feel pain, discomfort or notice bleeding while wearing your butt plug?

Pain and discomfort are your body’s ways of telling you something is wrong. There could be different reasons for this, so it’s important to stop and figure out the cause. If you feel any friction or dryness, add some more lube and see if that makes it more comfortable. At the fist sign of pain or discomfort in your bowels remove the plug and check for any damage. If you notice anything other than a tiny amount of blood, which is most likely from a micro tear, or experience ongoing pain, you should seek medical advice.

Do Butt Plugs Hurt?

Were R.E.M correct when they sang ‘every butt plug hurts…sometimes’ — pretty sure that’s what they said any way! No, butt plugs shouldn’t hurt. Sure, you might feel a slight stretch when inserting the plug, but you really shouldn’t feel any pain, and if you do, as I said above, you should stop and reassess the situation. Here are some common causes of pain when using a butt plug and how to fix them — we’re all about the sexy solutions and butt plug safety here!

  • You butt plug is too big — You have two options, if your plug is only a little bit too big, you can spend some time warming up first using either your fingers or a smaller butt plug. Anal training kits are great for helping you gradually increase the size of butt plug you can enjoy comfortably.
  • You are feeling friction — Friction is your enemy when it comes to enjoyable butt plug play! You want to keep things sliding effortlessly, so be generous with the lubrication and reapply often!
  • Bad materials — Using a butt plug made of porous materials or ones that contain toxic chemicals can damage the sensitive skin and lining of your rectum. Stop using the plug immediately and seek medical help if necessary.
  • Allergic reaction — Your pain could also come from an allergic reaction to either the plug or the lubrication you are using. Again, you should remove the plug and assess whether you require medical attention.

What Does a Butt Plug Do?

After all this information about safety, you might still be wandering what a butt plug does and are they the worth the hype? I would say, if you love butt play, yes they are totally worth the hype!

Unlike other sex toys, like anal beads or dildos, that provide stimulation with movement, butt plugs are designed to stay still, providing a feeling of fullness. You also get some more subtle stimulation from the plug’s slight movements and you move your body.

For penis owners, butt plugs, especially vibrating butt plugs and prostate massagers, can stimulate your prostate gland. This highly sensitive gland is known as the male g-spot (or p-spot), and even has it’s very own orgasm, called prostate milking. You can enjoy wearing a butt plug as it is or wear it during other sexual activities such as penetrative sex with a partner or masturbation to turbo charge your pleasure!

Although people with vulva’s don’t have prostates, butt plugs can still be incredibly pleasurable. As well as stimulating the sensitive nerve endings of the anus, butt plugs can also stimulate the g-spot and a-spot through the thin wall between the anus and vagina. This can be even more powerful when combined with vaginal stimulation with either a penis or dildo, as the increased pressure amplifies the stimulation.

As well as the orgasmic power of butt plugs, some people like to wear a butt plug out in public or for longer periods of time. This could be part of a Dom/Sub relationship or it could just be to have a sexy secret, keeping you in a state of arousal throughout the day. Some people like to wear a butt plug to work while others like to wear a remote control butt plug out for some extra spice on date night!

How Long Can You Wear a Butt Plug Safely?

Sex toy safety is a massively under-studied area, most likely due to sex being such a taboo for so long! The result of that is we often don’t have any scientifically tested guidelines for things how long you can safely wear a butt plug! It also varies person by person, so it can be hard to say.

Essentially, the longer you leave a butt plug in, the higher the risk of injury or irritation. The skin around your anus and your rectal lining are both highly sensitive and thin, making them much easier to damage. Recommendations vary from 30 mins to a few hours, but you should always be mindful of any pain, irritation, or discomfort if wearing plug. You should also make sure you buy a wearable plug — preferably made of silicone, and with a slim neck for comfort. Also, you should never wear a butt plug over night as you might not feel any injury.