As with other sex toys on the market, those made for anal play are very rich in variety.
Pleasure is easy to come by, but such variety might make it difficult for us to actually make a choice.
What’s more, some novices might even be intimidated by the sheer volume of available sex toys, and ultimately shy away from trying them at all.
It’s important to know the difference between anal sex toys that are available on the market.
While all of them will please you (if used properly), there are a few factors that you need to consider.
When choosing sec toys, think about what kind of pleasure you want and what types of situations you need the toy for.
What’s the Ideal Choice?
We all have different desires, needs, and preferences. So, you have to find a toy that suits yours!
The overall experience will be much better if you adjust the toy to your needs and not your needs to a particular toy you bought.
To make sure you don’t get overwhelmed or make a mistake during purchase, here’s a guide on the difference between anal beads and butt plugs.
When it comes to the ongoing debate of anal beads vs. butt plugs, we’re sorry to say, but we can’t choose a definitive winner!
Both types of toys have their own advantages and disadvantages. That basically means that it’s down to personal preference and your own desires, kinks, and individual needs.
While it’s true that only you can know what works best, here’s a quick rundown of what anal beads and butt plugs are, as well as their pros and cons.
What Are Anal Beads?
Anal beads are just what the name says they are. However, while most of us might imagine a bunch of spheres on a string, that’s not necessarily the case.
For starters, they usually aren’t connected on a string but a firm wand.
While anal beads can be connected with a string (nylon, for example), they are more often than not made out of silicone.
Silicone anal beads are still flexible. However, the spheres aren’t independent of one another, as is the case with string anal beads. Usually, the spheres are connected with a silicone frame or embedded onto a silicone wand.
The nylon string anal beads offer a different kind of sensation and can only be used a few times.
On the other hand, silicone anal beads (or metal and glass anal beads) are reusable and washable.
Are Anal Beads and Butt Plugs The Same?
In one word — no.
While anal beads and butt plugs belong to the same family of sex toys, so to say, they are suitable for different kinds of anal play, they are quite different. We can even say that anal beads are a kind of upgrade of butt plugs.
Butt plugs are designed to stay put. They stimulate the anal canal and the prostate by remaining exactly where we place them.
Anal beads, on the other hand, provide pleasure when you move them in and out. The size progression of the spheres and the flexibility of the wand offer us a chance to stimulate various spots at different speeds and angles.
Ideal for Novices
Anal beads are great sex toys for both novices and experienced users. Given that they come in many sizes, you can start small or, contrarily, go as big as you like.
Anal beads are usually very flexible. Furthermore, they progress in size and offer a gentle, stimulating massage while going in.
However, the pleasure lies in the process of taking them out. While it feels incredible putting them in, anal beads can really make quite a difference if you pull them out at the right moment.
The rectum is full of nerve endings and inserting (or removing) anal beads stretches it. The stretching stimulates the nerves, giving a pleasurable feeling.
However, many novices aren’t that used to the sensation of tugging the anal beads out, especially during or right before an orgasm (which we highly recommend). So, they might shy away from it at first.
How to Use Anal Beads — the Joys of Tugging
As mentioned, anal beads progress in size. The largest beads are located at the bottom of the wand, which is an ideal structure — you don’t have to put them all in, and you can gradually adjust to the feeling.
While tugging them out is the main selling point of anal beads, if this is your first time trying out anal play, we don’t recommend going “all in.”
The anal beads and the rectum should be lubed well. This will make the whole thing easier.
Of course, always pick the anal beads that have a ring at the bottom or a flared base. This will make it easier for you to extract them.
Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your mouth (or your butt in this case). If this is your first time, it’s best to try them out on your own. That way, there’s less pressure, and you can control the situation.
Once you get adjusted to the first bead, you can try pushing a few more in.
The beauty of anal beads is that you can use them on various occasions. They can be great for foreplay or as a warm-up for a masturbation session.
However, you can also use them during intercourse and pull them out as you near completion.
As they go out, the beads will stimulate the anal nerves and prolong or increase the pleasure of an orgasm.
However, make sure not to tug too hard or too fast. That might lead to pain or damage.
Go a bit faster than when you pushed them in, but still pace yourself one bead at a time.
What Are Butt Plugs
Unlike anal beads, butt plugs are more widely known. In fact, after dildos, they are the most popular sex toy on the market.
They are usually tear-shaped, and their primary purpose is to be inserted into the anal canal. Butt plugs plug your rectum, hence the name!
Just like with anal beads, when it comes to butt plugs, the clue is in the name. They do exactly what you think they do.
Both men and women can enjoy butt plugs. However, men have a slight advantage, so to say, because the butt plug can stimulate their prostate (or P-spot), a gland that harbors many nerve endings, and provides immense pleasure when stimulated.
Still, even if you don’t have a prostate, don’t think butt plugs aren’t worthy of your attention. They provide added pressure to the vagina walls, stimulating stronger contractions.
What’s more, the anus has a lot of nerve endings as well, and the insertion and extraction will still feel amazing. So, it’s not all about the prostate!
What Are Butt Plugs Used For?
Butt plugs are most commonly used as prep for anal sex. Due to their shape, they will dilate the anus, thus making anal a more enjoyable experience. However, keep in mind that butt plugs are still very versatile. Even if you aren’t interested in anal penetration, you can still enjoy butt plugs.
The most important thing to know about butt plugs is how to pick and use them correctly.
How to chose the ideal butt plug
Like other sex toys, butt plugs come in various shapes and sizes. Before you get intimidated by inflatable or vibrating butt plugs, try to remember that, as a novice, you should start small.
Always approach first-time anal play with caution. After all, your anal canal isn’t used to the sensation of stretching.
Therefore, it’s vital that you choose a small butt plug with a tapered tip. The tip will make the insertion more comfortable and less painful.
Other safety measures that you have to consider are lubrication and the base.
Proper lubrication is crucial for anal play. It’s not just the butt plugs that need lubrication — the same goes for anal beads as well.
If you fail to lubricate the toy properly, anal play might be quite painful. What’s more, it can also injure you.
Non-lubricated toys can create a vacuum in the anal canal which may suck the toy up and keep it out of reach. To avoid that, be generous with lube.
Another thing to be on the lookout for is a proper base. Pick a butt plug that has a flared base. That way, your sphincter won’t be able to swallow it up.
A study in Anal — Pros and Cons of Butt Plugs and Anal Beads
The Joys of Anal Beads
Great for beginners: As mentioned before, anal beads are an excellent product for those who are about to dip their toes in the water of anal play.
Since the spheres usually progress in size, you can choose to go really slow and small. This is one of the major differences between anal beads and butt plugs.
Anal beads allow for more control than butt plugs. You can pick the pace and the size while inserting and removing them.
That isn’t the case with butt plugs — they either go in, or they don’t.
Versatility: Anal beads come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
For example, you can choose the ones that have connected spheres and don’t have a wand to connect them. Contrarily, you can go for the standard wand-type beads.
What’s more, there are so many options to choose from — flexible, vibrating, inflating, progressing in size or not, etc.
For novices, it’s best to go with the standard anal beads. However, experienced users can enjoy the full range of options available.
It’s also important to mention that anal beads are versatile in material as well.
We recommend silicone toys since they are very easy to clean and maintain. However, you can also go for the steel or glass beads, if you’re feeling adventurous.
But keep in mind that with other materials you loose on flexibility. And that brings us to our next point.
Flexible and easy to manipulate: Anal beads are usually pretty flexible. Now, some might consider this a con, as it might make inserting them a bit more difficult for first-timers.
However, the flexibility and the range of movement make anal beads stand out among all other sex toys on the market.
Easy to clean: Much like other sex toys, anal beads are easy to clean.
Although it’s crucial that you follow the manufacturer's instructions, you can most likely clean your anal beads with soap and water, in the dishwasher, by boiling them, or by treating them with 10% bleach solution.
The Downfalls of Anal Beads
They look intimidating: Unlike butt plugs, that have the appealing tear shape, anal beads look weird.
First of all, they are long, which automatically makes novices think they are out of their league.
Secondly, the sheer size of the beads might be intimidating as well.
The bottom spheres are usually the largest. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to push the entire wand inside.
Anal play can still be painful: Even with small beads, pushing them in might feel uncomfortable or painful. That’s perfectly normal, as your anal canal isn’t used to the sensation.
Some variations aren’t as safe as others: Anal beads that are connected with nylon or cotton string aren’t as safe for use as the silicone models.
The string isn’t as sturdy as a wand, and it can break. That’s not something you want to happen while some of the beads are still inside of you.
Furthermore, if you’re sharing the beads with your partner, you should always use a condom. However, that might prove to be a difficult task.
String anal beads have spheres that are independent. Therefore, you might have trouble placing them in a condom.
What’s so Great About Butt Plugs?
A different type of sensation Unlike the anal beads, butt plugs don’t usually progress in size. What’s more, they are generally thicker and wider. Thus, they provide a “fuller” feeling.
Constant pressure: Butt plugs are an excellent choice for those looking to have continuous pressure applied to their prostate.
Along with the “fuller” feeling, butt plugs apply steady pressure because they stay put. You don’t drag them in and out like anal beads.
Although tugging the butt plug also provides pleasure, the point of the butt plug is to “plug” the anus.
The burning stretch: Hand in hand with the previous two delicious pros, butt plugs also provide a more significant stretch than anal beads.
One of the goals of anal play is the stretching sensation because it stimulates the nerve endings in the anal rim thus providing pleasure.
Given that they are wider than anal beads, butt plugs stretch the rim and the anal canal more than their counterparts.
Better for female anal stimulation: Butt plugs are an excellent toy for female stimulation. Although anal beads will be pleasurable as well, butt plugs will provide constant and more significant pressure to the walls of the vagina.
The Downfalls of Butt Plugs
You can’t start small: Butt plugs don’t provide the same “ease” when it comes to size. Yes, you can buy a small butt plug, but you can’t adjust to the various sizes as easily as you can with anal beads.
That also means that butt plugs are not as versatile in size as anal beads are.
We’re not talking about the variety of different models. It’s a given that there are more models under the Lord’s sky than you could imagine.
However, anal beads offer greater variety within one model. If you want to experiment with size and you’re keen on using butt plugs, you have to get more than one.
You can get a kit, like a dilation kit, but you’re still buying more than one toy. Anal beads have a slight advantage here over the butt plugs, given that they have spheres of different sizes.
They can cause more pain: Again, given that you can’t pace yourself, butt plugs can be more painful for novices that anal beads. To avoid this, buy a tiny butt plug with a pointy top.
What to Choose — Anal Beads or Butt Plugs?
Choosing a sex toy is a matter of personal preference. Butt plugs and anal beads offer different types of sensations.
For complete novices, we recommend anal beads. However, make sure you are entirely comfortable with the tugging sensation and don’t tug too hard.
Anal beads will allow you to cautiously and slowly enter the anal play field and they will ultimately feel more comfortable.
However, you can, of course, use butt plugs, even as a beginner. Just make sure you choose a small model and start your play slowly.
While women use both anal beads and butt plugs, many often pick the fuller option. Butt plugs offer a fuller feeling and a higher pressure, which makes them a fan favorite among the female population.
A Few Parting Words
When dipping your toy in the waters of anal play, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Safety first: No matter what type of toy you choose, make sure it has a ringed or a flared base. It’s also crucial that you lubricate it properly.
Go slowly: This rule is crucial both for butt plugs and anal beads. Don’t go too fast if this is your first time playing with anal toys. Slow and steady wins the race!
Fly solo the first time: Playing with a partner is definitely exciting. However, for your first time, you might be more comfortable if you try out the toy by yourself. That way, there’s no pressure, and you’re the only one who’s in control.
Protect yourself: If you do play with a partner, remember to wear protection. Both butt plugs and anal beads should be used with a condom if you’re sharing them with someone.