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Butt Plugs 101: The Ins And Outs Of Anal Adventure

embeddedPhoto: Courtesy Of Amazon.
Jennifer Lawrence recently revealed that she had in her possession a clutch of butt plugs "bought as a joke," and accidentally discovered by a hotel maid.
But, butt plugs aren't a joke. We as a species have been putting things up our butts for a very long time. Archaeologists have found objects dating from the Upper Paleolithic era that were likely used for sex purposes. In the sex-charged but buttoned-up Victorian era, doctors developed rectal dilators that helped with hemorrhoids and constipation, but also secretly doubled as medically approved sex toys.
Interested in giving it a go yourself? Read on as we give you the down-low on putting things up the back door.
You might think that you can just stick any ol' dildo back there with nary a problem. In general, you can, but you need to consider the anatomy of the body's various holes first. Vaginas are relatively shallow; they end at the cervix. Rectums, however, keep on going up the sigmoid colon and into your lower GI tract. Because of that, butt plugs and other anal toys often have a flared base to prevent them from travelling up the rectal cavity and becoming stuck.
You'd better believe it happens. Do a PubMed search for "foreign bodies + rectum" and you'll get fun/horrifying articles like "Impaction of a foreign body in the rectum by improper use of a (electronic) massager: a case report" (NSFW) or "Vibrator-induced fatal rectal perforation."
Yes, fatal. It's rare, but possible. That's why we're not joking around, J-Lawr. The rectal wall is thin and somewhat delicate, and improper toys and lack of care in using them can lead to tears, fissures, hemorrhages, and infections.
So, as with anal sex, the key is to go slow and slippery. Remember that vaginas are self-lubricating, but rectums and anuses are not. That means you should be using more lubricant than you probably think you need — and make sure it's the right kind. Silicone-based lube is generally better, but not compatible with silicone toys (or condoms, should you happen to be with a partner). In that case, you'll want a water-based one.
You'll also want to work your way up. The anal sphincter is indeed a tight-ass, and you'll need to slowly work it out with increasingly larger toys. (There are kits that provide a range of sizes for just that purpose.) Men may also want to look into toys that are designed specifically for prostate stimulation.
Most importantly, you need to listen to your body. Pain means you're doing it wrong. In that case, back off, take a breather, and go slower next time, as you learn to relax your sphincter muscles. This goes for men as well as women; just because men have prostates doesn't mean they need to be any less cautious.
So, if you (like J-Lawr) are interested in checking out all that butt plugs can offer, stay safe, be careful, and enjoy!
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