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When it comes to choosing your first anal beads, it's wise to pick ones that are specifically designed to ease you into it.
"Start with a slight gradual increase set of beads," says McCain. "As the beads start to get larger up the length of the strand, you are allowing yourself to get used to the toy. You don’t want to jump into anything too advanced too quickly."
Make sure there’s a loop or handle.
Just like butt plugs, a loop or handle at the end of the strand is simply good for peace of mind, since you know the toy can be easily removed and won't somehow get lost.
"This helps to avoid an unpleasant surprise or even a visit to the local ER for removal," says Dietrich.
Inspect the beads for warning signs.
Another thing to consider when choosing your beads is the quality. Dietrich says to avoid beads held together with a thin nylon string because they're difficult to clean. When you do decide on a set, inspect the beads before use to ensure they're smooth with no rogue sharp edges.
Get a thick anal lubricant.
Lube is always a good idea when it comes to anal play, but McCain recommends anal lube specifically.
"Of course, you can use a water-based lubricant, but the thickness of anal lube sticks to the toy better, so you don’t have to apply as often," she says.
Also, make sure you're lubing all the beads. "Really coat them, as well as your backdoor, so that you are well lubricated," she adds. "It’s a tight hole back there that is gripping around a toy, so you don’t want to hit a dry spot that makes you have to pause your fun."
If you're not ready to dive in with a partner, anal beads can easily be used on yourself.
"It allows you to get comfortable with your new toy and gives you the opportunity to explore this new way to add another level of pleasure to your intimate lifestyle," says Dietrich.