Anal Beads: What are they and how do I use them?
The Debrief: The bottom line on how to have a Happy Bead Day
'What are anal beads and how do I use them?' I hear you ask. 'What do anal beads feel like?' I hear you ask again. Well, before we begin, an important distinction.
Anal Beads: A type of sex toy consisting of a series of small spheres mounted on a string or rod, which are inserted into the anus in order to give erotic thrills.
Anal Beards: The rings of hair that can encircle the buttholes of both lads and lasses - aka ass pubes, or poobs (poo pubes). In extreme cases, anal beards can cause one’s back passage to resemble the plughole in a dog groomer’s bathtub at the end of a long day shampooing Afghan Hounds.
The topic of this article is anal BEADS, not anal BEARDS (although if you wanna read about Veet-ing your vagina, go here).
Right, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk bum fun.
How to use anal beads
Anal beads are a great way for beginners to start experimenting with rear end play. The smooth spheres are designed to be slowly, gently fed into the anus one by one; you go at your own pace, taking in as many or as few beads as you feel comfortable with, and giving your body chance to adjust to the feeling. The process is not supposed to be the arsehole equivalent of this.
You can insert the beads yourself, or have a partner do it to you. They feel good for both men and women, although because blokes’ prostate glands are located up their butts, the sense of stimulation gained from anal beads can feel more full-on for fellas.
What do anal beads feel like?
What do they feel like? Well, lots of people enjoy the feeling of ‘fullness’ and ‘stretching’ gained from having anal beads inside them. They might keep them there during intercourse, or other sexual play.
However, most users agree that the most mind-blowing, behind-blowing sense of bliss is achieved by pulling the beads out, either just as you’re building towards orgasm, or right as you cum. The sensation of each bead popping out of your sphincter like a Bird’s Eye pea can intensify or bring on a climax.
Where to buy Anal Beads
Anal beads come in two main forms: hard plastic, glass or metal balls threaded onto a string, or spheres mounted onto a type of flexible rod. Avoid the cheap, low quality string versions: the nylon cord that holds them together is a bitch to clean, and can quickly end up resembling Hugh Hefner’s dressing gown tie during the weekend the Playboy Mansion got hit by Clostridium difficile. Bletch. I reckon the rod types are the best bet for beginners. Pick a variant with a handle or loop at the base for easy, safe removal – like this.
How do anal beads work? What do anal beads do? what do anal beads FEEL LIKE?
Most sets of anal beads start off with a small sphere at the tip, then gradually get bigger, allowing you to build up to inserting wider beads and longer lengths. However, Lovehoney do stock an innovative ‘reverse’ design where the larger beads are at the front – this creates more of a ‘crescendo’ when you pull them out, as the heftiest sphere will exit your ass last.
There are some HUGE anal beads out there, but these are for advanced users only. Even if you’re an ambitious beginner, don’t purchase any balls that seem like they could have been manufactured by Spalding. If a toy looks like it could have featured in Space Jam, don’t try to jam it up your newbie bum. Anal play really is something that has to be taken s-l-o-w-l-y to be safe.
Anal beads are not a type of jewellery. Do not post anything from Claire’s up your posterior. Preparation H: intended for bums. H Samuel: not. Seriously though – I’ve heard of people improvising during anal play by feeding plastic necklaces into their bottoms, and it’s a really bad idea. The beads can pinch, scratch or damage the rectal lining, potentially causing anal fissures or ulcers; or the jewellery can break, leaving you with a butt full of beads. No-one wants an ass abscess or to feel like their botty has been converted into a beanbag. Use a safe, specifically designed sex toy.
Using Anal Beads
Don’t use anal beads when you need a dump. Make sure you’ve washed, so your confident – right after a shower, when you’re fresh, warmed up and chilled out - is a good time to try out ass play.
You may well wish to experiment on your own before involving a lover, so you can get used to the sensation of anal beads and work out where your personal boundaries lay regarding how many you feel comfy about having inside you.
You’re gonna need lube. You’re gonna need it more than Bonnie Tyler needs a hero. Unlike the va-jay-jay, your caboose can’t make its own juice, so apply plenty of lubricant both to the asshole area and the beads, and top it up as you go if you need to. Using lotsa lube tends to reduce the risk of any…erm…skidmarks on the toy, too. Consider opting for a specialist anal lubricant – these are formulated to be thicker and longer lasting than standard P-to-V sex lubes. Water-based types are easiest to wash away afterwards, while silicone lubes keep things slippery for yonks (but be careful not to use them with silicone toys, as they don’t react well together).
Avoid lubes with ‘desensitising’ ingredients. They’re intended to make anal action less painful, but if you’re relaxed and use them properly, anal beads shouldn’t hurt at all. If you are experiencing pain, it’s a sign that something’s wrong, and you should stop – and it’s important that you’re able to feel if your bod’s warning you that there’s a problem.
How to insert anal beads
You know when you walk down the high street and get stuck behind a tourist who seems to be moving more slowly than the Catholic church is towards accepting gay marriage? That’s how slowly you’re going to want to start putting those beads in. Slip them in one at a time. Equally, when it comes to taking the beads out, you or your partner shouldn’t be ripping them away like some kind of bum Bandaid. A fluid, smooth, steady ‘n’ slow motion feels best and won’t break your backside.
Hygiene is of high importance. After you’ve finished playing, cleanse your beads thoroughly using a sex toy cleaner. And always keep anal beads well away from the vagina. Also, top tip: you might want to pop a condom over your beads; it makes ‘em easier to clean afterwards.
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Alix Fox is an ambassador for Durex, and runs educational workshops with Ann Summers. Follow her on Twitter @AlixFox
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