What's Up With Anal Beads?

Last Updated 30.05.2022
10 min read

Beads. For centuries, they have adorned our bodies - around our necks, in our ears, on our arms, and even encasing our ankles. They come in all sorts of materials - pearls, plastic, metal, etc. - and colors.

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Somewhere along the line, someone first thought of using beads as an anal toy. Here was creative thought in action. And using those beads was an amazing and erotic experience. Obviously, the use of anal beads became widespread over time. Today, they are tools in the anal sex toys toolbox of lots of people, whether they are involved in solo or partner intercourse.

What are Anal Beads for?

Today, beads come in all sizes. They are connected by a string or cord and will have a grip at one end, for easy pulling out. Both inserting and pulling out are meant to stimulate the sensitive nerve endings on the walls of the anal canal and especially at the anal entrance. Depending on the person's experience with anal toys and sex, the size of an anal bead will be different. Beginners should obviously start with smaller sizes and gradually work up to larger ones. And some beads on the same cord will also vary in size, the first few beads being smaller and gradually increasing in size as the anus and anal canal are penetrated. They can also be used in conjunction with masturbation and vaginal sex to increase the pleasure of an orgasm. In fact, many people engaged in solo butt stuff use beads for more stimulation and pleasure.

Using Anal Beads - Possibilities and Tips

First of all, if you intend to use these toys, make sure that you only use beads that are made and sold for this purpose. More than one person has had to visit an emergency room for things lost up in a vagina or anus because there was no way to pull them out. Anal beads have a loop or handle at the end, so they can be pulled out safely.

For Beginners and Experienced Users

If you are new to the use of anal beads, then you will need to start small and slow. Here are some important tips:

  • Whether you are shopping online or in-store, buy the smallest set first in which the beads are all the same size. Or at least buy one that is graduated, with a good number of the small ones at the beginning of the strand.

  • Your rectum is a "virgin" at this point, and you don't want to be in pain while you begin this journey. Work on relaxing your anal sphincter muscles before you start. Deep breathing helps too.

  • Getting graduated beads will let you insert the very small ones first and then push the larger ones on the strand as you get used to them.

  • And for God's sake, go slowly. There's no rush. Let your anus and anal canal learn to relax with the beads inserted. Each time will become more pleasurable.

If you are an experienced user, then you already understand the pleasure involved. You can continue to enlarge the size of the beads as much as you wish for solo play, of course. But if you are introducing someone new to this act, then you must purchase small ones to begin their sexual experience. And of course, your partner should use the larger ones on you.

Anal Beads Come in a Variety of Materials

Once you start shopping for anal beads, you will have lots of choices regarding the materials used to make them. Ultimately, most users have a personal favorite, but newbies will want to experiment a bit.

Glass Beads

These are hard and not flexible. The only thing that is flexible will be the strand that connects them. Glass is a favorite of those who like to roll the beads as they are bringing them out. Rolling can bring a higher level of sensation and pleasure to some, and rigid beads do best here.


Some experts recommend silicone anal beads for anyone new to anal play. Chemically, they are safe for the body, are not made of porous material and are hypoallergenic. Clean-up is also pretty easy - soap and water will do the job. There is also a type of dildo made of silicone that is beaded all along the shaft. For those more experienced with butt sex, these types of "beads" are a nice option, because their rectums and anal canals are already used to opening wide. A dildo is a lot wider than just a strand of beads.

Stainless Steel

These are very hard anal beads. They can give lots of pleasure, but the downside is they can be cold - not a good feeling at first. Using a warming lube solves this problem.


These are the cheapest of all and are not recommended - they also tend to come on the weakest types of strands. You don't want to take a chance on any kind of breakage as you are pulling the beads out - hospital, here you come.

Add Vibration Anal Beads

Here's a twist on the basic toy. There are vibrating anal beads, and they are available online and in most sex toy stores. These are operated by an external unit and have varying speeds, depending on your preference. Once you have become used to using anal beads, you might want to try vibrating anal beads as fun diversion.

Vaginal Beads

Yes, there are beads for the vagina, but that's the subject of another piece of writing. Just know that if you do plan to use beads for vagina play, you should purchase those made specifically for that purpose.

So, which are the best anal beads? It's a matter of personal choice of course. The best anal beads choice will probably change over time too.

Lube - Don't Leave Home Without It

According to Jamie LeClaire, contributing writer for O.School, "Before you even think about putting anything up your butt, repeat after me: The ass does not self-lubricate. Have your lube within reach during any anal training or anal sex. Use a lot! Use it in your butthole, use it on your fingers and/or drench your toys in it. Not only is sufficient lube basically the number one ingredient in the anal pleasure recipe, but it's also going to prevent micro-tears from happening in the skin or condom."

There you have it. Beads are not self-lubricating, nor is your anus or anal canal. Using anal beads without lube will be painful and a complete fail. Now, the question is, what kinds of lube should you use?

Silicone-Based Lubes

Silicone lubes are probably preferred because they are the longest-lasting. And they are great for any type of bead material, except silicone. Using a silicone lube on a silicone bead can break down those beads, and they will not give you as smooth a ride.

Oil-Based Lubes

These are silky and smooth, but do not last as long as silicone, so they may have to be re-applied during longer sessions or sessions when partners are pleasuring each other. Still, they work well with silicone beads. They do not, though, work well with latex condoms (yes, people do use condoms during their sex toy play, especially if those toys are inserted into more than one anus or vagina). Oil lubes will break down latex.

Water-Based Lubes

These are the safest of all for any material. And before you think that water is not really a lubricator, understand that most are infused with hypo-allergenic elements, the most popular being aloe vera. If you've ever used aloe for a wound or burn, you know how it feels - nice! So consider a water-based lube to be your best choice for any type of anal beads.

Homemade Lubes

Of course, there are things in your cupboard when you are unprepared and desperate - bottled cooking oil or Crisco, for example. Yes, these will work in a pinch, but they are not the best, and cleanup may be harder and longer.

Oh, Those Versatile Beads

Now, what can you actually do with your new bead play? Don't think this toy is just for insertion. There is other fun to have too.

Use Anal Beads to Massage and/or Tease in Foreplay

The nerve endings around the rectum are quite active and anal beads stimulate them well. Use anal beads to massage the area between the balls and the rectum of your male partner. For a female partner, beads can be draped lightly over the boobs and pulled gently around the stomach area or used to stimulate the clitoris a bit.

Coordinate an Orgasm with Removal of the Anal Beads

This can be done solo, using your hand or a toy to masturbate while keeping the other hand on the loop to pull those beads out as you orgasm. If you have the beads in your partner, your partner will have to let you know when they are ready to come, so you can pull those beads out at the right time.

Have Some Fun with Anal Beads in the Shower

One of the cool things about using anal beads in the shower is that there is no cleanup afterward. And the combination of warm water and relaxation can make this experience pretty erotic. Silicone anal beads are probably best for the shower but experiment with others too. If you want a more rigid feel, glass anal beads may be a good choice too.

Don't Think Butt Plugs are the Same as Anal Bead Play

Lots of people don't get into anal beads because they think they are just like butt plugs. Not true. A but plug is used to "stop up" the butt so that a person has a full filling and added pressure during masturbation or other anal play. A butt plug gives totally different sensations than anal beads. And a butt plug has a flared base to keep it from coming out. Butt plugs can be used as foreplay or during other types of sex.

People who use butt plugs and enjoy the pressure should understand that anal beads give a totally different type of feeling - one that can bring a new level of pleasure. So, use your butt plug as much as you like, but don't discount other sex toys. Anal beads stimulate in an entirely different way than that butt plug and give a whole new meaning to anal play.

The Inevitable Clean Up

Every time you insert an anal bead strand, you have soiled that toy. It has been inside your anus where there can be fecal materials on the walls or even bacteria - that part of your body is just not always as clean as others. And if you are using a string with a vibrator, then you may even pick up more gunk. Remember - penetrative sex is not sterile.

The best plan is to clean up after each insertion of your toy. There are different ways to clean:

  • Hot water and gentle soap will work for non-porous beads

  • For even greater safety, a weak bleach solution with water works well.

  • Few users know that anal beads are dishwasher-safe, except for those cheap plastic ones.

Just don't take chances with the health of your body or that of your partner. And if you change to a different partner during a single sex session, obviously you must clean in between.

It's also important to clean your anus - antiseptic wipes should be available throughout. And many people choose to douche just to be extra certain.

Anal Beads Can Open a Whole New World

Anal beads have been in the sex toy toolboxes of many for a long time. And these experienced users enjoy them, and probably have a variety of types and sizes. But for someone who is new to the world of anal beads, maybe it's time to do some experimenting to see what all this fuss is about.

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