If you hang around sex-positive and sex-education spaces, you've probably heard a bunch of terms tossed around - like impact play, kinky restraints, D/s, blended orgasms, and more. You've probably read some how-to articles - and you might have even purchased some of those fun toys to play with yourself!
How to Use an Anal Dilator
What you may not have heard of is an "anal dilator" - but that doesn't mean that it's any less important! In fact, anal dilation is probably more common than you'd imagine, but most of the uses of this term is over in the medical world as a treatment device. Here in the sex world, we might call it "anal training" or "anal stretching".
What is an Anal Dilator?
For all intents and purposes, you can think of an anal dilator just like a plain dildo - except for one key difference: it isn't necessarily designed for sexual pleasure. While dildos are specifically crafted for your arousal and satisfaction, anal dilators are crafted to gently stretch out the butthole. Dildos can be used for anal dilation too - but dildos tend to have more pleasure-focused features - like suction cups, g-spot/p-spot curves, fun textures, vibrations, and more!
Read: Anal Sex Toys 101
Medical professionals can't really recommend a "dildo" as a medical treatment, either. Hence, we end up with anal dilators.
Anal dilators typically look like the most featureless dildo you've ever seen - and that's a good thing! The lack of textures and features keeps every experience entirely repeatable - which is important when you're doing an activity for gradual progress. (Imagine how much more difficult your bicep workout would be if the barbell was anywhere from 10 pounds to 20 pounds on any given day. It just changed every day depending on how it felt! You'd have a hard time tracking your progress!)
Most anal dilators come with a gently tapered tip for easier insertion that leads to a shaft that's entirely uniform in circumference and entirely textureless. Expect to see a flared base at the bottom of your anal dilator; it is designed to go in the butt after all.
In most cases, just like anal training kits, anal dilators will come in a set of anal dilators - each slightly larger than the last. Most anal dilator kits include 3 dilators - but 5 anal dilators in a kit is also pretty common. Of course, you can also forego the "kit" entirely with something like the Odile expanding anal dilator - but we'll get to that in a bit.
What is Anal Dilation?
Anal dilation is the act of using a device to expand the size of the anus. Essentially, you're doing anal stretching - but with tools specifically crafted for gently stretching the butthole as opposed to tools designed for sexual pleasure.
While anal stretching is an activity primarily done for sexual pleasure and preparation for future sexual encounters, anal dilation may be done for medical reasons (in addition to possible sexual ones!). Anything that requires a stretching of the anal canal - especially for pelvic floor dysfunctional issues - is something that may require anal dilators.
Common medical reasons for doctor-ordered anal dilator use can include sensations of spasms at the anus, pain/difficulty with pooping, pain in the rectum during orgasm, and any other pain/muscular issues around the butt and pelvic floor. Anal dilators are also a common recommendation after any anorectal medical procedures - like hemorrhoid surgery or prostate cancer treatment.
Of course, that's not to say that anal dilators can't be used for sexual pleasure or sexual purposes. They definitely can! The medical terminology (anal dilator) just tends to pop up more in medical spaces than the sexual terminology of "anal training kits".
How to Use an Anal Dilator
Have an anal dilator of your own? Let's talk about how to use it - though you might find the process pretty similar to using a dildo!
To start, get into a comfortable position. As most people use anal dilation to help relax the muscles, starting with your body already relaxed is a really great way to start yourself off for success. You might want to put off your anal dilation session if you're trying to squeeze it into a 10-minute time slot before you have to hurry off to work or else you'll be late.
Relaxation is definitely key here. Depending on your flexibility, some people find that Liberator sex furniture can help elevate the butt comfortably for easier insertion while still staying relaxed.
Now that you're relaxed? Let's continue...
- Gently cover the anal dilator with a water-based lube. There's specific anal lube, but any water-based lube can work. Adding some lube to the butt can also be helpful - and help things slide in with ease. If you're brand-new to using anal toys, I recommend using more lube than you think you need. It really does help.
- Place the anal dilator at the opening of the anal entrance. Give the slightest bit of push at the base of the dilator to help guide the dilator into the body. You'll need to push a bit, but if you find that you're really "forcing" things or you start to experience any pain, definitely stop. (You may need a smaller anal dilator size!)
- Depending on your anal dilator, you might find that the dilator bends in on itself if you push only from the base. You may need to use your other hand to support and guide the tip onto the right path while still pushing from the base.
- Constantly pay attention to how your body feels. If anything feels painful - especially sharp pain - stop what you're doing at once. Since anal dilators are a single thickness and size all the way through, once you get the dilator inside the body, the "sensation" should remain the same all the way through, but your body is the judge here. You should never continue through any sharp pain - but fullness and some slight discomfort may happen and is expected when you're trying to "stretch" the area.
- You can leave the anal dilator in place for 2-5 minutes. If you want to try some light thrusting, that's entirely up to you. All that's required for the anal dilation experience is that you let it rest - and let your body adjust to the size - for a little bit.
- When you feel perfectly comfortable with the size of that anal dilator, you can remove it. Gently and slowly pull on the base to remove the anal dilator from the body. I highly recommend placing the used anal dilator onto a towel or other easily cleanable surface. Since there will be anal bacteria on the surface of the anal dilator, it shouldn't be placed onto a surface you don't plan to clean directly afterward (like your bedside table).
- Repeat the process with the next-largest anal dilator. Keep repeating the process until you reach your desired size.
- Before you reach your "desired" size, it might be time to stop. The body doesn't necessarily always agree with the goals our brains set. If things start feeling very full, if the pressure or discomfort starts to borderline on pain, or if things start feeling "wrong" or "off", I recommend stopping right away. The anal dilators don't disappear, and no one is making you return them to a rental store. You can always give your body a rest and try your anal dilators again another day.
After all, everything about anal dilation is about gentle, over-time, stretching of the anal muscles. Don't expect to magically hit your "dream stretch" in a single day! We're talking about weeks to months here!
Another Option: the Odile Anal Dilator
I gotta admit, the Odile Anal Dilator is probably one of the coolest dilation inventions I've seen in....ever. Instead of needing to purchase a kit of anal dilators, the Odile Anal Dilator is essentially every dilator you need with a diameter of 1" to 1.5" - all in a single toy.
It accomplishes that through its expandable design. Just twist the sturdy "key" at the base of the dilator, and it ever-so-slightly increases in circumference. Another twist, and it increases in size again. Give the key at the base of the Odile anal dilator enough twists, and this dilator from 1" in diameter all the way to 1.5" in diameter.
Not only does this let you get a really convenient "all in one" option, but it also allows for something no other anal dilator can do: gentle, gradual expansion while the toy is already inserted. With the Odile inserted, you can just twist the key, and the Odile will gently expand. Instead of removing and reinserting various sizes (which all come with their own, dedicated circumferences), the Odile offers the gentlest expansion increments. You're just not going to find that in anal dilator sets; it would take 40 different dilators and cost hundreds of dollars.
I think a lot of the fun of the Odile can be had in the anal stretching and anal sex sphere of things, but as it was specifically crafted for anal dilation, it's definitely worth a mention here!
Ready to Try Anal Dilation?
See? Anal dilation is surprisingly simple! With the right gear, some patience, some time, and lots of lube, you're going to be an anal dilation star is no time!
Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.