The Beginner's Guide to Anal Stretching
What, what? In the butt?
Anal stretching is a key component of higher-level anal play - and it isn't as scary as it sounds.
If you're new to anal play, you might be thinking, "what?! Why would I want to stretch my butthole?!" We hear you. But anal stretching is actually a key component of most types of anal play - and it isn't nearly as scary as it sounds.
Technically, anal stretching is anything that gradually stretches the anus and allows you to insert toys (or a penis) that you couldn't comfortably take in the past. This means that it could technically apply to absolute beginners who've never tried anal experiences before; working up from a single finger to multiple fingers is a type of "anal stretching."
However, in the world of kinky sex, the term usually applies to stretching above and beyond the amount of stretching required for anal intercourse with an average penis, and training to take on large toys with diameters of over 2.5 inches. Anal stretching can go to extremes (including anal fisting and insertions of extremely large objects), but the anal stretching kink can also just be the enjoyment of the process of gently (and slowly!) training the butt.
Why Are People into Anal Stretching?
There are a couple of different reasons why people get into anal stretching. Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list, but it gives you a few ideas to familiarize yourself with the kink if you've never met someone who's into it:
Some people initially get into anal stretching because of the opportunity to "modify" their bodies. As the butt is stretched out over time, the ring of the anus may start to look a bit different than an anus that's never explored anal sex. This isn't a bad thing - it's just a change in the body from repeated stretching and muscle training. People who enjoy body modification may be enjoying anal stretching with this "end goal" in mind. Expect people who love this aspect of anal stretching to show-off more photos of their bumhole - where the hole's outer ring may look puffier and thicker than the buttholes you might be familiar at looking at.
For others, it's the kinky idea of non-human dildos that gets them off. Maybe you've never even thought about it, but I bet a dragon would have a much larger penis than a human! Multiple manufacturers now provide some pretty wild, non-realistic dildo options, and people who want to play with fantasy creatures can now live the dream. Anal stretching can be used as a training tool, enabling people to take on their fantasy toy of choice.
(And hey, if you want to play with some fantasy sex toys without the thick diameter, the Cute Little Fuckers are a great option - especially the insertable Trinity!)
As your body stretches out to accommodate something ever-so-slightly larger than your comfortable spot, it can feel physically intense. For some people, this intensity mentally translates into pleasure. For people on this side of the kink, the fun of anal stretching is all in the feeling of the stretching itself; it's all about that fullness and pushing oneself slightly beyond the point of complete comfort.
There's also a subset of people who absolutely love the look of anal gaping. In case you've never heard of it, "gaping" is exactly what it sounds like. After stretching, there may be a short period of time where the anus is wide open. Using large toys for extended periods of time can temporarily cause a gape after the user removes the toys. Don't worry - the gape usually goes away in less than a minute, and it's not a health concern! For those who love that little tiny experience of gaping, though, anal stretching can be one of the ways that they work themselves up to the toys that are large enough to allow them to gape.
An "End Goal" Penis
For some people, anal stretching is all about the end goal - which is a specific penis or dildo they want to use. Some people may not be into anal stretching for the kink aspects at all; they just want to use anal stretching as a process to help them take the larger insertable item that they're after. Especially for anyone who might be having intercourse with a partner with an extremely thick penis - or anyone who has a specific dildo that fits their fantasy that they really want to use - anal stretching can very well just be a means to an end.
So How Do I Stretch My Ass?
Anal stretching is surprisingly simple to get into. You just need toys, a serious amount of lubricant, and a good chunk of time and patience.
Beware Anal Stretching Cream!
Whatever you do, do NOT pick up a tube of "Anal Ease" or any type of anal numbing cream. If you're stretching while everything is numb, you're missing out on the pleasure - and any potential warning signs, too. If things are so painful that you require numbing creams, you've gone much too far past your body's limits, and you need to dial it way back.
While I'd never recommend anal numbing cream for any type of sexual activity, it's especially dangerous with anal stretching: a kink where you're specifically trying to push your body's limitations. Anal play shouldn't be painful for most bodies. If it is, stop and figure out why!
The only time you should even think about a numbing cream is if you have an achy b-hole after an intense session and need some relief. A cool washcloth is a safer bet though then a chemical cream.
Read: Should We Talk About the Fact That Anal Sex Might Hurt?
Anal Stretching Toys
Anal stretching is one of those kinks where "one toy" likely won't be enough. (Good news if you love a good excuse for buying new body safe sex toys!) While there are definitely toys out there that would suffice as a "one and done" option for stretching, most people enjoy "sizing up" to a new toy once they've stretched themselves out to comfortably take their current toy. It's like a mini reward for themselves – and a physical reminder of their progress.
If you're in the market for toys, what should you look for?
The "All-in-One" Option
The Odile Anal Dilator sits in its own category as an all-in-one stretching option. The unique device starts at a fairly manageable-for-beginners 1" diameter and gently twists open to widen in teeny, tiny increments to a respectable 1.5" diameter. Essentially, this all-in-one toy lets you gradually stretch yourself at your own pace. You can do this two ways:
Odile's unique design lets you actively stretch while the toy is inserted. Slide it in at a comfortable girth and gently twist the "key" at the base to open it up a little bit. See how that feels and let your body acclimate. If it feels right, you can give the "key" another twist - and expand yourself a little bit more. Keep going until you're done stretching. (This is a stretching method that's pretty hard to replicate with any other option on this list; most will require you to use separate toys!)
You can also use the Odile like a customizable dildo. Pick the diameter that's right for your body and slide it in. Easily slide it out and readjust the diameter before reinserting it again. You can customize the Odile's diameter in 1 millimeter increments - anywhere between 1" and 1.5". It gives you a whole lot of options!
Alternatively, if you need something thicker than the 1.5" diameter that the Odile provides, you might want to look for a toy that has an extremely tapered design - much like a "cone"-type design. The tip of your "one and done" toy will be extremely small while the base of the toy will be bigger than the tip many times over. You'll be able to insert this toy a little further each session, which will gradually stretch the body.
Keep in mind that this "one and done" option can make it easier to accidentally go a bit too far, and it also can be difficult to vigorously thrust without accidentally going that fourth-of-an-inch too far into painful territory. "One and done" toys are best for very calm, very relaxed sessions with very little movement.
Go for an Anal Stretching Kit
Especially if you're brand-new to anal (and using anal stretching to get to a point where you can comfortably use most sex toys), manufacturers have been providing everything you need - in a single kit! - for years now.
Anal stretching kits can vary in price - and in the toys included - depending on what you're looking to achieve. When considering an anal training kit, think about how (or if!) you can use those toys again in the future if you "progress" past them. Dildos in an anal stretching kit can be fantastic toys for strap-on sex - or they may be able to be sterilized and gifted to a close friend. Vibrating butt plugs may make great, casual, around-the-house toys for foreplay to help you "stretch out" for thicker toys as the main event. Get creative about how you think about anal stretching toy kits!
Think about how well that anal stretching kit fits in with your current stretching levels; ideally, you want the smallest toy in the kit to be exactly where you're at - while the largest toy will be near the "end goal" you have in mind.
Some anal stretching kits might include some fun extras too - like anal cleansing items or other anal accessories.
Read: How To Use an Anal Training Kit
DIY Anal Stretching Dildo Kits
If you're into the idea of multiple toys to assist you along your stretching journey, you'll find that your options, well, open up. As with any anal toy, you'll want your toy to have a great, big flared base. Because you want to train your body to take larger and larger toys, you might want to ensure the base is noticeably larger than the widest diameter of the toy - just to ensure the toy doesn't accidentally slide inside. Remember: Inserting toys without a wide enough base is how many people end up in the ER.
Once you've narrowed down your dildo options to those that include a flared base, your next step is to understand what size you can currently take. Measure the width of your current favorite dildo that you can use comfortably. If you don't have a dildo, measure the width of your current comfortable finger limit. From there, you'll likely want to find a toy that's one quarter inch (at the widest point) larger than your comfortable size.
Look for dildos that have a tapered tip - that is, the tip of the toy is smaller than the widest point of the toy. This will give you a comfortable way to penetrate yourself with the toy while going extremely slowly, over multiple sessions, to work yourself up to the largest point.
As always, please make sure to take sex toy materials into consideration as well. Silicone sex toys are the "gold standard" of stretchers, but if you're unable to afford the silicone toy you'd like, make sure your alternative is phthalate-free - and preferably cover it with a condom. (Go with the large-sized condoms if you need to!)
Outside of that, the rest of the dildo's features don't matter. Texture, color, design, vibrating features, and more are all up to you. Just keep in mind that certain materials and certain textures may require using a bit more lubricant than other textures and materials.
Read: 8 Ways to Figure Out Which Anal Toy is For You
What About Butt Plugs?
Butt plugs also have a place in an anal stretching repertoire. Any type of anal penetration can be helpful to anal stretching. However, not every type of anal toy is your best tool. That's "fun but not necessarily super functional for stretching" category is where butt plugs lie.
While butt plugs are amazing for pleasure in general, most butt plugs are designed with a very small retention area - that area where your anal ring "rests" when the plug is inserted fully into the body. The point of stretching is to help the anal muscles gently relax and "stretch" during gradual penetration. Because most plugs only stretch while they are being inserted, they aren't the best toy for active stretching sessions - because the "set it and forget it" design of anal butt plugs don't continually stretch the butt.
However, all is not lost! If you're hoping to use an anal plug for stretching purposes, choose your plug with care. The "retention area" (the part of the toy that sits just inside the body after it has been inserted) should be similar in size to the body of the plug itself. As narrow retention areas are what allow plugs to stay in more securely, expect your stretching butt plug to slide out more easily than most butt plugs. (This will not usually be a great public play butt plug.)
Beginner Tips for Anal Stretching
- Anal stretching begins just like any type of anal activity. Before getting into this activity especially named for "stretching" your limits, it's important to know the basics of your body - and how it reacts to anal play. Learn how to comfortably insert toys, and learn how your body feels about all of the various anal pleasure sensations. For some, experiencing anal sensations in a sexual manner is an entirely different, new thing to learn, and you want to have that aspect already completed long before you attempt any stretching. Know what feels good to your body - and what doesn't.
- The biggest thing that separates "anal stretching" from straight-up "anal sex" is the speed you're inserting the item at. With regular anal sex, your body (and hole) are likely used to the size of the object you're taking, so you can slide in (and back out!) pretty easily. However, the point of stretching is for the toy to be ever-so-slightly-larger than you're used to taking, which means you need to take it slow. There's not going to be a whole lot of intense thrusting - at least when you begin. There may not even be any thrusting at all
- Before you begin, I also want you to accept the fact that you may not get the entire toy inserted. You may not even get half of it inserted. That's okay - and that's part of anal stretching. You really need to accept this before you begin.
The "goal" isn't the base of the toy; the "goal" is feeling the pleasurable stretching sensations within your body - wherever that may be. (Sounds kinda yoga-y, doesn't it?)
Read: How to Use an Anal Dilator
How to Stretch Anally
Once you're familiar with your own body, it's time to get ready for your stretching session. Just like any type of solo sex play, you'll want to have everything as ready as possible before you begin. Gather a disposable pad to lay on (puppy pads are cheap and work great for this - a towel works great too), a washcloth or paper towels, the toys, and a bottle of lube. If you need any erotic content, get that set up too.