How To Use Anal Beads

red anal beads, a pink butt plug, and a peach colored anal dildo
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Anal beads are a series of hard plastic or soft rubber balls that are either attached to each other by a string or molded as one piece. Sometimes the beads are different sizes, starting small and getting progressively larger as you move up the string. Sometimes they are the same size all the way through. At the handle end, there is a larger loop or something else to allow the user to pull the beads out, and to prevent the entire string from slipping up into the rectum.

Like most sex toys, anal beads don't come with instructions. Because they are designed for anal use they may, for some people, come with more questions and concerns than sex toys designed for external or vaginal use. Knowledge is power, so before you grab hold of those beads, read on.

Avoid Beads That Use Nylon String

Some anal beads are comprised of a series of hard plastic balls that are knotted onto a nylon string. These beads are of the lowest quality and aren’t recommended. The string is difficult to properly clean (this means that you should use a condom over the beads every time, which can change the feeling of the beads). The knots in the string can be uncomfortable. There are many styles of inexpensive beads that are made of solid rubber and these are much easier to clean, will last longer and are more comfortable to use.

Lubricant Required

You always need to use a personal lubricant with anal beads. Water-based lubricants are a good choice for almost everyone. If you are using anal beads made of silicone do not use silicone-based lubricant. Put a generous amount of lubricant on the beads (making sure to put lube on all of the beads, not just the ones at the tip). With your fingers, you can also put some lubricant on the outside and just inside the anus. Thicker lubes are easier to use with anal beads as they don’t slide off the toy right away. You’ll probably need to replenish the lube at some point.

Condoms and Anal Beads

Using a condom on anal beads is an easy way to keep them clean, make them last longer, and reduce the risk of transmitting any infections. If you are the only one using your anal beads a condom may not be necessary. If you think you’ll share your beads, you have to use a new condom each time you use the beads. If you’re using beads that are solid rubber and firm enough not to bend, using a condom won’t change the way the beads feel.

Inspect the Product

Before you use your anal beads for the first time, take them out of the package, wash them well, and then check them out carefully. Look for any seams, tears or sharp edges. If your anal beads are plastic, you can use an Emory board to file any seams down so they are smooth. If your anal beads are supposed to be made of a non-porous material, look for any holes or bits missing from the material. If there are any flaws, return your anal beads before you use them.

Start on Your Own

Even if you’re planning on letting your partner use the anal beads with you, it’s a good idea to try them on your own the first time. You’ll feel less self-conscious and/or you can really concentrate on how it feels for you without being distracted (for better or worse) by a partner. Make sure you have a little time and enough privacy before getting down to business.

Turn Yourself on First

Before you try to use your anal beads for the first time, get yourself turned on however you would normally. If you’re feeling awkward or distracted, it can make penetration more difficult, so being relaxed and aroused can make your first time with anal beads go more smoothly.

How they Work

Inserting anal beads doesn’t create any intense pleasure, and having them inside you doesn’t usually feel either good or bad. The basic premise behind anal beads is that as you pull them out, and the beads pass along the two ringed sphincter muscles, then you feel a series of pleasurable sensations. It can be considered similar to having any other muscle massaged, although these are muscles that don’t get massaged very often. Just like with regular massage, some people will really enjoy this sensation and others won’t like it at all.

Start Slowly

Once you’re feeling relaxed and ready to insert the beads, and you’ve got lots of lube on the beads, begin to slowly insert them one by one. Notice how this feels, and if you’re feeling any pain or discomfort either slow down, add more lube, or stop. Once all the beads are inserted you can choose to do other things and stimulate yourself in other ways. When you’re ready, begin to slowly pull the beads out. Eventually, you may want to do this faster or slower, but the first time, go nice and slow. Notice the feeling as each bead passes across the sphincter muscles.

Timing the Use of Anal Beads 

In a lot of pornographic literature and some porn films, there is talk of anal beads being pulled out “at the point of orgasm” and this being a huge orgasmic experience. You can certainly try to do this, but it isn’t necessary and many people like to use anal beads at different times in sex play. Few people describe anal beads as their singularly greatest sexual experience, and they are not nearly as popular as other sex toys, but they can still be a fun and unique form of anal play and physical sensation.

Using Anal Beads with a Partner​

Using anal beads on a partner can be a thrilling experience. It offers the opportunity for a lot of build-up and teasing as well as adding an element of power play into your sex play. But because tissues in the anus and rectum are easier to tear, and this kind of play is considered higher risk, it’s important for you to have good communication with your partner before engaging in anal play, including using anal beads. If you can’t tell your partner what to do, when to start, stop, or slow down, you shouldn’t let them use anal beads on you.


  • Don’t be fooled by porn: Porn actors are expected to engage in a wide range of dangerous sex practices. The way that sex toys, including anal beads, are used in porn films is not generally recommended. Sometimes they are going slow and being safe, but the way the film is edited makes it appear as if all the action happens within a few minutes. The size of toys used in porn can also be misleading. If you’re new to anal play, be sure to start small and don’t worry if what you’re doing looks like it does in the movies.
  • Anal play safety for women: Women need to be careful to avoid passing material or fluids from the anus and rectum to the vagina. Bacteria that live quite happily in the anus can cause havoc in the vagina. Because the orifices are relatively close together, you and/or your partner should use latex or non-latex gloves when engaging in any kind of anal play and remove the gloves before either of you touch the vulva or vagina.