Ask Jay: butt plugs, glass toys, porn preferences, and elusive orgasms

Searching for booty bliss asks: What's the difference between butt plugs and anal beads? As a first timer, what should I get?

Jay answers: Welcome to the wonderful world of butt play! I think you're going to enjoy your trip into this land of new experiences. To answer your question a butt plug is typically an acorn-shaped device. It may be quite tiny, smaller than your little finger, or it may be medium like a thumb, or large like a pear.

This is a plug

Typically a butt plug has a small, smooth tip; a wipe, smooth middle part; and a flat base. The flat base at the end prevents the plug from sliding inside your bottom and getting stuck inside you. For this reason I recommend making sure your plug has a wide base as added insurance against it slipping inside you.

A butt plug is usually intended to be kept in place for several minutes or a few hours. Some people find them pleasant to hold inside them for medium lengths of time, such as while watching a movie, going out to dinner, or during sex.

Anal beads are a series of balls, typically attached to each other by a length of cord or string. The beads may be small, like blueberries or larger like golf balls. At the end of the string of beads is usually a handle which can be used to hold onto the cord. Anal beads are placed one at a time into the anus. Then during or leading up to climax, the beads are slowly (very slowly and gently) pulled out using the cord. The sensation of the beads moving is highly stimulating and makes orgasm more intense.


These are beads

Often times butt plugs are used to get the wearer accustomed to having something in their bottom. Experimenting with small butt plugs and gradually working your way up in size is a good way to prepare for anal sex, for example. A plug can also give you an extra full feeling when having vaginal intercourse. Beads, on the other hand, are typically used during intercourse or masturbation when you know having some extra anal stimulation will feel good.

Hopefully reading those two descriptions will help you decide which one you want to start with. However, if you are still on the fence, I'd suggest starting with a small butt plug. They are easier to use solo, suitable for wearing when you go outside, and can get you used to the feeling of having something inside you. Anal beads, while fun, I feel are more geared toward people who already enjoy butt play and specifically want to spice up the moment of orgasm.

Whichever toy (or toys) you end up buying, don't forget to get some lubricant too. Anal play feels much better when there is less friction and it will really help you insert your toy.

 

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Glass is a pane asks: I keep seeing glass toys on your social media posts - but I just don't get it, how are they safe? And wouldn't they be painful? Why would anyone want to put glass in there?

Jay answers: I suspect when you picture glass or a glass toy your mind goes to things like window panes, bottles, or drinking glasses. All of which can be rough on one edge and are thin, causing them to break easily. I would never recommend trying to stick a glass bottle, drinkwear, or window pane (no matter how small) inside your body. That would be uncomfortable and unsafe!

Glass toys, such as dildos, on the other hand, are quite a different beast. They are not thin, hollow, or delicate, they are solid glass. Imagine the difference between a hollow chocolate Easter egg versus a large, solid block of chocolate. They are both made out of the same material, but one crumbles when you glance at it sternly while the other can be dropped on the floor with barely a scratch. Alternatively, keep in mind that you can chip a regular window pane by tossing a small stone at it, but glass just a few inches thick can be bullet proof. It would take quite a lot of pressure to break or crack a glass dildo. I couldn't tell you exactly how much pressure, but I can tell you I've dropped a few of my glass dildos on the floor and none of them were damaged at all.

Glass toys typically are not painful. Quite the opposite, they are highly smooth and (with a minimal of lubrication) quite slick. While glass toys are firmer than many other types of dildos, they are typically the same size and shape. Many people report enjoying the smooth ridges of glass toys. Glass toys are also typically used in temperature play because they feel cool to the touch.


Hard, smooth, and easy to clean

Some people also appreciate glass toys because they are easy to clean. It's possible to boil a glass toy or toss it in the dish washer without worrying about its materials breaking down. The smooth surface is ideal for washing.

 

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Burned once asks: Recently I ordered an item online (from another website) and I got a terrible infection after using it. Now I'm a little gun shy. Any advice for getting back in the sex toy saddle and how to avoid future infections?

Jay answers: I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your online purchase. That is a horrible way to get introduced to online toy shopping.

My suggestion for getting back into the saddle is to pair your next toy purchase with some toy cleaner. Also, as I mentioned above, glass toys are often easier to clean than other types of insertable toys.


Cleaning new toys before using them can help avoid irritation and infection

If you'd like to come by the shop, the Indulgence staff will be happy to talk with you about the best ways to clean specific types of toys. Different materials or textures may benefit from different approaches to cleaning and we would be happy to make suggestions for your specific toy.

On a related note, there is a small possibility the infection you got was not from the toy itself. It could have come from somewhere else altogether or possibly from the type of lubrication you were using. We hear from some people whose skin gets irritated by certain types of lubes or who try "homebrew" lubrications which may contain chemicals or sugars which introduce infection. We have a number of mild lubricants which may help.

 

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Shy and curious asks: I'm super curious about what kind of porn my boyfriend likes to watch - but I'm way too shy to ask. In the past, I've made a big deal about him watching too much of it (it used to negatively impact our sex life), but now I want to talk about it and explore. How do I get started?

Jay answers: Congratulations on expanding your interests and for wanting to actively explore. I think that is great.

I suppose my answer depends on whether you are curious about the kind of porn your boyfriend watches because you are looking for a place to start for yourself, or if you want to learn more about what he likes and is into.

If you're mostly curious for your own sake - whether for self-education, having something to aid you in masturbation, or just want to see what people are up to - then you could begin by exploring on your own. You can head over to a free streaming website like Pornhub and check out what is available. The site has categories like Most Viewed and Highest Rated to help you find what types of porn videos other people are enjoying. You may find after some browsing you have your own tastes and preferences. Once you find something you enjoy you could send your boyfriend a text or e-mail with a link to a video you find hot that just says something like, "Tell me if you like this as much as I did!" Chances are he'll respond and perhaps offer to send something back.


No way, we have the same favourite video!

On the other hand if you are curious about porn, and your boyfriend's consumption of it, because you want to learn more about what turns him on and how you two can share that, then you'll probably need to find some way to work it into a conversation. You don't need to just walk up to him and ask, "So, what sort of porn did you watch this week?" That could be awkward - for both of you.

You could text him sometime and suggest you'd like to try watching porn together and ask him to pick something. Alternatively you might tell him you want to explore his fantasies and ask him if he has a scenario or scene he'd like to act out. Chances are his response will tell you what sort of videos he has been watching.

Whatever approach you take, something to keep in mind is he may also be shy about discussing this. Some guys can feel uncomfortable or even a bit shameful about the adult videos they find hot. Also, given that his porn watching habits were an issue for the two of you in the past, he may feel reluctant to dive straight into the topic until he understands you are in favour of learning more about it.

Finally, I don't get the impression you'd do this, but some people (particular those feeling shy about the topic) have been tempted to sneak a peek at their partner's web browsing history. I recommend against doing this. It's a common privacy violation and a breach of trust that is hard to recover from once it happens. So feel free to ease into a conversation about porn with a little flirting or by asking some subtle questions about fantasies. But for both of your sakes I recommend talking to your boyfriend about his interests directly and not taking a peek at his phone or computer to learn more.

 

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Never reaching the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow asks: I feel stupid asking this, but I've never had an orgasm during sex. Is that normal? Is there something wrong with me?

Jay answers: You are in no way stupid for asking about not having orgasms during sex. This is normal. It is quite common for people to have trouble reaching orgasm during sex. In fact, something like 70% of women are unable to achieve orgasm during strictly penetrative sex. While it is less common among men, some men also have trouble climaxing during intercourse. Most men will have trouble reaching orgasm occasionally due to various factors.

I don't think there is anything wrong with you. There are a lot of potential causes behind not reaching climax during sex. These can range from shyness, to subconscious shame lingering from your upbringing, to not receiving enough stimulation on the sensitive parts of the clit/penis. Some people have trouble getting off if sex doesn't last long enough or if it lasts too long. Some people need to feel a certain type of stimulation, such as a hand or a vibrator, in order to get off. The majority of women need to have some sort of manual or vibrator stimulation on their clitoris in order to get off.

You didn't mention if you can reach climax on your own. However, since you specified you haven't had an orgasm during sex, I'm going to guess you can have them on your own if you masturbate? Assuming this is true, then that is good news. You can orgasm, so there is nothing wrong with your body, you just haven't found the right combination of toys, positions, or activities during sex that rock your world. My recommendation is to explore, try different things, talk with your partner about mixing things up in the bedroom.

You can try incorporating more toys, like vibrators or cock rings. You can experiment with different positions or tingly lubes. You can try mixing some masturbation into your sex scenes to get you close to the edge or push you over the edge after sex.

This gives good tingles!

The most important thing, in my opinion, is to not worry about this. What you are experiencing is normal. Orgasms, especially if you are shy, can be elusive, and especially when you chase after them. So try to relax, have fun, focus on enjoying what you are doing in the moment. Don't chase after the orgasm, just do what feels good with your partner and look at the orgasm as the potential bonus at the end. The best sex I've had wasn't focused on my orgasm or my partner's. It was about enjoying our time together, being in the moment, doing what felt good. Sometimes orgasms happened as a result, and that was great, but even when orgasms don't happen, the sex was still hot and wonderful.

One last word on your situation. If my assumption earlier was wrong and you don't orgasm during masturbation either, then there is a small chance you have a medical condition which is causing you to not reach climax. There are a lot of reasons someone might not reach climax on their own. These can range from lack of sleep, anxiety, certain types of medication you are on, depression, stress, reduced blood flow to the extremities, and issues with blood sugar. So if you can reach orgasm on your own, then don't worry, you just need to find the right groove with your partner so you can relax and find the right stimulation. However, if you have trouble reaching orgasm on your own, then I'd suggest mentioning it to your doctor. It may be nothing, but your doctor can check you out and possibly recommend ways to help you achieve orgasm.