The word “inflatable” isn’t exactly sexy. Maybe it conjures images of sagging air mattresses, plastic beach balls or whoopee cushions, or maybe it brings up memories of the air-filled sex doll at your last bachelor party. Nevertheless, humankind has a knack for finding ways to turn any technology into a sex thing — hence the existence of inflatable butt plugs.
What Do Inflatable Butt Plugs Do That Regular Butt Plugs Don’t?
Well, they inflate! Usually, an inflatable butt plug will be attached via tubing to either an air pump you can squeeze by hand, or an electronic interface that does it for you automatically. Some are controlled wirelessly via remote instead. If your plug needs to be assembled when you get it, make sure the tubing is attached securely on both ends, so no air can escape and kill your buzz mid-session.
After you insert the fully deflated plug as far inside you as it’ll comfortably go (with the help of some water-based lube), you can start to inflate the toy little by little. The toy will expand as it fills with air, pressing more and more firmly against the erogenous zones around it, like the prostate and anal opening. These toys can get surprisingly huge inside you, but you don’t need to blow it up as big as it’ll get — don’t be a hero.
You can control the exact amount of pressure against your prostate or pleasurable parts at any given moment by inflating or deflating the toy. These plugs can be incorporated into masturbation or partnered sex to add an extra dimension of pleasure, too.
Inflatable plugs can also be useful if you’re warming up for anal sex or pegging. They allow you to loosen up the muscles in there, slowly but surely, so that a penis or dildo feels easier to take afterward. (Doing an enema beforehand is optional but reduces the odds of making a mess.)
There are definitely lots of kinky usages for these plugs, too. Do you know how much power you have over someone when you’re in charge of how big the toy in their butt gets? Inflatable plugs can be incorporated into various different role-play scenarios, whether you’re imagining the plug is a medical device your hot doctor decides to use during a “prostate exam,” or an alien’s sexual appendage during an abduction or whatever else sounds fun to your brain.
Safety Considerations for Inflatable Butt Plugs
1) Material. Inflatable butt plugs need to be pliable to do what they do, and the only pliable sex toy material that’s both non-porous and non-toxic (meaning it can be cleaned easily and won’t irritate your sensitive tissues) is silicone. Look for plugs made of 100 percent silicone — it’s okay if the control panel or tubing is a different material, as long as the plug itself is all silicone.
2) Shape and Size. Know that feeling when the group starts singing “Happy Birthday” at too high a note, and then everyone’s voice collectively breaks when you hit that big octave jump in the third line? That’s sort of what it’s like to use an inflatable butt plug that pushes the limits of your comfort even in its deflated state. Start with something smaller than you think you want, so you have room to grow. In terms of shape, it’s easiest to insert plugs that taper to a slim point at the tip, especially if you’re an anal newbie.
3) Quick-Release Valve. Make sure your plug has a way for you to rapidly release all the air inside it when you need to. Maybe even give it a test run to make sure it works before putting it inside you, because an unexpected butt plug malfunction sounds like a bad time.
4) Flared Base. All butt plugs, inflatable or not, should have a base that is wider than the widest part of the plug itself. This is to keep it from getting lost inside you. Trust me, you don’t want to have to explain to an ER doctor why there is a vibrating silicone balloon stuck in your ass.
5) Lube. As with all butt stuff, lube is an absolute must-have when you’re using inflatable plugs. The water-based kind works best with silicone toys. Look for one that’s on the thicker side, like Sliquid Sassy.
6) Don’t Overdo It. If you pump up your plug too big, you run the risk of hurting yourself, or even feeling the plug pop inside you. (This happened to a friend of mine who shall remain anonymous — he said he wasn’t injured, but that the combination of the sensation and the sound were harrowing.) Start by inflating just the tiniest bit, and work your way up. If you feel any pain, that’s a sign that you’ve gone too far — or that you need to slow down or add more lube.
Got all that? Now, here are some inflatable butt plugs that’ll have you walking (or sitting) on air.
Best Small Inflatable Plug: CalExotics Dr. Joel Kaplan Silicone Inflatable Anal Plug
This petite product is about as simple as it gets — just a silicone plug, an attached squeeze bulb and a quick-release valve, so it’s great for beginners. With its tapered tip and modest 1.25-inch diameter before inflation, it’s easy to insert, even after just warming up with a finger or two. It can expand to as wide as 2.2 inches once it’s inside.
The base of this plug is a suction cup, so if you want, you can attach it to a floor, wall or mirror before easing yourself onto it. This’ll give you enough traction to be able to throw it back against the toy, for a sensation that feels more like anal sex with a humanoid partner.
Best Medium-Sized Inflatable Plug: CalExotics Colt Large Pumper Plug
Similarly to the smaller option above, this plug has a squeeze bulb, comfortably tapered tip, quick-release valve and suction-cup base. It’s just a bit bigger, at 1.5 inches across before inflating. When inflated, it can get to 2.25 inches or wider.
Depending on the size of the penis or dildo you’re working up to, it could be a better choice for anal sex warm-up because of its bigger dimensions. It’s a little weird that the squeeze bulb is designed to look like a grenade, sure, but maybe it just means explosive anal or prostate orgasms are in your future.
Best Large Inflatable Plug: CalExotics Colt XX-Large Pumper Plug
If you’re of the opinion that bigger is better, this could be the inflatable plug for you — but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart (or the faint of butt), so proceed with caution. Its deflated diameter is 1.75 inches, and it can expand to at least three times that size. Remember to go slow, use a lot of lube, listen to your body and stop if anything hurts. One Amazon reviewer even said it’s “like having a large fist in you,” so it could be helpful if you’re warming up for any kind of large anal penetration, including, well, fisting.
Best Prostate-Focused Inflatable Plug: Evolved Love Is Back Inflatable G
While this toy was designed for G-spot pleasure, it has a flared base that makes it safe for anal use, too. The looped handle gives you better control as you’re inserting it or pulling it out, and also gives you some leverage for thrusting it in and out if you wanna do that.
But the best feature of this toy is the pronounced head, which can tilt right into your prostate. It starts at 1.39 inches wide and can inflate all the way to 1.98 — which, combined with the toy’s 10 different vibration functions, could make for some intense orgasms.
Best Vibrating Inflatable Plug: XR Brands Swell 10x Inflatable + Vibrating Silicone Anal Plug
This plug boasts three vibration speeds and seven vibration patterns, allowing you to experiment with different sensations at different levels of inflation and see how they feel. It starts at 1.6 inches wide and goes up to about 2 inches, so it’s best for people who have some anal experience already.
Something to keep in mind about remote-controlled inflatables, though: There’d be no easy way to deflate this toy quickly if the remote were to malfunction — so test out the inflation and deflation features to make sure they work before you start. That way, you won’t float away like Carl Fredricksen in Up.