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So you’re intrigued by the idea of butt plugs and want to investigate. What exactly are they for? Is there a proper and safe way to use them? Can you leave them in too long? All is revealed.

Hey Mike!
imageI read your column all the time and while I’m one of the readers who gets a kick out of your responses, I want you to know that I defend you a lot.

I always tell my friends “He’s not a heartless bitch, he’s a cranky bastard. There’s a difference.”

Anyway, I have a question. Can you explain the proper way to use butt plugs—other than “sticking it up your butt”?

Do you use it just before sex, or are you supposed to leave it in you for a few hours? If so, is that safe and does your butt become loosey goosey afterwards?
—Anal Retentive

Dear Anal:
You call me a bastard and then ask for advice? What’s this crap about “other than ‘sticking it up your butt’?” Where else would you stick a butt plug—in your ears?

Butt plugs are toys, so there aren’t any “rules.” What feels right for you may not be right for someone else. There’s two reasons to use them: Because they stimulate the anal opening—science for “it feels good!”—or as a sort of training device to get your sphincter muscles ready to take on larger cargo.

Remember, the sphincter has two muscle rings. The first is voluntary, meaning you can squeeze it at will. That’s what stops you from taking a dump when you read this column. The second is involuntary; you can’t consciously control it.

It’s that second ring, the involuntary muscle—less than a quarter inch from the outer, voluntary one—that causes most of the pain in anal sex. If you can relax it, you’re in for a great ride. If you can’t, you’ll want to punch your partner into the next room.

The idea of anal sex is to scream for more, not yell for help, so “training” the inner sphincter muscle to relax is critical. That’s where butt plugs come in. If you keep one in long enough, the inner sphincter muscle relaxes on its own. Muscles can’t stay contracted forever; at some point they have to release.

You’re going to have to use more than a butt plug to stretch the inner muscle if you want painless anal sex. So gradually introduce bigger and bigger dildos until you can insert one the size of your partner’s penis without pain.

Let me say that again: without pain. Remember, pain is a signal that something’s wrong. You know that burning sensation you feel when you’re bottoming? It means you’re stretching the sphincter too much and causing micro-tears.

God help you if you’re not using a condom, because you just created a transmission route and put yourself at major risk. If you do it right—lots of elasticity training of the sphincter—you shouldn’t have any pain during anal sex. Discomfort maybe, but not pain.

imageContributing blogger Mike Alvear is an Atlanta-based columnist, author and TV personality. Dating life in the dirt? Download his ebooks, “Attract Hotter Guys with the Secrets & Science of Sexual Body Language,” and “Attract Hotter Guys Online: The Secrets To Making Yourself Irresistible on Gay Dating Sites.” Have a question for Need Wood? Just .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).