By Jena Ardell
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"What's the big deal about a butt plug?" I get that question a lot, inevitably followed by "It just plugs the butt? You mean it doesn't light up or spin while it's in there? It can't burn CDs or store data? It's not a two-way pager or a PlayStation external device?"
A butt plug does exactly what it sounds like it does. It's designed to slide into your ass and stay put. People in our culture have grown so accustomed to everything having bells and whistles that a basic task-oriented sex toy baffles them. Sure, there are dildos that glow in the dark, vibrators that masquerade as lipsticks, and battery-operated toys with 20 different settings. But sometimes less is more, as is the case with the deceptively simple joy of the butt plug.
From slim tapered fingers to wide traffic cones, butt plugs represent the range of our fantasies, goals, and desires. You can fill your ass with the Tulip Plug or the Backdoor Probe, the Ass Master or the Anal Intruder; the nomenclature alone conjures images of everything from gentle, blooming buds to rough, unforeseen invasionswhich makes sense, since anal sex can be sweet and intimate or rough-and-tumble, depending on how you play it.
Lots of people love the feeling of fullness they get when their ass is stuffed with something sweet. There's no need for lots of in-and-out play: The sensation of the sphincter closed around the base of a butt plug is enough to send you to heaven. Once it's in, you can move on to oral sex or that favorite vibrator, all while your little buddy behind you works his magic. Butt plugs also work while you play: Your ass gets further aroused, relaxing and opening up, all thanks to the plug. When you slip it out, your ass says, "Bring it on!" (i.e., it's ready for something bigger). Speaking of slipping, for those of you who've played with a plug or two, you know that sometimes it doesn't always stay put. When you get turned on, your ass can start contracting (much like a woman having vaginal contractions during sexual arousal), and those contractions can lead to a precarious situation, namely a butt plug unexpectedly shooting out of your ass! When it flies across the room and hits a friend on the head, what else can you do but smile and retrieve your projectile prop?
My butt-plug stash rivals any Beanie Baby collection around. I've got one that's lavender and vibrates ever so quietly (great for beginners), one that looks like a chewy pacifier, and another that bears a strong resemblance to a well-known toy for dogs called the Kong. There's a diamond-shaped delight I nicknamed Super Star, a copper-colored creation with bumps and ripples, and a pink silicone plug molded into the likeness of the baby Jesustalk about feeling the Lord inside you! My friend Chloe turned me on to an inflatable plug, and it's like having a blow-up doll for your ass. I also have a butt plug named after me (I helped design it), which is the highest compliment; it beats a perfume or a bridge any day. My stainless steel Uranus feels like a barbell in my behind, and my hand-carved wooden plug looks like the banister slid down me, instead of the other way around.
I even have a clear acrylic plug (designed by a genius named Ray Cirino) that acts as a magnifying glass once it gets inside. It's a definite crowd pleaser at workshops. Have you ever looked all the way inside someone's ass? I have, and no matter who I peer into, their ass is always clean, pink, happy, and healthytruly a wonder to behold. Sex activist Annie Sprinkle once closed her one-woman show by slipping a speculum inside her pussy and showing audiences her cervix. It was a bold, educational, revolutionary display of female sexual power, and I pay homage to her each time I reveal someone's ass with my see-through plug. Armed with a flashlight (so geeky, I know), I shine some brightness on a part of the body we don't often see so intimately. It gives new meaning to seeing what you are doing.
A butt plug is a great tool for kinky people. I like to think of it as my proxy top. "Put this butt plug in your ass and I'll see you in a few hours," I'll say in a phone call, a sexy e-mail, or a note on the pillow. Then I attach meaning, or whatever it is I want my bottom to focus on, to the innocent rubber stopper. For instance, "Every time you move, sit down, or feel that plug in your ass, think of my hand inside you." For extra control, I once tried a remote-controlled plug on my special someone, parking myself out of sight yet within the recommended range. With the press of a button, I could add a little buzz to his behind and remind him who was in charge. Our erotic encounter had begun before we laid eyes on each other. Not only did my willing partner get all turned on thinking about the date to come, his ass was getting used to having something inside itit was warming itself up and I didn't have to do any of the work. When the date finally arrived, he was turned on, blissed out, and hungry for morethe perfect state to start things right!
Butt plugs may hide in dark places, but they are not shy about going out on the town. Wearing a butt plug under my clothes in public can be naughty and exciting, and makes running errands an ecstatic experience. It's my little secret, and when the bus hits a pothole or I shift in my subway seat, I get a small thrill. The next time you're on a really long line at the bank or at a stressful place like Kinko's, look around. Find the serene person with a wide smile on his or her face, and you've just discovered the one who's wearing a butt plug.
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