Anal beads are a sex toy that consists of several small balls attached together in series which are inserted through the anus into the rectum and then removed with varying speeds depending on the effect desired. Those who use anal beads enjoy the pleasurable feeling they receive as the ball passes through the narrow sphincter of the anus.
Anal beads were no doubt used in antiquity, but in modern versions they are most often made of semi-rigid plastic and end with a ring. The purpose of this ring is to prevent the sex toy from becoming fully lodged in the rectum as well as to pull the toy out in the manner intended.
New plastic anal beads, especially inexpensive ones, might have small, potentially sharp remainings from the manufacturing process on them. One may use a nail file or semi-coarse sand paper to remove this extraneous material, making the toy more comfortable and reducing the risk of injury to the rectum.
As with all anal sexual activity, the anal beads and the rectum should be well-lubricated with a sexual lubricant intended for such purposes. It is important to do this as the rectum is easily ripped or injured.
Anal sex toys should be well washed with warm soapy water and left to dry naturally after use. Alternatively they may be placed inside a condom, which is recommended if they are shared with a partner.
Care must also be taken to count the beads after using them to ensure that all are evacuated. There have been instances of the string being broken by intense sphincter movements. If a bead gets stuck within the anus and can not be pushed out naturally, surgical intervention may be necessary. Condom use might allow easy retrieval in this situation.
It is important to note that because the beads are threaded onto string, a porous material, they cannot be fully disinfected. So, they should not be shared between partners without using a physical barrier such as a latex or neoprene condom. Sharing anal toys that have not been sterilised exposes the users to hepatitis and other STDs.
Tristan Taormino, in her book "The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women", recommends a toy based on the anal bead concept that is made of one continuous piece of silicone. Insertion and removal from the anus is smoother (no knots or catching), while the toy still produces the bead-like sensation. Silicone can be sterilized by boiling in water for 3 minutes.
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