Sometimes, in the nebulous world of sexual wellness, it can be hard to tell if something is a wellness tool, or a sex toy. Take kegel balls for example. They can help improve your pelvic floor strength (which can lead to more powerful orgasms), but they can also be used for stimulation.
Vagina plugs – sometimes known as pussy plugs – are another tool that straddles the line. If you’ve only just heard of vagina plugs, you’re not alone. They’re a pretty niche product but interest in them is growing. So, we asked some experts everything you need to know if you’re considering trying out vagina plugs, from what to consider to how to use a pussy plug.
What are vagina plugs?
Vagina plugs are the close relative of butt plugs, rather than something like a tampon or menstrual cup. These plugs are specifically designed to stretch out the vaginal walls before intercourse, or they’re used as a part of partnered or solo play. Stretching or feeling “full up” is a kink for some and similarly to using a butt plug, some people enjoy the act of “training” their vagina to use larger toys or withstand more penetration.
Vagina plugs look a bit like butt plugs, and come in different shapes and sizes depending on what you’re looking for. Some have a spoon-like dip for G-spot stimulation, some vibrate, while others are more akin to medical dilators and much more tailored for wellness purposes.
Benefits of vagina plugs
“A vaginal plug can be used for a variety of different things,” explains Gigi Engle, a certified sex and relationship psychotherapist and resident intimacy expert at dating app, 3Fun. “but the two main reasons are dilation and pleasure through fullness.” Although it’s important to note that a medical dilator and a pussy plug aren’t the same thing, although they have similar properties and uses.
“Dilators are used in graduated sizes to help the patient become used to penetration. For pleasure reasons, a plug can provide a really great feeling of fullness for the person using them. Some plugs are rather girthy, making them a favorite amongst size queens,” she adds.
Dialators and vagina plugs might be used to help treat issues like vaginismus, a condition where the vaginal wall involuntarily contracts, causing pain during penetration. “One part of the treatment for this condition is the usage of vaginal dilator therapy,” Says Dr. Gunvor Ekman-Ordeberg, OB/GYN at DeoDoc. “Vaginal plugs might be useful as a vaginal dilator, but I would recommend any woman with vaginismus talk to your healthcare provider in order to get the correct treatment plan that works for you.”
Pussy plugs are also a great toy for both transmasc and transfem folks, as they can be used for dilation or to provide a more full feeling during anal or strap-on sex. "Just like an anal-plug can change the feeling of vaginal penetration, using a vaginal plug can change how anal penetration feels," explains Kelvin Sparks, author of Trans Sex: A Guide for Adults. "For people who are topping, it can feel a lot tighter. For the bottom, some vaginal plug shapes massage or stimulate the g-spot, adding more sensation on top of that of anal penetration."
How long should you use vagina plugs for?
The tissue inside the vagina is a lot more stretchy than the anus, so you can wear a vagina plug for much longer than a butt plug. But, “if it starts to be uncomfortable, remove it, '' says Engle. “The vagina is quite elastic so it will stretch and then return to its normal shape.”
However, in the same way that you shouldn’t wear kegel balls or a butt plug for too long, wearing a plug all day isn’t advisable. The muscles in the vagina and pelvic floor need to relax and so encouraging them to tense for too long can overwork them and cause pain and damage. Think of it like going to the gym, you’d go for a few hours but any more pressure than that on your muscles is going to hurt.
Choosing the right vaginal plug for you
As vagina plugs aren’t all that mainstream, a lot of sex toy retailers don’t stock them. But, depending on what you’re looking for, there are some out there that are easy to find. Like with a butt plug, you want something that is going to be easy to remove, so look for flared bases, tails or handles. And, as ever, lube is going to be your best friend.
Lovehoney Health Silicone Dilator Set
This one is definitely for if you’re looking to gently stretch your vaginal wall, rather than if you’re looking for double penetration. This set comes with 5 silicone dilators, which gradually go up in size, for progressive internal massage and penetration.
LOVENSE Lush 3 App-Controlled Love Egg Vibrator
The LOVENSE Lush 3 is a mix between a Ben Wa ball and a vagina plug. The egg part slips inside for internal penetration while the upturned tail doubles as a clit stimulator and a handy way to remove the plug – although you do have to hold the vibrating tail in place, it won’t stay put on its own.
It’s also app controlled with incredible bluetooth reach, making it a great choice for long distance couples.
Bondara Access All Areas Triple Stimulation Vibe
If you’re looking for a bit of everything (and we mean everything), look no further. The Access All Areas vibe combines a vibrating, ribbed vagina plug, a small butt plug and textured clit stimulator, for the ultimate in satisfaction. Ideal for anyone who enjoys that “full up” feeling.
Calexotics Venus Butterfly "G" Dual Stimulation Vibrator
This unique toy provides rumbling vibrations and G-spot stimulation via pussy play, while the butterfly base envelopes your vulva and clit in deep vibrations. It’s also remote controlled!
Uberrime Suavis Small Silicone Vaginal Plug
The Sauvis is moulded after an actual vagina casting, for a comfy, filling fit. It’s made from squishy silicone so it can be used for kegel exercises as well as penetration play. The Sauvis is available in three sizes, but we suggest starting small and working your way up.
My Viv Dilator Set
Another product on the dilator end of the spectrum – the My Viv Dilator set comes with ergonomically designed dilators, designed to help with vaginal tightness. Start slowly and work your way up, and remember to use plenty of silicone-compatible lube.
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