Dear Em & Lo: Help, My Boyfriend Got Intimate with His Travel Toothbrush!


photo by Joe M500

Dear Em and Lo,

I have recently gotten my boyfriend interested in anal play (namely his, not mine) and while I think this is a good way to further explore different opportunities for pleasure, he seems to have gone about it in the wrong way. After experimenting with fingers with no pleasurable outcomes, he resorted to his own “MacGyver” method and used a plastic travel toothbrush holder and some Vaseline. I’m not sure if that suprises you as much as it did me but he said that he had an amazing orgasm using it. I am worried that there could be dangerous or unhealthy results from his ingenuity, so I was wondering what you would suggest as rules of engagement and safe toys for beginner anal pleasure seekers like us.

Cavity Concerned

Dear CC,

Surprised? We’re horrified! We mean, good for him that he’s willing to open himself up (as it were) to new sensual experiences, but hasn’t he heard about people ending up in the emergency room because they’ve got a deodorant stick / cucumber / action figure stuck up their butts? We’ve got an E.R. nurse friend who’s confirmed for us firsthand that these are not merely urban legends.

D.I.Y. solutions can be great when it comes to home improvements, NOT when it comes to your tushy time. The anus and rectum are delicate body parts that need special care, or else — you’re right — things could go horribly wrong. The area is prone to tearing if mistreated, it’s not self-lubricating, and it’s got curves that can’t accommodate certain shapes (like long, straight, unforgiving toothbrush holders) easily.

That’s why you want to use high-quality toys designed specifically for the rear, like Tantus’s L’il End butt plug or the Tantus vibrating ProTouch or Fun Factory’s Flexi Felix beads. Here’s what you should look for in a purpose-made butt toy:

1. It should have a flared base so as not to get sucked up into your black whole, lost for all eternity.
2. It should ideally be made of non-porous material like 100% silicone so it can be sterilized thoroughly (i.e. so it won’t harbor microscopic fecal bacteria).
3. It should be soft, yet firm, with a little give to it so it’s easy on your bod.
4. It should be ergonomically shaped (e.g. it should have a tapered end and possibly a curve that targets his prostate gland, a.k.a. the P-spot or the male G-spot).
5. It shouldn’t have rough seams or anything that might break off inside of you, duh.

And while you absolutely must use lubricant — and lots of it — it’s probably best to avoid anything oil-based, like Vaseline or Crisco, since oils degrade the latex in condoms, they’re a bitch to clean off, and they can lead to infection in women (should the oil in question somehow make it’s way to her vajayjay). Instead, go for a water- or silicone-based lube, at least when you’re playing together.

So tell your boyfriend to be smart (or would that be smart-ass?) when it comes to anal play. It’s like what your mom used to tell you about your nose: just because you can stick anything up there doesn’t mean you should.

Em & Lo


  1. 1. I’m guessing you haven’t had a look at the holding end of electric toothbrushes for a while. It’s like they were planning this.

    2. They’re SMOOTH. (and for those who are DIY-tended and aren’t checking for edges first – you are masochists.)

    3. WAYYYYY too long to get lost anywhere.

    As for the sterile aspect – you are dead-on… although they were certainly made to be submerged.

    You two rock, as always, and love the new site.



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