Anal beads upon anal beadsAnal beads have long been one of those things where fantasy and reality differ drastically. People envision balls on a string, with a vast difference between the size of the beads and the connecting tendril snaking its way into your body. Withdraw the string and you get a rather dramatic POP sensation. I think we’ve all seen them in porn, in Tumblr gifsets, and read about them in erotica. The reality though is that strings with beads are just not safe for our bodies- they can have sharp edges, the strings can act much like cheese-cutters to the delicate tissues of the anus, and there is no way to clean them thoroughly. What this has left us with is anal beads that are more akin to a thin dildo or plug, with ripples along the way. Generally solid, though there are a few more flexible ones, they still aren’t what folk tend to envision.

Until now.

Enter Vixen Creations, with one of their first totally-new product releases in… a long time. Vixen has held a special place in my heart since my first escapades with sextoys back in my days as a baby-queer. My first dildo was a black-and-teal swirled Woody. My first buttplug was the Tristan. I used to lust after the Nexus. Vixen has been around since the dawn of the silicone sextoy revolution, and they’re not ones to change things up very often. If you’ve ever visited their website, you know this to be true. So their releasing a new product line is really exciting. Add anal beads to my list of Vixen-was-my-first’s.

Vixen Creations Gemstones large and extra largeI have actually had my string of the Emerald Gemstones for a while now, but wanted to wait until I had them all before doing this review. Once again, the fine folk at SheVibe generously sent my butt some sextoy love. There are currently four sizes available:

When Vixen first released the Gemstones, they released just the small green ones. I ended up having a conversation with Epiphora about them, and we were wary. She was unimpressed, but hadn’t tried them yet. When I finally got them and tried them I felt the same. Yes- body-safe anal beads was exciting to me, but the price point on these was pretty high[2] and to be honest, using them felt a little like pulling a hair outta my ass. But then I got the medium and the large ones.

A few quick notes: first, Vixen needs to learn how to measure. On their site, they say that the Sapphire Gemstones are 1-1/2″ diameter, and the Silver Marble are 2″ diameter. If you take a look at my photo here though, you’ll see that this is clearly not the case. The blue do clock in at 1-1/2″ but the silver are more like 1-3/4″. Not that this is a huge problem, but I was kinda looking forward to 2″ beads. This is also not the first time I’ve found discrepancies in Vixen’s listed specs and my own measurements. Second is that these have a proper butt-plug base on them. Yup, a nice solid rectangular flared base- not one of those little rings on the end. This means that they are totally safe for your butt, regardless if you have a freshman butt or a graduate level butt. This is a base you can trust. Third, if the possibility of a less-than-impeccably-clean toy upon removal is something that bothers you, anal beads might not be the toy for you. Even with in-depth enema cleansing preparation, shit happens and beads may retrieve slightly soiled.

Vixen Creations GemstonesI’d never been particularly anxious to get anal beads, in fact I didn’t quite understand the appeal. I’m of the “don’t knock it until you try it” camp though, so I was curious. Perhaps there was something awesome going on that I just wasn’t privy to yet? Good thing too, because I’ve decided that anal beads are pretty rad. If you relish the sensation of the moment of entry, the sensation of pulling out, and long to be able to feel that multiple times in succession? Anal beads are your answer. Unlike using other toys anally, beads have a very unique pressure-stretch-relax sensation in short bursts. It’s not until I get to the blue or the silver ones that I really feel them much inside me, but I certainly appreciate the larger size during insertion and removal.

I really enjoy these. Are they expensive? Yes, but I think they’re worth it. “Proper” anal beads, made of 100% body-safe materials, with a good safe base on them, produced by Vixen who guarantees them for life? Yeah. I fully intend for these to take on a greater role in my buttsex life. They’re pretty, they make a really amusing sextoy mobile when I hang them up to dry after washing, and gracious me if they don’t make a delightful impact toy as well. I’m not sure I’m quite ready to have someone yank them out of me and swing them around to thwap me with them, but I could certainly see that being done. Anal beads, not just for butts anymore. Thanks, SheVibe and Vixen!


  1. Originally exclusive to Mister S Leather, but now available to all Vixen stockists! Yay! []
  2. Though having experience with silicone casting and after inspecting how they were made, the price actually does make some sense []
  • He@Aroused Duo

    Your comment about “strings with beads are just not safe for our bodies” reminded me of something long ago. At the time I was just beginning to explore the breadth of my sexuality and was in a sex shop (one of the old grungy ones) where I saw anal beads in the S&M section. I was (and am still) very attracted to the idea and experience of inserting and removing beads. I was enthralled by the idea of getting, as you said: the POP sensation, at orgasm.. These beads, however were not going to do it. They looked as if someone had made them in their basement. The “beads” were like those rubber/latex balls that we used when playing jacks as a kid. The string was a leather thong (this WAS the S&M section after all), which was rough and “fuzzy” for lack of a better word. As I looked at these things all that I could think of was “that just can’t be safe OR clean”. Over the years I have tried lots of these things and was never happy with one thing or another: the material, the construction, the quality, etc. These Vixen beads look like they might be very Goldilocks-like and be just right. Thank you for the review, it was excellent as always.

  • Mr. Will

    WHAAAAT? I have smoky onyx… and now I will die tying to get the silver. OMG. I want. So bad.

    • Right now, I know the XL are available through Mr. S and through Vixen’s site directly. Not sure if they’ll be available through other suppliers as well.

  • Sexualscientist

    How much bend is in the rope? Will the length bend back and forth or is it fairly stiff?

    • LOTS of bend. You can tie them in knots. About the same rigidity as 4mm hemp rope.

      • Frankie

        Since their so flexible, how difficult are they to insert?

        • The beads are solid silicone, so they insert just fine. With anal beads you don’t insert by holding the base, like you do with a dildo or plug. You insert each bead individually, one at a time.

          • Sarah

            I’m really glad you clarified this, because I was sitting here wondering how they went in, exactly. I’m a total anal novice, and don’t know if anal beads would be right for me, but I’m so happy that these exist!