Butt Plugs Were Originally Marketed As A Miracle Cure-All

To all my fellow people struggling with depression, acne, and general insanity: oh boy, do I have a cure for you. Humankind’s obsession with butts is unmatched by any other creature in the animal kingdom. Butts are literally everywhere and you may be shocked to learn you are never more than 2 feet away from one at any moment.

American’s once used butt plugs and other anal insertion techniques to cure a variety of ailments. While most cool sex-related things were banned under uptight sodomy laws, the course of human sexuality and butt plug history was changed forever by Dr. Young.

The Obsession With Smoke Enemas

Via: IFLScience

In the 1700s, Doctor was a term they apparently gave to anyone. The big medical trend was tobacco smoke enemas. These devices were a concoction of pipes, bellows, and a variety of tubes that allowed you to literally blow smoke up someone’s ass.

It was believed that this could cure common colds, fatigue, and were even used on someone who had drowned, apparently as some sort of effort to add insult to injury.

It took a mere 100 years for Doctors to realize this did not work to save people and hopefully realize that the anus is not at all connected to the lungs. These medical marvels decided to see what else they could do with that general area.

Rectal Dilators Come Into Play

Via: Pinknews

Dr. Young’s Ideal Rectal Dilators were created in the 1890s and were marketed as a serious medical tool. They were self-prescribed and administered. Those who used them were instructed to start with the smaller dilators and work their way up to the larger sizes.

These dilators were strictly for medical use and not to be used for Ye Old Bum Fun.

Let’s Get Squatting

Via: Public Domain Wikimedia Commons

The instructions were clear:

“First warm dilator in warm water; then lubricate outside of dilator with Dr. Young’s Piloment (or if it is not available, with vaseline) and while in a squatting position – or while lying on the side with knees drawn up – gently insert in the rectum as far as the flange or rim,” the instructions read.

“Hold in place a minute and the anal muscles will close and retain it. Sit or lie down and allow it to remain for half an hour or an hour to get the best results. Ten minutes will accomplish much.”
“When ready to go to the next larger size, it is best first to use for a few minutes the same size you have been using, inserting and withdrawing It several times. This is very beneficial and should not be overlooked.”

Dr. Young said that patients would often panic when they saw the size of the butt plugs due to the girth of the largest size. The largest size was the “Extra Length” dilator number five, which was an inch and a half thick. The packaging also mentioned that these should not be used by anyone under the age of 8 without doctor supervision.

Intended Use

Via: Cometstarmoon /

These plugs were used the theory that they would help with bowel movements by strengthening muscles controlling defecation and marketed as a tool to relieve constipation. Customers were satisfied with the product for this use.

Eventually, the claims became more outlandish, saying the plugs could provide better sleep, relieve bad breath, acne, anemia, anorexia, diarrhea (which might be true if you just leave it in), irritability, and more. Men had not yet figured out that they could just call someone a prude and it might get them further.

Writing in an 1893 medical journal, Dr. Young touted the devices as a cure for insanity, insisting that it could cure 75% of people considered insane  “in a few weeks’ time”.

The End of Prescribed Plugs

Via: Pinknews


The doctor prescribed anal play unfortunately did not have the intended effects and instead caught Dr. Young in a court case titled: U.S. v. 67 Sets of Dr. Young’s Rectal Dilators and 83 Packages of Dr. Young’s Piloment. These claims had no scientific backing and the court ruled it would be dangerous when used with frequency.

A shipment of Dr. Young’s devices was seized and ordered to be destroyed after a new law was passed by the FDA prohibiting them. This was before the courts found out he also claimed that sex toys could cure insanity. In retrospect, it feels like he might have really been onto something with.