Rimmed, or thumped—which would you pick? A-Play Rimming Plugs and A-Play Thrusting plugs are self-propelled butt plugs, part of a 3-kind lineup by Doc Johnson. Sphincter massage…without you having to lift a finger post-insertion. (Until you want to change speeds!)
I won’t lie, I think the A-Play Rimmer toys are more sensational than the Thrust ones—which are fun enough, but not worth writing an ode to. (I would strongly recommend the Backdoor Banger first as the best thrusting butt plug I’ve found: more powerful pulsing than A-Play.) First, I’ll run through these self-propelled plugs’ functions. Then I review the A-Play Rimmer Plug vs. the b-Vibe Rimming Plug, a toy that started a trend.
A-Play Plug Functions
So the A-Play Plugs by Doc Johnson will have you choose between 3 functions: either A-Play Vibe, A-Play Thrust, or A-Play Rimmer (star of this review). All are available in either teal or black, and in multiple sizes. I first saw the lineup on display at a sex toy trade show, July 2019:
A note on sizing: The “Adventurous” size is what I’d consider between anal beginner and intermediate level, at 1.25 inches diameter. It’s slimmer, and I can slip it in easily with lube. The “Experienced” size’s name seems like a misnomer, because I’m used to seeing folks who are really into SquarePegToys and Hankey’s Toys sizing—that is, actually big.1 Since they are very “average” size, you don’t need to have a ton of anal experience to use the largest Rimmer, Thrust, or Vibe.
I’m here to review the A-Play Rimmer and A-Play Thrust, since the A-Play Vibe Plugs are fine, but I’m not going to tell you they’re phenomenal and you should buy ’em now, because there are stronger vibrating plug options (like Lovense Hush), and rumblier ones too (like We-Vibe plugs), around for the taking.
A-Play Rimmer and Thrust both have 7 functions. Rimmer has 2 consistent spinning speeds + 5 patterned ones; Thrust has 3 consistent speeds + 4 patterned ones. All A-Play plugs include a 2-button remote control. The plugs are rechargeable, but those remotes take a AAA battery (luckily, not a watch battery or even the CR2032 that most toy remotes use). And they’re splashproof, which means I use mine in the shower and such, but it’s not recommended to submerge these plugs in the bathtub, jacuzzi, etc.
My A-Play Experience, vs. b-Vibe Rimming Plug
Rimming…it’s the act of circling/licking right inside the asshole, with the tongue.2
Either way, “rimming plugs” (3 kinds here: by b-Vibe, Doc J., & Blush) claim to imitate this sensation. They’re not tongues, though—they’re toys with rotating beads in the neck, plus vibes all over the plug. Rimming plugs are hot 🔥 because the first couple inches of the rectum are the most nerve-packed, sensitive part of the ass. Whether you stimulate the lower canal by rotating/rimming, thrusting a dildo in and out, or inserting then pulling out anal beads, you’re likely to feel the most from the area close to your anus.
But back to these Doc A-Play Rimmers specifically—how’s the motion? The three bead speeds get to moving pretty good. The vibration underneath compliments the rotation: the “rimming” is like the lead singer/guitarist; the vibes are the drummer and bass player. Will you enjoy their concert? I don’t know, they do have that one catchy tune you might like (i.e., I have one favorite of the 5 patterns). Or, you know, you might just enjoy their covers of classic hits—a.k.a., the steady rimming plus vibe speeds, which make me reminisce about the b-Vibe-brand Rimming Plugs.
The b-Vibe plugs, the original Rimming Plugs, are a 67% price hike from the Doc A-Play Rimmer. I always thought $150 (for b-Vibe) was a lot for a plug that isn’t quite expansive in size. That said, the b-Vibe Rimming Plugs have several selling points over A-Play:
- More functions: 6 steady rotating bead speeds (instead of 2), adjustable over 9 vibe functions.
- More bead impact: The b-Vibe beads really raise the silicone covering them; the rotation feels somewhat stronger.
- Better base shape: Not a T-bar, but long, vs. A-Play’s big and circular shape.
- Hard storage case is really luxe, vs. A-Play’s satin drawstring bag.
As noted, I think the b-Vibe Rimming Plug (mine is the Petite version) gives slightly more pressure while circling around your hole than the A-Play Rimmer. So, for example, I can come vaginally on the b-Vibe Rimming Plug Petite if I angle it forward slightly, so I’m getting rotating bead motion at my vag mouth and vibes around my G-spot.3 With the A-Play Rimmer Plug, I feel the beads moving, and it’s fun, it’s exciting, I just want…more.
So I move the A-Play Rimmer back into my ass…where the beads are doing more. Circling round, right inside my butthole, like it’s their goddamn mission in life. (Which is it.)
At first, I thought the low rimming speed was going to be A LOT based on how quick the beads look to spin. Then I realized my butt is apparently a power queen, because I’m moving up to speed #2 quick.
The 5 patterns are exciting for a twirl. Especially if you’re using the remote, which is much easier. In the end, I’m always back to function #2, the highest steady spinning + vibrating one.
I believe you would need to have a very high anal sensitivity level to orgasm just on an A-Play Rimming Plug. They do really add sensation to clitoral play for me (pulling out my favorite vibes here). Penis stim is heightened by anal play in the same way, as our whole pelvic floors are connected. Almost everyone will get aroused farther forward by having their asshole manipulated.
And I think the A-Play Rimmer is the best sphincter-stimulating choice from the A-Play line. For at-home play sessions, specifically, because the round bases aren’t great to walk around in. Do not wear this to the supermarket, for example.
But hey wait, what about the A-Play thrusting plug? How hot (and easy) does a self-thrusting anal toy sound?
Since self-thrusting sex toys became all the rage, one of my life missions has been educating folks about the “thruster” vs. “pulsator” distinction. So that my readers don’t buy a thumping butt plug, then feel let down because it wiggle-jiggles in and out—rather than pounding them like a goddamn porn star. TL;DR: I like the A-Play Thrust OK, but it tends to leap out of my vag because the neck doesn’t slim down enough to let my sphincter muscles close up, and lock this thrusting anal plug in. The Backdoor Banger’s thinner neck does a better job, and I just prefer the beaded plug shape — it’s more stimulating. I rank the best body-safe silicone thrusting butt plugs as follows:
First, a mini rating for you! I’m saving 10/10 for a future WHAM-BAM super-thump plug (ideally, with more functions, a prostate focus, & a smart neck design!).
- Backdoor Banger by Evolved: 8.5 / 10 for best bumping pulsations, a more stimulating shape (like a stretching anal bead plug that *vibrates*!), thin neck keeps it in place well, waterproof.
- Doc A-Play Thumper: 7 / 10 for interesting jiggly feel, smooth silicone, waterproof; wants to pop out of my butt when I orgasm, though, and the thrusting could be more potent.
- Thunderplug by XR: 6.5 / 10 for its light stroking motion, and it vibrates; splashproof but not waterproof; its “bellows” silicone folds may pinch your butthole if you insert this thrusting anal plug’s full insertable length.
The Doc Johnson A-Play Thrust plugs are definitely “thumpers,” a subset of the pulsator category: with a stroke length of less than an inch with each thrust (“pulse”). If you don’t expect a sex machine, then you can have a really fun experience with these toys. Because they can move really fast (if not long), and they have a unique weight inside. A boom-boom-boom, like a metronome resounding inside your body. I’d summarize as:
Thumpity-thump-thump, thumpity-thump-thump, look at butt plug go… See the 3 steady speeds in this vid.
Of course I used the A-Play Thrust “thumper” vaginally first, because I’ve never found an oblong toy I didn’t want to thrust into my vagina. (Unless, you know, I actually couldn’t manage that because the toy was too filling.)
I sent my lover a video of it jiggling itself between my labia, which was hot. (I was standing up, so it did pop out at the end! That was giggle-worthy.) Then, with anal use, the A-Play Thrust thumped its way into…I don’t know, not my heart, maybe my asshole’s good graces.
Again, it’s more fun paired with farther-forward stimulation. Pick your favorite clit vibe to go with, or stroke yourself all leisurely-like—that’s my suggestion.
That’s probably because the thumping is kinda subtle. It’s not real strong. The Backdoor Banger jiggles a lot harder, also has a remote, and is the same price as the A-Play Thrust.
The one problem I had with the A-Play Thrust is that, while I was stimulating my clit, the thrust-thumping made me want to clench. Hard. And push. (Especially when I was using it together with a We-Vibe Melt 😍)
This happens because the A-Play plug necks don’t narrow down. They don’t lock into place securely inside your sphincters. And anal contractions do happen at climax: that’s actually one way of scientifically measuring orgasm. So…I always push out the A-Play Thrust when I’m coming. Gotta put a hand below its base to keep it in!
Again, the not-narrow neck, plus the round base, combine to make the A-Play plug toys suited for at-home toying only, not for wearing out. If you’re wanting a vibrating butt plug to wear outside the house, try out the b-Vibe Vibrating Snug Plug instead, as its thin neck and T-bar base are superior that way. (Or see my nonvibrating public-wear plug recs here.)
The Silicone, Duh
The A-Play silicone is silky (more “velvety” than the b-Vibe Plugs) but has a bit of drag, a slight roughness. I only notice this touch of texture against my fingertips, not in my holes.
The silicone is slightly softer than I was expecting, measuring about 20A Shore durometer (vs. 40A to 50A for most hard-silicone coats). Best of all, the top inch of each A-Play doesn’t have the firm mechanical core, so it’s gentler as you’re just starting to insert it.
Because 2 of the 3 A-Play Plugs I own are this pretty teal, I was afraid of the silicone getting poop on it. But nope, no worries. I wasn’t clean at all during my last A-Play test session, and after a post-session wash, the silicone still looks pristine. It really does clean up easily. Actually, the teal looks even better than the black! I would definitely go with the teal A-Play over the b-Vibe toys for the teal’s less-spotty silicone.
The A-Play Rimmer and A-Play Thrust are intriguing, with the different motions in each. The weighted “thumping” of the A-Play Thrust is fun as hell to feel in your hand, and the butt-bumping is truly a novelty.
I’m holding tighter to the A-Play Rimmer, though, as my butt finds it more fulfilling. Especially along with farther-forward stimulation. It’s pretty intense, but doesn’t offer as many function options as b-Vibe’s Rimming Plug Petite (the size most folks prefer for a touch of P-/G-spot stimulation too).
I’m glad for the softer silicone tip in the A-Play toys, and of course the remote control is a nice touch when you’re lying back and not wanting to reach down and figure out where the heck that power button is on the plug base. I just wish the A-Play plug necks were a liiiittle thinner in relation to the widest bulb point. A-Play toys are not something you’d want to wear while walking around, and I find myself pushing them out as I come.
Or the Backdoor Banger here, it’s more thumpy thrust.
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- Doc’s A-Play “Experienced” plugs, in contrast, are a very middle-of-the-road 1.5 inch diameter, the width of an average penis. With an insertable length (4.75ish inches) that’s just a tad shorter than that median dick.
- If you’re not into eating ass, of course you could easily use fingertips for a circling and sliding effect, since it’s honestly easier to apply pressure with fingers.
- I’ve also heard multiple prostate-havers say they were glad they got the Petite Rimming Plug / they wished they had gotten the shorter version over the plain Rimming Plug (2), for hitting their spot better.