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Pegging

Updated: AUGUST 11, 2022
Reviewed by Dr. Laura McGuire
on March 22, 2022

Pegging is a sexual act in which one partner wears a strap-on dildo or vibrator to anally penetrate another person for intercourse. The term is believed to have been coined by Dan Savage in 2001, when he called on the audience of his "Savage Love" sex advice column to name the act and they voted for "peg" or "pegging."

Since it was coined, the term pegging has predominantly been used to describe a cis woman using the strap-on on a cis man; however, over time the definition has come to broadly describe the act itself, regardless of the genders of the participants.

Pegging is a sexual culture phenomenon that gained greater prominence with the release of the porn film "Bend Over Boyfriend" in 1998 and, subsequently, when Dan Savage asked his readers to choose a term for this particular activity in 2001. Since then, pegging has been represented in television and film, notably, "Broad City," "The Bold Type" and "Deadpool." While it has now reached the sexual zeitgeist, as a practice, pegging has likely been around for thousands of years. In 2022, interest in pegging surged in response to an (unverified) rumor that Prince William, the second heir to the British throne, was a pegging fan.

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Pegging offers different sensations to different people. If the person being pegged has a prostate, then one of the significant pleasures of anal sex is prostrate stimulation. As the dildo is thrust in and out of the anus, it will rub against this highly sensitive gland. Some people are able to experience orgasm from this alone. Even for those without prostates, the anus is full of nerve endings that can make anal play very pleasurable.

There are also pleasure possibilities for the person wearing the strap-on. Vibrators can be added to harnesses and some can accommodate a second dildo that is reversed for the strap-on wearer's pleasure.

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More About Pegging

Pegging can be achieved in practically all of the same positions used for vaginal or anal sex. The penetrating partner wears a harness to hold the sex toy in place, in the approximate position of a biological penis. They are then able to penetrate their partner without using their hands. Some harnesses come with a specific sex toy to use, while others can be used with any kind of dildo, vibrator or butt plug, offering the potential of building up to larger sizes or providing a variety of types of penetration. Popular pegging positions include doggy style, missionary and riding. Because dildos come in various lengths, pegging opens up other positions that might be harder to achieve because of limited penis length.

Much of the focus of pegging is on both the apprehension and potential pleasure of the receiver. However, if the giver is a cis female, pegging also holds the possibilities of apprehension and pleasure for her!

Pegging also holds significant psychological intensity, particularly when considered in a cis man/cis woman context, where it gives the woman the opportunity to be the penetrator, rather than the other way around. Anal sex also still caries taboo, which is part of what makes it thrilling for many people.

For those who want to try pegging, it is very important to have open discussions about pegging before you jump right in. If you’re new to backdoor pleasure, be sure to broach some important topics. How can we minimize potential pain? What about poop? Will we have conflicting feelings about our sexuality? What kind of harness and toy should we use? Some sex can be wholly spontaneous and quick to consensually agree to. Pegging ... not so much. Learn as much as possible - and consider trying other types of anal play - before giving pegging a try.

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Finally, as with other configurations of anal sex, proper lubrication is an essential part of pegging. Lube up before anything is inserted and keep adding lube throughout the session. Be sure to pick the right kind of lube for the sex toy being used.

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