Here’s why pegging has a special name, how to do it safely, and all the best toy recommendations to try it out.
Can pegging make your partner a better lover? Some people, including experts in the sex and relationships field, certainly think so.
“When I have sex with cisgender men, the ones who receive anal penetration are much better lovers than those who haven’t,” says kink-friendly sex therapist Liz Powell. Well, if that’s not enough motivation to explore this misunderstood and even controversial activity, I don’t know what is.
Of course, the decision to try pegging with a strap on is completely up to the individuals involved, and many folks are wonderful sexual partners regardless of whether they’re interested in this form of sexual exploration. But what is pegging, why is it so hot for some of us, and what supplies and knowledge are needed to try it safely? Allure spoke with Powell and a professional dominatrix to learn all you need to know.
First of all, what is pegging?
Traditionally, pegging refers to a cisgender, heterosexual male receiving anal penetration from his cishet female partner with a strap-on dildo — and, actually, it’s a word surrounded by a bit of controversy.
As our understanding of gender and orientation expands, some folks ask, why not just call this anal sex, strap-on sex, or just sex? Why do cishet guys need their own word for anal penetration when the rest of us have been enjoying it as is? Powell understands this line of thinking, but they also say that giving an activity its own word, be it fisting, squirting, or pegging, can help us talk and think about what we’re doing.
“Having a term for pegging can, in some ways, be helpful,” Powell explains. “A lot of cis straight men are interested in pegging because when they find out that there’s a term and that it’s common they feel a lot more OK about wanting that.” Talking about pegging specifically can help normalize it and debunk outdated thinking about cishet men and prostate pleasure.
“Could we just call it sex? Sure, but there are lots of things we could just call sex,” says Powell. “Having more terms doesn’t necessarily make it worse; I think that pegging is more stigmatized because it is about a cis straight dude. A lot of people are still really uncomfortable with men receiving penetration.”
Why are so many people turned on by pegging?
Everyone’s butthole is lined with erogenous nerve endings, which is why people of all orientations, genders, and bodies can enjoy anal sex. And having a prostate is a fun bonus.
“A lot of prostate owners don’t get to stimulate their prostate, and that’s a whole other orgasm available to you. You’re opening yourself up to other avenues of pleasure,” says New York City dominatrix Domina Katarina. The prostate, or P-spot, is roughly three to four inches inside the rectum, about an inch in diameter. The person with a prostate can usually let you know when you’ve found it as they’ll start to feel sensations reminiscent of an orgasm.
Outside of the physical pleasure of prostate and anal stimulation, both partners, commonly referred to as the bottom (receptive partner) and the top (penetrating partner), may enjoy the “taboo” of a role reversal, if receiving penetration is new for the partner with a prostate or penetrating someone is new for the top. “The power dynamics are amazing,” Domina Katarina says. “Especially as a woman who is typically seen as submissive, it really does put you in a different position. You get a rush, like, yeah, I have this control.”
While some simply want to be penetrated for the prostate stimulation, for other straight couples, they may get off on the role reversal. Submissive cishet men may enjoy the erotic power exchange that occurs when their partners become the ones with the dicks. “I get why dick owners walk around like they’re the shit,” Domina Katarina says of the place of power she entered through her experience pegging.
Pegging can also (but doesn’t have to) be a part of BDSM dynamics. All BDSM involves consensual power exchange, and for some cishet men — who, in our patriarchal society, still tend to harbor the most power — submitting to a woman or other person of a marginalized gender gets them off.
Pegging also requires immense trust; being penetrated anally with a strap-on dildo by a pro-domme or dominant partner allows cishet men to not only receive anal pleasure but become vulnerable and submissive, which is a common sexual desire.
What products and techniques should I use?
Safe pegging requires taking the same time and care you’d use during any anal penetration. Before you work your way up to a dildo and harness, begin by inserting a finger, and then two, with plenty of lube. Because pegging usually means using a strap-on dildo (which is commonly made with silicone), you want a water-based lube. Silicone lubes can cause silicone toys to deteriorate. Sliquid H20 is an excellent choice, because it’s safe to use with silicone toys and is flavorless and scentless.
After you’ve warmed up with fingers, feel free to add a butt plug to help prepare the area. The Snug Plug from B-Vibe, a weighted, smooth butt plug available in a variety of sizes and shapes, is excellent for anal sex warm up. It has a nice flared base that keeps it in place. For pegging, you can have the partner with a prostate wear a butt plug for a bit while you fool around or tease them.
When you’re ready to peg, you will need a strap-on dildo and harness. If you can, buy your first harness in real life rather than online so you can try it on. Some harnesses are strappy leather and sexy as hell, such as the Minx Harness from Aslan Leather. Others are more practical, such as the TomBoii Boxer Briefs, which are ultra comfy and can hold a dildo in place like no one’s business. Go with whatever works for you and your partner’s desires.
So, what about the actual dildo? “For pegging, the really good dildos are the ones that are narrow in diameter that are fairly long,” Powell tells Allure. It can be helpful to go shopping with your partner so you know what you both want. Some people prefer realistic dildos and others want something bright and colorful. No matter what, start small.
If you’re interested in a vibrating anal dildo, try the Riley Vibrating Dildo. If you’re curious about a curved dildo made like anal beads, try the Your Highness Vibrating Dildo. And if you were wondering, yes, there is a Broad City Strap-On Set.
Other than making sure all partners are aware of how to physically prepare, remember that there is a major emotional component to the sex act, especially if it’s someone’s first time. Make sure to communicate beforehand about both of your desires, expectations, and fears. “When it comes to pegging, even though that dildo is not part of your anatomy, you are still inserting a part of yourself in someone else, and that’s extremely intimate. There’s a great responsibility, because you are entering them,” Domina Katarina says.
Start slow and use plenty of lube, checking in with your partner throughout the experience. “Don’t think you’re going to be like thrusting and whipping a lasso around your head,” she says. “It has to go nice and slow and easy or else you could do physical damage, and you could do emotional damage. It’s a really awesome way to connect differently with your partner.”
As Powell touched upon earlier, for people with prostates, experiencing penetration can be a much better way to understand a partner with a vagina and vice versa. “Especially for cishet guys, receiving anal penetration is a really important thing to do, because it helps you receive what your partner is receiving. Receiving penetration and penetrating are completely different experiences, in terms of vulnerability and in terms of physical risk,” they say. “If you’ve received penetration, you tend to approach receiving penetration very differently.” And apparently become better in bed.
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