Internet searches for the term “pegging” have been on the rise in the past decade. The once taboo act has come into the mainstream, with more curious couples seeking excitement and novelty in the bedroom.

Did you and your partner contribute to the rising Google searches? Perhaps you’ve been curious about how to peg someone for a while and don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve never even heard of pegging before. Pegging can be a fun and exciting experience if you are both into it. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

What is Pegging, Anyway?

Pegging is when a woman penetrates a man’s anus while wearing a strap-on dildo. While those of other sexual orientations also enjoy this act, the term “pegging” is generally used in reference to a woman penetrating a man.

what is pegging

Couples who practice pegging often speak of the deep pleasure and sensation they experience. Many are also intrigued by playing with traditional power dynamics in their relationships and sex lives.  

Explore New Pathways to Pleasure

The rise in the popularity of pegging shows that more curious couples are ready to drop the taboo and stereotypes to explore new sources of pleasure and intimacy. Beyond the physical pleasure and bodily sensations, pegging allows couples to play with power dynamics and explore new ways of claiming their vulnerability in the bedroom. If and when you decide to give it a try, these guidelines are a great starting point to try pegging with your partner(s). 

Percentage of Couples Who Peg

According to adult toy website Lovehoney, pegging has gained in popularity in recent years. Lovehoney reports that sales of strap-on dildos were up by 200 percent last year – and most of these were purchased by women.

The percentage of couples who peg is also on the rise. In a UK study, 10% of 1000 women admitted to pegging their partner and one out of ten said they’d like to try it. The rising popularity of pegging has led to a plethora of resources and toys couples can use if they decide to give pegging a try. 

One of the main reasons couples explore pegging is to expand their erotic maps and discover pleasure in new places. Anal, rectum, and prostrate stimulation can be extremely pleasurable for men. The anus is full of nerve endings that lead to a wide array of bodily sensations. Taking center stage in anal play, the prostrate has been called “the male g-spot”. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland, found under a man’s bladder and easily accessible via the anus. Stimulation to the prostate gland can lead to full-bodied orgasms in men. 

A couple who pegs

Guide to Pegging 

Any guide to pegging would be remiss in leaving out the fact that women can also experience great physical pleasure while pegging their partners. The strap-on and harness can provide direct stimulation to the female genitals. Some women like to use a vibrator on their clitoris during the act. There are also double-sided dildos which allow for vaginal penetration while the woman is pegging. 

Beyond the physical sensations and pleasure, there are a number of psychological factors at play that appeal to couples who peg. Traditionally, in our culture there is a disparity in power dynamics in genders. This power dynamic is played out in the bedroom when a man is taking the more assertive or active role, and the women the more passive and receptive. The act of pegging allows the man to surrender, giving the woman a sense of power in the act.  This can be an extreme turn-on for both men and women.   

Additionally, the novelty of the act can really add spice to your sex life. Trying new things in the bedroom can stimulate dopamine transmission and lead to hotter sex and great connection in your partnership. Anal sex is a vulnerable act. Exploring vulnerable and novel sexual acts with your partner can build trust and create safety when both partners feel they can be open about their sexual fantasies.  

How to Peg

Most couples practice pegging doggy style, with the man bent over and the woman penetrating from the back. Some men like to lie on their back with their legs raised. With doggy style, the woman can put the tip of the dildo in and then let the man move back onto it, allowing him to control the initial penetration to minimize pain and discomfort. You also can experiment with different positions. Having the man or woman simultaneously stroke the penis can also lead to greater pleasure. 

As with any sexual act, especially for those that are experimental and new, the most important thing is to go slow and communicate. Check-in regularly with your partner and slow down if there are any feelings of pain or discomfort. You can also try getting specific with your questions and feedback. Beyond asking “Is this okay?” check-in with questions about speed and pressure to maximize the connection and pleasure of the experience. Many couples who peg report greater intimacy due to trust and more frequent communication during sex. 

Relaxation is also essential for a pleasurable pegging experience. Lots of people tense up when trying a new sexual act for the first time. Nerves are common for all parties involved. It is essential the male relaxes so his anus is open to receiving penetration. A woman can give an anal massage to help him relax. Starting with a lubed finger is a great way to warm up the body in preparation for pegging. Check out this sexcoaching.com article for more information on preparing the anus for penetration.  

Pegging With a Strap-On

The act of pegging with a strap-on has come into the spotlight after recent pop cultural references in TV and film (we’re looking at you, Deadpool). There is now a greater openness to discussing this once-taboo act in the mainstream.

While we can’t pinpoint exactly when women started playing with strap-ons, pegging only came into the mainstream sexual vernacular in 2001 after sex advice columnist and podcast host, Dan Savage, held a contest for his fans to name the act

pegging toy - strap on with harness

Pegging Toys & Essentials

One of the most important decisions is what type of dildo to use. There are many types out there, some for beginners and others for the more advanced couple.

A great choice for newbies is a small to medium-sized dildo with a quality harness. It is important you consider the fit of the harness when ordering a new toy to ensure the equipment stays in place. While starting small is a good idea for beginners, larger dildos will stimulate different areas and lead to different sensations in the body. 

SAFETY NOTE: Most harnesses require a dildo that has a wide base, which is essential for any kind of butt play. Whether you are using a dildo or a butt plug it is necessary that it have a wide base for the safety of the receiver. Even large objects that don’t have a wide base can get stuck inside of the anal cavity – so make sure you only use toys with a wide base for anal play!

When thinking about how to peg, consider that there are many options out there to enhance the woman’s pleasure too. Some harnesses have a vibrator built-in for extra stimulation to the clitoris. Double-sided dildos can provide vaginal penetration while the woman is thrusting into her partner. There is also the option to buy a dildo without a harness. Most important is that couples discuss what will be comfortable and hassle-free when starting out. You can find all sorts of options to buy online.

Another essential is lube! The anus does not create lubrication for anal penetration and the tissue is delicate so lube is essential. Sexual health experts recommend a water-based lube with condoms, while other sex educators recommend a silicon-based lube. Just remember, you can’t use silicone lube with a silicone toy! With any anal play, lube is essential to guarantee a pleasurable experience.  

How a Sex Coach Can Help

When thinking about embarking on the voyage of learning how to peg – or even having a conversation about it – you may feel some trepidation. If you are the one who wants to peg or be pegged, you may fear that your partner will be judgmental or afraid.

For these kinds of conversations, it can be helpful to have someone facilitate the conversation. A good sex coach will help you celebrate each other’s desires, while at the same time being willing to respect boundaries and talk through fears. You can also use the books Coming Together and Making Love Real as guides for these kinds of conversations. 

Find a sex coach in your area.

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Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman is the co-founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching, and has her own private practice in San Francisco, where she works with clients to have profoundly pleasurable and fulfilling lives. She has co-authored multiple academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals and three books: Cockfidence, Making Love Real,and Coming Together. Celeste has her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She has taken the Hakomi Pro-Skills Training, as well as multiple trainings in sexuality and relationships. Celeste also has a Certification in Sexological Bodywork from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).