Is pegging the latest sex move to boost your relationship?

Pegging is the sex move that more heterosexual couples are experimenting with. Here, Gareth May reports on why it’s transforming relationships and orgasms for men and women

‘I like trying new things, otherwise how do you know what you like?’ says Eve, 24, from Manchester, who learned about the new sex move, pegging, online. When a guy she was dating suggested they try it, she saw it as the perfect opportunity. She’s since pegged two other men.

Pegging meaning

For the uninitiated, the sex move pegging is a term used for when a man is penetrated anally by a strap-on dildo worn by a woman.

Pegging definition

It’s niche, for sure – 45 per cent of couples didn’t know what it meant when polled in a recent survey by Lovehoney. But now the online sex-toy retailer has reported it’s a sex move on the rise among heterosexual couples in the UK, with sales of strap-ons up by nearly 200 per cent in the last year. ‘I get a kick out of introducing a guy to something he hasn’t considered before and then watching his reaction as he realises he’s into it. I guess the power of female-on-male anal sex comes with the role reversal, for both parties.’ says Eve.

In the same way that Ann Summers attributed the turn-of-the-century buzz in vibrators to the appearance of the Rampant Rabbit on a 1998 episode of Sex And The City (and Fifty Shades Of Grey led to a spike in spanking and bondage), popular culture has helped put this sex move on the kinky map. Back in 2015, American sitcom Broad City, a show following the exploits of two female millennial New Yorkers, featured one of the main characters pegging her long-term crush. Pegging also made a cameo in a sex montage in hit superhero movie Deadpool, with Ryan Reynolds taking one for the progressive male team. Last year, sex-toy brand LELO declared 2016 as the year pegging would take off. There’s even a Reddit thread with 34,000 Redditors devoted to the sex move, where posts range from harness advice to celebratory ‘we did it!’ selfies.

What pegging is really like

For Danielle, 29, it’s been an unexpected awakening. ‘I had been casually dating this guy for a few weeks and we had talked about pegging. The idea turned us both on and, one particularly drunken night, we decided to try it.’

‘It was very casual between us,’ she says. ‘He had a one-bedroom flat, which is relevant because we didn’t have to worry about things you worry about when you have roommates. You know, like a roommate walking out of the living room and then seeing a random black girl with a white dick… A few weeks in, I get a text from him saying: ‘Wait, so would you want to do that?’

‘What? Do what?’

Apparently the night before we were talking during being drunk and I joked about putting on a strap-on. I don’t remember making this joke. But it sounds like something I would say so I went with it. I legitimately forget his response but I’m sure it was along the lines of, ‘if I got a strap-on would you wear it?’

We decided to get really, really, really drunk and then do this. So we went to a bar and then went back to his apartment. The details are fuzzy but I remember being coherent enough take a jokey ‘dick pic’ style photo of myself wearing the strap-on – which I then sent to two of my girlfriends, including one who always wanted to peg a guy.

I remember it sliding in really easily. There was lube but this was a big dildo. Over the next few months, we actually did it a few more times. All on his call. One time, I went into his wardrobe to grab it, and something was off. I looked down and noticed that the strap-on I was holding was smaller (and more veiny) than the one we had been using.

I realised this meant he had done this before with an ‘introductory’ dildo and worked his way up to the one we had been using. I brought up the smaller dick to him and he looked embarrassed for like a second, then put it away and we went on with using the bigger dick. And that was that.

The thing with pegging is – I found it very strange and it didn’t turn me on or do anything for me. But I didn’t mind it. So when he wanted it, I was like sure. I’m 5″7 so it was kind of cool to get this huge 6″4 man into such a vulnerable position and f*ck the shit out of him.

A few times, I’d finish and he’d say, ‘your turn!’ and then he’s say three words that are so odd to hear from a guy, pertaining to anal: ‘it’s good right?!’

‘Would I do it again?’ Danielle asks herself. ‘Sure, if a guy really wants it. Would it weird me out a little? Sure, but I’d probably do it anyway.’

Strap-ons

The increase in sales of strap-ons, according to Lovehoney, comes largely from heterosexual women buying them to use on their male lovers. Ten per cent of 1,000 women polled by the company admitted to pegging their partner and one in ten said they’d like to try it. For me, a straight man, who first tried pegging several years ago after seeing an image on Tumblr of a woman wearing a strap-on, it’s a sex move I enjoy once in a while rather than every day. Like Classic FM. When I told one male friend about it, he naively made assumptions that I must fantasise about gay sex. But if I wanted to sleep with a man, I would. Pegging is about having intimate sex with a woman in as many ways as possible. I never feel as vulnerable as I do when I’m pegged. There’s an expectancy on men to get hard, stay hard and go like a Duracell bunny – whether that’s pressure put on ourselves, or by lovers – and it’s nice to feel free of that.

Sexual psychologists agree that ditching sexual stereotypes associated with gender and sexuality can be liberating. ‘Traditionally, we have this idea that it’s the man’s role to take control in a sexual relationship, and that women are generally more submissive in the bedroom,’ says Dr Gayle Brewer, a sexual behaviours and relationship psychologist from the University of Liverpool. ‘Therefore, an act like pegging can be an interesting reminder to men of how vulnerable women can be during sex, and the trust they are placing in the man when they do have (vaginal or anal) intercourse with them.’ There’s also a trust-building element in introducing any new sex move to a relationship.

Dr Brewer says that openly sharing sexual fantasies – even if you don’t act upon them – is a sign of a positive, healthy relationship. ‘To allow men the ability to say that they don’t want to be in control all the time – that they like it when their female partner initiates sexual activity – and, likewise, to allow women to feel empowered to take control and not feel that sex is something that happens to them is a great leveller,’ says Dr Brewer.

For Elisha, 31, from London, it has brought a new kind of intimacy to her relationship with her long-term boyfriend. While shopping online, he showed her what was in his basket. It wasn’t a lamp from Ikea; it was a leather harness and a set of black dildos. ‘I wasn’t surprised,’ says Elisha. ‘We are both switches in our relationship [switching between submissive and dominant in bed], but I knew he really loved being submissive. It felt amazing to know that he trusted me in that way, that I got to love him like that when nobody else ever had. My only worry was what if I turned out to be shit at pegging?’ she laughs. The couple now peg once or twice a month and Elisha credits it with cementing their relationship outside of the bedroom. ‘He had gone his whole adult life thinking he’d never get to share this side of himself, so trusting me with those fantasies has brought us closer.’

When it comes to the physical effects of pegging, the benefits, mostly, fall on the man (although some strap-ons have a double end that can be inserted vaginally during intercourse). Peter, 23, from Newcastle, has introduced pegging to three girlfriends. ‘Every girl took to it,’ he says. ‘I think, for them, it was something new and exciting. With one girlfriend, it became our preferred method of intercourse.’ He first became curious after reading about the male G spot – the prostate, a gland near the bladder that’s partly responsible for erections and ejaculation, and when anally stimulated can produce a more intense orgasm.

Elisha echoes these sentiments. Her partner certainly experienced stronger orgasms, and got off on the role reversal and disruption of gender politics. In the moment, she says he’d often say how strong she looked and how he liked being at her mercy. And for her? ‘Feeling powerful, giving my partner something he really wants… and the amazing thigh and core-muscle workout,’ she laughs.

Pegging may not be for everyone, but it can be incredibly freeing. It can turn sexual stereotypes upside down and expose us to new perspectives with surprisingly pleasurable and progressive consequences.

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