Ever heard of pegging? Apparently it’s the latest move that’ll boost your sex life

The experts share why pegging is transforming relationships - and orgasms - for both men and women

It’s not a word you hear everyday but, if you hadn’t heard of pegging before the Met Gala, you have now (we’re looking at Cara Delevingne’s bold but amazing ‘Peg the Patriarchy’ vest, FYI).

Not sure what pegging is? In short, it’s a sex position that normally involves a cis woman wearing a strap on dildo to penetrate their partner’s anus, who is often (but not always) a cis man. While, of course, all genders and sexualities can have anal sex using a sex toy, the term pegging normally refers to anal penetration of a cis man by a cis woman.

Lovehoney stats reveal that 10% of women polled had pegged their partner, and one in ten said they’d like to try it. Sure, it’s pretty out there as far as sex positions go, but like bondage for beginners, jiggle balls or the Kamasutra sex position, it’s a good one to try if you’re looking to mix things up a little.

Get ready to sexually venture into unknown territory with your partner – just add lube and one of the best sex toys, and you’ll be an expert in no time.

What is pegging? A history

According to sex therapist and author of She Comes First Ian Kerner, PhD, pegging is a term that was first coined by sex columnist Dan Savage.

In other words and as above, pegging stereotypically refers to a cis man being penetrated anally by a cis woman wearing a strap-on dildo.

NB and as above: although the term tends to be used in a heterosexual context, pegging can be enjoyed by all genders and sexualities.

So, how common is pegging, and what’s the percentage of couples who peg? 

The same Lovehoney stats as above revealed that, while 10% of women had pegged their partner, 45% of couples said they didn’t know what it meant.

They also reported it’s clearly a move that’s on the rise among heterosexual couples in the UK, with sales of strap-ons up by nearly 200% last year. Shop our pick of the best dildos at our best sex toys for couples shopping listicle, or, if you’d rather opt for a planet-friendly option, head to our eco-friendly sex toys page.

Pegging: a couple's feet in bed

How did pegging become popular?

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, jiggle balls and bondage), popular culture has helped put this sex move on the kinky map.

Just last month, Cara Delevingne wore a politcally-charged ‘Peg the Patriarchy’ vest to the 2021 Met Gala. 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. 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.

Wait… was pegging mentioned on Gogglebox?

Oh yep. We leave this golden clip here for you. Note to all: this is just one couple’s opinion on the sex move. You might quite enjoy it…

Benefits of pegging: 5 to have on your radar

According to Ian, much of the appeal of pegging is to do with male prostate pleasure. When a man is pegged, the prostate, which has been called the ‘male g-spot’, is stimulated, leading to greater sexual satisfaction and orgasms. FYI, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just underneath the male bladder easily accessible via anal penetration.

But interestingly, he believes that the psychological pleasures of pegging rival (and possibly transcend) the physical pleasures. He says ‘the switching and subversion of gender roles, the playing with power, and the novelty of a woman wearing a penis can all be a massive turn on for a man’.

Plus, he notes that trying any new sex moves can be good for your relationship. ‘Novelty stimulates dopamine transmission, a neurotransmitter that plays a big role in sexual excitement and arousal. So if your sex life is getting a little familiar, new sex moves—pegging being included in that—is a way to get the dopamine flowing.’

Dr Gayle Brewer, a sexual behaviours and relationship psychologist from the University of Liverpool, agrees. ‘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 sexually, and that women are more submissive in the bedroom.’

‘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.’

Gayle continues to add 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.

Tracey Cox Super Sex Strap On Pegging Kit, now £26.99 (was £44.9) – 40% OFF
If you’re new to pegging, this kit includes a bullet vibe, two silicone dildos of different sizes and textures, and a machine-washable harness.

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Lovehoney Perfect Partner Unisex Hollow Strap-On 6 Inch, £19.99
This strong-but-hollow dildo is great for more experienced pegging, complete with an elasticated harness that will stretch to fit comfortably around the hips.

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BASICS Strap-On Harness Kit with 2 Dildos, £34.99
Another great dildo for first time or more amateur peggers, this strap on is both sleek and stylish, and promises to be comfortable, too.
Choose between two pink jelly dildos in different sizes, with ridges offer differing levels of stimulation.

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What pegging is really like: four honest pegging reviews

1. ‘I like the power’

‘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 Gabby*, 32, she/her, heterosexual.

2. ‘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,’ says Lucie*, 29, she/her, bisexual.

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

Pegging: a couple in bed together

3. ‘My partner experienced stronger orgasms’

Eliza*, 31, she/her, heterosexual, agrees. 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.

‘It has brought a new kind of intimacy to my relationship with my long-term boyfriend. While shopping online, he showed me 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. 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.’

4. ‘It was new and exciting’

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). Paul*, 23, he/him, heterosexual, 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.

Pegging may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sounds like it can be incredibly freeing. It can turn sexual stereotypes upside down and expose you to new perspectives, with surprisingly pleasurable and progressive consequences. Enjoy.

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