What Is Pegging? A Beginner’s & Kinkster’s Guide

By Luna Matatas

Recently, pegging made its way into the news with rumors of Prince William’s affairs that involved pegging. In one respect, it’s great to see pegging go mainstream. However, the internet quickly lit up with shame-driven hot takes. The trending Twitter hashtag #PrinceOfPegging is full of stereotyped assumptions about why people peg along with skewed ideas of what it says about their identities and desires.

 

What Is Pegging?

Pegging is most widely known as a type of strap-on sex where one person wears a dildo to penetrate their partner anally. The term pegging was originally coined by sex columnist Dan Savage in the early 2000s to give a label to the strap-on anal sex cisgender men receive from cisgender women. The intent was to help de-stigmatize the homophobia around anal sex for cisgender heterosexual men. Over the last 20 years, that definition has evolved to include other identities. Pegging in 2022 can be whatever you want. People with all types of bodies, sexual orientations, and genders strap it on for anal play, including people who were assigned male at birth. 

Being into pegging is nothing to ashamed of. In fact, it’s quite common. One of the many reasons pegging sex is so enjoyable is it gives us opportunities to tap into both physical and mental erotic hotspots to create many layers of pleasure. 

Curious about pegging? To get started, there are three key things you need to know – how to talk to your partner about your sexual fantasies, which sex toys and harnesses work best for pegging, and tips for warming up the body for strap-on sex.

 

What’s Your Pegging Fantasy?

Start with prompts like these when talking with your partner about your pegging fantasies:

 

  • What’s hot about this fantasy for me?
  • What positions might be sexy?
  • How do I want to feel during pegging? (e.g. being taken, submissive, adored, rewarded, etc.)
  • How do I want my partner to feel during pegging? (e.g. powerful, sensual, dominant, etc.) 
  • What am I nervous or worried about?

 

Think about what you masturbate to or get turned on by when you’re thinking about pegging. Gathering these details helps you bring more depth to the conversation with your partner and can help them understand the flavor or mood of your fantasy. 

 

What Pleasure Does the RECEIVER Get Out of Pegging?

Besides the pleasure from anal sex and/or prostate stimulation, the receiver (or ‘peggee’) may also get turned on by subverting gender roles, playing with erotic power exchange, exploring topping/bottoming/switching, the visual of their partner wearing a strap-on, intense sensations, and/or receiving instead of giving penetration.

 

What Pleasure Does the GIVER Get Out of Pegging?

It might seem like the receiver/’peggee’ gets all the pleasure from pegging, but the ‘pegger’ gets pleasure too. Some ways the strap-on wearer can experience pleasure:

 

  • Experiencing the feeling, mood, and power that wearing a harness/getting to be the penetrator creates
  • Playing with subverting gender (e.g. breaking rules about sex based on gender or assigned sex at birth)
  • Exploring topping and bottoming, dominance and submission
  • Opportunity to penetrate a partner without worrying about length or strength of erections 
  • Physical pleasure from thrusting against the clitoris or vulva – especially when using dildos with internal vibration, textured bases to grind against, or while wearing a butt plug
  • Free hands to roam their partner’s body, pull hair, spank, caress
  • Witnessing the pleasure in their partner
  • Intimacy, trust, and connection

What if You Feel Shame About Pegging?

You can be excited about pegging but also still feel nervous or worried about it. There’s so much stigma that blocks people from asking for anal pleasure, like:

 

  • Society’s ideas about who has to be the giver and receiver during sex
  • Internal and external homophobia, e.g. “does enjoying pegging make me gay?”
  • Beliefs about masculinity/femininity and how they relate to sexual behavior, e.g. being penetrated might feel ‘un-masculine’ and being the penetrator might feel ‘un-feminine’
  • Shame about sexualizing a ‘dirty’ area of our bodies e.g. the bootyhole is also a poop-hole 
  • Fearing being perceived differently by your partner because of your sexual desires

 

Navigating shame can be tricky, but communicating with your partner is a great place to start. Name your shame and deconstruct the ideas that reinforce it. Explore ways to counterbalance and diffuse those negative feelings with the benefits and joys you get from pegging. 

 

Keeping It Kinky With Pegging.

What’s considered kinky varies from person to person. Some think pegging is kinky in itself. Others add elements of BDSM into their pegging practice. Here are a few ideas for incorporating kink in your pegging scenes:

 

  • Play with pegging and power. For some pegging can be a way to assert dominance through penetration and affirm submission through receiving it. 

 

  • Expand or intensify fantasies. Using strap-ons means you can explore penetration with different sizes and shapes. Why not strap on a dragon or tentacle dildo for new and intensified experiences? Double-penetration with pegging is another possibility. 

 

  • Explore themes of denial, humiliation, or punishment. Pegging can play into humiliation fantasies when coupled with themes of punishment, obedience, or rough sex. It can be fun to use pegging as a form of denial too. For example, a penis-owning dominant might only allow their submissive partner to receive penetration with a strap-on. 

 

  • Gender expansive kink play. Pegging can turn gender norms upside down making room to explore feelings, movements, sex, and aesthetics that are outside of your typical gender experience. For example, feminization kink enthusiasts might enjoy pegging as a part of affirming being penetrated as feminine in the roleplay.

#KinkMythBusting

MYTH: Being pegged is always a submissive act.

Topping & bottoming aren’t necessarily the same as dominating & submitting. Top/bottom means giver/receiver; they’re about action. Dominance/submission are about our expression of power. In other words, top/bottom = what we’re doing. Dom/sub = the attitude we’re doing it with

What does bottoming in a dominant way look like? A masc dom consensually demanding their sub peg them as an act of service, worship, humiliation, or reward is one of many examples.  

Remember, definitions & social norms are constantly changing + they can vary by region & micro-community. Some use top/dom & sub/bottom interchangeably. Not sure what definition a prospective play partner is working with? Ask!

How Do You Choose Pegging Gear? 

To get started with pegging, you’ll need a strap-on harness, a dildo, and lube. Generally, the harness wearer should choose a harness they’re comfortable with and the receiver chooses the dildo. Consider the following when selecting pegging equipment:

  • People who enjoy the feeling of having a penis may like pelvic-style harnesses. These generally include brief/panty, jock, or g-string style harnesses. They come in a variety of styles and materials like leather, fabric, silicone, vegan leather, rubber, and even rope harnesses. Pelvic-style harnesses give you more dildo and thrusting stability because they anchor to the body in multiple places. I like styles like the Aslan Leather harnesses because they can adjust to fit a wide range of bodies. Rodeoh has a variety of boxer and panty-style harnesses for plus-size peggers too. 
  • Non-pelvic harnesses offer more accessibility and thrusting power. If your pegging fantasy isn’t phallic-inspired, you may enjoy other styles like thigh, boot, and hand harnesses. I like the leather thigh harnesses from Unicorn Collaborators. They also make a hand harness that is great for accessible options or double penetration.
  • There are specialized pelvic harnesses for penis-owners. Harnesses for people who have penises can be used during pegging for roleplay, penetration beyond erections, or double-penetration. Spareparts Deuce Male Harness allows penis-owners to strap on comfortably. 
  • Choose a smooth, medium-firm, realistically sized dildo. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Some people experience a visual and mental turn-on from eyeing a giant dildo and thinking about how sexy it would be to be filled by its girth or length. Beginner butts should comfortably take something smaller before moving to a bigger dildo. If you’re choosing a dildo for vaginal strap-on play, choose one with a curved or bulbous head to maximize g-spot sensation.

 

  • Lube, lube, and more lube. Using a long-lasting, good-quality lubricant is critical for pleasurable pegging. Silicone lube is a popular choice for pegging but it isn’t compatible with silicone dildos. An easy solution to this compatibility issue is to put a condom over your silicone dildo (it also makes clean-up quicker!). Many enjoy creamy, oil-based lubes for pegging too; I like The Butters lubes. Whatever lube you choose, remember to re-apply while thrusting. 
@formerteenheartthrob brought the fellas for a late night walk and talk #bisexual #thenewmoneyuglies ♬ original sound - Max Zavidow

How Do You Get Started With Pegging?

Pegging requires some technique and skill-building for both givers and receivers. 

 

  • Start with anal training. Receivers/peggees will benefit from anal training to gently get the anus used to penetration. Butt plugs and anal dilators are great tools for this. Anal pain shouldn’t be a part of pegging. Learning anal play techniques will minimize discomfort and potential for injury, while also increasing pleasurable sensations. 


  • Hygiene options. Enemas aren’t necessary for anal sex. You can clean the outside of the anus during your shower after your last bowel movement. For a more robust cleaning, use an enema bulb with warm water only. Prepare the pegging area with dark towels or a sex blanket to protect your sheets from potential mess, lube stains, and toys fresh from the butt. 

 

  • Don’t skip the warm-up. Do sexy things you like, feel confident in, and know turns you on before jumping into pegging. More arousal in the body means more relaxation and more potential for pleasure. Givers can benefit from spending non-sexual time in their harness too. To get used to what it feels like, try some air thrusting!


Pegging Positions. We see a lot of doggy-style pegging in porn. While it’s sexy to look at, for the receiver, holding that position may create more tension in the body. Doggy-style can also be a challenge with height differences. Try these beginner positions instead:

 

  • Peggee on top. Squatting over the dildo and being in charge of the speed and depth of penetration can build confidence with pegging (plus it’s a sexy visual for the giver).

 

  • Peggee on their stomach. This position is great for maximum skin contact and can be done with legs closed or open. Prop a pillow underneath the pelvis to give a better angle for penetration.

 

  • Pegging missionary. Prop a pillow under the lower back of the receiver. This is a great position for maintaining eye contact and for both people to enjoy a sexy visual. 

 

  • Communication during pegging. Set simple expectations for your first time – you might not be able to achieve penetration, but you can still play with other aspects of the pegging fantasy like gender, roleplay, or power. Make sure the peggee sets the pace – only go as fast as their body is ready for. Communicate with simple questions or words like, harder, softer, faster, slower. Consider using safewords for communication during pegging sessions. The traffic light system of red (stop), yellow (go easy), and green (I like that) is ideal for continuously gauging the intensity of pegging. 

 

  • Aftercare is important. Aftercare for pegging might include things like debriefing about the experience, having sensual or other types of sex, getting rehydrated, cuddling, or showering together. Pegging aftercare can also include tending to sore areas – buttholes might benefit from things like CBD creams or warm compresses. Some may experience pelvic pain on the mons pubis from the impact of thrusting. 

 

  • Pegging can take practice. If you don’t have the most orgasmic pegging experience right away, don’t worry. It can take practice to get a handle on the equipment, moves, and mood. Pleasure from pegging might look different than pleasure from penises, which may take getting accustomed to. For example, pegging might feel amazing but also foreign because an erection might not be present.

 

Pegging sex is a skill. You’re learning to connect to the equipment, your partner’s experience, and your sexual confidence. This takes time, practice, and empathy for yourself as you learn. Having the tools, communication, and know-how to cultivate the kind of pleasure you want is empowering! 

"Pegging can turn gender norms upside down making room to explore feelings, movements, sex, and aesthetics that are outside of your typical gender experience."

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Luna Matatas is a Sex and Pleasure Educator with over 15 years of experience teaching sex and empowerment workshops. She celebrates body confidence, self-adoration, and building shame-free pleasure in and out of the bedroom. She teaches over 30+ webinars. Read all her Butt Stuff Blogs and classes on Pegging Skills, Strap-on Skills, Seducing the Butt, and Kink.  Luna hosts The Plug Podcast by b-Vibe, an anal sex podcast. She created Peg the Patriarchy® and Meditate Medicate Masturbate® brands as part of her sex-positive and feminist merchandise.

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