What is pegging? Experts reveal why some couples might find this sex act a turn-on

What is pegging? Sex experts give us the lowdown. (Getty Images)
What is pegging? Sex experts give us the lowdown. (Getty Images)

You may have heard of the sex act ‘pegging’, but what does it mean?

We asked the experts all the questions you secretly wanted to know – so you don’t have to.

What is pegging?

“Pegging,” says sexpert Charlotte Johnson, “is a sexual act in which someone penetrates another person’s anus usually with a strap-on dildo.”

Right. Can’t say fairer than that.

Can anyone ‘peg’ or be ‘pegged’?

The word ‘pegging’ is usually reserved to describe a sexual act between heterosexual couples. This is largely down to the gender-role flipping element of it: the fact it’s a woman penetrating the man.

Read more: Our expert guide to getting your sex drive back

However, obviously many lesbians consider a strap-on to be a staple in their sex-toy box so that they can penetrate their partner both vaginally and anally.

While pegging is typically for heterosexual couples, same-sex couples can enjoy it, too. (Getty Images)
While pegging is typically for heterosexual couples, same-sex couples can enjoy it, too. (Getty Images)

Johnson, sexpert for www.megapleasure.co.uk, puts it elegantly: “Anyone can peg or be pegged as long as you have a strap-on dildo and an anus. It doesn’t matter about your sexuality, as long as you and your partner want to and are enjoying it then peg away!”

Yep, pegging is an equal-opportunities act.

Why is pegging a turn-on?

There are a few things at play here that could make ‘pegging’ an exciting detour from your regular repertoire. First of all, there’s the shift in power dynamics.

“Pegging,” says Johnson “can be extremely exciting for both parties because you get to play around with power dynamics that you might not get to experience with other sexual acts.

“It can be a huge turn-on for women as they are able to dominate the situation.”

Read more: What do you do if your sex drives are out of sync?

But, it can also be a turn-on for the man to be the vulnerable ‘penetrated’ party for once.

Men can enjoy pegging due to the vulnerability that can emerge from it. (Getty Images)
Men can enjoy pegging due to the vulnerability that can emerge from it. (Getty Images)

There is also the matter of erogenous zones.

“An orgasm induced by penetrative pegging is typically more intense and mind-blowing than a penis orgasm for men,” says Tracey Coates, sexual wellness expert at sex toy site www.ricky.com.

“This is because the act of pegging stimulates the sensitive nerves in the prostate” – a walnut-sized thing between the bladder and the rectum, by the way, that is often thought of as the male ‘g-spot.’

However, “With the right dildo and harness this can also be physically stimulating for women too,” says Coates.

So, everyone’s a winner!

How do I ‘peg’ safely?

“Chatting to your sexual partner about consent, boundaries and desires beforehand is imperative,” says Coates. “Obviously, the person being pegged needs to give their consent to the penetrator specifically.

“As well as this, safety is key when it comes to preparing for anal sex, as the anus is not self-lubricating and therefore has a higher risk of tissue tears.

Read more: What to do when sex feels painful

“To avoid this, try using a water-based, non-tacky lube as this formula works best with silicone toys, like strap-on dildos.

“Another thing to consider during anal sex is protection – the penetrator should wear a condom and latex gloves, as both make effective barriers against bodily fluids and bacteria.”

Johnson adds that deciding to try pegging is “a great time to discuss a ‘safe word’ if you don’t already have one, so if you or your partner feels uncomfortable at any time, they can just say the word and you know to stop.”

Talking about pegging is a good time to open up the conversation around safe words. (Getty Images)
Talking about pegging is a good time to open up the conversation around safe words. (Getty Images)

Does pegging hurt?

“Without any previous anal penetration, pegging can cause some discomfort,” says Johnson. “The best way to reduce this is by taking it very slow and using lubricants.”

Coates suggests putting in the peg practise too – if you decide you like it.

“If you’ve not had anal sex before, it’s important to be realistic and know that you can’t just jump straight into pegging.

Read more: The 11 different types of female orgasm

“We’d advise working your way up to a strap-on dildo by experimenting with smaller anal toys at first, such as butt plugs or anal beads, to get your sphincter used to opening up.”

How could I raise the idea of pegging?

Whether or not the idea of pegging appeals is very personal – some may find the taboo of it exciting, others may find it repellant. If you fancy giving it a try, how do you raise the idea with your partner without sending them running for the hills?

“As with most things sexual, it’s important that you’re able to discuss your wants and needs with your partner,” says Coates. “So if your relationship does have this dynamic already, just go ahead and ask.

“If you’re still uncertain, try sliding it naturally into a conversation: say you’ve heard about it from a friend, or it was referenced in something you recently watched and that you’re intrigued to explore this further in the bedroom.”