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What Is Pegging?

The History and Definition of the Sexual Activity Called Pegging

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Updated November 03, 2011

The term pegging, in a sexual context, refers to anal sex where a woman anally penetrates a man, in most cases using a strap on dildo harness. While people have probably been calling the activity pegging for a long time, the term was popularized when Dan Savage ran a contest in his Savage Love column in 2001. The contest was launched to address the absence of a widely adopted term for this sexual practice that seemed to be gaining in popularity (or at least more people were talking about it). Following the announcement of a winner the term pegging began to be used more frequently by individuals and sex stores carrying products like strap on harnesses and anal dildos.

From Bend Over Boyfriend to Pegging

The term pegging is also sometimes referred to as Bend Over Boyfriend, or BOB for short. This term originated from an earlier pegging landmark, the production of the first educational video for straight couples about male anal penetration, Bend Over Boyfriend (buy direct, $25). Released in 1998 by Fatale Media the video offers information on techniques and gear. The idea for the video came from the writer and director who worked as of sales people at Good Vibrations who were fielding more and more questions from straight couples and wanted to offer them some information in a more accessible way.

A few years following the release of Bend Over Boyfriend, SIR Video released a second title and in subsequent years at least two instructional books have been released on the topic and one sex toy kit specifically designed for pegging.

How Common Is Pegging?

There are not any reliable statistics on how many people engage in pegging or whether or not it’s become a more popular sexual activity. Most anal sex statistics that have been gathered for heterosexual couples never bother to distinguish who is being penetrated. Men may be asked whether they have had anal sex (in many surveys in the past there has been no distinction between non-penetrative and penetrative anal play), but the survey won’t ask whether he was the penetratee or penetrator.

Anecdotally many sex shops report a rise in sales of anal toys to heterosexual couples where the couples disclose that they are interested in male anal play.

Pegging Tips and Techniques

Pegging like any kind of anal penetration can be a safe and highly pleasurable sexual activity, provided it’s done properly. Many people, particularly straight men, have psychological baggage around the anus and rectum, and often these ideas have to be dealt with before pleasurable anal play can commence. There are three things absolutely required for pegging:
  1. Communication
  2. Patience
  3. Lubricant
Read more tips about pegging.

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