Get AlterNet's Headlines Newsletter:
Email: 
no thanks
Sex & Relationships

What Hetero Men Need to Know for the Perfect Pegging Experience

You're going to need more than some lube and a harness.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In 2001, sex advice columnist Dan Savage got more than 12,000 fans to vote on what would officially become the commonly accepted slang for a woman inserting a strap-on dildo into a man's ass. 5,216 of those voting—43 percent of the voting pool—settled on pegging, a term Savage celebrates for being “crisp, clean and easily conjugated.”

Also in the running was “BOB," or “bend over boyfriend,” a phrase that actually predates the Savage vote by three years. In 1998, the first film in the Bend Over Boyfriend series was released: 60 minutes of educational info on the ins and outs of strap-on aided anal pleasure. Appearing in the film is Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at San Francisco-based sex shop Good Vibrations. “We knew it was time [to come out with the film] because so many male-female couples came into Good Vibes looking for strap-ons and information,” she told AlterNet. “It was clear that this was a practice that needed some informational support.”

“It was bound to generate interest. And indeed it did; for quite awhile, it was Good Vibrations’s best-selling movie,” she added. 

Of course, the practice of pegging has been around a lot longer than the terminology used to describe it. According to sex educator Violet Blue, pegging started showing up in porn as early as the 1970s, but most had to wait until the 1990s, when harnesses become commercially available, to get in on the action.

Eighteen years after the first installment of Bend Over Boyfriend was released, pegging has found a place in the cultural lexicon, and for a smaller population, the bedroom. Still, taboos attached to anal sex for men remain almost as prevalent as they were back in 1998, when it took a pair of lesbian pornographers and an alternative porn studio to come out with a proper how-to guide to the hungry hetero masses. As Queen states in the film’s introduction, “Straight couples are reinventing anal sex.”

We asked Queen what readers need to know about pegging. Listed below is her list of tips, tricks and essentials.

1. Know thy ass.

According to Queen, there are three must-haves when it comes to anal sex: lubrication, relaxation and communication. The first one circles back to the fact that the anus, unlike the vagina, provides no lubrication even when aroused. Fortunately, that can be resolved fairly easily. The Walgreens online store has upward of 300 products to choose from, though you might want to stick to the silicone-based options. According to the sexperts, silicone-based lubricants have the greatest amount of lasting power when compared to the other options out there.

The second essential, relaxation, requires a level of trust. Back when we first started talking to Queen about the ins and outs of anal sex, she made it a point to emphasize the importance of partner selection. She said, “A partner who is pushy, not tuned into your pleasure, or clumsy is probably not the right one to explore anal with, unless they devote themselves to learning more about being a good lover.”

More recently, she told us, “The receptive partner must want the experience,” a point noted by researcher Jack Morin in his book Anal Pleasure and Health. “This is what makes it possible to find anal insertion pleasurable and not painful,” says Queen. As Susan Block once explained to AlterNet, “Desire is like a painkiller. It opens you up. If you don’t desire, you freeze up.”

As for communication, Queen explained, “The receptive partner should speak up about when they’re ready for insertion, how much, whether they want it harder or slower, and whether they experience any discomfort.” She also pointed out, “Discomfort and pain are not naturally part of anal intercourse; they are signals that something is wrong: not enough lube, relaxation, [or] going too fast.”

2. Find the perks of the prostate.  

Sex and pleasure are meant to come as a package deal, and different acts will deliver different forms of fun. Anal pleasure for men (or transwomen) remains unique in that it involves the prostate, often referred to as the male G-spot. For the guys (and gals) new to pegging, finding this mark is half the battle.

“The prostate is a few inches in, toward the bellybutton side. Stroking, pressure and sometimes vibration can feel very sexy,” says Queen.

3. Get the right gear.

Pegging, while a fun and variable form of sexual expression, isn’t always the cheapest activity. Namely because there’s gear involved, and selecting the right merchandise isn’t always a simple task. Fortunately, we got Queen to shed some light on the subject.

“The dildo will be hard to control if it’s too short, so watch out for that,” is the first thing she noted. Silicone, she says, is the best material to use. That’s because it is hypoallergenic, non-porous and easy to clean. If you choose to use a non-silicone dildo, Queen recommends putting a condom on it, especially if you’re planning to use it for other forms of play.

Smooth and curved are two other things to look for in a dildo.

“For anal, smoother is usually better, as a bit of a curve helps it stimulate the prostate better,” Queen says.

Harnesses are also available with some variety. Leather harnesses are one option, but they tend to be harder to clean. Nylon and fabric harnesses are two popular options because they can be machine-washed. Single-strap harnesses, which fit like a G-string, give you more control, though those who find them uncomfortable may opt for a two-strap harness.

Low-rise harnesses are another option. They keep the base of the dildo on the pubic bone, which gives the wearer more control. This style can also provide pressure on the clitoris.

Queen did note, however, that trends are starting to change, and a new favorite comes in the form of boxer-style shorts that double as a dildo harness. 

Carrie Weisman is a writer focusing on sex, relationships and culture. 

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Election 2018
Environment
Food
Media
World