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HomesexWhat Is Pegging? Experts Explain This Sex Act—And How to Do It...

What Is Pegging? Experts Explain This Sex Act—And How to Do It Safely

We're more open about our sexual habits than ever (thanks, reddit and TikTok), but some practices have still managed to avoid the mainstream spotlight—including pegging. For the uninitiated, it might sound like a technique for drying your laundry, but it's actually more about what you do between the sheets than what you do with them.

Pegging Explainer , Back view of businessman bending over on pavement looking through his legs Pegging Explainer , Back view of businessman bending over on pavement looking through his legs sex advice column when it was the winning entry in a contest to find a term for strap-on sex between women and men who identify as straight. Essentially, it was created to distance the act from anal sex, which many straight, cisgender men stigmatize and associate with being gay. "This is just straight up (pun intended) homophobia," Engle says.

"Pegging is anally penetrating someone with a strap-on, which is a dildo secured in place by a harness," says Gigi Engle, SKYN sex and intimacy expert, certified sex coach, sexologist, and author. However, while the term was coined to refer to a sex act that involves a woman penetrating a man, that's not always the setup; it's basically just a fancy word for anal sex. "It's a sex act available to one and all, regardless of gender or body parts," Engle tells Health

What’s the appeal of pegging?

Woman wearing strap-on in bed above man Woman wearing strap-on in bed above man , PhD, tells Health. "If you're a person with a vagina who has always been penetrated by a penis, you get the opportunity to learn what it feels like to thrust and experience new sensations," she says. "If you have a penis and you're used to doing the penetration, pegging gives you a chance to learn about your body's response to being penetrated."

Of course, there's also pleasure for the receiver from anal stimulation. "The butt is an obvious erogenous zone and many people enjoy orgasms from anal penetration," says O'Reilley. "If you have a prostate, you may find that stimulation through the butt leads to more full bodied sensations and full body and/or multiple orgasms."

If that sounds good to you, check out these pegging tips from the pros.

The right accessories are crucial

Strap-on harness, dildo, and sex toy cleaner Strap-on harness, dildo, and sex toy cleaner from Astroglide), which also works well with condoms. Oil-based lubes can also work well with silicone toys, but keep in mind that they break down latex condoms. When using toys that are compatible with a silicone-based formula, Engle recommends SKYN's All Night Long lube. 

Speaking of toys, O'Reilley says most people use a phallic-shaped dildo with a harness, but suggests starting with a smaller dildo that's smooth and doesn't have a bulbous head. She recommends the Aslan Simple Nylon Harness from Good For Her and the Silk Small range of dildos from Tantus. 

Pegging newbies could also opt for an anal training kit, says Engle. "These dildos gradually increase in size and help you to take larger objects in a safe, comfortable way," she explains. She suggests checking out the b-Vibe "pegging set," which comes with a strap-on, harness, and dildo.

If you buy a separate strap-on, Engle recommends going for the Spareparts Hardwear Unisex Joque Strap-On Harness, because you can toss it right into the washing machine post-play (just be sure to remove the dildo beforehand). To get used to your pegging kit, O'Reilley suggests wearing it around your house or in the shower.

RELATED: These Are the Best Sex Positions for Orgasm, According to Women

Don't forget to look after your kit, using the most appropriate cleaning materials for whatever you're working with. Some toys, like those made with silicone and glass, can be cleaned with soap and water, according to O'Reilley. Porous toys (like those made with jelly, plastic, rubber, and PVC) are harder to deep clean due to their tiny pores. Even if you clean them with an anti-bacterial sex toy cleaner, bacteria can still get trapped in the pores, so O'Reilley suggests using a condom with them. 

High-grade silicone toys can be cleaned with sex toy cleaner or simply washed with warm water and soap. Allow them to air dry to avoid lint from a towel sticking to them while wet. 

Now you’re kitted out, start slowly

Man in shower using butt plug Man in shower using butt plug through breathing and mindfulness, so too can you help relax this sensitive muscle through relaxation and deep breaths."

RELATED: Why So Many Women Aren't Enjoying Sex as Much as They Could, According to Science

A good exercise for newbies is to learn to enjoy anal play (licking, sucking, massaging, kissing, etc.) with the promise of no penetration at first to build trust and become familiar with new sensations, O'Reilley adds. And if you decide that's where anal begins and ends for you, that's absolutely fine. There's no rule book!

Venturing inside

Illustration of woman wearing strap-on penetrating man Illustration of woman wearing strap-on penetrating man  newsletter

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