Pegging: What is the sex move & how common it is?


Marie Claire’s panel of sex experts share why pegging is transforming relationships – and orgasms – for all genders.

It’s not a word you hear every day but, if you haven’t heard of pegging before, you have now.

Not sure what pegging is? In short, it’s a sex position that normally involves a cis woman wearing a strap on dildo to penetrate their partner’s anus, who is often (but not always) a cis man. While, of course, all genders and sexualities can have anal sex using a sex toy, the term pegging normally refers to anal penetration of a cis man by a cis woman.

Lovehoney stats reveal that 10% of women polled had pegged their partner, and one in ten said they’d like to try it. Sure, it’s pretty out there as far as sex positions go, but like bondage for beginners, jiggle balls or the Kamasutra sex position, it’s a good one to try if you’re looking to mix things up a little.

Ready to sexually venture into unknown territory with your partner? Keep reading as four experts share their knowledge. Just add one of the best sex toys and you’re good to  go…

Where did pegging come from?

According to sex therapist and author of She Comes First Ian Kerner, PhD, pegging is a term that was first coined by sex columnist Dan Savage.

In other words and as above, pegging stereotypically refers to a cis man being penetrated anally by a cis woman wearing a strap-on dildo.

That said, Julia Kotziamani – a love, sex, and relationship coach – thinks strap ons are “a great addition for anyone with a vagina.” She goes on to say: “They are great for partners of any gender for penetration or pegging – it just comes down to what feels most comfy.’”

Best pegging accessories

As recommended by: Julia Kotziamani, love, sex, and relationship coach.

Tantus Vibrating Velvet Dildo Harness, £24.70
What she thought: “The Tantus Vibrating Harness is the best I’ve tried. It can hold a range of dildos which you can pick alongside a partner.”

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As recommended by: Kate Moyle, sex and relationship psychotherapist.

pjur Analyse me! Relaxing – Silicone-Based Lubricant, £12.69
What she thought: “A specific anal lubricant when you are engaging in pegging is key – this is designed differently to vaginal lube and made to last longer.”

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Tracey Cox Super Sex Strap On Pegging Kit, £49.99
What she thought: “Strap-ons are about finding what works best for you in terms of sizing,” she advises.
If you’re new to pegging, this kit includes a bullet vibe, two silicone dildos of different sizes and textures, and a machine-washable harness.

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CalExotics Strap On The Royal Sensual Set, £74.09
What she thought: “Toys like The Royal Sensual set also have a grind pad which puts the wearer’s pleasure into focus, too.”

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Other pegging toys to consider: 

Lovehoney Perfect Partner Unisex Hollow Strap-On 6 Inch, £19.99
This strong-but-hollow dildo is great for more experienced pegging, complete with an elasticated harness that will stretch to fit comfortably around the hips.

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BASICS Strap-On Harness Kit with 2 Dildos, £34.99
Another great dildo for first-time or more amateur peggers, this strap-on is both sleek and stylish, and promises to be comfortable, too.
Choose between two pink jelly dildos in different sizes, with ridges offering differing levels of stimulation.

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So, how common is pegging, and what’s the percentage of couples who peg? 

The same Lovehoney stats as above revealed that, while 10% of women had pegged their partner, 45% of couples said they didn’t know what it meant.

They also reported it’s clearly a move that’s on the rise among heterosexual couples in the UK, with sales of strap-ons up by nearly 200% last year.

How did pegging become popular?

In the same way that Ann Summers attributed the turn-of-the-century buzz in vibrators to the appearance of the Rampant Rabbit on a 1998 episode of Sex And The City (and Fifty Shades Of Grey led to a spike in spanking, jiggle balls and bondage), popular culture has helped put this sex move on the kinky map.

Back in 2020, pegging was the hot topic in Netflix’s The Bold Type‘s episode ‘To Peg or Not to Peg’. Kat’s character decides to get experimental with her new body Cody after admitting she’s not ‘dominant in the bedroom’.  The lead female loves challenging preconceived gender roles and says: ‘I guess I thought it would be physical, and sexual, and primal, [which] it was, but it was also intimate, you know?’

It’s not the only time we have seen pegging on screen. Remember when we saw the main characters get down to it in Broad City back in 2015? Or, that scene between Michelle and Jeremy in The Peep Show? 

Pegging also made a memorable foray into fashion when Cara Delevingne wore a politically charged ‘Peg the Patriarchy’ vest in 2021. The garment, which was designed by Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, was all about ‘sticking it to the man’ – in Cara’s own words.

Pegging: Cara Delevingne Met Gala

Pegging also made a cameo in a sex montage in the hit superhero movie Deadpool, with Ryan Reynolds taking one for the progressive male team. There’s even a Reddit thread with 34,000 Redditors devoted to the sex move, where posts range from harness advice to celebratory “we did it!” selfies.

Benefits of pegging: 5 to have on your radar

According to Kerner, much of the appeal of pegging is to do with male prostate pleasure. When a man is pegged, the prostate, which has been called the ‘male g-spot’, is stimulated, leading to greater sexual satisfaction and orgasms. FYI, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just underneath the male bladder easily accessible via anal penetration.

But interestingly, he believes that the psychological pleasures of pegging rival (and possibly transcend) the physical pleasures. He says “the switching and subversion of gender roles, the playing with power, and the novelty of a woman wearing a penis can all be a massive turn on for a man.”

Plus, he notes that trying any new sex moves can be good for your relationship. “Novelty stimulates dopamine transmission, a neurotransmitter that plays a big role in sexual excitement and arousal. So if your sex life is getting a little familiar, new sex moves—pegging being included in that—is a way to get the dopamine flowing.”

Dr Gayle Brewer, a sexual behaviour and relationship psychologist from the University of Liverpool, agrees. “Ditching sexual stereotypes associated with gender and sexuality can be liberating. Traditionally, we have this idea that it’s the man’s role to take control sexually, and that women are more submissive in the bedroom.”

“An act like pegging can be an interesting reminder to men of how vulnerable people who identify as women can be during sex, and the trust they are placing in the people who identify as men when they do have (vaginal or anal) intercourse with them.”

Brewer continues to add that openly sharing sexual fantasies – even if you don’t act upon them – is a sign of a positive, healthy relationship. “To allow men the ability to say that they don’t want to be in control all the time – that they like it when their female partner initiates sexual activity – and, likewise, to allow women to feel empowered to take control and not feel that sex is something that happens to them is a great leveller,” says Dr Brewer.

Don’t worry – it’s not all psychological. Pegging can bring you loads of physical pleasure too as the base of the dildo will press against the labia, pubic mound, or clitoris every time you thrust.

Pegging works without a waist harness too…

Say hello to the double-ended dildo. These strapless strap-ons slip inside both you and your partner, providing internal pleasure and letting you both in on the action. These are probably most suited to people who have lots of control down there, Kotziamani says: “I find them tricky to keep in place once things start getting exciting.”

It doesn’t stop there, either. Did you know that you can get harnesses that fit your thigh or arm? If your pelvic mobility is limited, you want even more control or you find a waist harness uncomfortable you can strap the dildo to where it feels good.

What pegging is really like: 4 honest pegging reviews

1. ‘I like the power’

‘I get a kick out of introducing a guy to something he hasn’t considered before and then watching his reaction as he realises he’s into it. I guess the power of female-on-male anal sex comes with the role reversal, for both parties,’ says Gabby*, 32, she/her, heterosexual.

2. ‘It’s been an unexpected awakening’

‘I had been casually dating this guy for a few weeks and we had talked about pegging. The idea turned us both on and, one particularly drunken night, we decided to try it,’ says Lucie*, 29, she/her, bisexual.

‘It was very casual between us,’ she says. ‘He had a one-bedroom flat, which is relevant because we didn’t have to worry about things you worry about when you have roommates. You know, like a roommate walking out of the living room and then seeing a random black girl with a white dick… A few weeks in, I get a text from him saying: ‘Wait, so would you want to do that?’

‘What? Do what?’

Apparently, the night before we were talking during being drunk and I joked about putting on a strap-on. I don’t remember making this joke. But it sounds like something I would say so I went with it. I legitimately forget his response but I’m sure it was along the lines of, ‘if I got a strap-on would you wear it?’

We decided to get really, really, really drunk and then do this. So we went to a bar and then went back to his apartment. The details are fuzzy but I remember being coherent enough take a jokey ‘dick pic’ style photo of myself wearing the strap-on – which I then sent to two of my girlfriends, including one who always wanted to peg a guy.

I remember it sliding in really easily. There was lube but this was a big dildo. Over the next few months, we actually did it a few more times. All on his call. One time, I went into his wardrobe to grab it, and something was off. I looked down and noticed that the strap-on I was holding was smaller (and more veiny) than the one we had been using.

I realised this meant he had done this before with an ‘introductory’ dildo and worked his way up to the one we had been using. I brought up the smaller dick to him and he looked embarrassed for like a second, then put it away and we went on with using the bigger dick. And that was that.

The thing with pegging is – I found it very strange and it didn’t turn me on or do anything for me. But I didn’t mind it. So when he wanted it, I was like sure. I’m 5″7 so it was kind of cool to get this huge 6″4 man into such a vulnerable position and f*ck the shit out of him.

A few times, I’d finish and he’d say, ‘your turn!’ and then he’s say three words that are so odd to hear from a guy, pertaining to anal: ‘it’s good right?!’

‘Would I do it again?’ Lucie asks. ‘Sure, if a guy really wants it. Would it weird me out a little? Sure, but I’d probably do it anyway.’

Pegging: a couple in bed together

3. ‘My partner experienced stronger orgasms’

Eliza*, 31, she/her, heterosexual, agrees. Her partner certainly experienced stronger orgasms, and got off on the role reversal and disruption of gender politics. In the moment, she says he’d often say how strong she looked and how he liked being at her mercy. And for her? ‘Feeling powerful, giving my partner something he really wants… and the amazing thigh and core-muscle workout,’ she laughs.

‘It has brought a new kind of intimacy to my relationship with my long-term boyfriend. While shopping online, he showed me what was in his basket. It wasn’t a lamp from Ikea; it was a leather harness and a set of black dildos. I wasn’t surprised. We are both switches in our relationship [switching between submissive and dominant in bed], but I knew he really loved being submissive. It felt amazing to know that he trusted me in that way, that I got to love him like that when nobody else ever had. My only worry was what if I turned out to be shit at pegging?’ she laughs.

The couple now peg once or twice a month and Elisha credits it with cementing their relationship outside of the bedroom. ‘He had gone his whole adult life thinking he’d never get to share this side of himself, so trusting me with those fantasies has brought us closer.’

4. ‘It was new and exciting’

When it comes to the physical effects of pegging, the benefits, mostly, fall on the man (that’s if you’re not going for the double-ended option). Paul*, 23, he/him, heterosexual, has introduced pegging to three girlfriends.

‘Every girl took to it,’ he says. ‘I think, for them, it was something new and exciting. With one girlfriend, it became our preferred method of intercourse.’ He first became curious after reading about the male G spot – the prostate, a gland near the bladder that’s partly responsible for erections and ejaculation, and when anally stimulated can produce a more intense orgasm.

Pegging may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sounds like it can be incredibly freeing. It can turn sexual stereotypes upside down and expose you to new perspectives, with surprisingly pleasurable and progressive consequences. Enjoy.



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