Pegging Gave My Relationship A Feminist Makeover

Men’s butts have enjoyed a lot of attention over the last couple of years – and I mean that literally. Luxe sex toy brand LELO reported a 200% increase in sales of male "anal pleasure objects" in 2015; we found out that, according to science, prostate massage can lead to 33% stronger orgasms; and pegging (2016’s hottest sex trend, according to LELO) got a pivotal cameo on Broad City.
Type 'pegging' into Google (although maybe not if you’re at work) and you’ll get no end of guides, how-tos, confessionals and even historical retrospectives – you better believe the Romans were all over it – not to mention facts and figures that demonstrate how a large number of couples have already experimented with it, or are at least curious about it.
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But despite pegging’s increasing prominence and my liberal, open-minded approach to basically everything, I still felt apprehensive when my boyfriend suggested we give it a go. Was our current sex life unsatisfying for him? Was I not enough for him? What if he liked it so much he wanted to do it all the time? And why would it be a problem if he did?
Our culture is steeped in prescribed sexual roles for men and women, and for centuries the penis has been the star of the show when it comes to hetero sex. Even when women take a dominant role, we’re still ultimately submissive, such is the physical make-up of our anatomies. Penetrative sex for us is invasive. Even when it’s enjoyable – which it should be all the time – it’s invasive. For men, sex is external and has an 'otherness' about it – or as sex expert Dr. Charlie Glickman says in his essay "How Pegging Can Help Save the World", it’s about 'pitching' rather than 'catching'. Pegging completely challenges both men's and women’s long-held understanding of the traditional paradigm, which is why – despite every lifestyle site on the web extolling its virtues – introducing it to the bedroom can prompt all kinds of confusing questions.
So long before we bought the strap-on (RodeoH, if you’re wondering, and I definitely recommend going for a set-up that involves a clit vibe) and loaded up on lube (loads and loads of lube), we had a no-holds-barred conversation about it all. It was probably the most open and honest discussion we’d ever had about our sex life, and even if we’d stopped there we would have been better for it, because it gave us an insight into each other’s sexual psyche that you don’t really get when you’re going through the usual motions of, as Glickman says, pitching and catching.
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But if the conversation about pegging gave our sex life a boost, actually doing it sent it skyrocketing. The act itself was fun – a lot of fun. I felt powerful and sexy, and having him moaning and writhing underneath me was a turn-on I can’t describe. Sure, when we have regular sex my lady parts are integral to proceedings, but they don’t exert the same physical influence as a dick. Being so acutely in charge of his pleasure was mind-blowing and, as reliable ol’ science predicted, he came harder than ever before.
But as we discovered in our sweaty post-peg debrief, it flagged up a number of issues with which one of us wasn't familiar personally but which the other experienced on the reg during vanilla sex. I realised for the first time how much physical effort blokes put into it – all the thrusting, gyrating and propping myself up was knackering. And while I obviously didn’t have any sensation through my ‘penis’, I was hyper aware of the speed, depth and angle that only I could control. Obviously (and unfortunately) not every guy gives a great deal of thought to his partner’s pleasure while he’s getting his rocks off, but for those that do, they’ve got a lot going on – and that’s without worrying about staying hard or coming too soon.
On the flipside, my boyfriend said that he got a new insight into the vulnerabilities women experience during sex, a glimpse at the inherently intrusive nature of it and how we have greater emotional ties to it – things he'd considered before but hadn’t necessarily understood. As Glickman notes: “A lot of men discover that when sex is about catching rather than pitching, their mood, their emotions, and their connection to a partner can often have a bigger influence on what they want to do and how it feels.” My boyfriend is not the type to just roll over and go to sleep after sex anyway, but on this occasion he was extra touchy-feely. “I guess I just need some reassurance,” he said, cuddling up to me, quickly followed by, “Oh shit, I kind of get it now.”
Pegging makes an occasional but regular appearance in our bedroom repertoire now. It hasn’t replaced any aspect of our sex life, but rather added to it – and in ways I never thought possible. Thanks to pegging we’ve had a glimpse of sex ‘from the other side’, which has helped us become more considerate lovers, aware of one another’s wants and fears. I’ve become more proactive between the sheets, to help alleviate the pressure of his responsibilities, while he’s taken a more patient and attuned approach to better consider my emotional needs. There’s more balance and equality, and we understand each other sexually – and that’s really all anyone ever wants in the bedroom.
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