Hi Sarah!  I read your article about butt stuff, as well as the follow up regarding condoms and lube… But do you have any tips specifically for pegging?  Is it better to use a condom over a dildo?  What lube would be best for silicone plus anal?  Are there any risks or concerns to be aware of?  Thanks!

-Preparing For Pegging

Dear Preparing For Pegging,

You did not specify in your letter whether you are the pegger or peggee, so I have assumed the former, but all of the below advice is applicable no matter which side of the equation you’re on!

For any readers that are not familiar with the term, pegging refers to the act of a woman wearing a strap-on penetrating the anus of a man.  The term was coined and popularized by one of my favourite sex advice columnists, Dan Savage, who polled the readers of his column, Savage Love, for a name for this activity that previously had no word in the English language.

Admittedly, I have little firsthand knowledge in the realm of pegging, as my own limited experience with it has been awkward and ultimately unfulfilling for either party.  With that said, I now know some excellent tips for avoiding that outcome in the future!

First of all, you’ll want to start with the best quality tools for the job.  Assuming you’ve gotten past the stage of using fingers or free-hand dildos on your partner and discovered that you’re both into the idea of trying the strap-on option, you should invest in a good quality harness and accessories.  You can start out with something cheaper if you’re not certain it’s going to be your thing. However, if you’re confident that it is going to be a regular part of your sex life, it’s worth spending the extra money to get a quality product that will fit right, hold the dildo securely and facilitate maximum pleasure for both of you.

Some considerations you should make during your search for a strap-on set-up are:

  • Straps:  Look for a “two-strap” construction as opposed to a single strap style that runs between your butt cheeks and subsequently blocks any access to your girl parts.
  • Material:  Leather offers strength, durability and some people enjoy the texture and/or the look, but because leather is porous, it is technically not capable of being sterilized, which may make it a hygiene concern for some people.  The major benefit of a fabric harness is the ease of cleaning and they can also be quite comfortable.
  • Size:  Make sure the size of the harness will accommodate the body shape of the wearer and that it will sit in the proper position to provide pressure in the right places.
  • O-rings:  A harness with interchangeable O-rings of various sizes will allow the use of different sizes and styles of dildos.
  • Dildos:  Your best bet is a high-quality silicone dildo, which can be properly sterilized and provide superior durability.  Dildos made of jelly and other soft materials can harbour bacteria no matter how well they are cleaned.  Dual density dildos have a soft outer layer with a more rigid core, which can more closely duplicate the feeling of a real cock, but again, make sure they’re made of silicone.  Don’t fall into the trap of starting off with something too big, but don’t swing too far to the other side of the spectrum either or you might as well just stick to fingers.  A dildo 1.25″ in diameter and 5 to 6” long works well for most beginners.  Double-ended dildos might be a tempting option for mutual stimulation, but are not recommended for novice peggers since they are much more complicated to wear and operate.

All right, with the basics established, we can move on to your specific questions, PFP.

If you have followed the above advice re: silicone, silicone, always silicone, you should not need to wear a condom over your strap-on dildo.  The only circumstances I would suggest using a condom in this application would be:  1) if you are planning on putting the dildo in any other orifices immediately after you’ve pegged your man without first cleaning it thoroughly (bum germs do not belong in vaginas), in which case the condom can simply be removed and you’re good to go, or 2) if you’re using a dildo made of something other than silicone and you want to protect the porous surface from collecting bacteria that cannot be cleaned.

Now, to the question of lube.  As I have stated in the past columns that you read, silicone-based lubricant is the best option for anal sex because it is thicker and lasts longer than water-based lubricant so it won’t have to be re-applied as often.  However, you may also remember that I advised against the use of silicone lube with silicone toys since the combination thereof can result in the degradation of your toys.  So if you did spring for the good quality silicone strap-on, I would advise using a water-based lubricant and applying it liberally and often.  Another option is to use coconut oil for your pegging lubrication, which will stay slippery long after both water-based and silicone-based lubes have given up and it won’t “ball up” like many commercial lubes after prolonged activity.  If you are going to engage in other penetrative acts in addition to pegging, coconut oil should be used with caution because it can degrade latex condoms and can provoke yeast infections in some women.  However, if you’re staying away from condoms and vaginas, it can be a great natural lube.  Look for virgin, unrefined coconut oil that is free of fragrances, preservatives and additives.

As far as risks and concerns around pegging, as with all anal activities, care should be taken to go slow, make sure the receiver is properly relaxed and prepared, and apply generous amounts of lubrication.  The tissues surrounding the anal opening are thinner and more prone to tears that can invite bacteria and viruses.  The risk of contracting HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, genital warts and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is considerably less with pegging since the anus is being penetrated by a dildo and not a body part, but keep in mind that several STIs, including herpes and HPV can be passed via skin-to-skin contact anywhere in the “underwear area” so it’s always a good idea to know your and your partner’s status and to avoid any mucous membrane contact when symptoms are present.

I would also suggest avoiding the use of hard plastic, glass, metal or other rigid materials for the dildos you’re going to use for pegging, especially for beginners.  There are bound to be “misthrusts” while you’re learning to use your artificial penis and a softer, more compliant dildo is going to be important to avoid unnecessary pain.

I hope this information helps with your pegging adventures!

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Got something to ask? Strange date ideas? Taboo topics that you can’t broach with friends? Sarah has been giving advice about sex and relationships professionally for the better part of a decade, and has written for men’s magazines and women’s, local and online publications on topics ranging from first date ideas to proper anal sex etiquette.

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