Pegging Facts & Statistics [2022]: How Common Is Pegging?

What’s pegging, you ask? Well, we’ve gathered all the info you need! Let’s find out how common pegging is, why some people enjoy it, and a whole lot more!

how common is pegging

Pegging – anal sex with a strap-on – is a growing way for people to enjoy anal sex, generally with female partners. Some love it, some think it’s weird, and some worry that enjoying pegging means they’re gay or bisexual.

Top Pegging Statistics You Should Know:

  • 16.7% of sexually-active American adults have tried pegging.
  • One in ten (10%) of women said they’d like to try pegging.
  •  “Enjoying being penetrated just means that you enjoy being penetrated. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation.”
  • In the UK, pegging is reportedly on the rise as sales of strap-on dildos were up by nearly 200% last year.
  • Curiosity was the most common reason women said they tried pegging.
  • A sense of control and power was the most common reason women said they liked pegging.
  • 53.3% of men have fantasized about “being dominated sexually.”
  • It is possible to experience slight discomfort after anal play, though you shouldn’t experience any pain.

What Is Pegging?

First, let’s define pegging:

  • In 2001, sex writer Dan Savage posted a question in his Savage Love column: “What term, from this day forward, will be the commonly accepted slang for a woman fucking a man in the ass with a strap-on dildo?”.
    • The readers voted “peg” with 5,216 votes (43% of the votes). (The Stranger (Archived), 2001)1
  • “The defining feature of pegging is that there’s a strap-on and anal sex, not the gender or assigned sex of the partners doing it,” says Lisa Finn, a sex educator at sex toy boutique Babeland. (Healthline, 2020)2

How Many People Have Tried and Willing to Try Pegging?

Here’s what studies have shown about how common pegging is:

  • 16.7% of sexually-active American adults have tried pegging. (Future Method, 2019)3
  • 10% of women said they had pegged their partners. (Marie Claire, 2022)4
  • Percentage of people who’ve tried pegging, by generation:
    • Gen Z: 16.1%
    • Millennials: 17.7%
    • Gen X: 14.0%
      (Future Method, 2019)3
  • One in ten (10%) of women said they’d like to try pegging. (Marie Claire, 2022)4

Can Pegging Influence a Person’s Sexual Identity?

One of the most common questions about pegging is, “is it gay to want to be pegged?” These studies have shown that pegging and sexual orientation/identity aren’t closely linked:

  • Percentage of people who have tried pegging by sexual identity:
    • Gay/Lesbian: 24.1%
    • Bisexual: 31.4%
    • Straight: 10.4%
      (Future Method, 2019)3
  • Men who discover they enjoy anal play may fear that this is an indicator that they are gay or bi. “But this simply isn’t true,” says Cory B., a kink coach, sex educator, and co-host of the podcast Never Have I Ever. (Men’s Health, 2020a)5
  • Cory B. stated that “Enjoying being penetrated just means that you enjoy being penetrated. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation.” (Men’s Health, 2020a)5
  • Some change their sexual self-identification because of their sexual experiences:
    • One participant in a study claimed to be bisexual after an experience with a girlfriend that involved her anally penetrating him with a dildo (aka “pegging”).
      • The anal eroticism piqued his interest in exploring a sexual experience with a man.
    • Some people learn about their existing sexual identity through sexual experiences like pegging.
      (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2014)6

How Many Times Do People Get Pegged in a Month?

When people enjoy pegging, they tend to do it fairly frequently regardless of their sexual orientation, according to this study:

  • Monthly frequency of butt play (e.g., pegging) by sexual identity:
    • Overall: 2.57 times
    • Men: 3.13 times
    • Women: 1.66 times
    • Straight: 1.85 times
    • Gay/Lesbian: 6.91 times
    • Bisexual: 3.05 times
      (Future Method, 2019)3

How Comfortable Are People Discussing Pegging?

Many people seem to think pegging is a taboo topic, but over half of Americans are either comfortable with it or neutral:

  • How comfortable are Americans discussing butt play (e.g., pegging):
    • Very Uncomfortable: 11.9%
    • Somewhat Uncomfortable: 21.3%
    • Neutral: 22.4%
    • Somewhat Comfortable: 25.3%
    • Very Comfortable: 19%
      (Future Method, 2019)3

Where Is Pegging by Strap-on Dildo Popular?

Pegging, and sex with strap-ons, in general, seems to be growing both in the United States and globally. Here’s where it’s most popular:

  • Strap-on dildos (commonly used in pegging, vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, etc.) are popular in the states of California, New York, Rhode Island, and Delaware. (Bespoke Surgical, 2018)7
  • In the UK, pegging is reportedly on the rise as sales of strap-on dildos were up by nearly 200% last year. (Marie Claire, 2022)4

What Do Women Like About Pegging?

While men likely enjoy the prostate stimulation from pegging, many women enjoy it too. Here are their top reasons:

  • “Pegging allows a woman to actually be inside a man, navigating the pleasure (which is a thrill in itself). It’s often one of the few times in sexual play that women get to do that.” According to Alicia Sinclair, a certified sex educator and CEO of toy brands b-Vibe & Le Wand. (Men’s Health, 2018)8
  • Top reasons why women tried pegging:
    • Curiosity was the most common reason women said they tried pegging.
    • Curiosity:
      • 5 women said curiosity was the main reason they tried pegging.
    • It turns them on:
      • 3 women said that pegging a guy gives them sensation and excitement, that it turns them on.
    • Partner’s desire:
      • 2 women said they did it because of their partner’s sexual desire to be pegged.
    • Sexual variety / sexual fantasy:
      • 1 woman said that “sexual variety or fantasy” was the reason why they tried pegging.
        (Men’s Health, 2020b)9
  • What women liked about pegging:
    • A sense of control and power was the most common reason women said they liked pegging.
    • Sense of control and power:
      • 6 women said they liked the sense of control and how it made them feel powerful during pegging.
    • Boosts their sexual confidence:
      • 1 woman said that pegging boosted their sexual confidence, which translated to their regular day-to-day life.
    • The fluidity of roles:
      • 2 women liked the fluidity of roles in pegging.
    • Deep intimacy:
      • 5 women enjoyed how pegging was deeply intimate and created a new way to connect with their partners. 
      • Women learned that it could provide an emotional and physical release.
    • Giving men pleasure:
      • 5 women enjoyed giving men pleasure that may be new to them.
    • Note: these women expressed more than 1 reason for what they like about pegging.
      (Men’s Health, 2020b)9

Reasons Why Men Don’t Want to be Pegged

While pegging seems to be growing in popularity, it’s still viewed as “gay,” “wrong,” or “disgusting” by a lot of men. Some of this may be due to homophobia, and in other cases, they might just NOT like the idea of it. Here’s what people said:

  • Why men said they didn’t want to be pegged: 
    • Disgust: 24 people
    • Complex Homophobia: 33 people
    • Closed Minded: 13 people
    • Don’t trust women: 16 people
    • Gender Identity: 38 people
    • No explanation: 53 people
    • No one to peg: 38 people
    • Pegging is gay: 28 people
    • Stigma/Taboo/Weird: 61 people
      (Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 2019)10

Why People Should Try Pegging

If you’re peg-curious, it might be worth giving it a shot! There are lots of reasons men and women both enjoy pegging:

  • Top reasons men and women should try pegging:
    • Men
      • Prostate stimulation
        • The prostate is a pleasure zone for men, with many nerve endings. It can be stimulated during anal penetration.
      • Prostate orgasm
        • Men experience a prostate orgasm from rhythmic stimulation – commonly referred to as prostate milking. This can feel incredible for some.
      • Submissive roles
        • Many men don’t often slip into more submissive roles, and getting pegged can do that for them. 
        • With the right energy or position, it can be exciting to be dominated by a female partner. 
        • Pegging doesn’t have to be all rough and tough; you can also have a very loving and sensual experience getting pegged.
    • Women
      • Clitoral stimulation with strap-on
        • The base of a strap-on can be stimulating, similar to dry humping.
      • Specialized pleasure toys
        • Dildos designed for pegging can have other additions for the giver, such as a dildo-base-mounted vibrating wand.
      • Role reversal
        • Pegging allows a woman to dominate the situation and control pleasure delivery.
        • Women often experience a sense of control and power.
          (Promescent, 2022)11
  • Prostate massage can be performed both with fingers or strap-on dildos to stimulate the prostate gland. Prostate massage is performed with a finger or strap-on inserted into the rectum to stimulate the prostate gland. This can release excess seminal fluid—the fluid that mixes with sperm to create semen—from the ducts of the prostate gland. (Verywell Health, 2022)12
  • Stimulating the prostate gland or prostate massage is said to treat:
    • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): Enlargement of the prostate
    • Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate
    • Urinary hesitancy: Difficulty urinating
    • Erectile dysfunction: Difficulty getting or keeping an erection.
      (Verywell Health, 2022)12
  • What is the prostate?
    • The prostate is a gland that produces some of the fluid in semen. It’s found in front of the rectum, between the bladder and the penis. When the prostate gland is stimulated or massaged, it’s possible to have a prostate orgasm. (WebMD, 2020)13
  • 53.3% of men have fantasized about “being dominated sexually.” (Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2015)14
  • “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.” – According to Ian Kerner, Ph.D., sex therapist and author of “She Comes First.” (Marie Claire, 2022)4
  • “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 leveler,” says Dr. Gayle Brewer, sexual behavior and relationship psychologist from the University of Liverpool. (Marie Claire, 2022)4

Can Pegging Be Painful?

Some people are interested in pegging but are worried it might be painful. Generally, if done right, pegging should be a pain-free experience:

  • It is possible to experience slight discomfort after anal play, though you shouldn’t experience any pain. “You may also feel the urge to use the bathroom soon after anal play, but it shouldn’t prevent you from having a bowel movement,” According to Malika O’Neill, sexologist and licensed professional counselor. (Healthline, 2020)2
  • The anal canal is delicate and vulnerable to microtears. 
    • Microtears are avoidable as long as people follow these rules: Use lube, ease it in slowly, and communicate with your partner. (Healthline, 2020)2

Conclusion

While pegging seems to be on the rise, it’s still relatively uncommon. Many will likely avoid it (and miss out on some incredible orgasms) because of their existing stigmas or fears. While both men and women can enjoy pegging, it should be approached with care to avoid any injuries to the receiver.

Footnotes

  1. The Stranger (Archived), 2001. An article on the word “peg” being coined as “women fucking a man in the ass with a strap-on dildo.”
  2. Healthline, 2020. An article about a beginner’s guide to pegging.
  3. Future Method, 2019. A survey of 880 adults.
  4. Marie Claire, 2022. An article about pegging’s boost on sex life.
  5. Men’s Health, 2020a. An article on 6 men reveals why they love getting pegged during sex.
  6. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2014. A study of 77 American bisexual men.
  7. Bespoke Surgical, 2018. A study on the top sex toys by state in the US.
  8. Men’s Health, 2018. An article on what is pegging.
  9. Men’s Health, 2020b. An article on women’s reasons why pegging men turns them on.
  10. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 2019. A study on heteronormativity and homophobia in heterosexual sex.
  11. Promescent, 2022. An article on the basics of pegging.
  12. Verywell Health, 2022. An article about prostate massage.
  13. WebMD, 2020. An article on prostate orgasm.
  14. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2015. A study of 1,516 Canadian respondents.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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