opinion

Pegging 101

Alex Glass

Despite a recent explosion of harness system designs and movies focusing on pegging, Charlie Glickman, Good Vibrations’ education program manager rejects any claim that this an emerging fetish. “Pegging has actually been quite popular for a while,” he says.

Glickman noted the 1998 release of “Bend Over Boyfriend” — an educational movie presenting the ins and outs of harness usage with instructions by Good Vibes’ own Carol Queen — that quickly became a bestseller and displayed an already existing niche.

I think that it’s more that men and their partners are willing to talk about it, rather than it being an emerging fetish.

“When Dan Savage coined the term for it in 2001, enough people were familiar with the topic that they could vote on the name,” Glickman said. “So I think that it’s more that men and their partners are willing to talk about it, rather than it being an emerging fetish.”

Glickman credits an increased awareness surrounding the erotic potential of the prostate as a trend that’s tempting more men to try pegging. Good Vibes is among those institutions disseminating knowledge, instructions and products to encourage exploration of anal and prostate play. As a matter of fact, just last month on April 24 Glickman hosted prostate play workshop at its Polk Street location in San Francisco.

“With more and better information about anal play and prostate stimulation, people can learn how to do it pleasurably and without pain,” Glickman said. Before this info was available, people either learned through trial and error (which could be quite uncomfortable) or from a partner. That made it more limited in its scope. I also think that more men are realizing that the kinds of sex you like and the gender of the person you want to have sex with aren’t the same thing. Guys are figuring out that enjoying prostate play doesn’t change your sexual orientation.”

According to Glickman, while pegging hasn’t fully emerged, its discussion is expanding. Pegging has become more visible in the media, including TV shows such as “Weeds,” in which two of the show’s characters engage in the act.

Also encouraging are the growing product selections for prostate and anal play.

“The Aneros Progasm and the Aneros Vice, for example, are very well-designed and have lots of fans,” Glickman said. “As more men have discussed their experiences on the Internet, others become more willing to try these toys and other kinds of prostate play. There are also more toy manufacturers marketing specifically for pegging. Tantus’ Bend Over Beginner Kit and Bend Over Intermediate Kit, for example. And there are plenty of folks making harnesses and dildos these days.

“But I’m not sure we’ve really reached the tipping point yet. Sure, there’s more talk about pegging, but until men no longer feel embarrassed about it, we still have a way to go in overcoming sexual shame. Similarly, it wasn’t until fairly recently that women felt comfortable talking about vibrators.”

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