Book review: The Pegging Book: A complete guide to anal sex with a strap-on dildo by Cooper S. Beckett and Lyndzi Miller

I am passionate about pegging. It’s something that I enjoy participating in, writing about, thinking about and talking about. When I receive questions from readers, I would say that 1 in 3 of them is about pegging. I’ve turned a lot of these questions into blog posts so that a wider audience can read them and expand their knowledge (fun fact: my “Does pegging make you gay?” post is one of my most-clicked posts of all time). Pegging seems to be a topic that lots of people want to know more about, a topic that brings up a lot of misconceptions and complicated feelings. How fantastic it would be if there were a single, comprehensive resource that would answer those questions and discuss the complexities of pegging. Hmmmm…

Enter Cooper S. Beckett and Lyndzi Miller, two exceptional sex educators with a shared passion for pegging. These two amazing authors have joined forces to bring you The Pegging Book: a complete guide to anal sex with a strap-on dildo. Cooper very kindly sent me a copy of The Pegging Book to read and review.

As I said, pegging is a topic that tends to be simultaneously titillating and intimidating for a lot of folks. There is a certain amount of taboo around butt stuff, and many people feel embarrassed asking for advice about anal play. The Pegging Book is written in a very conversational voice and is aimed at complete beginners who are curious but too afraid to ask about pegging. The first chapter sets the scene, inviting you to imagine the authors chatting to you over a couple of drinks while they gently ease you into the topic at hand. Reading this book really does feel like having a conversation with a sex-positive mate. It never comes off as preachy or boring and manages to perfectly blend education with entertainment.

When I began reading the book, I had a fair idea of what content I expected to be included. I figured there was likely to be information about preparation, choosing the right tools, preferred positions and some anatomy. While all these topics are well covered, The Pegging Book is so much more than an anal sex instruction manual. The book also talks about the origins of the word “pegging”, why pegging is considered to be so controversial, sexual shame, the sexual politics of pegging and even pop-culture representations of the act. It even answers that age-old question “Will pegging make me gay?”. This book really does cover all bases, and there’s something here for complete novices as well as more experienced players.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the focus on pleasure. The authors spend a great deal of time going into the reasons why a person might want to try pegging and dismantling some of the myths and shame that might get in the way of having a good time. There are sections devoted to anatomy to make sure that you know where everything is and how to stimulate it for maximum pleasure. I enjoyed reading the sections about the different ways that pegging can be mentally stimulating and how it can deepen intimacy and connection with your partner. There are personal stories of the author’s own experiences which set this book apart from the other anal-sex manuals on the shelves.

Speaking of which, I think it’s important to note that The Pegging Book is more than just an anal sex manual. This is a book specifically about pegging. The authors talk about the Venn Diagram of overlap between pegging, strap-on-sex and anal sex and the differences between the three. There’s discussion about the nuances between these acts, but ultimately pegging is defined as a sex act that’s distinct. The Pegging Book is targeted at people who are especially interested in pegging, which has it’s own considerations and connotations. I found this distinction really valuable, because when I first became interested in pegging there weren’t many resources dedicated to this act on it’s own. I had to cobble together my own knowledge using resources about anal sex and strap-on sex, experimenting on my own to cherry-pick the relevant bits of advice. It’s fantastic to now have a dedicated resource that I can recommend to other people who want to learn how to make pegging work in their own bedrooms.

The Pegging Book is also a great read for any sex geek who gets the brain-tingles reading about sexual politics, queering sex and breaking down societal expectations around sex. The Pegging Book dives deep into many of these topics and really teases them out. There were several times while I was reading that I had to step back and digest what I’d just read because it had introduced me to an idea I’d never considered before. I was particularly blown away by the paragraphs talking about internalized misogyny in women and how this can perpetuate fragile masculinity and shame around wanting to take it up the butt. Even if you’re not particularly interested in trying pegging (or if you’re a pegging expert), this book is worth a read for the chapters about societal expectations and stigma.

I am so excited that this book is hitting the shelves, because it’s such a fantastic and important resource for folks who want to know more about pegging but don’t know where to look. The Pegging Book is a comprehensive, well-written book that will answer those burning questions and set you up to have the best possible first-time pegging experience. It’s a shame-free, sex positive read that is as enjoyable as it is entertaining. I would recommend The Pegging Book to pegging novices, sex geeks and anyone who wants to delve deeper into the complicated world of pegging.

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