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By Patrick McAuliffe

Straight men of the world, have you ever wished that your girlfriend or friend with benefits would attach a silicone penis to their pelvis and introduce you to the wide world of pegging? Have you ever wanted to introduce the concept of a prostate orgasm to your partner of any sex, but don’t know how to go about it? Have you ever, for once in your life, thought about how your participation in heterosexual sex upholds the oppressive patriarchy? Look no further, because Vice News is your source for all things butt stuff, with a healthy dose of preaching the virtue behind it.

Back in December of 2018, Vice published an article by Zing Tsjeng titled, “How to Give the Gift of a Perfect Orgasm”, just in time for Christmas. One might think the author would just desperately implore men to give a little back during the horizontal mambo, instead of blindly thrusting for 3 minutes before asking, “How many times did you cum, babe?”. Instead, it is a complete guide to achieving a prostate orgasm, better known as anal sex. “Experts” on the topic, such as sex toy inventor Adam Lewis and sex/relationships advisor Lianne Young, share their tips with Vice on where and how to position one’s fingers or sex toys in their partner’s anus to achieve this orgasm. Much like the G-spot on the top wall of a vagina, the prostate acts as the G-spot in the neighboring hole, specifically for men (female “prostates” are known as Skene’s glands and are in the urethra, not the anus). Stimulating female G-spots and male prostates are similar in the hand motions needed for orgasm, but when taking the dirt road, one must travel cautiously and with lots of lube and communication.

Chronologically, the next Vice article taking a stab at the topic came a year and a half later in May 2020, with “Straight Guys, Here’s Why You Should Give Pegging a Chance”. Cheeky, sarcastic, and full of slang like “shagging”, the disclaimer that it was first published on Vice UK hardly felt necessary. While 2018’s article may have taught the ins and outs (*chuckle*) of actually doing butt stuff, Vice UK’s Gina Tonic speaks more to broaching the topic with one’s partner, along with testimonials from male and female participants. Gillian Myhill, sex therapist and founder of the UK dating app BARE, grieves at the very end of the article that many men’s preconceived notions about sexuality and “embarrassment attached to cleanliness and shame” are the main reasons why they never even explore pegging, much less general anal play. Still, Myhill and Tonic aren’t as aggressive to convert heterosexuals to the butt life as the article’s title may suggest; the piece is merely a guide to navigating one’s urges with their partner should they have them. The suggestions that doing so will radicalize one’s sex life are frequent and in plain view, but there is very little non-kink-shaming.

July 2020 brought a tag team of articles on pegging just 11 days from each other: “How to Get into Pegging, According to Queer Women” and “Pegging Is the Newest TikTok Trend”. The first is much like 2018’s article, with relatively unbiased advice on pegging and its benefits polled from women performing the deed on other women. The #pegallmen2020 TikTok trend and the reporting about it, however, make for a major turn-off and worrisome dialogue around the topic. The best context for the paragraph I take issue with is simply the paragraph itself:

“Videos range from genuine desire to tongue-in-cheek jests that lightly take the piss out of straight guys who find it emasculating. “Tough talk for someone within pegging distance” is just one of the popular “sounds” used by women and non-binary people on pegging TikTok, and normally accompanies a text description of something problematic a cis-het guy has said or done. Is it a threat? Quite possibly. But is it hilarious? Absolutely.”

Hilarious, right? Say or do something I find offensive, and I’ll shove a dildo in your ass. The rest of the article contains testimonials from three members of “pegging TikTok”, none of whom, I should mention, are over 20 years old at the time of publishing. Their support for the hashtag comes from a variety of places, whether to express their own sexual preferences, encourage curious members of their audience, and, of my highest concern, to destigmatize what sexual dynamics should be in a heterosexual relationship. James, 19, begins his testimony with the header “It’s very easy to make fun of toxic masculinity while also empowering women!” If not wanting to be pegged is a part of some higher toxic masculinity, call me Chernobyl. 

Opening the cheeks of pegging discourse can be valuable for those that have questions about it, and a person that values liberty shouldn’t care what goes on in a bedroom that isn’t theirs. Where I draw the line is when people like James non-kinkshame, saying that if a man isn’t willing to try anal play, it makes them complicit in putting all women down. Find out what you and your partner want out of your sexual relationship, and make it work for you. Just because I personally don’t prefer to be like the wooden triangles at Cracker Barrel doesn’t mean that you can call me, or straight men like me, terrible people.

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