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Why "Prince of Pegging" Trending on Twitter Is Homophobic

Trending Hashtag "Prince of Pegging" Brings a New Reign of Internet Homophobia

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 05:  Prince William, Duke Of Cambridge stands in front of a portrait of George III during a visit to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on July 05, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

As I scrolled through the usual news stories that clutter my Twitter timeline each morning, the hashtag #PrinceOfPegging stood out from the rest. The alliteration alone was enough to draw anyone in, but if you're at all familiar with the sexual term "pegging," you know why it became a more clickable term.

Pegging is another word used for anal sex, though it was coined to refer specifically to the act of a cis, straight woman anally penetrating a cis, straight man with a strap-on dildo. This term alone, however, brings up the question of whether the term pegging reinforces harmful stigmas associated with queer sex.

Upon diving into Twitter's latest trending hashtag, I realized #PrinceOfPegging was created in response to an alleged royal affair. The gossip account DeuxMoi shared in an Instagram Story on Wednesday that a "British Royal extramarital affair" is "an open secret in London and amongst the English aristocrat, and is the talk of every party."

The anonymous submission wrote, "I was told the real reason for affair was the royal's love of pegging, which the wife is far too old-fashioned to engage in. The wife doesn't mind her [the affair partner] and in fact prefers her husband getting his sexual needs fulfilled elsewhere, as long as things don't become emotional, which was the case with the last woman."

The internet collectively decided that the blind item referred to Prince William (despite this being merely speculation), thus, the #PrinceOfPegging hashtag was born, and the jokes began rolling in.

Now, while the #PrinceOfPegging may have started as a cheeky nod to this alleged royal affair, it took no time at all for the jokes to spiral into blatant homophobia. Plenty of people made jokes about how only gay men enjoy anal sex and that any man who enjoys pegging must actually be gay, but this conclusion is harmful for a number of reasons.

For one, it reinforces the stigma that exists around sex and certain sex acts. Anyone can enjoy anal sex (with or without a strap-on), regardless of sexual identity. Also, it harms queer people. The jokes that question this unnamed royal's sexuality are meant to be emasculating; they're using the idea of queerness as a slur or insult, adding to a long list of ways the LGBTQ+ community has been harmed because of stigma.

Adult-sexuality and pleasure educator Goddess Cecilia says framing the act of pegging as "gay" in a derogatory way only leaves us all open to homophobia. "Much of the homophobic tweets show how little comprehensive, inclusive, and affirming sex education has been available," she says. "As an act, anal stimulation is not reserved for one gender or one sexuality."

It's also worth nothing that this type of discourse is much more likely to harm the people in your life who you love rather than reach the person you intended to hurt. The likelihood of Prince William (or whichever royal DeuxMoi posted about) seeing your tweet is slim to none. But us queer people are very online and see these "jokes" you find funny.

While right now, #PrinceOfPegging seems to be the butt of many jokes (no pun intended), one positive has come from it. The hashtag has drawn a huge amount of interest in learning what pegging actually is, leading to the term skyrocketing on Google search trends — up 400 percent as of late Thursday afternoon. And while it may be time to consider retiring the word, a healthy amount of curiosity for pegging or any other sexual experience is not a bad thing, as long as you're safe and respectful.

Image Source: Getty / WPA Pool
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