There are as many ways to have sex as there are people with imagination. But a handful of positions seem to be the go-to options for couples of all orientations, backgrounds and ages. Why? Because they’re simple and effective.

How positions differ

While the basic point is the same—generally, penetration—sex positions vary tremendously: in the degree of flexibility and strength required, ability to kiss face to face, manual access to genitals and breasts, views provided and more. Some allow for more movement in penetration and feel different depending on the angle of penetration and/or motion. Some are more gentle, others animalistic. Certain positions are easier for beginners, while others are better left to advanced practitioners.

Are you trying to hit a woman’s G-spot or stimulate a man’s prostate? Are you engaging in anal or vaginal sex? Trying to speed orgasm up or delay it? There are different positions for all of those goals.

What feels good?

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