An Introduction to Sex Positions
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?
All the above factors are reasonable considerations. You need to be physically and emotionally comfortable when you’re having sex. And what about excitement? What turns you on? If you want a challenge, go for something tricky and spicy!
However, if you want something simple, stick with the tried and true. The six sex positions highlighted below are not only popular but work for both vaginal and anal sex.
Missionary is possibly the best-known and most commonly referenced position ever. It has a rather unfair reputation for being boring, but the reality is that missionary is easy, intimate and the favorite position of one-third of American women and one-fifth of American men. There are also many variations to change it up, but the basic format is for the receiving partner to lie on their back, while their partner lowers down full length on top. For anal sex, it’s easier if the receiving partner tucks their legs up toward their chest.
Spoons is a super intimate and sensual maneuver. Both people lie on their side, with the receiving partner in front as the little spoon. It’s perfect for sleep or slow love-making, but it can also be sped up.
Doggy style. I still think about Bloodhound Gang’s "The Bad Touch" when I think of doggy style. As the song denotes—"Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery channel"—this position is more animalistic. It’s also pretty easy (maybe avoid it if you have knee problems) and feels great. The receiving partner gets on all fours—or onto elbows for added comfort—while the other penetrates from behind.
Receiver on top is a playful position that you may know as cowgirl or cowboy. One partner lies down on their back and the receiving partner sits down on top of their genitals. Face the other direction for a variation with a great butt view.
Flatiron is intimate yet slightly more exciting, since the receiver has less control. The receiving partner lies flat on their stomach, and the penetrating partner lies down on top of them, making for lots of skin-on-skin action. This can be a great way to begin to play with restraint and domination, by pinning down the receiver’s arms.
90-degree doggy. Yes, vertical sex can be easy. The receiving partner stands facing a bed or a table, and bends down 90 degrees over it, stomach on the surface. Their partner then penetrates from behind.
Just know from the outset that any position you and your partner choose is fine; there is no right or wrong way to have sex. With or without mood enhancement such as music and candles, with or without accessories like toys and sexy lingerie, do what feels comfortable and definitely what turns you on.