Have you and your partner gotten into a sex rut? Have you figured out what works best for you — or at least is most comfortable — and never stray from one or two go-to positions? Are positions that once worked no longer cutting it for you? Have you started dating someone new and want to learn some fresh positions? If you’ve answered “yes” to any (or all) of the questions above, you might be in need of a sex positions refresher course. Not sure where to start? Here are the best sex positions that you’ll turn to again and again.
This one is a classic for a reason: it offers a few different ways to get you off. In case you need a refresher, this position puts you on all-fours with your partner kneeling behind you. Your partner can then hold onto your hips as they thrust with the object of their/your choosing (a dildo, a penis, a few fingers). You then have the option of either staying still, or pushing your hips back against your partner, sex therapist Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, writes for Bustle. Plus, if you want some additional clitoral stimulation (who doesn’t?) this position makes it easily accessible for both you and your partner.
As long as we’re on the subject of classic positions, we have to throw missionary in too. Yes, it’s sometimes written off as being “too vanilla,” but just because a lot of people like something doesn’t mean it’s not as good. Anyway, missionary is also more versatile than you probably thought. Sex educator Lisa Finn explains the appeal to Shape: “General contact is really nice and deep, and you can talk, kiss, bite, and make eye contact.” Some people wish that there was more clitoral stimulation with missionary, but Finn says that it’s totally possible if the person on the bottom grinds their pelvis against their partner. “That will make the position feel even better,” she adds.
If you’ve been saving spooning until after having sex, you’re missing out. Spooning sex is great for lazy mornings, or times when you just got into bed to cuddle…but both ended up wanting more. It’s also a fantastic position for pregnant women, especially in the third trimester when you can no longer lay on your back for prolonged periods of time. Start by assuming your usual spooning position and get just a little bit closer (if that’s physically possible). To get things going, have the penetrating partner (who is the big spoon in this scenario) slowly enter the receiving partner (with plenty of lube!). It’s pretty customizable, because the penetration can happen with fingers, a dildo, or a penis, and the partner on the receiving end can do so vaginally or anally. Once you’ve gotten into the groove, let your hands wander over your body and your partner’s.
Life on the Edge
If you want to try something a little different but not too much of a stretch from your normal positions, Life on the Edge may be for you. To do it, “lie down on your back at the edge of the bed, with your thighs and legs dangling off,” Clare Cavanah and Rachel Venning, founders of sex toy boutique and educational hub Babeland tell Refinery29. “Bend your knees and put your feet on the ground. Your partner stands or kneels between your legs and enters you. Your partner gets a great view and control of a deep thrust. You get to kick back and enjoy.
Chair sex isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you get it right, it can be pretty amazing. All you need to do is find a basic chair without armrests (like one you’d find at a dining room table) and have the penetrating partner (if there is one) sit on the chair as you normally would (but naked). The other partner then straddles the seated person, so they’re facing each other. From here, there can be some penetration with a penis or strap-on, or use this as a chance to go back to your high school roots and dry hump the hell out of each other. Pelvis-to-pelvis contact (well, grinding) is key — especially for someone with a clitoris.
Sure, you could opt for the traditional cowgirl position, which starts with the person with the vulva on top, straddling their partner who is laying down flat on their back. From here, there’s typically some type of penetration, with the person riding on top controlling everything. This is a great option for people who excel at clitoral orgasms because even if the penetration isn’t doing anything for you, you can always rub or grind one out on your own. The “bonus” aspect of this is adding a clit-suction toy to the mix. You’ll thank us later.
If you’ve always wanted to try tantric sex but thought it sounded too complicated, this position is the perfect entry to the practice (penis pun intended). Yab Yum starts out as an exceptionally intimate lotus position, with the penetrating partner sitting cross-legged while the receiving partner straddles their partner’s lap then wraps their legs around their lower back. “As your partner penetrates you and you’re embracing each other, add tantra practices like eye-gazing and in-sync breathing,” Carol Queen, Ph.D., a sexologist tells Shape. Now that you’re ready to roll, rock back and forth with your partner, giving each person the chance to find the most pleasurable angle possible. This can include super-deep penetration (if that’s on the menu).
Lift that Butt
Want to get some exercise while having sex? In addition to the usual cardio, this position also adds some stretching into the mix. “Put your ankles on your partner’s shoulders. This will lift your butt in the air,” Vacanah and Venning tell Refinery29. “Your partner can hold your butt or your legs, and can kiss and massage your feet. Your partner has total control over the thrusting.” As always, the thrusting can involve fingers, a dildo, or a penis. This isn’t the best position for clitoral stimulation, so the receiving partner may want to take matters into their own hands.
This is basically a fancier version of 69ing. One person lies on their back, while their partner straddles them up-side down (with their feet by their partner’s head). Now that you’re in position, you can perform oral sex and/or finger away. You can take turns giving and receiving, or do everything at once — whatever feels right in the moment.
It’s always handy to have a standing position in your repertoire, and this one’s a doozy. As Zoe Ligon writes at Refinery29, “the Candle is essentially spooning, or getting fucked from behind, while standing. In this position, the receiver can tighten or loosen how tightly they’re keeping their thighs together in order to control the sensation.” The receiving partner can also lean into the wall for extra pressure and/or support. This might be the perfect position to try during shower sex, but make sure you get a grip on something so you don’t slip.
There’s just something so urgent and passionate about being bent over and taken. It’s a position that works for just about any kind of sex. That scene from Girls where Marnie’s lover was nose-deep in her hind-end? She was bent over the sink. Whether you are working with mouths, a penis (or two) or toys, being bent over has its advantages. First, if you’re bent over something sturdy and unmovable, it gives you purchase to “lean into” your partner’s thrusts. It also gives you both chances to try slightly different angles. The feeling changes quite a bit depending how deeply you’re bent. Whether you’re just resting your elbows on a counter or bent in half can completely change the game. As an added bonus: Learning how to get it on while (basically) standing up drastically widens the range of places you can have sex. We’re not saying you should sneak into the bar bathroom and pound one out in the stall. But, ya know what? We’re not telling you that you shouldn’t, either. Get some, Mama.
While generally associated as a position two people with vulvas can enjoy, this position can actually describe any type of grinding during sex. This genital-to-genital position can immensely increase arousal and intimacy of the engaging partners. The gist of it is this: two partners face each other while intertwining their legs like, well, two open scissors, until their genitals touch. They further stimulate each other by grinding and rotating their hips.