Assume the (Sex) Positions

a Female and male couple embracing eachother on a bed

Have you heard? It’s back to school season. Sex school, that is.

As we transition out of the languid days of summer and into the go-go-go of fall, it’s useful to brush up on our sex basics – and here, I am most definitely talking about sex positions. 

So let’s take a look at three classics, and how to pull them off. Just know this: when we talk about sex positions, what we’re really talking about is an expression of deeper, underlying collaboration skills. That’s because sex positions aren’t a TikTok video: you don’t get more likes if you do all the moves right. Rather, it’s internalized sexual choreography that you can pull from your back pocket to suit the moment. The key is to layer your own style and desires on top of the “moves,” to give and receive the pleasure you desire. 

Use the following guide for inspo, then ask yourself – what sounds fun? Your personal preferences will tell you a lot about the sex flavor you’re craving. 

1. Missionary: The Vanilla Latte of Sex

What it is: In its most basic form: the receiving partner lies on their back, the penetrating partner lies on top, facing them. 

Why you want it: Intimacy. As a face-to-face position, missionary allows for ample eye contact and direct communication, not to mention easy kisses. 

How to evolve it: Despite its reputation for being a little – eh – boring, missionary is one of the most versatile positions out there, given how physically comfortable it is. That makes it ideal for experimentation, so here’s a surefire way to tailor it. 

CAT position: Also called coital alignment technique, we start CAT from missionary, and match each partner’s body positioning so that the penetrating partner is positioned slightly higher than usual. Have the penetrating partner scoot up a few inches over the receiver, so that the both of you can align pelvis to pelvis.

From here, create a steady rocking motion, rather than a “thrust.” Take it slow, so as to stimulate the clitoris, rather than a rapid in-and-out. The focus should be on the clitoris hitting the base of the penis or mons pubis (if the giver is wearing a strap-on), and with this tweak, the vulva owner is going to feel a lot more sensation. Why? Because more external nerve endings are being stimulated! Win win.

2. Reverse Cowgirl/Cowboy: Check out this booty

What it is: Think traditional cowgirl/cowboy, but the top partner is turned backwards. The giving partner lies down flat on their back, and the receiving partner is on top straddling them, facing away from their partner. 

Why you want it: G-spot stimulation. And, hot visuals.  

In reverse cowgirl, we can use anatomy to our pleasure advantage – provided we’re staying embodied, and prioritizing everyone’s physical sensations. If the bottom partner has a penis, it’s at a somewhat precarious angle – so it’s critical to stay communicative, and ask each other often: “how does this feel?” 

But the G-spot is located a few inches up inside the vaginal canal, on the front wall, and in reverse cowgirl many vulva owners say it’s the one sex position where they can feel their partner’s penis hitting it. There’s also ample room for partners to stimulate both clitoris and testicles with hands or toys during penetration – a hot added bonus. Swing on over to our friends at Good Vibrations to see if any toys there tickle your fancy. 

How to evolve it: For all its erotic appeal, reverse cowgirl can lose its sexiness pretty quickly if you’re worried about getting injured. Here’s a variation to play with, to maximize comfort and pleasure. 

Top leans back: To work with the upright angle of the penis, the vulva owner can lean back and brace themselves on the bed with their hands. This also brings the top partner’s torso closer to the bottom partner, who can use their hands to squeeze their partner’s nipples, cup their breasts, or anything else that feels amazing

3. Doggy Style: Let’s get primal

What it is: In its most traditional form, the receiving partner is on their hands and knees, while the giving partner penetrates them from behind. 

Why you want it: Power dynamics. While we can take any sex position and give it a vibe – say, making missionary kinky, or reverse cowgirl romantic – the setup of doggy style suggests dominant and submissive roles. It’s also a facing-away-from-each-other sex position, if the idea of staring deeply into each other’s eyes during sex is a bit intimidating. 

How to evolve it: There are tons of ways to enjoy the spice of doggy style outside of the usual setup. Here’s a hot variation to experiment with.

Standing: Have both partners stand up, with the receiving partner leaning against a stable surface: think hands braced against a counter top, or on the wall in front of them. From there, the receiving partner can lean slightly forward for penetration, and this gentle bend at the hips reduces the likelihood of the giving partner going in too deeply. 

Expanding our knowledge of sex positions is important for enriching our palette of sexual expression. And using that palette, we can approach partnered sex with the intention we want: to feel experimental. To feel playful. To feel seen. To feel intimate. So now that you’ve got some fun variations, ask yourself: “what do I want to feel?” And enjoy the journey, as you hone in on the answer.