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Published: APRIL 23, 2014 | Updated: FEBRUARY 15, 2022
No need to bend into a pretzel; it only takes a few simple tweaks to spice things up.

You don’t need dildos or blindfolds to give your sex life a boost. Sometimes, spicing things up can be as simple as turning around, switching places, or even standing up. You’ve probably heard the sexperts (real or phony) promise different sex positions as guaranteed to give you the orgasm of a lifetime. We can't promise that here. These are easy alternatives to missionary for the position-curious beginner. Will they be orgasmic for you? You'll never know unless you give them a try.

Looking for more sex position ideas? Check out our Sex Positions Playlist.


Gettin' Down in Doggy Style

If ever there's a classic sex position, it's doggy style. It's simple, it's a little primal and for many women, it does the trick in terms of hitting the G-spot. Couples can experiment with this by adjusting their positioning based on what feels good - a little tweak can work wonders!

diagram of doggy style sex position

Why It Works: This position puts the man in control (which, let's face it, is often where he wants to be). It also allows for deeper penetration and G-spot stimulation.

Yeehaw! Cowgirl Position

Cowgirl is the position for the woman likes to take control and put on a little show for her partner. Cowgirl can be a slow, seductive grind or a race to the finish. No matter how you go for it, hold onto your hat! The woman can also lift her hips and allow the man to do the thrusting, or adjust the sensation by bending closer toward him or leaning back.

diagram of cowgirl sex position


Why It Works: In this position, the man gets a break from all that thrusting and can just lie back and enjoy the view, while the woman gets to control the rhythm and speed of the action. For a woman, this can also be a good position for orgasm, especially for those who like a little manual help from their partner.

Yeehaw! ... In Reverse

When it comes to sex, sometimes a little change makes a big difference. Reverse the cowgirl position and you'll be in a whole new world. Reverse cowgirl is slightly more difficult than cowgirl - the angle makes it a little more difficult to stay engaged here. But the woman can experiment with leaning forward or back, or even supporting herself by crouching over her man’s legs.

diagram of reverse cowgirl sex position

Why It Works: This position can be challenging to master, which is a bit of a thrill. It's also a great way to target a woman's G-spot. Plus, the man gets a great view from behind in this one (and really, what guy doesn't love that?).

Lotus Lovin'

In lotus position, the man is seated and the woman kneels on his lap, or sits and wraps her legs around him in a position that, apparently, resembles a lotus flower. A kinky lotus flower ... but I digress.

diagram of lotus sex position

Why It Works: In yoga, lotus position is often used for meditation. OK, so we're talking about a sex position here, but the same principles apply: This positions is comfortable, so it's perfect for a long, slow, intimate night. Best of all, either partner can take control of the speed and the rhythm. (Get more tips in The No.1 Secret to Female Orgasm.)

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The Shoulder Holder

In shoulder holder, the woman lies back and throws her legs over one of her partner's shoulders. This can be mixed up a bit by sliding a pillow under the woman's tail bone, or adjusting the angle at which her partner bends toward her. He can also hold onto her ankles and pull her legs outward for deeper penetration.

diagram of shoulder holder sex position

Why It Works: This is a very simple modification of missionary position that should be manageable for a lot of people, but it allows for a whole different angle of penetration. Plus, it's kinda carefree and fun!

Hot Crossed ...

OK, people, let's get creative here. In this position, the man lies on his side perpendicular to his partner so that her legs are draped over his torso. This can be slightly modified by trying slightly different angles. Obviously, it'll also work for anal sex, if that's your thing.

diagram of cross sex position

Why It Works: The cross is a very comfortable position for both partners, so it's good for long, slow encounters. Plus, it allows you to look at your partner from a whole different angle. (Interested in anal? Read What You Need to Know About Anal Sex.)


Spooning With My Honey

This cuddly position combines spooning and sex. The woman can experiment with either having her legs completely closed, or spread with one leg angled over her man for different depths of penetration.

diagram of spooning sex position

Why It Works: This is another comfortable position for building up speed, or alternating slow and fast tempos. This position would also work for anal sex, which seems like a good compromise between cuddle and kink.

In the end, you don’t need to be a human pretzel to change it up between the sheets. Also remember that everyone is a little bit different. That means that what rocks your world might barely elicit a tremor in someone else's sex life. Experimentation is the key to satisfaction. These are just some basic moves beyond missionary to get you started. Where you end up is up to you and your partner.

Oh, and if these positions aren't adventurous enough for you, be sure to check out "The Modern Kama Sutra."

Kimberly Liu
Kimberly Liu is a freshly minted college graduate trying to make something of herself in the grand city of New York. She likes going abroad, making her own recipes and art shows. She also writes sometimes. Some of this is available on this site and at The Vintage Avocado. She hopes that more of it will one day be available at your local bookstore!

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