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Sex Positions

Updated: APRIL 19, 2021

Sex positions are the various ways people can place their bodies during sex. There are four main categories of penetrative sex positions:

  • Penetrating partner on top.
  • Receiving partner on top.
  • Sideways or side-by-side.
  • Rear-entry.

These different types of sex positions are often adaptable for vaginal and anal sex. Different sex positions vary the depth and angle of penetration. This changes the sensations couples feel. While most sex positions are designed for penetrative sex, there are also oral sex positions, including analingus positions, and masturbation positions.

People are creative and unique in the way they experience sex. A large number of documented sex positions and variations on them reflect different sexual tastes and physical abilities.

Some of the earliest recorded sex positions come from a Greco-Roman sex manual from the 3rd to 1st century BC. The Kama Sutra, which dates back to at least the 3rd century AD, is one of the best-known historic sex manuals. Historic paintings and other artworks also suggest people have tried various sex positions throughout time.

In recent years, new and creative sex positions and variations on established positions have been documented. The internet has made sex positions that were once taboo or unusual enter the mainstream

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The missionary position, where the penetrating partner lies face-to-face on top of the receiving partner, is the most well-known and common sex position. Going beyond the traditional missionary position is a common way to spice things up in the bedroom and experience new sensations.

Some people feel that different sex positions feel better and enhance orgasm. Vulva-having partners struggling to climax through intercourse alone may find experimenting with different positions that better stimulate the clitoris and G-spot can improve their sexual experience and increase the chance of orgasm.

Other people simply like the thrill of doing something a little wild. The novelty factor of new sex positions can stimulate dopamine production and help couples feel closer to one another. Couples may also try new sex positions they feel are more comfortable or less physically demanding during pregnancy. Similarly, people with disabilities may find certain sex positions are more achievable or pleasurable.

Different sex positions are also more intimate than others. Some sex positions put partners face to face, which enhances intimacy and encourages kissing, while others don’t. Some sex positions also allow partners to caress one another’s bodies, while others are more physically restrictive.

Different sex positions have different physical requirements. Some sex positions require one or both partners to be strong, flexible, or have good endurance. Varying sex positions slightly may help couples enjoy these positions without taxing their body.

Pillows and furniture can also support the body in difficult sex positions. Some sex positions actually require furniture beyond the bed. While some stores sell erotic furniture, creative couples can often make do with the furniture they have at home.

Trying new sex positions can be fun, but it can also carry some degree of risk. Couples should be careful when getting into new positions that push their bodies physically. They should also monitor their partners for signs of pain and discomfort.

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