The big question is: why are people so into trying new sex positions? Everywhere you look on the internet, there are articles on X or Y brand new position that is going to ROCK YOUR F*CKIN’ WORLD. I should know. I’ve written hundreds of them. We are on a never-ending journey to conquer the acrobatic heights of new sex positions.
How to Make Trying New Sex Positions Your Next Big Sex Adventure
People are into trying sex positions because they’re the most accessible way to change up a sex routine without the need for outside equipment. You can be the most vanilla, traditional couple in the world and still have more than one sex position in your back pocket.
For instance, maybe you have sex in the missionary position most of the time. And maybe sometimes you switch into the Rider on Top (or Cowgirl) position. It changes up the routine without going into “kinky” or “deviant sexual behavior.” Obviously the assumption that any sexual activity between consenting adults is “deviant” is ridiculous, but you can see what I’m getting at here: sex positions are available to almost everyone.
The other big reason? The quixotic quest to become a sex god, goddess, or deity. There is an ingrained notion in the cultural zeitgeist that if you can master all of these super intense, difficult to do sex positions, you will achieve Ultimate Lover status. This just isn’t true.
Read: Reclaiming Vanilla Sex: Why It's Hot
Sure, sex positions are fun but you don’t need to do them ALL to be good at sex. Sex positions aren’t about being able to stand on your head while giving a blowie, they’re about being able to explore different ways of experiencing pleasure. This is the real, valid reason to try new sex positions: Enjoying yourself and changing up your sexual routine.
Why Should I Try a New Sex Position?
Why not just have sex the same way every time?
In long-term relationships, we find ourselves experiencing what psychologist Justin Lehmiller and other experts call “The Coolidge Effect,” where we get bored with the monotony of our sexual routines over time. We lose our desire for sex because we become hedonically adapted to it.
The key to avoiding this? Trying new sex stuff! This can be anything you want it to be. It can be bondage, spanking, role play, etc. It can be intense or as as simple as trying a new sex position. The key to a happy, healthy sex life is curiosity. We need to invest in our sex lives the way we invest in every other part of our lives: constantly checking in with it and making sure it’s staying fresh and sparkly. We go to the gym, we eat healthily, and we try to get enough sleep as part of our self-care routines. Sexual maintenance should be on that list, too.
What research says about trying new sex positions:
Unsurprisingly, there isn’t a TON of research about the positive aspects of trying new sex positions. Those folks in white lab coats are not particularly interested in this kind of data. It’s a real shame. What we do know is that trying new things in the bedroom can contribute to more sexual satisfaction through trial and error and can even improve your connection with a partner.
The pandemic was hell, but it did yield some interesting sexual stats. In a new survey by sexual health and wellness brand HANX, 48% of people reported they’d experimented sexually since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the same vein, a study of 2,000 individuals by sexual wellness brand Lovehoney found 52% of couples to be more sexually adventurous during the crisis, with 57% of couples sexting and 32% enjoying video sex sessions together.
Basically, the pandemic showed how people were enjoying sexuality in more adventurous ways because, well, there was really nothing else to do.
Read: 8 New Things to Try in the Bedroom
How to Try New Sex Positions
The goal is to experience something new in a way that’ll enhance your sexual experiences.
As I’d said above, trying new sex positions can help to increase intimacy and closeness with a partner. Why? Well, because you’re trying new stuff together and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
We need to feel safe in our environment and with our intimate partners in order to fully relax into our bodies and enjoy sexual experiences fully. Trying new sex positions in a way that is playful and fun can help to establish and strengthen trust, thus enhancing overall sexual satisfaction.
I don’t recommend trying new sex positions just for the sake of trying them. I recommend trying new sex positions as a means to be adventurous with our lovers and ourselves. It’s an opportunity to figure out what you like and what totally sucks. The more we know about what we like sexually, the better sex becomes.
There is no reason why sex cannot continue to get better and better for your whole entire life as long as both you and your partner(s) come to it with a sense of wonder, empathy, and curiosity.
How to Talk to Your Partner About Trying New Sex Positions
What about all of those extremely kinky and intense sex positions like the Wheelbarrow or Standing 69? How far should you go? Only you get to decide. First off, you need to take the pressure off of yourself to be a rubberband-human in the sack. The sex positions you try should be catered to one thing and one thing only: Pleasure.
You’ll also need to take into consideration your personal limits, boundaries, and physical capabilities - as well as those of your partner. So, should you push your limits? To some degree, sure. There is a benefit in trying new things, even if they seem quite daunting. You can’t really know for sure if something isn’t for you before you give it whirl. Don’t go into this thinking of sex as a hurdle to overcome, but rather a grand adventure you’re on with yourself and your partner(s).
If you climb into the Amazon position and realize it is painful or awkward or just plain shit, let your partner know. It doesn’t kill the mood to voice your discomfort. Being in a sex position that you don’t like kills the mood.
Hop into one of your tried-and-true sex positions/sexual acts and be willing to go back and try something new another day. The thing is, we’re all just weirdos trying to figure out sex. No one really knows what they’re doing. Roll with it.
Read: 7 Tips to Help a Shy Partner Open Up Sexually
New Sex Positions to Try
If you wanted to jump into trying some new positions with a partner (say, through our 30 Day Sex Position Challenge!) here are some ways to get started.
We don’t talk about sex because we’re afraid of putting ourselves in a vulnerable state. Because sexual health education is so abysmal, much of what we learn is through traversing a gauntlet of sexual mistakes (do I have my pinky out right now due to those big words? Maybe). When you’re ill-equipped to handle a subject, talking about it is scary.
Sex is about as vulnerable a situation as one can be in. If you want to try new sex positions and feel your sex life needs spicing up, you’re treading in delicate territory. Saying the wrong thing can put a partner on the defensive, so you need to make sure you are approaching the idea in the right way.
Talk with your partner from a place of curiosity and empathy. Take a look at the Kinkly sex positions page and go through it separately, noting positions that you think would be fun and disregarding ones you either wouldn’t like or couldn’t manage. Many of them can be modified to fit the make up of your coupling, maybe by using a strap-on or adjusting an angle to allow for anal or vaginal penetration.
It’s not about becoming a sexual superstar, it’s about having a good time. This challenge is a catalyst for your big sex adventure, not a call to arms.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line: Experimenting with sex positions is a fun and accessible way to change up your normal routine and spice up your sex life in a fun, silly, awkward, hilarious, hot, and rad way. Be open to new experiences. Be willing to laugh at yourself. And get ready for a whole lot of orgasms.
Gigi Engle is an award-winning author, certified sex educator, psychosexual therapist in training, and author of "All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life." Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @GigiEngle.