Sex positions

The Best Sex Positions for Chronic Pain

Published: JUNE 21, 2024
If you're dealing with chronic pain for any reason, these low mobility sex positions can make sex accessible and enjoyable again.

"What is your pain like today, on a scale from 1 to 10?"


For some people, that number is never lower than a 4 or 5. There are hundreds of reasons that someone may deal with daily chronic pain, but some common culprits are chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Pleasure can be an escape when your body hurts, but it can be hard to make it to that pleasure when moving your body or being an active participant could use of that last reserve of energy you have for the rest of the week.

That's why, we've come up with this list of sex positions for chronic pain. These positions require minimal movement, and we'll give you some tips that can make them even more comfortable for your bodies. Hopefully, these sex positions can help you reclaim your sex life, chronic pain be damned!


Tips for maintaining your sex life with chronic pain

Before we jump straight into the positions, here are a few suggestions that can help make sex with chronic pain an easier experience:

  • Talk with your partner, especially if you're with a new partner. They may not be familiar with your day-to-day pain levels. Be upfront with your partner about where your energy is (and isn't) today. If possible, figure out what activities you do (or don't!) have the energy for and what activities are less likely to flare up your pain. Providing active direction about what you'd like to do today can help you stick to activities that are more pleasurable for you.
  • Take the more stationary role during intercourse. Most sex positions don't require both partners to put in marathon-level effort. Be upfront about how much activity your body is capable of today, and choose sex positions that allow you to take a more passive role. If you want intercourse, this can help you both connect without spending all of your spoons for the week.
  • Rethink what "sex" means. To a lot of people, "sex" means intercourse, but intercourse is a whole lot of movement, pressure, and positioning. And there are lots of ways to have sex without penetration. Especially on high pain days, consider lower-movement activities like masturbation, mutual masturbation, handjobs, or oral sex.
  • Find sensations that feel good. This may (or may not!) be genital sensations. You might find that an upper back massage can feel better than sex when your lower body is in persistent pain, and that's okay! Intimacy and connection with someone else can take many forms, and it doesn't always need to be sexual. If a calf massage sounds better than sex for you today, don't feel pressured to try to do even more.
  • Use sex toys to your advantage. Sex toys are awesome because they can "automate" a lot of the "work" of pleasure. You can simply hold a penis vibrator onto the shaft, or hold the base of a thrusting dildo and let it do the work. You may need a few toys, though. For some people with chronic pain, certain stimulation may be aggravating or painful on certain days, like perhaps you find the buzz of a vibrator to be irritating on a high pain day.
  • Experiment with CBD lube. If your healthcare provider has cleared you for CBD or THC, these lubes may help reduce some of the inflammation and pain, making it easier to enjoy yourself. A few of my friends have discovered that CBD is a complete life-changer. They went from having virtually no sex to enjoying it a couple of times a month, which may not seem like a big deal, but it's huge for someone whose chronic pain had them avoiding sex completely.
  • Accept that sex may not be a reality some days. Chronic pain is no joke. Some days, even showering is nearly impossible, and on those days, sex can seem like a ridiculous fantasy. Accepting that sex may not be on the table at all (and letting go of any guilt or shame about it!) can help you better enjoy the days where sex is a physical possibility.

Now, let's dig in and talk about some great sex positions for chronic pain.

Spooning Sex Position

diagram of the spoon sex position - spoon sex position is a rear entry position in which both partners lay on their sides, front to back.

There's a good reason that the phrase "spooning sex position" is one of those positions you can instantly imagine as soon as I say the words: it's comfortable AF. With both of you laying down on your sides and shallow, small thrusting built into the position, this sex position can feel almost as comfortable as laying down for a nap.


Add More Comfort: Minimal movement and plenty of room to spare makes it easy for the partner in front to add pain relief measures as needed. Heating pads, CBD creams, and more can all be used while still enjoying sex with minimal impact to the spooning partner's experience.

If it's a particularly bad pain day, you can also take penetration entirely out of the equation. If even small movements are a no go, turn the Spoon position in a cuddling position instead. If it turns into mutual masturbation, great! If not, you both can still experience the full body, skin-on-skin intimacy of the position.

Asian Cowgirl Position

Asian Cowgirl Sex Position. The penetrating partner lays flat. The receiving partner straddles the penetrating partner's hips while staying on the ball of their feet for penetration.

If the penetrating partner is the one dealing with chronic pain today, the Asian Cowgirl position might be a good fit. While the penetrating partner lays down flat on their back, the receiving partner does all of the hard work in a deep squat position that keeps most of the weight off the penetrating partner.


This position can be rough on the receiver's knees, though. Reduce that knee involvement by swapping it into the Cowgirl position. Before you do, though, make sure to talk to the penetrating partner first to ensure added weight on their hips won't add to their pain levels.

Add More Comfort: Sometimes, laying flat is the opposite of what helps someone with chronic pain get a bit of relief. If that's the case, this position allows you to elevate any needed parts of the penetrating partner's body with pillows or sex furniture without impacting the overall position much.

The Curled Angel

diagram of the curled angel sex position - the receiver lies curled on their side and is penetrated from behind by their partner, laying beside them.

Think of the Curled Angel as a variation on the Spoon position. Once in the Spooning position, you both curl up into the fetal position against one another, curling into a tight ball together. If you're someone who finds pain relief through pressure, the Curled Angel position can be a great start for that. All of the pressure throughout the back and lower body can feel extremely comforting. While this makes for extremely small hip movements during penetration, it can feel especially soothing, especially for the "little spoon" who is being snuggled inside this ball.


Add More Comfort: If the pressure of this position sounds heavenly to you, you could also add a weighted blanket over you and your partner. Just be careful not to overheat.

Mesmerthighs Position

mesmerthighs sex position - the giver lays down while wearing a strapon dildo on one of their thighs enabling the receiver to straddle them

Do you know what's slimmer in diameter than the hips? A thigh.

You can use this to your advantage with the Mesmerthighs sex position. A thigh strap-on harness can hold a dildo anywhere along the penetrating partner's leg, allowing the receiving partner to ride it.


As shown, the penetrating partner can lay down flat, which can be comfortable for sex when you're dealing with chronic pain. Alternatively, if the receiver is the one dealing with a high pain level today, they can move the dildo up or down the penetrating partner's leg, potentially finding a spot where kneeling feels most comfortable on their body.

Add More Comfort: Anything with a flared base can be put into a thigh harness. If you put a vibrator into the harness, the receiving partner can simply kneel on top of the vibrator and use it externally to pleasure themselves. Penetration, and the movement that penetration requires, does not have to be part of the equation with this sex position.

Head Rest Position

Head rest sex position. The receiving partner is laying on the left hip with their knees spread. The giving partner is giving oral sex while using the bottom-most thigh as a pillow. The receiving partner holds a wand massager between the giving partner's legs.

Want to enjoy oral intimacy while dealing with chronic pain? Then the Head Rest is the perfect solution. With both partners laying on their side, this position requires minimal movement. Even better, it's comfortable for everybody involved. You both can take as long as you want without overexerting yourself to make orgasms happen before limbs start to give out.

Plus, the crossed angle of your bodies means everyone has the room they need for pain relief items!

Add More Comfort: Ensure everyone who wants to comes... away pleasured, add some sex toys to this position. The receiving partner can hold a sex toy to pleasure the giver, and the giver can add a sex toy to their oral sex to reduce how much movement they need to do. The Fun Factory Manta can be a great partner for blowjobs, and a smaller toy, like the We-Vibe Melt or We-Vibe Tango X, can be a great fit with cunnilingus. Easily trade off with the toy to enjoy the intimacy of oral sex while also honoring how your body feels today.

Synchronous Friction Position

Two people lay on a bed on their backs. One person's head points towards the headboard, and the other's head points towards the footboard. They each lay the leg closest to their partner overtop of their partner's chest. Each person has their hand in-between their other partner's thighs.

Sometimes, the day calls for something with pretty much no movement, and that's exactly what the Synchronous Friction position provides. A mutual masturbation position, this position only requires the two of you to lay next to one another, heads pointing towards different ends of the bed. This makes for easy access to touch one another between the thighs while simultaneously touching yourself at the same time.

Add More Comfort: While the illustration for the Synchronous Friction position shows a leg splayed over the chest of each partner, you certainly don't have to do that. Lying next to one another, in your own space, can work just as well for mutual masturbation.

The Cross Position

The Cross sex position. The receiving partner is laying on their back with their legs bent, knees in the air, feet flat on the floor. The penetrating partner is laying on their side in-between the receiver's calves and thighs, to penetrate. Their bodies make a 90-degree angle. | Kinkly

Great for receiving partners who are dealing with chronic pain, the Cross position allows both partners to lie down, with their hips meeting at a 90-degree angle. This position is especially passive for the receiving partner, which is great if they're the one experiencing chronic pain. However, the penetrating partner may find hip thrusting in this position a bit tiring. As a bonus, this position leaves everyone's hands available, so a penis stroker or vibrator can easily be used to add extra pleasure for the receiving partner.

Add More Comfort: It probably goes without saying that the Cross position will be most comfortable on a bed. While you're there, you can add as many pillows or bolsters as needed to make this sex position for chronic pain as comfortable as possible. Gentler thrusts in this position, because of the limited movement, mean most of your props will stay in place throughout the experience.

Doggy Oral Sex Position

Doggy Oral Sex Position. Partners are kneeling and facing the same direction. Partner in rear is giving oral to partner in front.

If the idea of any body weight on top of you sounds like torture, the Doggy Oral sex position ensures that your partner stays off your body, but still deliciously connected. The Doggy Oral position is a play off Doggy Style sex, only you're giving oral sex instead of penetration here.

Add More Comfort: Either partner can use a supportive, flat surface underneath their chest to help support some of their body weight. This might look like an armless dining chair, the Liberator Flip-Ramp, or an ottoman. This surface supports your body, reducing how much weight your arms and knees need to carry.

Don't Be Afraid to Experiment!

Some of these sex positions for and chronic pain probably aren't going to be home runs for you, and that's okay. Your body is unique, and what works for someone else that's in pain may not work for you.

As frustrating and energy draining as it may seem, think of your bedroom explorations as a journey. You'll find things you like, and you'll find things you dislike. Once you find the things you enjoy, keep trying them (and things similar to them!) to see how you can fine-tune those things.

You'll probably find, through repetition, that certain things will feel differently depending on how your body feels that day, and that's okay too. Learning that information about yourself can make it easier to plan, and you'll find that sex may feel more approachable when you know what you do and don't want on any given day.

Most of all, try to have fun! Sex is about pleasure and connection, whether it's connection to yourself or a partner. Chronic pain may change how and when you're having sex, but it definitely doesn't mean you'll never have sex again. And it certainly doesn't mean you'll never enjoy sex again.

Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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