Sex positions

The 10 Best Sex Positions for Back Pain

Published: DECEMBER 6, 2022 | Updated: DECEMBER 13, 2023
Back pain can doesn’t have to mean the end of your sex life. These 10 positions both sexy and safe -- and toys and furniture can make them even better.

Let's get this out of the way: Back pain sucks.

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No one is going to say otherwise. With something as vital to every movement as your back, any type of pain impacts virtually every part of your life.

And that happens to include the parts of your life that happen when you're naked in the bedroom (or maybe it's the kitchen, you, adventurous, you!).

You might find that your old favorite sex positions are a struggle now -- or that you're "paying" for them the next day with a sore back. And that's no fun.

But experimenting with new sex positions might, in fact, be just what the doctor ordered! Just like how different forms of exercise can stress different parts of the body, different sex positions require different forms of tension in the body. By avoiding sex positions that stress the back, you have a higher likelihood of being able to avoid pain -- and everybody wants that!

READ: How to Make Trying New Sex Positions Your Next Big Sex Adventure.

Now, everyone's back pain is unique. Yours may flare up when you use your lower back while someone else's is located in their upper back. Others experience sharp pain with bending or twisting. Others still find backbends are their worst enemy.

So, if the first position on this list doesn't work for you, consider trying others. While this list of sex positions focuses on keeping the spine in a neutral position, every person is unique, and what "stresses" their back is unique to them as well.

Let's get to the 10 best sex positions for back pain:

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1. Doggy Style Position

diagram of the doggy style sex position - a rear-entry sex position in which the receiving partner crouches down on all fours.

Best For: penetrating partners with back pain. As doggy style essentially removes all angles from the penetrating partner's body, it can be a great way to keep the spine neutral while still enjoying intercourse. Communicate with your partner about how much movement would be ideal; too much pushback from the receiving partner will require the penetrating partner to brace their core, which may affect their back.

Be Careful If: you're a receiving partner who has back pain or knee pain. To get the proper angle required for penetration, it may require tilting your back and hips -- and the penetrating partner may jostle you around too. You may want to check out some alternative doggy style forms to find a good alternative fit that honors your back.

READ: Doggy Style Position: How to ACTUALLY Make it Feel Good.

Try It With: A bit of impact play! As the Doggy Style positions give the penetrating partner a lot of room, this can be a great position for some spanking or flogging -- or even just a few smacks with a bare hand. If your bodies are feeling up to it and you're interested, this can be a great position to fit it in.

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Read: The Best Sex Positions for Hip Pain

2. Twin Standing Pleasure Position

Twin Standing Pleasure Wand Massager Sex Position. A person with a clitoris is standing upright with their clit positioned on top of a wand massager that is being held by a sex shape called the Liberator Axis. The partner of the clitoris owner then comes up from behind to penetrate them.

Best For: couples who both have back pain. As both partners are able to stand upright without putting stress on their backs, the Twin Standing Pleasure Position can be a great position for people who are comfortable standing. As an added bonus, the Liberator Axis, pictured in the illustration, can hold a wand massager for additional pleasure without needing to move from the neutral spine position.

Be Careful If: you have a large height difference. For the Twin Standing Pleasure position to work without back involvement, both partners' hips need to line up horizontally. If that isn't the case, either partner may be trying to arch their back, or squat to come in from underneath, to make penetration happen. If you have discordant heights, consider using a platform of some kind (like the bottom stair in a staircase or an aerobic step) to see if it can even out the height differences.

Try It With: a wand massager or sex toy! The illustration for the Twin Standing Pleasure position shows a wand massager being held, hands-free, for pleasure for the receiving partner by a Liberator Axis. This same premise can be used to make any sex toy work for the receiver's pleasure. The receiving partner can also handhold their own favorite vibrator or penis stroker for additional pleasure if sex furniture or pillows isn't providing the right angle for a toy.

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3. Missionary Sex Position

Missionary Sex Position: the receptive partner lies on their back while the penetrating partner lays on top of them and penetrates them.

Best For: receiving partners who are having a rough back pain day. As the Missionary position is a familiar one for many and requires minimal movement for the receiver, this can be a good go-to position for bad back pain days where intimacy is still desired.

READ: The Art of Impact: How to Increase Intimacy With Impact Play.

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Be Careful If: the penetrating partner has back pain -- or if they can't support most of their body weight. The Missionary sex position often leads to an arched back for a penetrating partner -- especially as the core strength required to stay aligned can often make it difficult to achieve penetration. Resting any weight on top of the receiving partner may also exacerbate their back pain, so keeping as much weight as possible off the receiver is ideal. As always, keep the lines of communication open to ensure you're properly riding that line.

Try It With: vibrating cock rings. As both partners' hands will likely be full trying to maintain the position, adding a vibrating cock ring -- like the Fun Factory NOS, Nexus Revo Embrace, or Nexus Simul8-- can be a good way to add pleasure for the receiver without interrupting the position.

4. Desk Domination Position

Desk Domination Position. The receiving partner lays down flat on a desk with their hips at the edge of the desk. The penetrating partner stands between the receiving partner's thighs and pushes inside.

Best For: receiving partners with back pain. The positioning for the receiver in Desk Domination position is almost exactly the same as in Missionary -- except now you can explore sex on a different surface. The elevated height also removes a lot of the strength components from the penetrating partner. The penetrating partner's mostly upright position will allow them to better support their weight to keep as much as possible from the receiver.

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READ: Stand and Deliver: 5 Standing Sex Positions.

Be Careful If: up and down movements aggravate the receiver's back. In this position, the penetrating partner's horizontal lean can add momentum that can cause the receiver to slide back and forth on the table. Make sure you're both regularly communicating to make sure penetration isn't too hard or too soft.

Try It With: furniture that's strong enough to support your weight! There's going to be more than back pain going around if the table you're using breaks into pieces. Remember: people even break bed frames by having sex on them; make sure the table you're using is extremely sturdy.

5. Open Pike Position

Open Pike Position: The penetrating partner is standing straight up. The receiving partner is bent at 90 degrees in front of the penetrating partner while the penetrating partner takes them from behind.

Best For: penetrating partners with back pain. Because the penetrating partner is standing entirely upright in this position, they can stand in the fashion that's most comfortable for their back pain. Unlike the illustration above, feel free to keep your hands on your partner's hips to reduce the upper body extension.

Be Careful If: the receiving partner has back pain or balance issues. In theory, if the receiving partner keeps their back flat while bent over, this sex position may not bother them. In reality, most of us don't have this level of flexibility, and some bending will start to naturally happen -- especially as you both get lost in the position! This could lead to some flare-ups if the receiving partner experiences back pain.

Try It With: a wall or chair nearby. Especially if the penetrating partner won't be supporting the shoulders like shown in the example, the receiving partner may have a hard time keeping their balance in a 90-degree bend. Instead, place a supporting surface in front of -- or underneath -- the receiving partner to help them stay upright without needing to grip onto the penetrating partner's body.

6. Standing Oral Sex Position

Standing Oral Sex Position: The giving partner sits on the floor with their back against a piece of furniture, while the receiving partner stands facing them to align their genitals with the giving partner's mouth. The receiving partner's right leg is propped up on the piece of furniture.

Best For: Couples who both experience back pain. When done with furniture of the perfect height, the Standing Oral Sex position keeps both of your backs in a neutral, upright position. As the receiving partner is standing, they can easily move their hips around to find the "sweet spot" for both partners and transition out of sticky spots that are causing pain. Keep the lines of communication open here, though, as the receiver doesn't want to wiggle into a spot that causes back pain for their giving partner!

READ: Kinky Sex Furniture: A New Adventure in Bondage.

Be Careful If: your heights are very different. For the giving partner to sit comfortably upright, their face needs to be at crotch-level while the receiving partner is standing. Depending on your height differences, this may not happen. Be careful if a taller or shorter receiving partner means bending or stretching for the giver.

Try it With: sex toys for the giver. To ensure both partners are having a great time, toys for the giver -- like the Satisfyer Men Wand, Hot Octopuss Jett, Tenga Spinner, Satisfyer Partner Multifun 3 or Satisfyer Wand-er Woman -- can be a great fit, especially since the giving partner will have their hands available!

If the giver likes to get really enraptured in the pleasure they're providing, hands-free options, like electrosex toys, prostate massagers or panty vibrators can be a good fit instead.

7. Slippery Nipple Position

Slippery Nipple Position. The penetrating partner straddles an ottoman. The receiving partner lays down on the length of the ottoman and rests their hips on top of the penetrating partner's lap.

Best For: couples who both have moderate back pain. While this position is less stressful on the back than many others, it's still an adventurous position that may place a bit of strain on the back -- especially for the receiving partner. All of the available modifications can make it a fun and exciting option outside of the "standard" sex positions for couples who want to go on an adventure, though.

Be Careful If: the receiving partner's back pain is set off by lower back tension. If that's the case, consider having the penetrating partner sit fully upright and place their legs out in front with their ankles together. This creates a surface for the receiving partner to lay on to reduce the curve in the lower back. (This may look closer to the Deckchair position.)

Try It With: your favorite supportive surface. There's no reason you have to do this on an ottoman!

If back support will make this position shine for the penetrating partner, do it up against the corner of a couch or the headboard of a bed. If a firmer, or plushier, surface will make this more comfortable for the receiver, use that! Don't forget about the magic of pillows or sex furniture under the receiving partner's lower back. This can help reduce any potential back strain.

8. Spooning

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.

Best For: couples who both have back pain that is exacerbated by supporting weight. As this position leaves the surface under both of you supporting all of your weight, both partners are free to find the exact angles that best reduces back pain. As long as the hips join in the middle (if intercourse is the goal!), either partner can choose-their-own-adventure to best support their back.

Be Careful If: either of you have back pain from bending into the fetal position. As the Spooning position naturally finds the two of you curling around each other to make the angles happen, if a curling motion bothers your back, this may not be a good fit.

Try It With: blindfolds and other sensation play toys. Spooning already has an intimate, erotic feel to it. Amp it up even higher by using blindfolds to take away sight -- or adding in sensation play toys like the Exposed Booty Tape, Vampire Gloves, WARM Sex Toy Warmer and Deia Hot & Cold Temperature Play vibrator. Just make sure to keep them in front of the receiving partner to reduce accidental back strain from reaching to grab them.

READ: 5 Intimate Sex Positions Designed to Bring You Closer (Literally!).

9. Swinging Cowgirl Position

Swinging Cowgirl sex position. With the sex swing lowered near the sex surface, the penetrating partner lies down flat. The receiving partner then climbs on top like in the Cowgirl sex position while getting onto the swing. The swing provides support while on top for the receiver.

Best For: couples who want to experience "rider on top" positions but find that the added weight sets off the penetrating partner's back problems. Because the sex swing supports all of the receiving partner's weight, this is one of the few ways to enjoy rider-on-top sex with virtually no weight on the bottom partner.

Be Careful If: you like rough sex. If you're using the sex swing to support all of the receiver's weight, you'll likely be using shallow penetration to avoid resting any weight on the bottom partner's hips. If that's the case, the penetrating partner's penis or strap-on may be more likely to slip out than usual. Avoid coming down onto the penis with the receiving partner's weight as it may cause a sex injury. Slow and steady wins the race with this sex position.

Try It With: lots of adjustments to your sex swing. The magic in the Swinging Cowgirl position is getting the sex swing just right: It needs to be at the exact height where you both can enjoy intercourse without resting weight on the bottom partner. This can be a balancing act, and I highly recommend setting it up ahead of time so you only need micro-adjustments mid-play.

10. Film and Flutter Sex Position

Best For: receiving partners who are having a very bad back pain day. The Film and Flutter position lets them find any sitting position that may be comfortable on their favorite couch or chair. Once there, no movement is required; they only need to sit back and enjoy an intimate time with their partner.

Be Careful If: the giving partner has back pain. Leaning over someone for long periods of time can set off back pain for almost anyone. The giving partner may find it more comfortable to kneel on the floor in front of the couch, facing the receiving partner -- but even that may set off back pain.

Try It With:
sex toys! As shown in the illustration, this position works magically for any hands-free sex toys like anal plugs, sit-on vibrators, prostate massagers, or penis vibrators. While the Wild Flower Enby 2 is shown in the illustration, any sex toys that don't require your hands will provide extra, bonus fun while you're both occupied.

READ: How I Enjoy Hands-Free Anal Orgasms.

Bonus Position: Hole Lot of Love Position

Hole Lot of Love sex position. A person straddles the sex furniture piece with a dildo held upright in the piece of furniture. They can now use the toy hands-free.

OK, OK! Just one more -- to show you the magic of sex furniture.

See, hand holding a dildo can be really, really aggravating for a lot of people with back pain. It usually requires bending sideways -- or curling inwards -- while holding a lot of tension in your upper body as you try to thrust with the toy.

But with the simple magic of a Liberator Bon Bon or Liberator Tula, your dildo or vibrator is held in one spot -- and all the receiver has to do is climb on top. Instead of bending their back to physically use the toy on themselves, the receiver can use their thighs to bounce up and down on their toy (or grind against it!) while keeping their back in a position that feels comfortable.

(For people looking to use a penis stroker, the Liberator On a Mission or Liberator Top Dog provides the same "service" -- but for penis stroking toys!)

And that's just one of the magical things sex furniture can do!

A Final, Helpful Tip

Before I leave you to explore these new sex positions, I want to give you one final tip.

Don't be afraid to use bolsters, props and sex furniture.

If a piece of sex furniture will take sex from "ouchy" to "oh, this is actually Ok!", it's a worthwhile investment. In fact, that's part of why sex furniture and other sex accessories exist: to make your sex life better!

This might also mean a small period of experimentation while you get used to the accessory and how it fits into your sex life. That's OK too!

And don't think sex furniture is just for intercourse either. It can be useful for lots of other positions as well -- even for your partner and even if they don't have back pain. For example, if you're giving oral to your partner, elevating their hips with a Liberator Wedge may reduce how hunched over you need to be -- which could help prevent a back pain flare-up. You might even consider having your partner sit in a suspended sex swing, which would allow you to comfortably sit upright, with no bends in your back, and simultaneously pleasure your partner. It's a win-win!

So whether the above sex positions are a "heck yes!" or you simply want to explore other ways to make your bedroom life as pain free as possible, don't forget about the magic wonders of products that are already out there. Just like condoms and lube, they're there to make your sex life even better.

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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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