Experiencing knee pain doesn't mean you can't maintain a fulfilling sex life. By swapping up your sex positions, you can reduce how much your knees need to be involved.
Did you know knee pain is one of the most common joint problems? That's right: A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that the rate of knee replacement surgeries in the United States increased about eight times between 1979 and 2002. (Move over, clitoris, looks like you're not the most sensitive body part.)
And guess what has a lot of kneeling?
You're on Kinkly, so you've probably already guessed it: sex.
A lot of sex positions strain the knees. Whether you're kneeling for oral sex, getting on all fours for doggy style or squatting down to obtain the right height for penetration, there are a lot of ways those pesky knee joints can really frustrate us when it comes to bedroom time.
And that sucks! Sex is supposed to be about awesome, pleasurable sensations and connection with your partner. Knee pain is certainly a large distraction from that!
However, experiencing knee pain doesn't mean you can't maintain a fulfilling sex life. By swapping up your sex positions, you can reduce how much your knees need to be involved.
Here are the best sex positions for bad knees:
Editor's Note: Everyone's knee pain is unique, so there aren't objective "best" sex positions for bad knees. Make sure to try multiple sex positions -- even ones that aren't on this list -- to find the ones that feel good to you!
The Best Sex Positions for Receiving Partners With Bad Knees
With the receiving partner's hips propped up on the penetrating partner's lap, the Happy Scissors takes "standard" Missionary and gives it a fun twist. By keeping the receiving partner's legs straight, the knees are taken entirely out of the equation while still being a face-to-face sex position with an erotic view.
Good to Know: Pay attention to how the receiver's legs are spread. This position can be hot AF, but spreading the legs requires quite a few muscles that are tight for most of us! Unless the receiving partner has been practicing their side splits, make sure the penetrating partner doesn't get too excited and push the legs past their comfortable stretching point.
Try It With: Your favorite gigantic sex toys! This position leaves tons of space between your bodies, so there's lots of room for sex toys that may be incompatible with other positions. We recommend:
For this position, the receiving partner simply takes a seat on their favorite chair. While it may take a bit of chair roulette to find the right spot, this can be a great way to achieve close, intimate, face-to-face sex while moving away from the "standard" Missionary position.
Good to Know: Unlike the Love Seat position, in which you'll want a wide, deep chair, you actually want an ultra-skinny chair with the TV Dinner position. This will make it easier for the penetrating partner to straddle and achieve penetration. Just make sure your slender chair is still sturdy enough to support both partners' weights!
READ: 6 Sex Positions Made for Big, Beautiful Bodies.
Try It With: Anal toys! The TV Dinner position makes it ultra-convenient to add anal toys for the receiving partner - especially butt plugs. With the chair pressing up from underneath them, the base of the anal toy get pushed into the body and is less likely to slip out due to muscle contractions. Toys without a handle that sticks out will be great fits here. We recommend:
If you still want to experiment with creative positions -- and have a yoga ball lying around -- the Jockey Position can be a blast. Since the receiving partner's weight is held up by the yoga ball, there's no pressure on their knees. While the penetrating partner's knees will need to hold up like a champ, the receiving partner can relax into the sensation without any pressure on their lower body.
Good to Know: Be careful with cheap or tiny yoga balls. We all know how active sex can get, and it's definitely going to hurt your knees if you pop the ball and fall to the ground. We recommend a fully-inflated, sturdy yoga ball to give you the proper height and reassurance that you're not about to tumble to your death. (Not actually. But, like, you get it.)
Try It With: Nipple stimulation. The receiving partner's chest will likely rub against the yoga ball during your movements, so this can be a great opportunity to sensitize the nipples ahead of time with nipple suckers. You might also choose to wear nipple clamps during intercourse. You might also try sliding a wand massager against the base of the ball to see if the vibrations translate well to the nipples from throughout the ball. It's time for a bit of science!
READ: 9 Ways to Use a Wand Massager in the Bedroom.
The Grand Slam position takes the knees entirely out of the equation with a completely flat position for the receiver. The penetrating partner can then climb on top for a grinding or thrusting motion that's heavy on the hips but lighter on the knees.
Good to Know: You'll likely need to experiment with the receiver's upper body position. If they try to come into a light Cobra pose, as shown in the illustration, it will likely push their knees into the surface beneath them. For the softest sensations on the knees, the receiver should lay fully flat -- and if you're doing this on a firmer surface (or even a firm mattress!), consider placing a soft pillow under the receiver's knees for extra support.
Try It With: A bit of impact play! Do you both enjoy flogging? If so, the penetrating partner's commanding position on top of the receiver can make this position feel a bit...kinky. If that's the case for you, adding in a few kinky touches -- like vampire gloves, Exposed Booty Tape, or restraints like the Sexy Submissive kit, can really take this intercourse position from yummy to super yummy!
READ: The Ultimate Guide to Impact Play.
The Best Sex Positions for Penetrating Partners With Bad Knees
By taking intercourse to the edge of a surface, the penetrating partner can remain standing with their knees neutral to alleviate pain.
The key for the Stand Down position is finding the perfect surface height. If it's too tall, the penetrating partner may try to compensate by getting on their tippy toes; if it's too short, their knees will need to be heavily involved so they can squat. You need your Goldilocks in the middle!
If you don't have furniture of the perfect height, try having the receiver experiment with how far apart they spread their legs.
Good to Know: Pay extra attention to angles here. To keep this sex position neutral on the penetrating partner's knees, need to communicate. (You always need to communicate -- but, like, extra here.) This may involve the receiving partner pushing further back or forward to ensure the knees stay neutral. This also can include height: As the receiving partner gets closer to orgasm, they may begin to sag -- and the penetrating partner might try to compensate by squatting. Keep those lines of communication open and ensure the penetrating partner is comfortable speaking up if the angle accidentally changes.
READ: The Shy Person’s Guide to Talking About Sex.
Try It With: A sex swing. Overkill? Maybe a bit. But also a great time! Placing the strap of a sex swing underneath the receiving partner's chest and/or hips can help keep the receiving partner in place. Not only does this let the receiving partner relax into the sensations, but it also makes it much-more-difficult for the position to slowly lower as the two of you get closer to orgasm.
By using a chair for the Love Seat sex position, you both can "take a seat" together -- and relieve strain on the penetrating partner's knees. Unlike many other seated sex positions, the receiving partner facing inwards to reduce the likelihood of using the seated partner's knees as a balance point. Instead, the balance comes from the close, intimate position and the penetrating partner's helpful hands around their back. It's like a hug...but with more pleasure!
Good to Know: Be careful with small chairs. To make this position as comfortable and knee-safe as possible, the receiving partner will need to stay very stable. If they aren't able to hold their balance while leaning forward, their instinct will likely be to lean backwards and place their hands on the penetrating partner's knees -- and that's what we're trying to avoid! Consider doing the Love Seat position on a couch or an ultra-wide, deep chair to give the lap space you both need to keep your balance. Don't forget to snuggle in nice and close too -- it helps! If you have to change the angle backwards, see if you can go all the way to the floor -- like in the Backwards Slide position -- to avoid putting pressure on the knees.
Try It With: Double penetration. Once you figure out the balance required to pull off the Love Seat position, this can be a great fit for double penetration. If the penetrating partner spreads their knees, it will expose their butt and give you the opportunity to incorporate other body-safe sex toys or dildos to enhance the experience. The penetrating partner could also wear a double-penetration harness (like the Spareparts Deuce!) to create an additional anchor point for a toy.
The Amazon sex position is a wild-looking one, but it's surprisingly effective for many penetrating partners with knee pain. Since the receiving partner's bodyweight is being held up by their knees and calves, the penetrating partner's legs simply bend and go along for the ride. Especially if the penetrating partner finds that having weight on top of their legs during Rider-on-Top positions hurts, this can be an alternative that provides a similar "feel" while removing weight from the knees.
Good to Know: The receiving partner will need strong quads for this one. It's very possible to "power" the entire movement for this sex position through the receiver's quads, but if they aren't strong enough (or if they get tired!), the receiver will unconsciously begin to press down on their partner's knees -- which will strain them. Keep communication open and swap away from this position if you notice that happening.
Try It With: An overhead gripping point for the receiver. If you really want to keep from going past the receiver's quads' limits, giving them an overhead gripping point -- like from a sex swing, over-the-door sex swing, a bed frame or even a suspension trainer made for working out -- can help them pull themselves up without touching their partner's sensitive knees.
Another standing position is just what the sex expert ordered! The Desk Domination position takes advantage of a sturdy desk, table or other tall surface to reduce the need to bend the knees. To avoid straining the knees even further, we recommend selecting a surface that's slightly lower than the penetrating partner's usual height. As you can see in the illustration, this will put more of a downward angle on penetration and make it very difficult for the penetrating partner to accidentally use their knees.
As an added bonus, this position can also be pretty friendly to the receiving partner's knees; they simply need to wrap their legs around their partner to hold them in place. An alternative leg placement (like a sex sling or pressing the legs against the wall behind the penetrating partner) can be comfortable for rough knees too!
Good to Know: Select your surface carefully. It needs to hold the weight of the receiving partner -- and more! The downward angle of the Desk Domination position will naturally make the table scoot backwards and forwards with each thrust; this is a dangerous job for an old, rickety table destined for the landfill. Make sure you choose a very strong, sturdy surface. Your kitchen counters might even work!
Try It With: a penis stroker or clitoral vibrator. The Desk Domination position leaves everyone's hands empty. To help both partners have an amazing time, consider using the hands or a sex toy to pleasure the receiving partner. We recommend slimmer toys because the penetrating partner's torso is leaning inwards, which will reduce the space between your bodies. G-spot vibrators can also be great additions if you're using this position for anal stimulation on a vulva-owning person.
Here are our suggestions:
The Best Sex Positions for When Both Partners Have Bad Knees
The Carnal Clutch position uses the magic of a spreader bar to make intercourse more comfortable for everyone. As long as the receiving partner is scooted to the edge of an elevated surface, the penetrating partner can stand. This keeps both partner's legs straight and reduces the strain on the knees.
The addition of the spreader bar makes this sex position especially knee-friendly. Because the spreader bar's tethers can be lengthened or shortened, the penetrating partner can "snuggle" the spreader bar at a comfortable distance to reduce any forward leaning that may put pressure on the knees.
Good to Know: The Carnal Clutch position as it's shown in the illustration won't require the receiving partner to bend their legs at all -- minimized knee pain, check! -- but it will require their hamstrings to be flexible enough to pull their legs back towards their head without bending them. Make sure your level of flexibility allows the Carnal Clutch to work comfortably for your body. And, if not, that's OK too -- there are hundred of other sex positions for you to explore!
Try It With: The Liberator Talea! This piece of sex furniture is what you see in the illustration above. It's a padded, pillow-like spreader bar and lends itself better to snuggling than its metal counterparts. (And once you have a spreader bar, you've unlocked a host of new sex positions too!)
With a bit of creative positioning, the Ho Ho position removes weight from anyone's knees. While the position will primarily provide small movements, it can be a great position for intimacy through eye contact and full-body touch.