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Sex Positions

The Missionary Position

The most popular of the positions. She opens her legs as he positions himself between them in place for the most direct penetration. The simple thrust of the hips gives an easy and effective in - out action.

The missionary position - the staple diet of sex

This position is the one most commonly used by couples, but funnily enough it never appears at the top of lists of people's favorites. Men's top two favorites are (1) rear entry with both partners kneeling, and (2) woman on top. The missionary comes in at number 4. For women, the top two favorites are (1) woman on top facing towards the man, and (2) woman on top facing away from the man. The missionary comes in at number 5.

Why such a paradox? Are we afraid to admit that we secretly crave something more exciting, even though we're bored with the missionary but we do it because we think it's what our partner wants, without having ever actually asked them? It does seem strange, but sex is a personal and mysterious thing, and what couples say they want in surveys seems very different to what they actually do in the bedroom. Maybe the idea of rear entry and woman on top seem good because of their raw animal lust for men and the assumed position of power for women respectively, but what many men and woman most want during sex is to feel intimate and connected to their partner. This may be why the missionary is the most common position couples actually use, for it certainly allows for great intimacy in the form of eye contact and full skin-to-skin contact and the ability to kiss and hold each other close. Also, some women seem to like the slight sense of being trapped or dominated by their partner if he is lying on top of them, and it can be very exciting for the man if the woman rests her feet on his calf muscles or wraps her legs around his back, drawing him in closely to her.

And yet the missionary has a disadvantage for a woman - her pelvic movements can be restricted, so she cannot thrust as much, which means she must be more passive, and her clitoris is often not stimulated as much as in other positions - at least, it is certainly not available for the man or woman to play with. Unless she can come from vaginal thrusting alone (which is unusual), she may not have an orgasm unless the couple take care to ensure she gets one during foreplay or after intercourse.

The missionary position described

Most couples probably know how it works - the woman lies on her back with her legs apart and the man lowers himself on top of her, supporting his weight with his elbows, and enters her with his legs either inside or outside hers (usually inside). He may lower himself onto her and rest more of his weight on her body. The woman can wrap her legs around him to control the depth and speed of his thrusting into her vagina, or she may thrust a little towards him from her pelvis to match his movements in and out of her vagina.

Basic missionary

The woman lies on her back with her legs spread apart (or closed - see below). The man then lowers himself on top of his partner with his arms supporting his weight. From this position he has the freedom to thrust or make circular movements with his thighs. If he lowers himself closer to her and rests some of his weight on top of her body, his pubic bone can provide gentle clitoral stimulation. The woman can thrust her middle body towards the man using the support of her legs, or grasp the man from behind which enables her to control his thrusting movements somewhat.

Variations on the basic missionary

The coital alignment technique

This is a way in which the woman's clitoris can be stimulated more than in the basic missionary. The man enters from between the woman's legs as he would normally, but he then moves further up the woman's body so that the base of his penis can make contact with her clitoris when he thrusts. The woman can wrap her legs around her partner's, placing her feet on his calves, stretching her legs slightly as she does so, which again tends to move her clitoris towards the man's penis. If she rocks her pelvis in this position, her clit should make contact with the base of the man's penis and she will be stimulated both internally and externally. Then, according to sex researcher Edward Eichel, "The subtle, coordinated rocking movement can begin. Here's the most important part: As she pushes up on the top of his shaft, he resists with less force than she pushes. Now, on the way back down, as he pushes down against her clitoris, she resists with less force than he pushes. The result is a series of "small collisions," rather than the standard friction of thrusting. But collisions is a strong word. The movement is subtle, coordinated, gentle, rhythmic, slow-building. Like everything in life, it takes practice. This is more than a position; it's a coordinated movement, Eichel explains. "We are now talking about vibration, not friction. Less in and out and more rock 'n' roll." "The man is actually shallow when the woman is getting the most stimulation on the downward push," Eichel says.

Woman lifts her legs

There are many ways both the man and the woman can move during the missionary which will alter what they both feel. The female partner may find that the man's penis stimulates her G-spot much more in certain positions, and that if he thrusts gently she may attain a state of increasing sexual energy which eventually leads to a G-spot or vaginal orgasm. For example, the woman can lift and bend her legs and place her feet on the mattress or on her partner's legs. The effect of this is enhanced if the woman moves her feet up to her partners' buttocks. (Which may also enhance the CAT described above.)

Woman's legs locked around the man

The higher the woman raises her legs, the deeper the man can enter her. If she is flexible enough to get her legs around his back, this will permit him to get deep into her - a delicious feeling for many women, and certainly rewarding for the man, although such deep penetration can cause him to ejaculate quite quickly. Many men seem to enjoy the feeling of their partner locking her legs around his back, but again this can cause him to come quickly. Presumably the reason is that it conveys how much she wants him inside her - and how much she wants him to come inside her vagina, which is a real turn-on for most men.

Woman's legs over man's shoulders

As you might expect, this allows the deepest penetration of all. The man is likely to find this very stimulating, and get some good orgasms, but he needs to be respectful and considerate of his partner's needs. She may just find vaginal thrusting too painful and stimulating, and need him to back off a little if he gets too excited. Good communication between the partners will help enormously here. But it's a very satisfying position for both partners if they are flexible enough.

The man kneels for the missionary

Here is one variation on the missionary which does allow the woman's clitoris to receive the attention it deserves! The man can pull the woman onto his penis by placing his hands on her thighs, and she can raise her legs in the most comfortable way - even up onto his shoulders if she wishes. The man can see himself going in and out of her vagina, which can be an incredible turn-on, and he can caress and stroke his partner's body and perhaps play with her anus as well if they wish. A good position for intimate connection, but somewhat of a strain for the woman if it goes on for too long. A pillow under her buttocks may help.

The woman keeps her legs closed

If the female partner keeps her legs together, the sensations will be different again. Obviously the tighter her vagina, the more intense the sensation for the man. A technique well worth experimenting with, though again the feeling of tightness may encourage the quick comers among men to shoot too fast.

Most women enjoy the missionary position with legs apart. But it's also possible for her to keep her legs together, and in fact many couples prefer positions where the woman can keep her legs closed. This will usually produce more stimulation and somewhat different sensations. When her legs are closed, a woman’s vagina tightens around her partner’s penis giving more intense stimulation to both partners. This position also forces the man to enter from a sharper angle towards the clitoris adding more stimulation for the woman. The man in this position may also close his legs, placing all his weight on his partner. Careful here, some women appreciate this feeling, others are burdened by it!


Man on Top
Woman On Top
Side By Side
Anal Sex Positions
Sex Positions Advice
The Doggy Style
The Missionary Position
The Hoovering Floor
The Playing of the Cello
The Persuading Debtor
The Rocking Recliner
The Sixty Niner
The Reverse Piggy-Back
The Reverse Top Woman
The Side Entry Missionary
The Upright Doggy




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