Ideally, sex should be pleasurable for both partners: satisfying, fun and intimacy-building. Finding out what feels good for each person just takes a little open communication, exploring, and willingness to try new things.
“Sex can be the perfect conduit to
build intimacy between a couple because it addresses both the emotional and physical aspects of intimacy,” Dr. Kat Van Kirk, relationship and sex expert, tells Bustle. “Skin-to-skin contact allows for the release of the ‘bonding’ hormone oxytocin and helps you build trust — an important component of intimacy. Emotionally, sex can help you learn to open up and become vulnerable with your partner by being willing to try new things and discuss sensitive topics related to your sexuality.”
A great way to start exploring each other’s pleasure is by experimenting with new sex positions. Here are 11 of the best ones that maximize satisfaction for both partners.
How to do it: While on all fours, have your partner, while on their knees, enter you from behind, either with their penis or a sex toy. If you have weak wrists, you can drop down to your elbows and forearms to support you. Also, the more you arch your back in this position, the deeper the penetration.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: People with penises love it, because they can penetrate very deeply in this position. As for those with vaginas, doggy style hits the G-spot perfectly, and even if you don’t end up experiencing a vaginal orgasm, it can still feel fantastic. “Doggy style is the perfect position for voyeurs and exhibitionists alike with the partner in the rear receiving a bird’s-eye view,” says Dr. Jess O’Reilly, sexologist, host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. “If the partner in front has a clitoris, you can reach down and rub for extra stimulation or reach around and play with their nipples.”
How to do it: While your partner lies on their back, straddle and then ride them, grinding your bodies against each other.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: When a person with a vagina is on top, they have total control over their orgasm, which means the clitoral stimulation from grinding against their partner’s pubic bone can help them come. “Cowgirl allows the riding partner to control the depth, angle, rhythm and to change things up, you can have the supine partner bend their knees and experiment with different angles of penetration,” says O’Reilly. For people with penises, this sex position is pleasurable because they know the chances of their partner climaxing are pretty good, while they get to just lie there and enjoy themselves.
Doggy Style With A Vibrator
How to do it: Get into doggy style position, then add a vibrator to stimulate the clitoris. If you’re the one who holding the vibrator, though, you’ll be holding your upper body up with only one hand, which might take some adjusting.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: Not only does the person in front get their clitoris and G-spot stimulated at the same time, making this one of the best sex positions for having the elusive blended orgasm, but their partner also gets to enjoy the vibrations as they trickle on down to them, while experiencing the awesome sensation of deep vaginal penetration. “Doggy with vibe offers the best of all worlds from penetration and voyeurism to rubbing, grinding and vibing,” says O’Reilly. Consider a wearable toy (e.g., a vibrating penis ring like the We-Vibe Pivot, or an internal toy) so you can use your hands to explore your entire bodies.
How to do it: With one of you on top and one on the bottom, facing in opposite directions, nuzzle your face into each other’s genitals and begin oral stimulation. “To change things up and relieve the physical pressure, try it lying on your sides instead of lying on top of one another,” recommends O’Reilly — it’s about choosing what’s most comfortable for both of you.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: If both partners enjoy giving and receiving oral, 69 can be an amazing experience because you’re both being pleasured simultaneously.
How to do it: With your partner flat on their back, straddle them while facing away from them — just like cowgirl, but you’re turned around so your back is to them.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: Similar to traditional cowgirl, reverse cowgirl is one of the best sex positions for clitoral orgasm. “You can use your hands to rub your clitoris or grind against your partner’s thighs while they get a killer view,” suggests O’Reilly. As for the companion with the penis (or strap-on), they get to lie there, thrust, and focus on the sensation of being stimulated vigorously (or slow and easy) by their partner.
X Marks The Spot
How to do it: Lie on your back on a flat surface, legs crossed in the air, while your partner, who’s standing, penetrates you.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: The tightness you create with your crossed legs also creates a snugness in your vagina that’s a sensation you’ll both really enjoy. This particular tightness is actually why this position is great for people with smaller penises. “This shallow penetration may be just what you need to stimulate the sensitive outer section of the vaginal canal while your partner can enjoy the full thrusting motion,” O’Reilly explains.
How to do it: Have your partner lie on their back with one of their knees bent, and then straddle the bent knee. Then, lower yourself onto their penis or strap-on while facing away from them. If your partner has a vulva, you can also use this position to grind against it, achieving clitoral stimulation for both of you.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: This one is another great sex position for clitoral stimulation, because you can easily rub your pubic bone and clit against your partner’s thigh or vulva to achieve orgasm. Secondly, it allows for rear entry into the vagina, penetrating deeper and creating more sensation for both of you. “Sideways straddle also allows you to experiment with eye contact and teasing,” O’Reilly adds. “There is something beguiling about looking back at your lover — even for a few fleeting moments.”
How to do it: Start on the sofa with your partner. Then, get on your knees and bend yourself over the back or side arm of the sofa. Next, have your partner, while also on their knees, penetrate you as they would in doggy style. This position is essentially doggy style, except on the couch, making it more comfortable.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: “Sofa brace allows you to break with your usual bedroom routine and experience the thrill of changing locations,” says O’Reilly. “Use the arm of the sofa for extra stimulation of the external lips and clitoris.”
Modified Doggy Style
How to do it: For this one, you can start either by lying down on your stomach, as your partner climbs on top and penetrates you from behind, or in traditional doggy style and lower yourselves down together.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: Again, rear vaginal penetration is always a winner for both partners. And, similar to the sofa brace, you have the comfort of the bed against you, as opposed to putting pressure and weight on your wrists and knees, as well as on the knees of your partner. Because your bodies are on top of each other, either you or your partner has easy access to stimulating your clitoris, in addition to the phenomenal penetration.
“Try this one with a few pillows beneath your hip so that you still play with the arch of your back but can also relax and enjoy the ride without using your core strength or tiring out your muscles,” says O’Reilly. “Changing the pillow height can allow you to find the perfect fit/angle — and you might find that your preferences change throughout the course of the month depending on your menstrual cycle, which can affect cervical position and sensitivity.”
How to do it: Lie face down on the bed with your legs together while your partner lies on top of you and enters from behind.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: “This is the ultimate position for blended orgasms, as you can enjoy vaginal penetration as well as rubbing and grinding against the mattress, a pillow, your hand, or a flat vibrating toy,” says O’Reilly. “Squeeze your legs together with every thrust, and allow your muscles to clamp as your pleasure reaches new heights.”
How to do it: Sit on top of a table and part your legs. Have your partner stand between them and penetrate you while you wrap your legs around their body.
Why it maximizes pleasure for both partners: Just like sofa brace, this position brings the thrill factor of sex outside the bedroom, which both partners can enjoy. “If you want to tease them, pull your feet up and press your soles against their chest to minimize the depth of penetration and let them know that you’re in charge,” O’Reilly suggests.
Ultimately, the best sex positions that maximize pleasure for both partners will be different for everyone, because we all have different preferences. But these 11 are a great place to start exploring what feels best for both of you.
Dr. Kat Van Kirk, relationship and sex expert
Dr. Jess O’Reilly, sexologist, host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast