First of all, before you go racing into the bedroom wearing nipple tassels and screaming, “Come and get me!” there are a few things you should consider. The first is that, while you’re all geared up and ready, your partner may not be quite on the same page.
According to COSRT accredited psychosexual therapist, and coauthor of the Orgasm Answer Guide, Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh managing expectations is critical to a successful sexual experience.
“Often the things we do on Valentine’s Day — from a romantic dinner to going to see a movie — are building up to the great sex you’ll have at the end. There’s so much emphasis on the sexual evolution that the poor guy can build up performance anxiety,” she says. “So a good approach is to focus on the connection that the two of you have, rather than the inevitable ending.”
Set the scene
“Setting the mood and stimulating all of the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste) enhances the experience,” says sex and relationship coach Uta Demontis. She suggests couples play with music, lighting, aromatic oils or incense and even food to set things to a steamy high.
“Music is a fantastic tool to help create mood for love making,” agrees award-winning sex worker and sex coach Charlotte Rose, “[but] don’t forget lighting. Candles and low lights are just as important. Some partners don’t like to have sex with strong lights on so making it dim may give you more confidence to try a different position or even wear something out of the ordinary to surprise your partner.”
However be sure the elements you choose are authentic to your relationship. According to Dr. Nasserzadeh, if you use them because you’re trying to emulate an image in a magazine, or an idea of what a sexy night should be, they can form a distraction.
The seduction begins long before you enter the bedroom. In a way the whole of Valentine’s Day — from the first kiss hello to dinner — is a way to romance your partner. But once you eventually get undressed make sure you don’t jump straight into doing the dirty.
“Foreplay is essential,” says Demontis. “It helps to get [you] into the mood. Also, it’s important that all of her (and his) body is being caressed, so that sex is not too genitally-focused but rather the whole body is engaged.”
“Foreplay should never be rushed,” adds Rose, “take time to enjoy the journey of sexual exploration of your partner’s body.”
1. Heavenly scissors
How it’s done: Both partners lie on their side with their heads near the other’s feet. He slips his lower leg under her lower leg, his upper leg between her legs and moves his pelvis towards her until he can penetrate her.
How to make it sensational: Ensure you’re both clean from head to toe and communicate about what feels good. Use your hands to caress and nibble unexpected parts of the body.
Why it’s great: “This side-to-side sex position is great for intimate sex, for keeping eye contact and having a great view of your partner,” says Demontis.
2. Sexy spoons
“The skin is the largest organ of the body, so sexual positions with more skin-to-skin-connection between the couple are very intimate,” agrees Dr. Nasserzadeh.
“Spooning can be a lovely morning position to wake up to together. Most men wake being aroused and in this position he can gently wake her with stimulation with his hand, whilst giving gentle kisses around the nape of her neck and shoulders. He is also able to fondle her breasts and stroke her body,” adds Rose.
How it’s done: Both partners lie on their side facing the same way with him cradling (or “spooning”) her from behind as he penetrates her.
How to make it sensational: Be gentle and soft and try to get as much skin-on-skin contact as possible. Don’t neglect the earlobes.
Why it’s great: “As there is full body contact, it is a physically very intimate position,” says Demontis.
3. Reverse cowgirl
“[The woman gives] her partner a display of her behind whilst also achieving a different sensation of depth for herself,” adds Rose.
How it’s done: He is lying down. She’s on top, straddling him in a kneeling or squatting position, facing his feet.
How to make it sensational: Ask your man to sit up slightly and hold you for additional stability and skin contact. Use your hands to touch and play with his balls and thighs while he touches your breasts and stimulates your clitoris.
Why it’s great: “In this position [the woman] controls the speed, pace, angle and depth of penetration. It’s also a great position for stimulating her g-spot,” says Demontis.
4. Legs on shoulders
How it’s done: He kneels between her legs; she lies on her back and places her heels or knees on his shoulders.
How to make it sensational: Use a cushion underneath your buttocks to support and raise your pelvis and adjust the angle at which you’re being stimulated. Keep eye contact and don’t forget to touch and play not only with him but also yourself.
Why it’s great: “When you’re face-to-face, first of all you can kiss and you have eye contact, so you can stare at each other and know you’re in this together,” says Dr. Nasserzadeh. “It also gives you access to each others’ bodies, because your hands are in front of you. You can touch each other and whisper loving words.”
“In this position, he can touch her everywhere,” agrees Demontis and adds, “through using a cushion to adjust the angle of penetration, she can be stimulated deep inside.”
“A different feeling of depth can be achieved whilst [the woman] can also stimulate herself at the same time,” adds Rose.
5. Yab yum
How it’s done: He sits cross-legged; she sits in his lap and wraps her legs around his waist. The soles of her feet touch. Their arms are wrapped around each other.
How to make it sensational: Place a pillow under your buttocks if you need the additional support or to achieve a different angle. This is a Tantric position so don’t rush and be as physical as possible.
Why it’s great: “The partners can keep eye contact, kiss and caress each other. This position allows for a deep connection and for an extended sexual experience,” says Demontis.
“The couple can rock their bodies together while holding each other, this is a very intimate position,” says Dr. Nasserzadeh.
6. Keep it simple (missionary)
While trying new positions can be a lot of fun and inject a new sexual energy into your relationship sometimes nothing beats the classics. The truth is that exciting sex has less to do with how you can twist and bend and more with the connection you make.
How it’s done: She lies on her back with her legs apart. He lies on top, between her legs, with his forearms underneath her arms.
How to make it sensational: Start slow and build up speed and momentum, focusing on your rhythm and breathing for ultimate pleasure.
Why it’s great: Eye and skin contact remain the main vehicles for pleasure, which is why the missionary remains the most common and popular position. According to Dr. Nasserzadeh, most couples in long-term relationships will use the missionary position (sometimes with variations) 90 percent of the time. So the only thing you need to ensure is that you’re doing it right.
“It is one of the top positions for connectivity. You are able to still kiss and have the most skin to skin contact,” says Rose.
A version of this article was originally published in February 2014.