There’s a unique beauty in being on top. You’re taking control of the situation, setting the pace, and expressing your desires physically. But at the same time, you’re relieving your partner of some responsibility, offering them some much-needed respite, and inviting them to indulge in absolute pleasure and relaxation for a little while. Though being on top may seem inherently self-centered, in practice, it’s as much about giving as it is about taking. And the very best you-on-top sex positions make the most of this intimate interplay.
Given the vast expanse of sex positions available in this world, it can be hard to accept that could be as simple as climbing on top of your partner and doing the damn thing. But often, it is. Tried-and-true favorites are classics for a reason: They offer fun, excitement, and connection in equal measure—no stretching, balancing, or doing the splits required. Put simply, it’s hard to top being on top (when you’re in the mood for it, of course).
Not to mention, the you-on-top sex positions space extends far beyond cowgirl and reverse cowgirl. Mounting your partner during sex has been around as long as sex itself, so the genre has seen its fair share of inventive iterations. Top sex positions can get as soft and intimate, as bold and dominant, or as adventurous and acrobatic as you want them to. The tone is yours to set.
The Merger is Classic Cowgirl, modified just enough to keep things interesting. Have your penetrating partner sit at the foot of the bed, with their knees bent and their toes grazing the floor. Then, climb on top of them and kneel facing forward. Your stomach should be pressed against theirs, giving them access to your chest, your neck, and your mouth.
If you feel comfortable doing so, reach behind you, place your hands on their knees, and lean back. Or opt for something more intimate, and tightly wrap your arms around them.
The Shameless is little more than Reverse Cowgirl, combined with the best of what Modified Doggy Style has to offer. Climb on top of your partner and face away from them — just like you would if you were doing Reverse Cowgirl. Then, lean forward. And keep leaning forward until you can place your hands on your partners’ ankles and hold yourself up. (Think: The tabletop position you do in yoga class, but with more of an arched back.)
From there, you can glide forward and backward until you find a rhythm that works for you.
If you’ve ever done missionary with your knees hugged to your chest, you’ll recognize the Fifth Element—it’s exactly that, but with you on top. Ask your partner to lie down and pull their knees in as far as they’ll go. Then, kneel, straddling their legs, and lean forward until your chest is pressed to theirs.
The Fifth Element is great for sensual grinding and aggressive motion, alike—making it a great go-to, no matter your mood.
It’s not entirely fair to call the Pearly Gates a modified version of Reverse Cowgirl. Because the position is more of a Reverse Cowgirl/Missionary hybrid than anything else.
Have your partner lie down. Then, climb on top of them and straddle them—the same way you would for Reverse Cowgirl. Once you’re there, you’ll want to kick your legs out in front of you. Stretch them as far as they’ll go, but keep your feet planted on the bed. (Your knees will end up slightly bent, but they’ll mostly line up with your partners.) Then, lean back as far as you can, and plant your hands on the bed to stabilize yourself further. At the end of all of this, you should be reclining on your partner’s body—and your hands and feet should be planted firmly on the bed.
Once you’re there, you can slide up and down or glide back and forth. And you can squeeze your thighs together to increase the sensation for both of you.
The Lotus is a particularly sweet take on the you-on-top sex position. Have your partner sit down with their legs crossed in front of them. Then, sit in their lap and drape your legs over their shoulders. Have them hold your thighs while you caress their hair. And then glide as slowly or quickly as you want to.
Fans of an excessively acrobatic sex position will surely appreciate the Arch, which is, in a word, wild. If your partner is flexible and strong, ask them to do one of those arched-back bridges kids do in gymnastics. Once they’re there — assuming they can hold the position for longer than a few seconds — walk up to them, and straddle them.
From there, have as much sex as both of you can manage to. It may be a lot, and it may be a little — but either way, you’ll end up with a pretty solid story.
The Zeal is the perfect excuse to take control — and to put your favorite chair to use in a brand new way. Ask your partner to sit on a chair in your home (preferably, one without armrests). Once they’re there and comfortable, sit on their lap, facing away from them.
Since the position’s pretty stable, you can get away with any kind of movement you’re craving— fast, slow, aggressive, sensual, or somewhere in between. The other perk? Since the Zeal keeps your bodies so close together, your partner can reach around and stimulate just about any area on your body.
More Missionary than Cowgirl, the Lizard is soft, sweet, and snuggly—fit for nights when you just want to feel close to your partner. Ask your partner to lie down, and straddle them, facing forward. Then, stretch out until your lips are touching their lips and your toes are grazing theirs.
Move in whatever way feels best, and take full advantage of the cuddles. Closeness is this position’s greatest strength.