We all have our favorite, old reliables in our sex lives: that beautiful perfect toy you’re obsessed with, the finisher move that drives your partner(s) crazy and the positions that efficiently get the job the done. But sometimes you want to shake things up. That’s normal.
After all, standard sex positions aren’t always optimal for everybody or every body — but that’s why you can modify and adjust these positions to hit the right spots (either with just a shift of your bodies or with the help of a good firm pillow or some sex furniture). There are numerous ways to modify a sex position — but the big rule to follow is making sure you’re chasing what feels good and keeping you and your partner as comfortable as you want to feel.
To help, here’s a few of our favorite modified twists on your favorite sex positions.
A doggie-style position is always a crowd favorite for deep penetration and for folks that love that raw bestial feel of being on all fours. There are a few ways to modify your doggie, but a favorite is to have the receiving partner lay all the way down, leaning forward and spreading your legs instead of staying on all fours. You can feel free to add a pillow under that partner’s hips for comfort, better angles and have the penetrating partner enter from behind. This is great when the penetrating partner has maybe a shorter length penis or toy to work with and allows for extra flush-together intimacy in each thrust. Woof.
The X (Modified Missionary)
There are countless ways to adjust and modify a missionary position (since it’s generally considered the most basic position in a person’s repertoire). This one is particularly great for folks looking to focus on just receiving pleasure and enjoying penetration: The X. In this position, the receiving partner lays back and spreads out like an X (feel free to add restraint play ,if you’re into that) and the penetrating partner enters from the front, focusing their attention on that penetration.
Again, you can add a pillow to elevate your hips if you’d like — that can help you find the depth you’ve been looking for.
A favorite for partners of very different heights, the Butterfly lets the receiving partner lay back on the bed/counter/sex-friendly surface of your choosing and their partner can enter while standing for a bit of extra power. While it can be adjusted for depth depending on how the receiving partner wants to position their legs, it can be modified in a few ways.
One: You can use a pillow or, if you’re an overachiever, the penetrating partner’s brute strength to lift the receiving partner’s hips (this adds a bit more difficulty, intensity and athleticism, if that’s what y’all like).
Two: Lazy butterfly necessitates picking a lower surface, but lets your penetrating partner use their knees (because standing can be a lot). Either way, you can thrust or grind with a good amount of control.
Spooning sex is cuddly and intimate and warm (perfect for the chilly autumn mornings we’re starting to get). But you can dirty up your spoon by mixing it up with your doggie style technique. Get on your sides and instead of just relaxing against the penetrating partner’s chest, have the receiving partner lean forward with feet between their legs or at their thighs (not quite curled in a ball, but close) and have them enter from behind.
It’s a great way to get the depth and power of doggie with the lazy closeness of your favorite spoon (and you can always slide back into a softer position as you go — and we have to love that versatility.
Sex, like so many things, isn’t a one-size-fits-most endeavor. You’ll need to trial and error to discover the positions that feel right for your body and your partner’s body. But exploring and adjusting is half the fun.
A version of this story was published September 2020.
Before you go, check out 69 more of our favorite sex positions to try before you die: