Featuring the hottest sex positions in the Cosmo arsenal, you'll ~come~ back to this page again and again
Contrary to popular belief: Yes, there are more than just, like, five basic sex positions. (Trust us, we’re kinda the authority.) In fact, there are so many, we put together this sex positions guide with all our favorites for you to try out ASAP. Will they work for everyone? That depends! But what better way to learn than by practicing—especially when practicing can be so much fun.
“Finding the right sexual positions for you and your partner(s) is a process,” says Ashera DeRosa, LMFT, owner of Whole Stories Therapy. “I caution people from getting too hung up on doing it right and following instructions to a T. You don't need to get your leg at an unsustainable angle or do acrobatics to find mind-blowing pleasure.”
RT! You don’t have to be a professional gymnast to have good sex. All you need is a consenting partner, a little time, and an open mind. Here are some expert-backed tips to keep in mind before you begin your ~favorite-sex-position-discovery journey~.
Let your passion take over
The best sex happens when you feel comfortable and free to be yourself to the fullest. So next time you’re in an experimental mood, let yourself do whatever feels right and good without worrying too much about whether it’s perfect or what happens next. “To find that go-to position you know makes you both scream curse words, it's all about letting passion take over. Roll around the bed, get on the floor, make out on the sofa and move around the room.... just don't think about it, do it!” says Edwina Caito, head content creator at BedBible.com.
Get to know what turns you on
Masturbate your heart out and bring that wisdom to partnered sex. Do you need to have a super hardcore wand vibe, two carrots up your bum and a teddy bear between your legs to orgasm? Tell your partner! There’s no shame in this game. The same rule applies to what you’re looking for connection-wise. “Do you relish in sustained, intense eye contact? Then exploring positions that let you feel that closeness will help. Conversely, if distance lets you tap into different sensations, doggy style or reverse cowgirl can give you a chance to experience that,” says DeRosa.
The right positions for you should feel good, easy, and natural
“Once you find that perfect position where your bodies line up, those sweet spots are stimulated just right, you both hit climax together, melt into a quivering pile of goo and consider Taco Bell 30 minutes later, there is absolutely nothing more blissful,” says Caito.
Now, without further ado, this master sex positions guide is full of options depending on your situation (if you’re pregnant, on your period, stuck in a dry spell—there’s something for everyone!) or what you’re looking to try (deeper penetration, threesomes, butt stuff, etc.). Go forth and prosper!
Positions to Try if You’re Pregnant
First Trimester: The Safety Scissors
If you or your partner are afraid you’re going to break something (the baby, your vagina—both myths), go with the shallow penetration that is the Safety Scissors. (And for the record, unless your doctor has told you otherwise, it’s totally safe for you to bang away as usual.) "With all the blood flow directed to your clitoris, grinding your pelvis against your partner will feel even better than usual," says Aliyah Moore, PhD, resident certified sex therapist at SexualAlpha.
Second Trimester: The Tilt-A-Whirl
During the second semester, you might want to avoid putting pressure on your growing uterus. The best way to do that, according to a poll gyno Heather Bartos MD, ob-gyn and host of the ME Spot podcast, gave her patients: Doggy style. It won for “maximum aesthetics and functionality,” plus, "some women felt the tilt of the uterus provided more pleasure,” said Bartos.
Third Trimester: The Outer Limits
Not feeling like penetration? Grab a bottle of lube and see what happens. Try outercourse, says Janet Brito, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, and supervisor at the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Honolulu, Hawaii. Go with lots of oral, mutual masturbation or hand jobs for all.
Positions for When You’re On Your Period
The Shark Week Scissor
Scissoring can be amazing, especially if you have some toys on hand. But believe it or not, it’s extra good when the crimson tide is flowing. “Scissoring is a great option with or without penetration if cramps are raging but that sexy feeling is there,” said Kristy Gilbraith, RN, aka The Menstrual Maven™ and founder of FLOH Wear by Undies Loft. Throw an old towel or two underneath you so you don’t have to worry about the sheets.
The Clean Up in Aisle Three
If you’re a little skittish about getting blood all over everything, try shower sex. It’s easy clean-up, plus if you’re having back cramps, you can aim the warm water onto your back to ease the pain. You can also direct the handheld shower toward your clit or invest in a waterproof toy to do your bidding.
What period? Get on top of your partner and slide along them. If there’s blood, there’s blood. Periods are normal, dammit. If your partner doesn’t care (which, they shouldn’t), there’s no reason you should, either.
Positions to Help You Embrace Your Submissive Side
Kneel down before your dominant with your knees wide apart, hands palm-up on the thighs, and eyes downcast. “This position not only enforces the idea of submission, but the open-kneed version also exposes the genitals (regardless of clothing) and adds to a feeling of vulnerability and openness,” says Rebecca Blanton, aka Auntie Vice, a kink and sex educator who focuses on BDSM from the submissive perspective. Your job is to await further instructions. “For people who cannot kneel for health reasons, sitting on a low chair or the bed's edge with the knees wide apart and eyes downcast until the partner asks to be looked at is a great variation.”
The Submissive Wheelbarrow
“The dominant stands while the submissive gets on all fours and lifts their legs so their dom can grab hold of them,” says Moore. “This feels super submissive, as the bottom partner focuses on staying balanced and gives their top partner complete control over their pleasure. Up the power-play factor by maintaining the submissive mindset—play the role of property, masochist, or pet. Your aim as a sub is to serve your dom, so you must give up any preferences that you might have during play.” Suggestion: Crotchless lingerie.
The Far and Wide
“Spreader bars are a perfect accessory to make your power play super erotic. There are all sorts of positions to explore with a spreader bar, but my personal favorite is the standing bar position. The person wearing the bar stands up with their legs spread wide open. What you do then is up to you,” says Emma Hewitt, a sex educator, host and producer of sex-positive podcast The Electric Rodeo, and sex toy expert at Adult Toy Mega Store. “I recommend leaning against a countertop or wall to reduce the risk of balance loss. And always have a safe word. Spreader bars can become uncomfortable after a while, so ensure that you can safely be removed from the bar if this happens.”
Positions if You Wanna Add Some Butt Stuff to the Mix
The Booty Trap
If you want something happening butt-wise, access is key. They can slide a (lubed!) finger up your bum, go in for a rim job, and/or just pop a butt plug in while their clean hand rubs your clit. (Keep fingers/toys into butt and non-butt areas separate to avoid bacterial infections.)
The Big Dipper
If you're trying penetrative anal sex for the first time, you're going to want to be the one controlling how far that penis/strap-on is gonna go inside you. Anal penetration generally works better when you're already super aroused, so that's step one. Step two: Lube. Step three: straddle your partner's thighs and slowly lower yourself down. Take all the damn time you need. Use a vibrator for your clit at the same time for extra gloriousness.