Ask Professor Foxy: How Can We Try New Positions?

This weekly Saturday column “Ask Professor Foxy” will regularly contain sexually explicit material. This material is likely not safe for work viewing. The title of the column will include the major topic of the post, so please read the topic when deciding whether or not to read the entire column.
Dear Professor Foxy,
I am 21 years old and have only ever had sex in the missionary position. I am wonderfully curvy (most notably my thighs and butt) and every time I have tried a different position it has not worked out very well. Last night me and my longterm boyfriend were in the shower and we tried it standing up with me facing him, then from behind, neither worked. We have tried it with me on top (which I’ve heard is what feels the best for the woman) and it didn’t work out either. I am sexually satisfied with my man-on-top option but I really like variety in my life. My question is two-fold: why isn’t this working, is it my weight or my execution? And are there any other positions I can try?
Thank you for your help,
Miss Ionary

Dear Miss Ionary –
Professor Foxy certainly understands having sex when one has wonderful curves, especially in one’s thighs and butt, as well as the need for variety. First, no one position feels best some people enjoy being on top, others enjoy being on their back. You enjoy your man-on-top option and it may very well be the position for you.
I would not take your sex in the shower attempt to be representative. Sex in the shower is tricky to say the least. The height match has to be just right, there is the fear of falling, and lubricant (natural and artificial) gets washed away pretty easily.
What I would suggest is using props and different surfaces to manipulate how you hold your body. Some ideas:

  • you on a table or desk that allows him to stand with your legs wrapped around or spread in front of him
  • you on top of him with your back facing him
  • him entering from behind using pillows to prop you up and angle yourself (they also sell toys for this). The Smitten Kitten has a great collection.

Oddly enough, wilkipedia also has a fairly extensive list.
Angles are also important. Talk each other through new positions by giving directions, such as “I need you to tilt your back a little more.” or “can you move your gorgeous ass up two inches?”
I understand your desire for diversity and positions are only one way to have variety. There is role-playing, hours of oral, dirty talk, etc. The list is never ending. You and he seem to have good communication and a willingness to try new things: two important factors in having great sex. Keep working your angles and your imagination.
Professor Foxy
If you have a question for Professor Foxy, send it to ProfessorFoxyATfeministingDOTcom.

Join the Conversation

  • ticker

    There is a new book coming out from the women who founded Babeland, called Moregasm–it has a whole huge chapter of positions, complete with tips on what is good and what is bad about each. It’s really fantastic. With drawings and also real-people models.
    (Unpaid plug! I just thought it was a great book. Professor’s advice also good of course)

  • paperispatient

    I’ve found that small changes in body positions – yours and your partner’s – can make a huge difference. I enjoy sex on my back with my legs spread and in the air; when my partner is bent over with his body mostly on top of mine, it feels pleasant enough but when his body is upright and he’s on his knees, it feels totally amazing for me. I’d suggest making small changes like that to see what works and what doesn’t, the slightest change in leg position and the angle at which your bodies are coming together can really change the feeling, at least for me.
    And like Prof. Foxy said, I don’t think sex in the shower should be regarded as representative of what the position would be like out of the shower. The shower is one of the only places I don’t enjoy sex and positions that feel okay-to-uncomfortable in the shower feel extremely pleasurable to me in other locations.

  • Unequivocal

    The Smitten Kitten links contains some of the Liberator brand sex furniture – I simply can’t recommend this stuff highly enough. While definitely on the pricey end, the furniture does an absolutely awesome job of making new positions and angles accessible and enjoyable to all body sizes and shapes. Seriously worth checking out.

  • Jennabun

    Don’t feel discouraged by not liking sex on top. I think what people say about it “feeling best” is absolute bullshit. It hurts my legs, the angle is not very pleasing, and for some reason it seems much harder to get into a rhythm. Me and my boyfriend have tried time and time again and it still sucks haha. And the weird thing is I’m a small person!
    The moral of the story is – when people make broad generalized statements such as “this feels best for all women!”, usually they really aren’t true at all :P

  • ElleStar

    It may be bullshit for you, but it isn’t for a lot of us. But I do agree that it’s a position that might not work for all, or even most, women.
    Let me say that I’ve had the same problem as the OP and discovered there is a definite learning curve that comes with each new position. I don’t think there has been a single position that my SO and I got “right” the first time. There are others that we’re still working on, and a handful that we’ve mastered. What we tend to do is try a position for a while and if it’s not working, go into one we know works for us. Then, the next time, we try again and get more practice. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out (standing up, for example, just does NOT work for us), sometimes it does. :)
    But really, I find I have the best time even just trying. Try not to get frustrated and just have fun.

  • Gretchen

    Angles, angles, angles. They really do make all the difference – for me, at least. My fave position with my bf is him entering me from behind, but if the angle isn’t right, it can go from amazing to very wrong just like that.
    As the distinguished Professor said, don’t be afraid to experiment with pillows, tables, and the like. (And I’ll add my voice to the “not so into shower sex” crowd – I’m too short for it to work very well, and I’m always worried of slipping and breaking my neck!)

  • starryeyed.kid21

    What about those of us who enjoy being close and having face-to-face interaction? Positions like entering from behind don’t work for that. And I agree with an above commenter- female-on-top is frustrating, doesn’t feel better, and isn’t very rhythmic.
    It’s just…predictable having sex in the same position.

  • allegra

    Ha. My boyfriend had back surgery a few months ago and can’t do missionary, so pretty much I’ve been on top all the time. I like being on top – I get more clit stimulation and I like the deeper penetration – but it gets tiring. I still miss missionary. :( Thrusting requires more back muscles than you think!
    You could perhaps try spooning (where you’re both lying down and facing the same direction so that your hips tuck into his, and he can enter you from behind). A lot of my friends like it, though I personally find it a bit tricky.
    I’d also suggest just being more spontaneous (as it sounds like you tried to be in the shower). Don’t feel bad about it not working in the shower: facing each other standing up is usually a tough position unless you’re both rather athletic (because, unless you’re both at the perfect height, it may involve you leaping up, wrapping your legs around him, and him holding you there with his arms, which I haven’t been able to do since college). I’d also recommend yoga: get a book or take a yoga class to learn new ways to stretch and move your body. If you want to try him entering from behind, try arching your back a little more, like the cow pose in yoga ( ), and try leaning over or onto something, like over the bed. Also, different locations are conducive to different positions. For example, I’m a fan of being on top while he’s sitting in a chair. Or a car seat. :o) Or having him enter me from behind while I’m leaning over the kitchen counter, or up against a wall.

  • Athenia

    I feel for you. It seems the only position that works well for me is missionary, but not just any missionary, like me pointing my vagina to the high heavens missionary—it’s the only way that sex isn’t painful for me.
    We tried other positions and they didn’t work out too well which was a real bummer cuz I was so excited about that.
    I figured it just had to do with our respective genital sizes…and probably my inexperience.

  • paperispatient

    There are lots of variations of missionary that provide totally different sensations, at least from my own experience. I mentioned one of my favorites in my above comment. :)
    A nice variation of girl-on-top that provides more closeness is sitting on your partner’s lap with your legs wrapped around him; it doesn’t offer a ton of movement but you both can kind of grind together or rock back and forth and hold each other close. From that position, you can also each lean back on your hands so you can move your bodies more – it’s definitely not smooth and rhythmic (at least not when I do it!) but it takes the burden of moving off just you so you both can thrust together, and both of those positions feel really different to me than “traditional” girl-on-top.

  • scarleteacher

    A few ideas from a super-curvy gal that have worked for her:
    –Try having him sit down on the couch and sliding down a little into a comfortable slouch. Try getting on top this way—you’ll have the back of the couch to hang onto, which several women I know say makes woman on top a lot easier and more enjoyable.
    –Try out different positions first with one of you manually stimulating/using a sex toy on the other, even if that isn’t what gets you off most. It will be easier, for example, for him to enter you from behind using a sex toy with his hand than his penis. This might prove to be variety enough, or it can help you ease into trying out new positions.
    As for some positions not working—they really depend on a lot of variables. His erection length, his body shape, your body shape, the relative location on your vagina on your body (yes, they can be more towards the front or back!) so don’t beat your body up if some positions just aren’t working; it happens to everyone from time to time!

  • Jennabun

    I didn’t mean NO ONE likes it. I’m just saying NOT EVERYONE likes it.

  • Tiffanie

    Practice, practice, practice!!!
    My partner and I have a huge height difference and it took us several tries to get new positions down. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work the first few times, keep trying.
    Have fun!

  • daytrippinariel

    I don’t like it that much either, especially with a condom on which makes it very uncomfortable. Besides that, it usually just ends up hurting my knees or legs. And, yes, I’ve tried many varieties of me on top. I just don’t really like it. I like other stuff.

  • meeneecat

    I like that Prof. Foxy also reminds us that intercourse (a la penis vagina) is not the only way to get off. I personally don’t like intercourse, having anything in there hurts due to some damage from a messed up abdominal surgery for I had a while back, so I prefer clit stimulation to vaginal. Maybe try things like mutual masturbation (whether it’s you each doin’ yourselves, or each other) you two can still face each other and get off at the same time. And I also second the recommendation of toys and aids…I love playing around with that sorta stuff, and erotic shopping with your honey is a big part of the fun too!

  • Newbomb Turk

    I’m partial to reverse cowgirl with my girlfriend, but I’ve found spooning to be the best position. It doesn’t offer as much face-to-face as missionary (though a lot more than doggy), but our heads are close together and it naturally segues into snuggling when we’re done.
    It’s also ideal with with a partner like the one in the original post (and my partner) with curvy thighs and a big curvy behind.

  • beth

    One of the positions that my boyfriend and I enjoy is me on my side. Say right side, for example. And then he can straddle my right leg and move my left leg forward, back, up, or down while he penetrates me. Or I can bend my leg around his waist and help control the motion that way.
    Also, we enjoy spooning a lot, which I see some commenters have suggested. Another variation is to start off with spooning, and then raise your top leg and he can put his top leg between yours. It makes for some very interesting friction. ;) Sometimes I also roll back toward him while in this position, so that we’re kind of facing and spooning at the same time.
    Finally, something that my boyfriend and I also enjoy is to start in the basic missionary position, and then roll onto our sides facing each other. This position doesn’t work with everyone–most men I have been with can’t penetrate me while doing this one. However, you can use the head of his penis to stimulate your clitoris with a grinding motion if he doesn’t quite make it in.

  • alwaystheangel

    I have a question related to this. I’m bored of missionary, but many positions do not work because intercourse can be painful to me, and my boyfriend has an injury to his leg that prevents him from even walking without a serious limp (this is a permanent condition). Girl on top hurts him and he pushes me off if I even try. Any other suggestions? How on earth does spooning even work? I dont even get mechanics of it

  • KBZ

    “Spooning” is a bit like traditional rear-entry (“doogy style”), except both of you are laying on your sides rather than on your knees (as if you started “doggy-style” and fell over). You lay facing away from him (with your body in sort-of an “S” shape), he lays immediately behind you (in the same “S” shape) and enters from behind.
    My husband and I enjoy this particular position when we’re in the mood, but feeling a bit lazy. He can enter pretty easily during a standard snuggle-session, and neither of us has to do too much work. It also works well for when you’re laying on the couch together watching a television.

  • Newbomb Turk

    Another fan of spooning , I see!

  • yourwomanking

    I also have had trouble in woman on top positions. I actually just recently had sex for the first time with my boyfriend of four years. I had problems with vaginismus and was told that woman on top was the best position to use to ease into intercourse. We tried on and off but could never make it work. However recently, we were able to have sex missionary style and I was surprised at how easy it was! I think it was absolutely an angle issue. So I am a little mad at all of the information about how being on top is the best position for woman. I am also mad at myself for not realizing that all women are different and that maybe other positions would have worked better for me. Oh well…now I know!