There are a lot of great things about being on top during sex, from having control of the speed and tempo, to experiencing deep penetration with clitoral stimulation and having intense eye contact with your partner. But some women find all that to be a little too much—and that’s OK. (You should definitely finish with one of these 5 sex positions for an orgasmic finale.)
“Whether it is due to body size, ability, or self-esteem, there are many reasons women may shy away from being on top,” says Jennifer A. Wiessner, a certified sex therapist (CST) from Cumberland, Maine. “For many women it’s uncomfortable and more like a workout.”
Luckily there are many alternative positions that can make women feel in charge of their sexuality. “I find any position can be powerful or dominant if the woman owns her power,” Wiessner says.
We spoke with Wiessner and other sex experts about the best positions for women who hate being on top. Behold, your soon-to-be favorites:
One of the benefits of being on top is deep penetration, which many women find pleasurable. Doggy style offers the same, says Marissa Nelson, a CST from Washington D.C. and founder of IntimacyMoons.
“You can grind your hips in a circular motion at first, then allow him to hold your waist and thrust. This is one of the best sex positions for deep penetration and g-spot access. Use his fingers, your fingers, or a vibrator to stimulate your clitoris simultaneously,” Nelson recommends.
“Women report the sensation of a penis in them while they are feeling contractions during orgasm as extremely pleasurable, and he is likely to come very shortly after because the sensation feels so good to him too.”
If you prefer not to be in the spotlight, spooning is a great position to get close physically and get out of your own head, said Holly Richmond, a CST with practices in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. With the man in back, the woman doesn’t have to feel like she is being stared at or feel pressure to maintain eye contact, which may be too intense for some.
“The objective with the spooning position is that she doesn’t feel her partner’s gaze in a direct way, and therefore can focus her attention on pleasure,” Richmond says. Since there is no direct clitoral stimulation in this position, Richmond suggests either partner use their hands or a toy. (Try using one of these highly-reviewed sex toys in the bedroom.)
Standing rear entry
For an alternative that feels just a little naughty, try standing rear entry, where the woman stands with her hands against a wall and the man enters her from behind.
“He approaches from behind and can place his hands on her shoulders, ribs, hips, breasts, clitoris, and vulva, or a combination,” says Eric Marlowe Garrison, a sex counselor from Richmond, Virginia. “For a little BDSM, he can hold one or both arms behind her back.”
Once you’ve perfected this position, have a bit of fun experimenting. “He is also able to whisper in her ear, bite or lick her neck, run his fingers down her back, pull her hair, or put his fingers in her mouth. She can also spin partially around for a kiss,” Garrison says.
With one partner straddling the other, this is a great position for deep penetration and lots of intimacy, says Rachel Needle, PsyD, a licensed psychologist and CST in West Palm Beach, Florida. “Your partner can cross his legs and you can sit on top of him with your legs wrapped around him, exerting whatever energy you want,” she says. “You can make small and slow movements and enjoy the deep penetration while doing little work.”
This position adds a little spice to a classic, Wiessner says. The female partner lays on her back with her pelvis elevated by a pillow or blanket while the male partner kneels between her legs.
“It’s a variation on missionary that can be pleasurable and give both of you more control,” she says. “With penetration, a woman can wrap her legs around the kneeling person’s torso and use leg and buttock muscles to squeeze and thrust as much as the penetrator can.” For added pleasure, use a hand or vibrator for increased clitoral stimulation. (If you hate missionary, these 4 sex positions will keep things hot in the bedroom.)
Side by side
Another great option is making love lying down facing each other side by side. “What’s good about it is that the woman has the freedom to move to get the best stimulation for her, and it also allows for manual clitoral stimulation,” says Deborah Fox, a CST from Washington, D.C.
If you want to avoid being totally exposed or having to do all the work, try sitting on your partners’ lap, either facing him or facing away, says Isadora Alman, a CST from San Francisco.
“This position allows more cuddling and doesn’t require as much activity from the woman,” Alman says. “The couple has the option of ‘squirming’ rather than pumping for deep penetration.”
Laurie Watson, LMFT, director of the Awakenings Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, agreed that this position is a great option, especially when partners are facing each other. “They can experience the great things about pelvic contact that can better stimulate her clitoris without the same self-consciousness,”