I’m just gonna come out and say it: Missionary is the best damn position there is. And I’m not alone. See also: “Make Missionary Sex Incredible”—ha! Yes, it has a reputation of being super vanilla, but whatever. Here are my theories on that: Some of the bad rap comes from the name. Who wants to do it like…missionaries? Also, because it’s so popular, people think they’re being boring and basic if they’re into it. Plus, like a lot of sex positions that focus on just penetration, it can be hard/completely impossible for a person with a vulva to orgasm from a penetration-focused position that doesn’t inherently provide much-needed clitoral stimulation.
But this is all fixable. Call it something else, then go ahead and revel in the basic-ness that is missionary. It has all kinds of good things going for it. It’s great for kissing, neck nuzzling, and eye contact. It’s easy. There’s tons of skin-to-skin contact. You can tweak it with toys, different angles, moving your legs around, and adding masturbation to make sure your partner is getting the kind of stimulation they need.
1 Slo-Mo Missionary
Missionary becomes insanely intimate if you slow it waaay down. Take every moment and stretch it out. The moment of anticipation just before you enter your partner when the tip of your penis or strap-on presses against them. The slow slide-in (make it even slower than you think it should be). The moment you’re all in (pause and just feel each other). So intense.
2 Slippery When Wet
Go super decadent by lubing yourselves up—everywhere. Cover your chest and legs with lube, then slide around on each other in slippery debauchery. Use a ton of towels or invest in a waterproof blanket specially designed to handle lubes, goos, and such.
3 The X Spot
4 The Pleasing Prop-Up
If you’re on the smaller side or you’re just a fan of extra-deep penetration, there’s a super-easy hack to try in standard missionary position. Prop a pillow under your partner’s butt to lift their hips higher on an angle. It’s a subtle shift that changes the sensation dramatically.
5 The Dirty Dangle
On the flip side, standing and entering your partner can sometimes ease off some of the depth of penetration, should they be in a “my cervix needs a break” kind of mood. Plus, this one is ideal for doin’ it in the kitchen.
6 The Purring Kitty
In CAT (aka Coital Alignment Technique), you shift a bit so that your hips are higher than theirs. Once you’re inside, lift your hips and grind your pubic bone against their clit. You can circle your hips, rub up and down, or go from side to side—whatever feels right.
7 Shoot the Moon
Remember that ye olde Shoot the Moon wooden game? You two should look like that once you’re in position here. Have your partner bend their legs up to their chest and grab their ankles as you enter them. You can bend their legs, push them together on their chest, spread them apart, push them straight up—the challenge is figuring out exactly what feels best. When at least one of you is groaning incoherently, you have a winner!
8 The Lock and Load
When your partner presses their legs together in missionary, suddenly every stroke is enhanced. Seriously, it’s like MSG for sex. (And if you’re on the smaller size in the penile region, this is definitely the position for you—you’ll feel like you’re filling them up and you won’t slip out.)
9 The I Want You, I Need You
According to famous research by Marta Meana, PhD, being hotly desired is what turns women on most. And there’s no better way to let your partner know you desire them than hoisting their legs over your shoulders so you can be inside them, like, right now. This twist on missionary also lets you enter them super deep—even deeper if you grab their hips for leverage—which is pretty much always a good thing.
10 The Side Winder
This take on missionary is best if you’re (too) generously endowed—you won’t be able to enter them quite as deep. In normal missionary, spin about 45 degrees to one side so your bodies form an X and you’re entering you at a sideways angle. From here, your partner can get a hot view of your back and ass humping them.