For the men out there who don’t know what women actually want in the bedroom, the good news is we’re here to pass on a few tips from sex experts that can possibly take your love life to the next level. The bad news is what works for one woman might not work for another.
“A woman tends to like positions that show off what she likes best about her body, that hide things she doesn’t like so much, and that drive her partner crazy with lust for her,” New York City sex therapist Stephen Snyder, M.D., says. “And beyond that, I think individual preferences might be very broad. A lot depends on the particular ‘fit’ between two people.”
But, here's more good news: Jessica O’Reilly Ph.D., sexologist and author of The New Sex Bible, agrees that sex experts and researchers can’t speak for all women, but says there are some sex positions that many women report are underused.
See, there may be some hope after all. You may come to find that the results you're looking for aren't down the path you first attempt, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process along the way and continue to search for the solution by trying (and perfecting) these sex positions.
Where should you start? “Ask her directly,” Snyder says. “That takes courage, of course. But so do most things that end up being worthwhile.” If she seems hesitant to express what she wants at first, McDevitt suggests you encourage her, but understand where she’s coming from.
“Sex in general is not very comfortable for many people to talk about, especially their sexual desires, as that opens them up to vulnerability,” McDevitt says.
Griffin recommends creating a safe space to communicate in a loving and non-threatening environment. “Refrain from telling your partner what he or she is doing wrong,” Griffin says. “Nobody wants to hear about what they are doing wrong! Instead, compliment them on the things they do great and that you love and enjoy. Finally, follow it up with the sexual wants, needs, or desires that you would like more of. At the end of the day, we are responsible for our sexual pleasure!”
1. Cunnilingus (Oral Sex)
“It's hard to speak so broadly, as there are 2.5 billion adult women in the world, and undoubtedly innumerable different sex position preferences among them,” Jill McDevitt, Ph.D., sexologist and author of Sex Positions for Every Body, says. “But for the women I encounter in my work, which are mostly American women between the ages of 18 and 45, often a highly craved sex position is the one where she lays on her back with her legs spread and knees bent, with her partner lying on their stomach and their mouth on their vulva—also known as cunnilingus/oral sex.”
The reason women crave oral sex is that it stimulates the clitoris, which usually isn’t stimulated during penile vaginal sex, according to McDevitt. That’s why she says this sex act is more reliably orgasmic than some other ones.
2. Missionary Position / Missionary Squeeze
O’Reilly says that the missionary position usually isn’t considered a position that women (or men) crave since it’s often seen as boring. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up. O’Reilly recommends enhancing the regular missionary position by doing the missionary squeeze.
How is it done? “She lies on her back while her partner is on top,” O’Reilly says. “She squeezes her legs together and grinds against his pelvis as he slides in and out.” The reason this works, according to O’Reilly, is that she activates her pubococcygeus or PC muscles and gets lots of stimulation against both the internal and external clitoris.
“Women enjoy missionary position because it allows partners to connect on a deeper and more meaningful level,” Griffin says. “Women like to feel intimately connected to their partners, especially during sex. With missionary position, the body is in alignment and allows easy entry into the vagina. Partners are able to gaze into each other’s eyes, breathe together, take long passionate kisses, maintain body-to-body closeness, and synchronize their movements. The friction of bodies touching makes penetration more satisfying leading to an intense orgasm.”
3. Woman on Top (And Its Variations)
Women also crave any variation where they're on top, which includes positions like Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl, The Lotus, and Yab-Yum, according to Griffin.
“Women love these positions because they allow them to be able to control the speed, angle, and depth of penetration,” Griffin says. “When a woman is on top, it makes it easier for her to move in a way that feels more pleasurable for her. The man’s hands are free to roam and stimulate other pleasure points of her body such as her breast, back, and butt, which also helps to increase her body’s sensitivity. These positions also offer direct stimulation of the clitoris and G-spot, which can maximize her chances of having an orgasm.”
O’Reilly says couples should also try the Assisted Reverse Cowgirl since this position provides extra stimulation to a woman’s clitoris and cul de sac (the deep part on the lower wall of the vagina near the cervix).
The way to do it: “She rides him facing toward his feet,” O’Reilly says. “He bends his legs/knees keeping his feet flat on the mattress so that she can lean forward against his thighs.”
4. The Snake
“When we think of sex-from-behind positions, we’re often focused on doggie-style,” O’Reilly says. “But The Snake can be more effective for many women because of the combination of penetration and stroking of the clitoris.”
The way to do The Snake, according to O’Reilly, is that the woman lies on her stomach flat on the bed and her partner slides in from behind. Then she wraps her hand or a small toy under her vulva and pubic mound.
The reason O’Reilly says this works: “The weight of her body allows her to grind with extra pressure against her hand or toy stimulating the internal (erect) shaft of her clitoris.”
While Griffin says that spooning certainly isn’t a secret to most men, she notes that some men choose sexual positions in an effort to impress women with their sexual prowess rather than going with a tried-and-true method.
“The angle of this position puts pressure in all the right places for both partners,” Griffin says. “Although spooning does not allow for eye contact, it’s still a great position because of the closeness. Similarly to the woman on top positions, spooning positions allows the man access to all the pleasure points on the woman’s body. Her partner can caress her stomach, breast, neck, and clitoris.”
Griffin says that spooning is popular since there’s full-body contact, which allows for cuddling and low-intensity sex that can last for a long time.