There’s a lot to love about the missionary position: It’s comfortable, lets you kiss and touch your partner, and allows for lots of skin-on-skin contact so you feel connected. That said, it’s also the most vanilla of all sex styles, long branded as the go-to move when you’re feeling lazy or uncreative. “With its popularity, it carries the epithet of being the most pedestrian position out there,” says Jennifer Wiessner, a Maine-based sex therapist.
In the interest of rebranding missionary as a position that’s sexy, exciting, and can make orgasms a lot easier to come by, we called in the experts for their suggestions on how to turn up the heat. “Think of missionary as a solid base to work from and consider what you can do to amplify the experience,” says Wiessner. Start with these five upgrades that deliver mucho missionary pleasure.
Get into a bridge
A simple bridge position can take missionary to new heights. Here’s how to do it: Lie on your back with your pelvis elevated by a pillow, blanket, or foam wedge while your partner kneels between your legs and enters you.
“It’s a variation on missionary that can be pleasurable, visually connecting, and gives both partners more control,” says Wiessner. You can also wrap your legs around your kneeling partner’s torso and squeeze and thrust against him, so you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to pacing and depth. Plus, with your pelvis elevated, it’s easier for you or your partner to stimulate your clitoris as you thrust. That clitoral stimulation is the orgasm trigger most women need.
Legs out long
Extend your legs straight in front of you, but keep them tight together. Have your partner straddle your pelvis, closing his legs around your thighs as he penetrates. Keeping your legs closed can make his penis feel fuller in your vagina, changing the way sex feels for both you and your partner, says Holly Richmond, PhD, a Los Angeles–based sex therapist. “Not only will you feel more friction inside your vagina, but it allows you to squeeze your pelvic muscles as he thrusts.” That’s pleasurable for him and you as well, since using your pelvic muscles can help bring on an orgasm.
Bump and grind
“The trouble with missionary is that [it] may not do much to fully engage all parts of a woman’s clitoris,” says Stephen Snyder, MD, a New York City–based sex therapist and author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Term Relationship ($27, amazon.com).
Here’s what to do instead: “With his penis deep inside you, grind up against him, putting your clitoris exactly where you want it,” recommends Dr. Snyder. “Tell him that what’s most exciting for you is when he thrusts against your clitoris with his pubic bone.” The face-to-face communication that missionary offers lets you deliver sexy direction to your partner. And with his penis all the way inside you while he’s stimulating your clitoris, you’re set for a clitoral orgasm as well as a G-spot orgasm.
Make slow circles
With your guy on top and inside you, tell him to stay still as you move your hips in a circular motion—rather than the in-and-out penetration most guys go with. This way, you’ll get to experience a range of sexy sensations that stimulate every part of your vagina.
Another option: Instead of jackhammering back and forth, ask him to slow things down and do figure eights or circles. If he goes slow or briefly stops moving while he’s fully inside you, you’ll feel more sensation, says Richmond. Slowing things down can also help you two capitalize on the eye contact that missionary position so easily allows for. “It gives you that mind-body-soul connection that makes you feel closer,” adds Richmond.
Play with a vibrator
Wiessner suggests placing a vibrator or or near your clitoris during missionary. As Dr. Snyder says, when it comes to climaxing, penetration alone isn’t always enough for most women to cross that finish line. Adding a device that can provide that stimulation will up your chances of experiencing mind-blowing Os during intercourse. And with your hands and his hands free, you can touch and stroke other erogenous zones as well, exploring each other’s bodies and finding new ways to keep your sex life sizzling.