How to Try New Positions–Without Having to Read an Instruction Manual

by | Jul 3, 2019 | Uncategorized | 13 comments

How to try new sex positions without having to use a diagram!
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What do you do when you want to spice things up, but you don’t know where to start? 

This whole month we’re going to be talking every Wednesday about practical ways to spice up your sex life and make sex great! It’s going to be a lot of fun, and there’s a ton of great stuff coming up like how to have great sex even when it’s really hot and you don’t have AC, as well as ways to sync your libidos and choose the perfect piece of lingerie! 

 Today we want to hit off the series by tackling a big one we get questions about a lot: trying new sex positions!

And warning: This post is going to get a little graphic, but it’s only so I can help you. And I’m not going to go more graphic that is necessary. Trust me!

Now, trying new positions can can be tricky because if we’re looking at diagrams, often they use actual people and it gets X-rated. (A great way around that is the Ultimate Intimacy App, by the way, that is done really tastefully!)

But beyond that, trying new positions can feel awkward because it often breaks up sex in a non-organic way. You’re going all hot and heavy and then you have to stop, pull out the diagram, and then re-adjust and get into a new position. You wonder for the first little bit if you’re even doing it right, and it can be hard to really focus on how it’s feeling because you’re thinking,

“Is this what the instructions said? Are we doing this right? Is this OK for him? Maybe we should just go back to what we know.” 

This awkwardness often happens because when we talk about trying new positions we’re often really focused on stopping what we’re doing and then literally changing everything about the position we’re in. But spicing up your sex life and trying something new doesn’t just need to be a pre-organized occasion where you’ve researched and come up with a plan for what positions you’re going to try (although those times can be great, too!). It can also be fun to just try new things while you’re in the moment! 

But where do you even start when it comes to trying new sex positions in the moment without diagrams or instructions? 

Here’s the thing: there really are only so many ways to actually have sex. Most positions fall into one of 4 categories: 

  • Face to face, man on top 
  • Face to face, woman on top 
  • Man facing her back, man on top 
  • Man facing her back, woman on top 

Everything else just requires moving within these positions to change the pressure, the angle, or the depth he is able to reach. 

But here’s the thing: no matter what you do, there is one very important rule when it comes to trying new positions: 

You never ever EVER put any of your weight on his ding-a-ling. The only thing the ding-a-ling should be holding up is itself. 

It sounds silly, I know, but penis sprains that require surgery are a real thing and the best way to avoid these are just to make sure that you are never resting your weight on his penis. And this is actually quite easy to do by making sure that your feet, hips, knees or back are what are primarily holding your weight in whatever position you are in. 

But what about standing positions? 

Standing positions are one of those things that can encroach on the weight-on-his-penis territory and so need to be done very carefully. Safe standing positions fall under one of the four categories above, usually he is entering her while she is either bending over something like the side of the bed or is lying on her back on a steady surface. Anything where he is holding her weight entirely, either lifting her up or she is holding herself up on him by wrapping her legs around him, can turn bad really quick. If you slip off just a little bit, you could crack his penis. 

OK, so there are our general ground rules. So now here are the practical ways to change it up during sex so you can experiment without having to pull out a diagram: 

1. Move your legs 

Raise one leg, wrap your legs around each other, cross one leg over, spread your legs wider or keep them closer together. This can be a really easy way to change where his thrusting is hitting her and how deep he is able to go. 

Change where your legs are, too–are they in the air, on the bed, on his shoulders? You can try having one leg up and one leg down, and then switch legs to see which feels better. If she’s on top, you can try putting one leg forward and one leg back if you’re flexible. Also simply changing how far apart her legs are can change the sensation for woman-on-top positions. 

2. Rotate 

This one is about where your hips are facing. If you start having sex face to face with man on top, she can rotate her hips so that she’s now on her side. You can combine this with changing up what your legs are doing, too–put one leg on his shoulder, roll over, and you’re in a whole new position! (See how these small changes can make a big difference in an organic way during sex? It’s easy to do and you don’t need to pause and pull out your phone!) 

3. Prop yourself up 

If she started on her back, prop up her back so she’s more in a sitting position. Change his position so he’s more leaning back, holding onto her hands or arms for support. If she’s on top, change his position by sitting up more or less, as well. 

Basically, this one is about changing the angle between you and the bed. If you start closer to 90 degrees (sitting up), try moving more towards 180 degrees (lying down flat), or vice versa. Figure out what combination between you and your spouse feels best! 

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4. Change what body part is holding your weight

If your weight is all on your back, try shifting so that your knees or your hands are holding up more of your weight. If you’re the one on top, try switching from your knees to your feet, or to your feet and hands. Depending on each of your strength and physical ability (be honest with yourself for this), you can try putting your weight more on your spouse’s shoulders if you prop your legs on his shoulders.

As well, you can help hold up your spouse’s weight by holding hands/grasping wrists during positions where one of you is leaning backwards. These kinds of differences can provide a new challenge to an old position and make the experience entirely different and new.

5. Move differently!

If you’re used to thrusting a certain way, why not try a different angle? Women, you can try grinding your hips while he is thrusting to see if you can find a combination that works great for both of you. You can also grab your spouse’s feet, legs, arms or hands and pull them while you thrust to change the depth you get with that position.

Also, if you’re usually a more passive partner during sex, take charge and try moving around more! Grab your spouse’s hips, legs, hands, or arms and use them to help you either guide the thrusting or do some thrusting yourself.

Trying new positions is fun–and the diagrams and instructions are definitely useful!

But I hope this was helpful for any of you who want some practical help with spicing things up in the moment without breaking up the rhythm of sex.

And, as I’ve said before, if you ever want diagrams that are safe (and kinda funny), the Sock Monkey Kama Sutra is awesome (it’s really less Kama Sutra-like and more just silly sock monkeys. But it’s funny!)

Read the rest of our Practical Sex Series:

How to try new sex positions without having to use a diagram!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Blog Contributor, Author, and Podcaster

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8. Check out Why I Didn't Rebel, or follow her on Instagram!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Anonymous

    For some Christians, there too many bad images with many sex positions. For example, my wife does not like man on top, man facing her back. This reminds her of sex between animals and she says that we “are not animals!”. Other positions are difficult due to physical or medical restrictions.

    After nearly 40 years of marriage, I know that we will never have great (quality and quantity) sex. However, we can always work on our relationship. 🙂

  2. Nathan

    I’ve seen a large number of people list what they think the biblical “rules” of sex are both in the real world and the internet. Things like never have sex more than twice a week, never more than once a day, never on Sunday, all the positions and activities that are supposedly sinful and so on.

    People will swear that these are all banned directly in the bible, but can never seem to quote the book, chapter and verse that contains them!

  3. Natalie

    I truly don’t say this to be mean or have anything reflect badly on my husband because he really is a great guy, but I’ve been wondering this for years. He is a very large man & always been been since we’ve been married, though he was significant slimmer when we first started dating 10 years ago in college. But he has definitely reached his largest weight ever in recent years. Not only does he have a very large gut that gets in the way during sex (especially in certain positions… his gut is very hard for me to grind effectively against) but he also has very wide hips for a man too. He and I have tried the Ultimate Intimacy app. While we’ve found new positions we are physically able to do together, we haven’t found any positions that feel really fantastic for me. They’re all just “meh”. We’ve ruled out pretty much all man on top positions (unless it’s man on top for only several seconds during his climax), which leaves man on top standing and woman on top positions. We usually default to the latter simply cuz it’s easiest if I do most of the moving around in bed and he’s stationary. But I’ve found that being creative with angles is difficult when my legs have to always be spread so wide across his pelvic area. I mean, the stretching is fine for me, but it’s hard when I have to stretch AND put some muscle into moving around; some muscle groups just aren’t strong enough to support that much weight and movement for extended periods of time. It’s also been hard for me to find an angle that provides sufficient friction during grinding. All this to ask: does it sound like I’m just not doing this whole sex thing right? I mean, there are so many overweight and obese people in this world who have satisfying sex lives and who are able to find things that feel good to them during actual penetration, so I know that my husband’s weight can’t completely be the issue. This leads me to believe it may be a position issue. But then, I also have to wonder if my bigger issue is actually mental rather than physical, since I do not find his size attractive at all. Maybe we have actually tried some positions that would’ve felt great to me had I been in a better state mentally and been more aroused by my husband (which then makes me feel terrible and causes me to feel guilt because I feel like I can’t get past his physique whenever we’re together sexually). Sorry if this was too graphic and needs to be deleted. I tried to make it as inoffensive as I could.

    • Carilyn

      Natalie, I am appreciative of all of your replies. They are helpful and tasteful. Your dry humor cracks me up. Thank you

    • Kimberly

      It’s like you read my mind! I was debating this morning whether to post about the same exact thing! I’m anxiously awaiting other’s responses.

    • Natalie

      Lol, always happy to provide some comic relief, Carilyn 😉 (whether intentional or unintentional)

      And Kimberly, I really do think this is going to continue to be an issue in marriages as global BMI’s continue to grow, particularly in marriages where one spouse is significantly larger than the other spouse.

      • Rebecca Lindenbach

        I agree, Natalie, the questions you’re asking are really important, especially as the obesity epidemic continues to worsen. I don’t really feel qualified to give advice to your situation personally, but if anyone else has some it would be great to hear what has worked for other couples!

      • Coach

        When my wife and I were “skinny” she always reached climax by being on top so she could move her hips to find what felt best. 30 years later and I’m overweight and we have this problem. Very frustrating and unsatisfying. One position that helps. I sit up (pillows or adjustable bed) and she is on top facing me. We hold hands and she lays back on the bed so she can move her hips as I move. This focuses pressure in the right spot without strain on me because I’m seated. Doesn’t always work perfectly but it helps. Hope this wasn’t to graphic and maybe it helps.

  4. A

    This is great, thanks!

  5. Katherine

    Sheila posted awhile back her most helpful hint for women orgasming during sex: Squeeze your buttocks. This rings absolutely true for me personally….the only way for me to orgasm is lying on my back with hubby manually stimulating my clitoris during foreplay with my butt cheeks clenched. In over 15 years of marriage, I have never even come close to orgasm during PIV in ANY position because most positions require the woman’s legs to be spread wide apart. And if not wide enough, my husband is often pushing them apart even further in the heat of the moment so that he can penetrate further and reach climax. The moment my legs are spread apart, all pleasurable sensations in my genial area completely disappear and everything is just numb or unfeeling down there. So to be perfectly honest and to risk sounding like a total ignorant dolt, I just can’t fathom how we can both be enjoying intercourse together at the same time when these thugs seem so at odds.

  6. Jesse

    Thanks for this post.

    My wife sometimes mentions “spicing” things up but some of the things I’ve read on blogs like this, feels dirty to me. For instance for a long time we felt uncomfortable with oral sex after we became parents because of sharing food or drinks with our kid or even giving our child kisses.
    And then people mention it being okay for the wife to “finish” the man off and swallow, as good as it may feel, always makes me feel dirty. I understand some of it can be mental blocks.
    Some positions feel “okay” but some positions like woman kneeling in front of husband performing oral, or different sex positions feel like they have a shameful twist to them.
    Maybe this is a personal thing, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Anyone have input or suggestions on what has helped them, obviously the more comfortable we are the better our sex life inside of marriage can be.

    Thanks in advance

    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      When it comes to sex in marriage, I personally think that the verse 1 Cor 10:32: “”I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”

      What that means, I think, is that we have the choice to engage in activities or not. So for you, you have to ask: is this beneficial to me? Or is it not right now? And it’s OK to say “No, this isn’t beneficial” and then just not do it.

      But it’s also important to remember that in marriage, sexuality is really really good! It’s not just permitted–it’s celebrated. And your bodies are meant to be enjoyed by the other! So if you’re having shameful feelings about certain things (positions, actions, etc.) then I definitely wouldn’t just do it to get it over with or prove to yourself that it’s OK, because I think we’re supposed to live by our convictions, but I would try to figure out the root of the shame. A lot of people find that their brains link certain acts/positions with specific pornographic images that they saw either by accident or when addicted to pornography, there may have been abuse or heard about abuse using that particular action, or even just things that parents or teachers or peers said that made the act seem inherently shameful.

      Sometimes the acts are just bad (e.g., anything that inherently degrades people like certain fantasy play or BDSM). But for things like oral sex, manual stimulation, or trying new positions, I think a lot of it comes down to just asking ourselves, “Why is this uncomfortable for me? Is this a good reason for me to feel uncomfortable, or is it holding me back?” and then moving on from there. We’re all going to reach different conclusions–that’s OK! But working through those questions can also help us have confidence in our decisions and know that we’re not making decisions out of fear, but because we’re choosing something else.

    • Daniel

      Jesse: I know it’s been a month since you posted this comment, but if you happen to see it, let me give you my thoughts on “feels dirty” and “oral sex”.

      I’ll start with oral sex, because I think it’s a hot topic 😉 In my marriage, oral sex is used almost exclusively as a foreplay act. It’s very rare that oral sex leads us to male orgasm, maybe 1 to 3 times a year. We have sex ~100 to 140/year, so it’s not typical. While oral sex for a man is extremely pleasurable and exciting, if it’s taken all the way, it typically ends that sex session, so don’t take it all the way. HOWEVER, oral sex on her is a different story entirely. Since women are capable of multiple orgasms, oral sex can be a very amazing and rewarding adventure. I love giving my wife oral, and look forward to it each time. 69 is so nice…

      Ok, on to the “feels dirty” bit. Have you ever accidentally touched poop? Have you ever touched something vile and disgusting like vomit? Yep, we all have. And after washing your hands, I doubt you had any reservation using that same hand to put food in your mouth. So which is dirtier; lips or fingers that tough a vagina, or hands that touch all sorts of things, and sometimes feces? So then avoid the anus, and focus on the vagina and clitoral region. It’s not dirty, and if you take a shower before sex, it’s actually quite a remarkable region to explore. Sure, there are some fluids, but they aren’t any dirtier than saliva. If it’s not urine or feces, it should be pretty clean. And then wash when your done. If you’re not able to wash your hands or mouth between touching your wife’s parts and feeding your child… I think you need to stop feeding your child when you’re having sex. (that last bit is a joke… but also not)


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