This piece was initially an experiment to see how weird it would be if we treated other interactions the way we treat sex – with ‘must try’ positions and tricks and rules for everything from hugging to holding hands. But then as I wrote more, it went more weird. Sorry about that.
Tired of going through the same old positions when you’re not having sex? Try these killer moves to really put the spice back into your not-making-love life…
10. The lazy ladle
A variation on spooning, in this position all you need to do is curl up in a cosy bed, as your lover presses their body up behind you. You’ll feel the warmth of their chest against your back, while they can use their hands and arms for those all-important hugs.
Drift off to sleep, whisper sweet nothings, or simply enjoy being really close to someone without having to perform a sexual dance based on ‘must-try’ sex positions!
9. The sofa squash
For this you’ll need a sturdy sofa that accommodates two people, with one person in a semi-reclining position. Place your head on your partner’s shoulder, and encourage them to wrap one arm around your shoulders or waist. Great position for watching TV, or comforting someone after a really hard day.
Want to switch it up? Change sides of the sofa, and experiment with not-having-sex the other way round!
8. The lap lothario
As above, but with an angle that allows even deeper penetrating looks, as you gaze into each other’s eyes. Lie on your back with your head resting gently in your partner’s lap, perhaps on a cushion depending on your neck requirements.
It’s not just great for eye contact – you can also look up each other’s noses! Maybe that’s why our survey of over 73 people voted it one of the best positions in which to not have sex!
7. The wet weekend
Sauciest of all our positions, the role-play-tastic ‘wet weekend’ will have you slipping and sliding over each other with enthusiasm to not-have-sex!
Begin with a bath full of water (bubbles optional), and nominate one person to be the boss. Whoever is the boss removes their clothes and slides into the hot, soothing waters. Whoever is not the boss is the butler – they fetch a glass of wine, a box of chocolates, a neatly-rolled joint, or any other comforting item to satisfy the boss’s whims. When the comforting items have been placed by the side of the bath, the butler retreats on tiptoes, perhaps blowing a kiss as they close the door with a soft click.
6. The chair clench
One of you sits in a comfy chair, with their legs spread wide. The other sits down in the gap between that person’s legs. Much like the lazy ladle, this position leaves both of you with your hands and arms free for cuddling or caressing, and if you’re both facing the telly you can enjoy gasping at a David Attenboroug documentary.
That’s right – this position is the best in which to marvel at Planet Earth II, and the mating habits of different species. But don’t feel pressured to join in – after all, you’ve deliberately chosen a position to not-have-sex in. Make the most of it!
5. The seaside donkey
Like cowgirl (or cowboy), but with a non-sex twist. One of you lies face-down in a comfortable position. You may want to let out a gentle sigh of satisfaction to get you both in the mood for not-having-sex. The other sits on top of you, straddling your body with their legs. They may give you a massage, they may not. They may lightly tickle your sides, they may not. The one thing they’ll definitely not be doing is having sex with you.
This position, like all of the above, can be done with or without clothes. With or without love, or a wedding ring, or even a partner you’ve actually slept with. This is not foreplay. There is no pressure. There is only not-having-sex.
4. The standing ovation
Often described as ‘boring’, in fact this classic is one of the most common positions in which to not have sex. Stand facing each other, then step towards each other until your noses are almost touching. Raise your arms, and place them around the shoulders or waist of the other person, while they do the same to you.
Stare at their lovely face and think of all the good things about them. Then remind them that there’s loads to do so we can’t hang around not-having-sex all day. Give them a dishcloth and your most charming smile.
3. The silent treatment
Sit on separate chairs, each looking at your phone/laptop/kindle/book. Don’t touch. This is one of the most flexible positions in our list, because it can be done either in the spirit of warm companionship or under a cloud of bitterness, in the shadow of yet another unresolved fight.
It can also be attempted anywhere, so the more adventurous among you might like to try it at your local restaurant, on a bus, or even on a plane! Have a go at joining the not-having-sex mile high club!
2. The insomniac’s embrace
A trick title, because this position is all about not touching. Lie very still in bed, at 2 am, and listen to your partner’s breathing. Hear the soft inhale and exhale and marvel at the magic that this real, live human is willing to share a bed with you.
To spice it up, remind yourself that they could leave you at any time!
1. The solo special
Place your right hand on your left shoulder. Place your left hand on your right shoulder. Feel the warmth of your own body. Listen to the thud of your pulse.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Be happy, because you are here and you’re alive. Be sad, because you’re here and there’s nothing you can do about it. Be excited because your lover will come home soon, or be angry because you know they never will. If you’re adventurous, try to conjure up that churning sensation in the pit of your stomach. The one you get when you know you have something special with someone, but you can’t quite shake the horror that maybe you don’t love them any more.
Explore all these feelings – happy and sad and angry and in-between – as you indulge in not-having-sex. Reminisce about the sex you didn’t have in the past and look forward to the sex you’ll not have in the future.
There may only a finite number of sex positions, but there are plenty more ways in which to just be.