On weird sex positions, and the Emperor’s new clothes

Image by the fabulous Stuart F Taylor

Most people have seen the Joy of Sex or the Kama Sutra right? Or if not the originals, then at least a knock-off copy that has similar weird sex positions but names them differently and uses different models, so as to avoid potentially boner-killing copyright issues.

When I first started having sex, my boyfriend had one of these books. Intrigued and excited, we opened it and started flicking through the weird sex positions. There was tried-and-tested missionary, of course, as well as doggy, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl: all the positions that are the relative staples of most people’s sexual repertoire.

But then came the others. Positions with weird and exotic names like ‘barking at the moon’ or ‘temptation of the crow’, things which we’d anticipated would blow our minds and our sexual organs so hard we’d be left reeling and panting and begging for a rest.

Variety is not always the spice of life

I’m sorry to say that we failed spectacularly. Not because we weren’t athletic or determined enough but because we came to the conclusion, as I’m sure most couples do, that there is only a finite number of positions in which it’s enjoyable to have sex.

This has to have been the conclusion for the Joy of Sex writers too, because although you might initially spot something that hadn’t occurred to you, by the time you’ve gone through the whole book you realise that position 74 is exactly the same as position 25, just with your knee bent in a slightly different direction.

I’ll be honest: we both felt a bit ripped off. Most of these positions weren’t worthy of their individual names, and no earth was moved during our experimentation. Sure, some things felt quite nice, but nothing felt much nicer than the sex we’d worked out for ourselves. Ultimately it’s all about putting two bits of nice-feeling flesh in the general vicinity of each other and rubbing them together until one or other of you shouts “Jurassic Park!”

Stand on your head and then jizz on my elbows

I won’t be too scathing of the book, because there were a couple of things in there that we hadn’t tried – or even imagined – before. The wheelbarrow. The standing 69. One of the ones where he squats over you with his back to you and bends his cock almost backwards to get it in your cunt.

These are relatively different, and certainly provide more of a variation than the ‘doggy style but with one of his legs up a bit’ disappointments in the rest of the book. But, having had a crack at a few of these, we were forced to return to our original assessment that the book was ‘disappointingly shit.’ Although there was something fun and challenging about trying these positions, none of them did anything particularly powerful to us that a good, simple, traditional fuck couldn’t.

What’s more, the fact that we were challenging ourselves to be adventurous put us off the actual fun of the job in hand. If you’ve ever attempted a standing 69 and been able to concentrate on orgasm rather than the fear that you’ll both collapse into an angry, sweaty heap on the floor then you’re a better person than I am.

When weird sex positions don’t work: fuck me lazily

I have a few favourite positions, which rotate depending on my mood, and a few extras that happen every so often if I’m feeling particularly adventurous. I don’t always fuck in the same way, but nor am I a wild and athletic sexual dynamo either – I doubt many of us are. I love passion and adventure, but I’m far more interested in how a fuck actually feels than whether it ticks a new box on my ‘to try’ list.

The actual joy of sex is probably better summed up by the lazy Sunday morning spooning fuck that has you both coming in five minutes than by a recipe-book experiment that has you both swearing and pulling muscles left, right and centre.

I think the idea that there is an infinite number of challenging sex positions is a myth in the same league as the one that says ‘sex in the bath is super hot.’ Sure, it looks hot when porn people do it, but when we mere mortals to attempt it we realise that it was all a lie: the emperor’s not wearing any clothes, the Kama Sutra writers aren’t party to a deeper wisdom, and Cosmo’s just got twelve ‘hot sex positions’ on rotation throughout the year. Your mind won’t be blown by anything new, but that’s not because sex is less exciting than it’s cracked up to be, it’s because the books of new positions aren’t teaching us much we didn’t know already: intuitively, we’re pretty good at fucking, because we know when fucking feels good.


  • Ian says:

    Absolutely agree. Sex is about working out with someone the things that make the two (or more) of you happiest together. Experimentation is fine and fun, but if the thing that works best for both of you (or the thing you love that your partner is fine with doing, or vice versa) is doggy style, then that’s what you’ll keep coming back to, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

    Now, if the sex you’re having DOES bore one of you, that’s a problem, but it’s a problem whose source is in lack of communication.

  • Chaz says:

    In my experience there are only 3 positions that are good in which to have sex: man on top, woman on top and man behind. Lifting a leg and giving it a new name is, in my opinion, a swizz. Why does missionary position become the deckchair just because I put my legs around his neck at some point? I’m still on my back. He’s still on top. All I’ve done is move my legs.

    A man (who’d never met me, much less had sex with me) accused me of being boring when I said missionary was my favourite position (although this changes, depending on who I’m with). If it’s fun and you both cum really hard, what’s boring about that? Better to enjoy yourself than end up sweaty, exhausted and unfulfilled (or worse, in A&E) trying to copy some photos in a book.

    I know what works for me and what I’m physically capable of. Sex should be fun and enjoyable. Save the acrobatics for Cirque du Soleil.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Yeah, I think missionary is often mislabelled ‘boring’ because it’s so common. But common does not equal boring, especially if it’s a position that really does it for you. I’m personally a big fan.

      And while I’ve never ended up in A&E through experimentation, I have caused a chipped tooth and twisted the odd ankle. Nothing permanent, though – touch wood =)

  • Bee says:

    I 100% agree with 100% of this. One time, Cosmo tried to sell missionary as ‘new’ because apparently we’d ALL been doing all the crazy moves for so long, we ALL had to get ‘back to basics’. I just had to be like, no, Cosmo, I never paid the slightest bit of notice to ‘X Marks The Spot: 15 Totally Great Sex Moves To Find Your Buried Treasure’ in the first place- I’m good on the ‘basics’.

    I’ve actually never done a “one from out of the book/magazine” because when I started doing it I was too shy and thought it would be dead awks to be referring to a book, and then when I got a bit more sexwise I realised I didn’t need the damn book. I don’t think anyone does, tbh!

    Me and some mates were talking about this awhile ago, and the overwhelming fave was missionary, for the guys and the gals. In fact…I think I was the only one who said doggy………

    • Girl on the net says:

      I just snorted coffee out of my nose at ‘X Marks The Spot: 15 Totally Great Sex Moves To Find Your Buried Treasure’ Do you read pervocracy? It’s one of my favourite blogs, you might appreciate Cosmocking: http://pervocracy.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/cosmocking

      And yes, it doesn’t surprise me that missionary is a firm favourite – it seems to be the one that most consistently hits all the right spots, with just the right degree of effort and relatively few muscular strains. Although I think I’m with you – doggy/bent over something is my general preference. But I haven’t had sex for two days now, so I would happily have it up a tree if someone offered.

  • Caramella says:

    I agree with Chaz above – nearly all positions beyond missionary, cowgirl and doggie are just variations on a theme. And that’s just fine too. After all, even the tried-and-true methods occasionally need modification to accommodate variations in body and genital shape and size.

  • freddy says:

    Whilst variety is the spice of life there are some positions that are so perfect that they will be returned to time and time again. Missionary is obviously one of those positions – it allows us to kiss as we fuck; gives a huge amount of skin to skin connection; and penetration can be just as deep and effective as in any other position with a small addition of a pillow under her bum.

  • Jazmina says:

    Mostly I agree with the comments above but there is one position no one has mentioned and that’s the woman being on her side with her (relaxed) legs in front of her so she’s lying in an L shape, I’ve found it more comfortable to have the top leg pulled toward the breasts a little while he is kneeling and gripping the hips. So it’s kind of somewhere between doggy style and spooning sex and is really good for depth and speed. I highly recommend. It’s supposedly called scissoring but I think we must be doing it differently because I don’t see how it’s like a pair of scissors and is nothing like scissoring with another chick. But yeah all positions are basically a variation or combination of cow girl, doggy and missionary. I do like to vary it though, sometimes both of you meet that plateau and it’s good to change things round a little, like doing cowgirl sideways or sliding from doggy onto lying on your front while he crouches over you or yeah missionary with your ankles near his neck.

    By the way I’m very happy to have discovered your blog, it’s very refreshing to see people talk about this stuff openly. I hope that some people are brought out of their sex shame closets and start enjoying sex as the natural and perfectly human thing to do.

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