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.