What are the best sex positions for people with vulvas?
I’m so grateful you asked this question because it’s a conversation that comes up frequently in my workshops and counseling practice. My response is always the same:
I can’t tell you that.
I know, I know. Every major magazine and website that talks about sex has a “best position” list. Hell, I’ve written a few of them! If you want a list of new things to try, these lists can provide inspiration. But the truth is there’s no single answer to this question (same goes for the “best” sex toys or the “best” anything, really).
There are many reasons as to why this is, and Melanie Davis, Ph.D., a New Jersey-based sexuality counselor and educator, sums it up best:
I don’t see how the question can be answered. Hip flexors, spinal health, the clitoris’s position and preferences, internal versus external stimulation preferences, body shapes, height differences, partner’s genitals…There are too many variables to recommend a universal “best.” Heck, some people may prefer rear-entry because they don’t like a partner’s breath in their face.
There’s also the fact that your answer will change over time. Your preferences might change as a result of a major life shift like becoming a parent, going through menopause, getting diagnosed with a chronic illness, moving, etc., OR it might change because that’s what bodies do. For example, I used to love cowgirl…until the day my hip popped out thanks to my arthritis. While medicine and physical therapy have helped with that issue, my current favorite positions don’t involve penetration at all.
Because that’s the other thing about “best of” lists: they exclude swaths of people. Kirsten Schultz, founder of Chronic Sex elaborates: “It’s important to recognize that many of the positions recommended in pieces like this don’t give additional information about accessibility (e.g. this position is less than ideal for someone with knee problems). They also don’t take into account if a person has dealt with any transition or queerness. Someone with a vulva only being given [penis in vagina sex (PIV)] positions leaves out far too many people to be truly helpful.
Now that you realize I’m not going to give you a list of positions to try, you might be wondering, “OK, what do I do then?”
First, ask better questions
Here are some questions to ask yourself to discern the best sex positions for YOU.
What do you mean by “best”? Easiest? Most comfortable? Most pleasurable? For you? Your partner? Both? Highlight your assets? Feel the safest? Narrow down what “best” means to you.
Of the sex acts and positions that you’ve tried, which have come closest to your definition of “best”? If there isn’t one that has fulfilled it, did any come close? Think beyond one type of sex such as PIV, to the full range of sex acts and kink.
From there, you can think about: how can I make this sex position work best for me? You might explore alternatives or upgrades to the positions; seek out sex tools like toys and furniture to better support your body; or, research your local BDSM scene to figure out where you can get your needs met.
Use those other ‘best of’ lists for inspiration
If you, like many of my sex coaching clients, aren’t sure, you can use the ‘best of’ lists for fun inspiration, keeping in mind all of the limitations I already shared. If nothing else, you’ll have a good laugh as you tilt your head this way and that to figure out where you’re supposed to put what.
Another resource that my clients love? Using the Yes/No/Maybe list I created. These lists include a ton of different sexy activities that can inspire new ideas or be used as a tool to communicate with your partner(s) about what you want.
When it comes to sex, curiosity + openness trump technique
It’s not about finding a holy grail position or toy but leaning into your pleasure as well as addressing whatever holds you back from doing so.
As Joan Price, ageless sexuality author and speaker, puts it, “The best advice I can give is to ignore all recommendations of ‘best positions’ and explore what YOU like, what suits your body, and what gives you pleasure and orgasms.”
I couldn’t agree more.