Sex position

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

  (Redirected from List of sex positions)
Jump to: navigation, search

Sex positions are positions that people may adopt during or for the purpose of sexual intercourse or other sexual activities. Sexual acts are generally described by the positions the participants adopt in order to perform those acts. Though sexual intercourse generally involves the penetration of the body of one person by another, or direct stimulation of the sex organ of one by another, a sex position may not necessarily involve penetration or direct stimulation, and may be non-penetrative.

Three categories of intercourse are commonly practiced: vaginal intercourse, involving vaginal penetration; anal penetration; and oral sex, involving mouth-on-genital stimulation. These acts are not mutually exclusive.[1] Sex acts may also involve other forms of genital stimulation, such as solo or mutual masturbation, which may involve rubbing or penetration by the use of fingers or hands or by a device (sex toy) such as a dildo or vibrator. There are numerous sex positions that participants may adopt in any of these types of sexual intercourse or acts, creating an almost limitless number of sex positions.


The earliest known European medieval text dedicated to sexual positions is the Speculum al foderi, sometimes known as "The Mirror of Coitus" or literally "a mirror for fuckers", a 15th-century Catalan text discovered in the 1970s.[2][3]

Exclusively penetrative positions

These positions involve the insertion of a phallic object(s) (such as a penis, strap-on dildo, plug, or other nonporous object(s)) into a vagina, mouth or anus.

Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix by the Triptolemos painter, ca. 470 BC, Tarquinia National Museum
Modern depiction of a couple engaged in a rear-penetration position commonly referred to as doggy-style

Penetrating partner on top with front entry

The most used sex position is the missionary position. In this position, the participants face each other. The receiving partner lies on their back with legs apart, while the penetrating partner lies on top. This position and the following variations may be used for vaginal or anal intercourse.

Penetrating from behind

1st century AD depiction of 'spooning'

Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration. Variants of the doggy style or doggy position include:

In the spoons position both partners lie on their side, facing the same direction.[9] Variants of this technique include the following:

Woman on top position in the Kama Sutra

Receiving partner on top

Modern depiction of 'cowgirl' position

Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration. When the receiving partner is a woman, these positions are sometimes called the woman on top, cowboy or cowgirl positions.

A feature of these positions is that the penetrating partner lies on their back with the receiving partner on top:

A couple performing sexual intercourse from a seated position.

Sitting and kneeling

Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration.

One partner stands while holding up the other without a support.


Most of these positions can be used for either vaginal or anal penetration. In the basic standing position, both partners stand facing each other. The following variations are possible:

Anal sex positions

19th century depiction of anal penetration, by Paul Avril

These positions involve anal penetration:

Less common positions

The T-square position

These positions are more innovative, and perhaps not as widely known or practiced as the ones listed above.


Using furniture or special apparatus

Most sex acts are typically performed on a bed or other simple platform. As the range of supports available increases, so does the range of positions that are possible. Ordinary furniture can be used for this purpose. Also, various forms of erotic furniture and other apparatus such as fisting slings and trapezes have been used to facilitate even more exotic sexual positions.

Positions to promote or prevent conception

Pregnancy is a potential result of any form of sex where sperm comes in contact with the vaginal area (typically vaginal sex, but pregnancy can result from anal sex, digital sex with sperm fluids on the fingers, or even sperm that is on the body and is transferred to the vaginal area) between a fertile female and a fertile male. (Men and women are typically fertile by the time they reach puberty.) Oral sex itself can never result in pregnancy. However, if not careful, it can result in pregnancy if sperm on the hands or body comes in contact with the vaginal area. Though certain sexual positions are believed by some to produce more favorable results than others, none of these are effective means of contraception.

Positions during pregnancy

The goal is to prevent excessive pressure on the belly and to restrict penetration as required by the particular partners. Some of the positions below are popular positions for sex during pregnancy.[16]

Non-exclusively penetrative positions

Oral sex positions

Oral sex is the term given to genital stimulation by the mouth. It may be penetrative or non-penetrative, and may take place before, during, as, or following intercourse. It may also be performed simultaneously (for example, when one partner performs cunnilingus, while the other partner performs fellatio), or only one partner may perform upon the other; this creates a multitude of variations.[17]

A late 19th-century Beijing hand scroll depicting fellatio
19th-century depiction of cunnilingus (detail) by Paul Avril


Fellatio is oral sex involving a man's genitals. Possible positions include:


Kama Sutra illustration of 69 position

Cunnilingus is oral sex involving a woman's genitals. Possible positions include:


Simultaneous oral sex between two people is called 69. It is called the congress of the crow in the Kama Sutra. Partners may be female or male. They can be lying side-by-side, lying one on top of the other, or standing with one partner holding the other upside down.


Woman performing anilingus on another woman.

Positions for anilingus, also known as butt licking, rimming, anal-oral sex, rimjob, or tossing the salad, are often variants on those for genital-oral sex. Anilingus can be performed in a number of sex positions including:

Other positions

Non-penetrative positions

Non-penetrative sex or frottage—the general term for rubbing one's genitals on one's partner. This may include the partner's genitals or buttocks. As part of foreplay or to avoid penetrative sex, people engage in a variety of other non-penetrative sexual behavior, which may or may not lead to orgasm.

The slang term humping may refer to masturbation—thrusting one's genitals against the surface of non-sexual objects, clothed or unclothed; or it may refer to penetrative sex.

Genital-genital rubbing

Genital-genital rubbing (often termed GG rubbing by primatologists to describe the behavior among female bonobos[22][23]) is the sexual act of mutually rubbing genitals; it is sometimes grouped with frottage, but other terms, such as non-penetrative sex or outercourse, are also used:

Group sex

Depiction of "spit roast" on rim of an Attic red-figure kylix, c. 510 BC
Modern depiction of "double penetration"

Various people of gender and orientation may participate in group sex. While group sex does not imply that all participants must be in sexual contact with all others simultaneously, some positions are only possible with three or more people.[24]

As with the positions listed above, more group sex positions become practical if erotic furniture is used.


When three people have sex with each other, it is called a threesome. Possible ways of having all partners in sexual contact with each include some of the following:


With many participants

These positions can be expanded to accommodate any number of participants:

Multiple penetration

A person may be sexually penetrated multiple times simultaneously. Penetration may involve use of fingers, toes, sex toys, or penises. Scenes of multiple penetration are common in pornography.

If one person is penetrated by two objects, it is generically called double penetration (sometimes abbreviated dp).[34] Double penetration of the vagina, anus and mouth, can involve:

Number of positions, and effects on physical abilities

Sex manuals usually present a guide to sex positions. Different sex positions result in differences in the depth of sexual penetration and the angle of penetration. Many attempts have been made to categorize sex positions. Alfred Kinsey categorized six primary positions,[36] Alex Comfort categorized 600+[37] and Gershon Legman categorized 3,780.[38] However, the suggestion that the number of positions that can be used for sex is essentially limitless also exists.[39]

Some people are limited by physical disabilities in the sex positions which they may use without pain or other discomfort. Other physical limitations of one or both participants also limit the sex positions which they may adopt. For example, the spoons position is recommended when either partner has back problems; the Starfish position is recommended to achieve orgasms more easily and the missionary position may be uncomfortable for the receiving partner if the weight of the inserting partner, relative to the receiving partner's, is a problem. Also, the standing positions may be unsuitable if there is a significant height difference between the participants.


  1. ^ "Sexual Intercourse". Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  2. ^ Michael R. Solomon, editor (1986). Text and Concordance of Speculum al foderi, Biblioteca Nacional MS. 3356. ISBN 0-942260-60-0
  3. ^ Michael R. Solomon (1990). The Mirror of coitus : a translation and edition of the fifteenth-century Speculum al foderi. Spanish. ISBN 0-940639-48-3
  4. ^ "The Missionary Position". Sexual Health Center. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ Nafzawi, Muhammad ibn Muhammad al, and Jim Colville (trans.). The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight. The Kegan Paul Arabia library, vol. 7. London: Kegan Paul, 1999.
  6. ^ a b c d The Perfumed Garden, Shaykh Nefwazi [sic], translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1886. full text available at Internet Sacred Text Archive
  7. ^ Comfort, Alex, The Joy of Sex: Fully Revised & Completely Updated for the 21st Century. Crown. Fully rev. ed., 2002. ISBN 1-4000-4614-9, 256 pages.
  8. ^ Rogiere, Jean, The Little Book of Sex. Ulysses Press, 2001. ISBN 1-56975-305-9, 96 pages.
  9. ^ Westheimer, Ruth K., Sex for Dummies. For Dummies. 2nd ed., 2000. ISBN 0-7645-5302-X, 432 pages.
  10. ^ Rogiere, Jean, The Little Book of Sex. Ulysses Press. 2001. ISBN 1-56975-305-9.
  11. ^ Masters, Johnson (June 1970). Human Sexual Inadequacy (1st ed.). Little Brown and Company. p. 54. ISBN 0-316-54985-1. 
  12. ^ So Feminine[dead link], Love Machine. Retrieved 24 September 2006.
  13. ^ "Kama Sutra – the ancient art of love". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  14. ^ "Welcome to Sensual Interactive – Your Sensual Resource Network". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  15. ^ Hooper, Anne J. (1998). Anne Hooper's Kama Sutra (1st ed.). DK Publishing. ISBN 1-56458-649-9. 
  16. ^ "Pregnancy Resource: Comfortable Sex Positions". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  17. ^ "Oral Sex Positions". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Morin, J. (1998). Anal pleasure and Health. Oakland, CA: Down there press.
  20. ^ Tate, Jordan. (January 9, 2007) The Contemporary Dictionary of Sexual Euphemisms. Publisher St. Martin's Press ISBN 0-312-36298-6
  21. ^ William Safire (2009-03-29). "Orgasmic & Orgasmic Meditation". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  22. ^ de Waal FB (1995). "Bonobo sex and society". Sci Am. 272 (3): 82–8. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0395-82. PMID 7871411. "Perhaps the bonobo's most typical sexual pattern, undocumented in any other primate, is genito-genital rubbing (or GG rubbing) between adult females. One female facing another clings with arms and legs to a partner that, standing on both hands and feet, lifts her off the ground" 
  23. ^ Paoli, T.; Palagi, E.; Tacconi, G.; Tarli, S. B. (2006). "Perineal swelling, intermenstrual cycle, and female sexual behavior in bonobos (Pan paniscus)". American Journal of Primatology 68 (4): 333–347. doi:10.1002/ajp.20228. PMID 16534808.  edit
  24. ^ Wojick, Helen (October 2010). "Differences Between Threesomes, Group Sex and Orgies". The Swinger Blog. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Spit Roast Threesome". collaborative. Urban Dictionary. February 14, 2003. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  26. ^ Duckworth, Ted (November 1996). "Spit Roast Threesome". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Spit Roast Threesome". The Experience Project. August 27, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Lifestyle Definitions - 369". Swinger Social Network. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Lifestyle Definitions - 469 position". Swinger Social Network. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Lifestyle Definitions - Bukkake". Swinger Social Network. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Bukkake". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Daisy Chain". Swinger Social Network. 
  33. ^ "Daisy Chain". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Double-penetration". Lifestyle Definitions. Swinger Social Network. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Double vaginal penetration". Lifestyle Definitions. Swinger Social Network. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  36. ^ 6 Positions For Sexual Intercourse - In Order Of Popularity - Sex, Love And Marriage - Book of Lists - Canongate Home
  37. ^ Alex Comfort, The Joy of Sex (1974) p. 102
  38. ^ Eric Berne, Sex in Human Loving (1974) p. 36
  39. ^ Rogiere, Jean, "The Little Book of Sex". Ulysses Press. 2001. ISBN 156975305996 pages.

Further reading


External links

Search Wikimedia Commons
 Wikimedia Commons has media related to: