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Woman on top, also called the cowgirl or riding position, is a group of sex positions in which the man lies on his back or sits, the woman straddles him facing either forward or back, and the man inserts his erect penis into the woman's vagina or anus.
The cowgirl name derives from the image of the receiving partner "riding" the partner as a cowboy rides a bucking horse. It is one of a number of receptive-partner-superior sexual positions, another being the reverse cowgirl position. It is fairly simple to achieve and maintain and pleasures both partners. This position is also used as a precursor to the lateral coital position described by Masters and Johnson.
This position is commonly cited as one of the more popular sex positions, especially by women. In this position, the woman is usually the active partner during the sexual activity.
In the cowgirl position, the man lies on his back or sits, with the woman straddling him across his pelvis facing forward, either in a kneeling or squatting position. The woman will align her vagina with the man's erect penis, and lower herself onto the penis with either the man or the woman guiding the penis into the woman's vagina for penetration. With the erect penis inside the woman, the woman can glide up and down the man's penis, controlling the rhythm and pace of vaginal stimulation and the extent and duration of penetration. The woman is free to change her position ranging from leaning back to stretching out on her partner's chest to rocking from side to side or in a circular motion. Each of those changes would alter the angle and depth of penetration and which part of the vaginal area and sex organs are stimulated. The man's hands are free to reach and touch the woman's breasts, clitoris, buttocks, face etc., and the partners can maintain eye contact. With the woman in the sitting or leaning back positions, the man may also stimulate her nipples and clitoris with his fingers, or suck on her nipples if she inclines towards him or he raises his torso towards her.
In this position a woman can continue with the up and down motion after the man has achieved orgasm, until she reaches orgasm, when she will most likely collapse onto the man's chest, with her vagina being very sensitive to further stimulation. On the other hand, if the woman reaches orgasm before the man, the woman may raise her pelvis to enable the man to actively thrust upwards or the couple may change to a position which enables the man to continue thrusting, such as the missionary position.
When the woman lies on her partner's chest, a better description is the reverse missionary position. Stretching out with her legs on the man, puts more pressure on the woman's mons pubis and clitoris. If the man separates his legs, the woman can put her legs between his. In this position she can increase the tightness on the man's penis by pressing her thighs together, or the man may press the woman's thighs together. This increases vaginal friction but she can still control the pace and rhythm of her thrusts. As most women approach orgasm, they experience acute vaginal contractions, which also increases the man's sexual stimulation by increasing tightness on his penis.
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In the reverse cowgirl position, also known as crab sex, the woman straddles the man facing the man's feet either in a kneeling or squatting position. After either she or the man has guided the penis into the woman's vagina, the woman can keep her torso upright, or she can lean forward or back to lay on the man's chest or move sideways at will. The man's legs can be flat on the bed or arched. The woman also has control over the pace, rhythm, depth and duration of penetration. By changing her position and thrusts, the woman can change the level of stimulation for the man, while at the same time stimulating herself by rubbing her clitoris or g-spot area simultaneously.
If the receiving partner (male or female) leans back, the position can also be used for anal penetration by a penis or a strap-on dildo.
An advantage of the woman on top positions is that the man's weight is not on the woman.
The woman on top positions are ideal during pregnancy as there is no pressure on the woman's abdomen and it is easy for her to control the depth and speed of penetration. It is also useful if the man is recovering from a serious illness or surgery or if the woman has recently given birth.
The woman on top positions are widely depicted in male-female pornography, because it enables a full frontal presentation of the woman, with the view of the man (except for his genitals) being of secondary consideration. The woman on top position is used a great deal in the film Caterpillar, about a Japanese war vet whose loss of limbs has rendered this the only position that allows his copulation with his long-suffering wife.
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