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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 and they face each other, and the vagina or anus of the receiving partner is aligned with the phallus of the inserting partner to achieve penetration.
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. It gives the receiving partner more control and also allows the inserting partner to view and caress the receiving partner's chest and abdominal region.
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In reverse cowgirl variation, also known as crab sex, the woman faces away from the man. She can either be in a kneeling or squatting position and can have her torso upright, or she can have it aligned with the inserting man's body. The woman has greater control over the extent and duration of the penetration.
This position can be used for vaginal or anal sex, with penetration achieved by a penis or a strap-on dildo. It serves to stimulate the most sensitive parts of the man's penis as a result of the way it is forced to bend while at the same time rubbing on the female G-spot and clitoris simultaneously.
This position is widely depicted in male-female pornography, because it enables the viewer to have a full frontal view of the woman, with the view of the man (except for his genitals) being of secondary consideration.
The reverse missionary position is one of a number of positions sometimes recommended for experimentation by partners in which the inserting partner has some form of disability. Dr. Ruth Westheimer wrote to the wife of a stroke victim that:
The female superior position is used a great deal in the film Caterpillar, about a Japanese war vet whose loss of limbs has rendered this the only possible position that allows copulation with his long-suffering wife.
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