Sex

The 8 Best Sex Positions For Reaching Orgasm If You Have A Vulva

It's OK to focus on yourself sometimes.

Here are the best sex positions for female orgasm.
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Focusing on having better sex with your partner includes both making sure the other person is enjoying themself and focusing on what feels good to you. If you're someone who tends to have trouble orgasming during sex, perhaps it’s time to chat with you partner and try out some of the best sex positions for women and people with vulvas.

Sex therapist Vanessa Marin tells Bustle that her clients often ask if other people with vulvas find it difficult to reach the big O. And her answer is always a resounding "yes." She points out that movies and porn make it seem like people come every single time they hook up, but the reality is most people with vulvas have a hard time reaching orgasm from penetration alone. Commonly referred to as the orgasm gap, it has been scientifically proven that heterosexual women orgasm considerably less than both their male counterparts and queer women. Given that most people with vulvas (but not all) require clitoral stimulation to orgasm, but there is a societal emphasis on penetrative sex as the norm, it’s no wonder this gap exists.

It's still possible, of course, to enjoy sex without an orgasm. In fact, the goal of sex should be to enjoy the journey, but if you want to maximize your chances of climaxing, there are plenty of great sex positions for female orgasm to try. What’s most important is that you find what feels good to you. “My general answer for any position is to ask your partner how they like to orgasm, and regardless of position, make that a priority,” certified sexuality educator Elle Chase tells Bustle. “Positions don’t give pleasure, people do.”

Everyone is different, but the following eight positions are the ones experts say tend to lead to orgasm most frequently. If they don’t work for you, no biggie — move on to something that you know you enjoy! Consider giving any of these a try and see which one works best for you.

On Top

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How to do it: To start this one, have your partner lie on their back. Climb on top, with one leg on either side of their torso. It’s usually better to focus more on rocking your body back and forth, rather than trying to bob up and down, according to Marin. You can also try grinding your pelvis in slow circles or in a figure-eight motion.

Why it works: Being on top is a go-to position for a lot of people with vulvas because it gives them complete control over the pace, angle, and level of stimulation, as Marin says. And there are a ton of fun variations of this position, making it very versatile. Plus, it isn't the most intense position for a penetrating partner, so they may be able to last a lot longer than usual, giving you more time to reach your peak.

Variations: Try leaning back slightly, to increase the stimulation of your G-spot, if you need a bit more, as Marin says. You can also very easily reach down to stroke your clitoris, or ask your partner to touch it for you.

Since many people with vulvas can't orgasm through penetration alone, it's always good to remember to give yourself a hand! “The clitoris has an enormous amount of nerve endings in it (two to three times the amount of nerve endings in a penis, in fact), so why wouldn’t you want to get it involved in the action?” Marin previously told Bustle.

Doggy Style

How to do it: Get on your hands and knees. Have your partner kneel behind you. They can then hold onto your hips while they thrust away, Marin explains. You can either stay still, or, alternatively, push your hips back against them.

Why it works: Doggy style makes for super deep stimulation. People with vulvas who are able to orgasm from penetration alone will benefit from the intensity of this position and from the direct G-spot stimulation. And people who require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm will find it particularly easy to use their hand or a toy in this position. “For women who can achieve vaginal orgasms, for added pleasure and the potential of clitoral and vaginal orgasm, add manual stimulation and/or toys during [sex]," holistic sexologist and sexuality educator Lisa Hochberger previously Bustle.

Variations: Marin also recommends getting down on your elbows to change the angle of penetration. Try using one hand to rub your clit, or have your partner reach around your body and rub your clitoris for you.

You can also have your partner stand beside the bed while you stay on all fours on top of it. Your bed has to be the right height for this to work, but they should be able to thrust much more intensely while standing, Marin says. Another option is to slowly lower yourself onto your stomach, so they can either crouch behind you or lie on top of you from behind.

Coital Alignment Technique

How to do it: Start off in missionary position, with you on your back and your partner on top of you. Have them pull their body up toward your head so their pelvis is slightly higher than it usually is in traditional missionary, Marin explains. Instead of thrusting, they should focus more on grinding against your pelvis.

Why it works: Despite the clinical-sounding name, this is a great position for a lot of people with vulvas, says Marin, as changing the alignment of your pelvis allows for your partner's pubic bone to rub up against your clitoris and deliver the kind of direct stimulation that many vulva owners need to reach orgasm. It’s also great if you happen to be shy about trying new positions, since it’s extremely easy to maneuver into from the traditional missionary. It’s intimate and low-stress at the same time.

Variations: According to Marin, for even more intense contact, try using your hand to spread your labia apart so your partner's body rubs directly against your clitoris. Or, put a pillow under your hips to create a more accessible angle. You can also try using some lube on your clitoris to create an extra-slippery sensation.

Sideways Straddle

How to do it: This is a somewhat complicated sex position to get into, but it’s well worth the effort, according to Marin. Have your partner lie on their back with both of their feet flat on the ground. Crouch over them facing their feet, with one of your legs between their legs, and the other knee resting by their side. Gently lower yourself down, and use your hand to guide your partner's penis or strap-on inside of you.

You’ll essentially be straddling one of their knees, turning away from them. For visualization’s sake, Marin says to imagine that there’s a clock over their body with the 12 at their head. If you’re straddling their right leg, your body will be pointing at about 7:30. If you’re on their left leg, you should be turned toward 4:30. From there, you’re essentially going to rock back and forth, rubbing against their upper thigh and pubic area.

Why it works: This position allows for fantastic grinding action, Marin explains. You get to control the pace, and you get to decide exactly how much pressure gets placed on your clitoris. It’s also a pretty unique position, and the novelty of it can be quite arousing.

Variations: This position is tricky enough, says Marin, but you might want to try adjusting the positioning of your legs wider apart or closer together. You can also try leaning back or leaning forward.

The Bridge

How to do it: Start in missionary, then have your partner sit up so they're sitting back on their ankles with their knees spread wide. While staying on your back, put your feet flat on the bed and arch your hips up a bit, Marin explains. They can grab your hips to help hold you up, and use them for leverage when thrusting.

Why it works: This position creates very deep stimulation, a wonderful feeling of fullness, and a nice angle on the G-spot, according to Marin. Your clitoris is also front and center for your partner to stroke or for you to reach down and stimulate.

Variations: Your partner can change the angle of their crouch to be lower or higher at any point, and you can bring your body along for the ride by lowering or raising your hips, Marin adds. You can greatly increase the intensity by having your partner rise up onto their knees, and either wrap your legs around their torso, or pull your legs all the way up so your ankles rest on their shoulders.

Reverse Cowgirl

How to do it: Have your partner lie flat on their back. Facing their feet, straddle their waist with your legs on either side of their body. Then bend at the waist and rest your body weight on your palms, Marin explains.

Why it works: This position is a variation of being on top, but it gives you a different angle to work with. Plus, as Marin previously told Bustle, being on top puts you in control of the depth and pace.

Variations: You can try asking your partner to prop their body up a bit or even sit all the way up. The new position of their abdomen will give you a variety of surfaces to grind against, and the different angles of a partner's penis or strap-on will stimulate all kinds of spots inside of you, Marin says.

Another slight variation you can try is horizontal reverse cowgirl, according to Brit Burr, sex expert and editor-at-large of Psych N Sex. “Horizontal reverse cowgirl is fantastic for deep penetration, and it is perfect for manipulating the angle of penetration as both partners can easily adjust their pelvis,” Burr previously told Bustle. “When in the horizontal position, it can be easier for the bottom partner to thrust, though it can be fun to alternate or move together! Play with it!”

The Lotus

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How to do it: Have your partner sit down with their legs crossed or outstretched. Face your partner, sit in their lap, straddle them, wrap your legs around their waist, and then lower yourself onto their penis or dildo. The final step is to wrap your arms around each other as if you are hugging, according to Burr.

“If the person on top is finding it difficult to find a good rhythm or range of motion, it can be helpful to grasp a headboard or put your hands on a wall,” Burr previously told Bustle. “If this doesn't work, unwrap your legs and kneel over your partner like you would in cowgirl.”

Why it works: The lotus position is incredibly sweet and intimate, plus it works wonders for orgasming as your partner will have easy access to your clitoris, nipples, neck, and other erogenous zones. "Because your entire bodies are touching in the position, it is incredibly intimate, and it is the perfect angle for kissing and embracing," Burr said. "Additionally, because of the angle of entry, you can use a back and forth motion as well as an up and down motion to help stimulate an internal orgasm."

Variations: Just like with cowgirl, the lotus position has a reverse version, too. "Though this will change the position from lotus to a sitting reverse cowgirl, it's a great variation and still allows for a ton of skin-on-skin contact, warmth, and intimacy," Burr said. "Have your partner sit on a chair or bed and either sit or kneel on top of them, facing away from them. Let them wrap their arms around you and let yourself enjoy the closeness!"

Legs Up

How to do it: This position, sometimes also referred to as the plow, is a variation of missionary that is known to have greater success for people with vulvas, said Marin. Starting in missionary position, have your partner sit up so they're crouching on their knees. Carefully, so you don’t accidentally kick them in the face, lift your legs into the air and rest your ankles on their shoulders.

Why it works: This one is all about deep, powerful penetration, which can hit the G-spot to create a wonderful orgasm, as Marin previously explained. Plus, this position comes with the benefit of facing your partner, which will create more intimacy. Putting your legs around their shoulders and neck definitely brings you closer together (literally and figuratively).

Variations to try: The legs up position has a ton of variations. If two legs up is exhausting or requires too much flexibility, opt for a one leg up approach, or try wrapping your legs around your partner’s waist. You can also try doing the plow on the edge of a bed, while your partner holds your pelvis up towards theirs. Another similar variation involves crossing your legs up into an X, allowing for even more friction on your clitoris and feeling tighter for both you and your partner.

Have fun!

Studies referenced:

Frederick, D. A., John, H., Garcia, J. R., & Lloyd, E. A. (2018). Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample. Archives of sexual behavior, 47(1), 273–288. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-017-0939-z

Experts:

Vanessa Marin, sex therapist

Elle Chase, certified sexuality educator

Lisa Hochberger, holistic sexologist and sexuality educator

Brit Burr, sex expert and editor-at-large of Psych N Sex

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