The Absolute Best Sex Position, According to Experts

The straddle? No! Doggy-style? No, I got it—one leg up? Here’s the best sex position for you.

Let’s be honest: We’ve all tried to copy a sex move we’ve seen in a saucy movie scene in an attempt to have our Best Sex Ever. Perhaps you want to replicate the one from Atonement, where James McAvoy throws Keira Knightley up against a library bookshelf, slides his hand under her dress, she gasps, shelves creak and…you know the rest. Or maybe your jam is Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig’s sexcapades in Bridesmaids, which involved her legs being thrown around like windshield wipers. We’re not here to judge.

The truth is while these sex moves might look mind-blowing (or at least interesting), we can’t label one as being better than the next because there’s actually no such thing as a universal “best” sex position. “We’re built in different ways, and as a result, different positions ‘fit’ differently and can feel better or worse than others,” says Shawnette Thompson, a Toronto-based couples and family therapist.

How do you find your personal best position? The first thing to consider is how it’ll make you feel not physically, but mentally. “Different positions can highlight or bring attention to different parts of our bodies that we may be more or less comfortable with,” says Thompson. The best place to start is working on overcoming any insecurities, then identifying how you feel most comfortable.

Next, you’ll want to try what Krisztina Bajzak, a Newfoundland-based gynecologist and associate professor at Memorial University, calls a “sexual buffet.” Meaning, consider all the sex position options on the metaphorical table and sample them all. Being open to trying different positions is the only way you’ll find your best sex, she says. Think adding lube (for easy entry and greater mobility), arousal gel (which can heat or cool the area to boost sensation) or sex toys. Also try extending foreplay and playing with angles (a pillow or wedge can do wonders).

Now, about the actual position: According to a 2017 study of 1055 female participants, 37 percent reported needing clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. If you are the owner of a clitoris, you’ll want a position that allows for direct bean stimulation. This may involve ensuring a hand (and/or a toy) has easy access to your bits to increase the chances of orgasm, says Julie Chang, a Vancouver-based psychotherapist.

You’ll also want to tap into your emotional needs: Do you seek deep intimacy through sex? Kissing, hugging or eye contact? If so, you may want to stick to variations of a straddle or missionary. Such face-to-face positions have other perks, too, especially if you’re on top. “They give the person on top more control of the depth of penetration and access to other body parts,” says Chang. Plus, a recent study found that face-to-face positions can lead to an increase in clitoral blood flow since the biomechanics of the position can stimulate the clitoris—no hands or toys necessary.

In some cases, some sex positions can be more painful than others. This can particularly be the case if you live with a condition like endometriosis or fibroids. According to Bajzak, you may want to try a position where penetration isn’t as deep, such as spooning, side-by-side or standing doggy-style. The least painful position may also be one in which the person with a vagina can control the rate and depth of penetration, such as being on top. If you experience pain at the opening of the vagina, you may choose to opt for non-penetrative sex, and concentrate on clitoral stimulation, oral sex, mutual masturbation, or frottage (dry humping) instead.

Whatever the case, assuming one type of sex is the best is a disservice to yourself, as is believing vaginal penetration and orgasm are the end all, be all of good sex. So why not take another walk by the sexual buffet—there’s sure to be a few enticing options calling your name.

Next: Why Squirting Orgasms Are a (Really) Good Thing—And How to Have One