Trust me, I’m the last person to knock less-than-intimate sex. Sometimes we just need to scratch an itch. I think there is most definitely a time and a place for sex that is sudden, rough, anonymous-feeling, in the pitch dark, or all of the above. But we can’t knock rich, soulful, spirit-enhancing sex unless we get some o’ that sometimes too, can we? You know, the kind that blows your mind and makes your heart transcend? If you know what I’m talking about, count yourself lucky.

While there is always an infinite number of rather ephemeral factors at play that determine what kind of sex we’re having, sometimes the position makes a difference, harnessing your collective bonding powers and bringing you closer as a couple (of lovers). Sure, candles, music, and massage oil can help. But you don't need props to go deep (pun intended). 

Eye contact, kissing, caressing, observing, breathing, going slow, and even light bondage or other activities requiring more explicit communication and consent... these are all emotional complements to the physical experience. But it’s a cold world out there, and sometimes we need a little help to be fully present with a partner. While the feeling of absolute merging while in the sack can’t happen with just anyone, if you know your union has the right stuff but the sex feels like it could use a nudge, I offer you these 4 sexual positions for encouraging emotional intimacy. Note that these are catered to hetero pairs, but can, of course, be tried with lovers of any gender.


1. Woman on top 

A man lying down with the woman on top can be a vulnerable position for both lovers, and the first rule of intimacy is vulnerability. While he’s at the whim of your movements and decisions, you are fully exposed for him to explore, both with eyes and hands. Really, any position that allows you to focus on your partner’s face or make eye contact is a chance to be more intimate. And if you get tired or just want a hug, you can fall on top of him for full skin-to-skin contact at any point. A creative variation on this position: have your man sit in a chair, and sit on his lap, straddling him, facing him, with your feet on the floor. Here you get prime face-to-face access for kisses, whispers, bites, and four free hands to boot.  


2. Big spoon, little spoon 

Turn doggy-style on its side, and you’ll find you’re spooning, aka cuddling. When you're the little spoon, your guy can gently thrust inside you from behind, drawing it out for a delicious, leisurely ride. When you prolong contact in this way, it can leave you both so aroused that you become more receptive to every tiny movement. Not only are your shoulders, back, and butt in direct contact with your partner's torso or abdomen, but he can also reach around and stroke, pinch, or squeeze your breasts or clit to make it real extra. With your legs squeezed together, it can feel like he's filling you up. This is also a great position for some extra lovin’ anal. Don’t think it can’t blow the lid off emotional intimacy just because it involves your ass. Have your partner enter you slowly and with lots of lube in this position, while holding you firmly across the torso or chest and kissing your neck. One of my personal faves.


3. Yab yum 

Wanna take it to the next level? Try some ancient tantric techniques on for size. Have your partner sit upright with his legs either crossed or stretched out in front, and sit on his lap, facing him, with your legs around his waist. Stare into each other's eyes and synch up your breathing. This really might be weird at first, because this is a highly open and vulnerable position for your legs and your heart. Maintain eye contact and then start touching each other gently on “non-erotic” zones, before moving on to more explicitly erogenous areas. Eventually, when the time is right, this position will allow you to easily slide onto his penis for some seriously stirring sex. Feel free to wrap your arms around each other, too. Nuzzling, kissing, and touching is easy like this. And since the person on the bottom has restricted thrusting movement, you’ll be forced to slow down and fall into more of gyration. Is it getting hot in here?


4. Missionary 2.0 

Missionary gets a bad rap sometimes in this novelty-addicted world. But you can connect on a deeper level during the already-intimate missionary position by holding hands, encircling him with your legs, stroking his back, grabbing his ass, running your fingers through his hair, or intertwining your legs with his. He can easily suck on your nipples in this position, thereby releasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone. He can also hoist you up and grab onto your ass, hold your hips, or position his legs to the outside of yours to make you feel more sheltered, so to speak. And, if you and your partner are so inclined, missionary also offers a great position for more of that intimate, face-to-face anal.

What better note to end on: sometimes love can be anal. It ain’t easy. But sometimes striking the right pose can make all the difference. Remember: it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.


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