Missionary to the Max

The missionary position seems to be the world’s go-to sexual position, so it must have something great goin’ for it, right? Yes, it does. It’s the perfect position for a lot of intimacy by offering the most skin-on-skin contact, long loving embraces, and the lovers can literally see eye-to-eye. That said, variety is also the spice of life. We may enjoy eating ice cream, but eating it day in and day out would eventually get a little boring. So, too, if we want to keep our romantic appetite alight. Adding a little variety to our sex life now and then can keep things from going stale. Sometimes, the missionary position gets a bad rap, especially in kinkier circles. I’m here to tell you that the missionary position, just because it’s common, does not have to be boring. Let’s see if we can maximize this old convention with a few simple moves.

FIRST A NOTE: Different people dub sex positions all sorts of names. And, if you’re brave enough to start googling different sex positions, please be aware that “guy’s” sites, “girl’s” sites, porn sites, sciencey sites, and the Kama Sutra will usually have different names for the same and similar positions. As Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

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A fairly traditional missionary position.

Traditionally, the missionary position is considered the “male-superior position” because technically the man is on top as the giver and the woman, as the receiver, is on the bottom. Why? Because men typically, though not always, tend to have more upper-body strength and can often maintain this position with a close embrace longer. Excuse me, but “male” and “superior” sometimes just rubs me the wrong way. Teehee, rubs me the wrong way. No, but seriously, Folks. If you want to spice up the traditional missionary position, feel free try one or more of the following.

Adding Accessories

The easiest way to change things up with the missionary is to move your missionary to different sexy spots. Shake off the sheets and try the kitchen table, the sofa, or the stairs. You’re limited only by your imagination and physical abilities. Of course, if you prefer the bed, stay put and add accessories. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to spice things up is to move your bed’s pillows. What! Yes, it’s really that simple. Place a pillow under the small of your back. Push it down a little so that it’s under your butt. You may be surprised by the different sensations that are heightened with such small position changes. Be sure to throw a hand towel over the pillow; otherwise, be prepared to change the pillow cover. Just in case. You could even go all out and purchase a sex pillow (or “sex wedge”) for roughly $75-200 and explore the wonders of lots of different sex adventures. But, I digress…

You can also add pleasure aids — my personal métier. If you need a little extra clitoral stimulation, you may enjoy adding a small vibrator, like bullet, egg, or finger vibes, to really get things moving along. Try adding warming or cooling lubricants into the mix. Or, add a female arousal heightener. Hachacha! If you enjoy the missionary position with your legs lifted off the mattress, floor, or other sexy surface you’re playing on, but you have an achy lower back or experience difficulty holding the jack-knife position very long, you can also add thigh cuffs (not as scary as they sound or look, I promise) to help keep the pressure off of your lower back. Or again, try a sex pillow. Yes, I do adore my sex wedge.

Varying Your Missionary Position

Want him deeper? Lift up your legs and rest your ankles on his shoulders in what is sometimes called the “shoulder holder.” This allows for even deeper penetration and is especially helpful when you really enjoy feeling “fuller” or enjoy having your G-spot or even your cervix massaged, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. If this position is uncomfortable (i.e., if your man’s penis is sharply curved to the left or the right when it is erect), you may try shifting your hips to accommodate the curve.  If it feels uncomfortable because he feels “too deep,” you might like trying the a modified “butterfly” position, where only one ankle is resting on his shoulder and the crook of the other leg’s knee grasps his waist or simply rests on his leg or the bed/surface.

My personal fave for modifying the traditional missionary is the “pretzel.” To achieve this simple position, just lie on your left side as he straddles your left leg. You’ll then curl your right leg around his waist and voilà. You can also use your right leg as a hook to pull him in closer and deeper, iffin’ you’re of a mind to. If the thought of contorting sounds too much like sex gymnastics, it’s really super simple to start in the missionary position and then have both partners sort of “fall” sideways together so that you’re both lying down, still fully engaged, facing one another. You’ll get pretty much the same result, but then it’s called the “gift-wrapped” position — queue Shakespeare. Keep in mind though, that you’ll both need to be giving and receiving in this lazier [misnomer!] gift-wrapped missionary position.

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Taking the reigns. The Female Superior style of Missionary Sex.

Of course, it’s really easy to completely reverse the missionary position, putting the woman on top, making the woman the giver and the man the receiver. This should not be mistaken for the “reverse missionary.”¹ The woman-on-top style of missionary (also called the “cowgirl”), actually has several advantages for both partners. Not only does it allow the lovers to maintain eye and lip contact and loving embraces, it also frees up the woman’s range of motion so that she can control the depth of penetration, speed of thrust, and the overall rhythm of the love dance. This can be especially helpful for the woman who needs to control her own orgasm. Plus, it makes room for the man’s hands to caress his lover’s breasts and to stimulate, via hands or vibes, her clitoris.  Oh, and gals, trust me on this one, your man truly loves your jiggly bits, so do not be afraid to hop on top.

Questions about spicing up your sex life? Interested in introducing marital aids and accessories to the bedroom? Be sure to contact me for some advanced sexual health and pleasure education. And, above all, enjoy!


¹ The “reverse missionary” is the sexual position wherein the giver is on the bottom and the receiver is on top.


This post was prompted by a friend in the Blogosphere, author Linda Hill, who is offering (“Just Jot It January”) daily writing prompts for fellow bloggers. Today’s word prompt is “movement.”

Sexual Humility vs. Humiliation and Sexual Shame

Both “humility” and “humiliation” come from the Latin root word humilis meaning lowly. Humility (humilitās) is to “lower” yourself in light of others; whereas, to humiliate (humiliare) is to “make lower” someone else. The definitions may seem confusingly close, but there is a very important difference between the two — one is a virtue; the other is a vice.¹

Humility as a modest view of oneself should make people feel good about themselves. A person who is humble is praiseworthy. Humility is a virtue that we express from our inner being as opposed to the vice of vainglory (arrogance/pride²). I find it interesting that the most humble people I’m acquainted with are also some of the most intelligent and confident people I know. Conversely, the most arrogant people I’ve had the displeasure of encountering are often the most insecure. I don’t think that this is a coincidence either. It is possible to be fully aware of and fully embrace one’s self worth without being pride-full.


Humiliation stems from feelings of the shame of being judged. Shame by definition is a painful feeling. What is the point of using shame as a weapon — whether against ourselves or our fellow humans?

Sexual humility, I would argue, offers a very wide berth to love and healthy sexual intimacy.  Two sexual partners who practice humility by definition would each place the needs, desires, and joys of their partner above their own; thus, opening the door to a mutually honest, vulnerable, and loving relationship. As Brené Brown points out in The Gifts of Imperfection, “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”³ A person who is confident has no need to humiliate another person, especially not their own partner.

Sexual humiliation on the other hand, serves only self. People with a deep-seated need to humiliate their partners in order to feel better about themselves will not be found in healthy, loving relationships. Healthy sexual relationships require a great deal of open communication. People who are prone to shaming (read: emotionally abusing) their partners through humiliation are not inclined to encourage open, loving communication. In fact, they are more likely to be Narcissists who gas-light their partners. In addition, humiliating someone who is not a partner about or because of their sexuality is equally cruel and abusive.

Sexual Shame is a byproduct of humiliation. Here in the United States entire generations have been shattered by sexual shame. While some people are quick to blame religion for this dispiriting phenomenon, it is important to keep in mind that the taboo of sexuality can be secular in nature.

No one is born with shame. Cultural sexual shame is first and foremost passed down to us through our parents. Later our under-educated peers take over by dictating the norms for what is considered acceptable sex — often the same peers who don’t know the difference between a vulva and a vagina. We then get Hollywood’s take on sexuality, completely outside the moral confines of any religion, where only stunningly attractive people are lustfully engaging in 180 second sex which always results in mutual orgasms, right? Oh, and don’t forget the Internet. Of course, when you consider the fact that online body shaming is practically a cultural pastime, that’s one helluva scary thought.



¹ For the purposes of this post, humiliation refers exclusively to the non-consensual act of humiliation.

² I make a distinction between healthy pride, as in being conscious of one’s own dignity and self-worth and self regard (satisfaction), and unhealthy pride, as in having an inordinately excessive opinion of one’s importance (narcissist).

³ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are


This post was prompted by a friend in the Blogosphere, author Linda Hill, who is offering (“Just Jot It January”) daily writing prompts for fellow bloggers. Today’s word, “Humiliate,” originated with Jim Adams, whose own entry entitled Stitches caught my eye and inspired me to write this post.