16 Ways to Make Missionary Anything But a Vanilla Sex Experience

Photo: Getty Images/Dean Mitchell
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It’s no secret that missionary style sex gets a bad rap. So often, this basic position is misunderstood as being boring—or vanilla, as so many people like to refer to it. In reality, the only reason that the missionary style is boring is if the people doing it don’t know how to spice things up. Because, news flash: The missionary sex position is incredibly versatile. And, best of all, as certified sex educator Alicia Sinclairpoints out, missionary is one of the few sex positions that affords not only total body contact, but eye contact and the ability to kiss, too. Ain’t nothin’ vanilla about that.

Experts In This Article
  • Alicia Sinclair, certified sex educator, certified sexuality coach, and founder of b-Vibe
  • Megan Fleming, PhD, sex therapist and clinical instructor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University

With that in mind—and knowing just how wildly underestimated the position can be—we’ve rounded up more than a dozen ways to spice up missionary sex below.

But first, what is missionary sex?

“Missionary is the most common sexual position,” says clinical psychologist and Lovehoney sex and relationships expert Megan Fleming, PhD. “In this position, the penetrating partner is on top, the receiving partner is on their back, and they’re facing one another.”

How to spice up missionary style sex

1. Build anticipation before getting naked

To make missionary more exciting, Sinclair recommends plenty of foreplay first. “Hump and grind with clothes on to really build anticipation before penetration,” she suggests.

2. Try the coital alignment technique

Also known as the corn grinder or riding high sex position, Dr. Fleming says that this take on missionary prioritizes female pleasure. “The penetrating partner is riding higher so that they’re grinding their pelvis [against the bottom partner’s] and the two bodies are rubbing against each other creating more friction to stimulate the clitoris,” she explains. “Basically this position is more vertical movement and rubbing over just in and out thrusting.” While this position is particularly pleasurable for those with a clitoris, Dr. Fleming says that it’s also a great option for penetrating partners with a penis who tend to cum too fast. “Since the penetration isn’t as deep, it helps with ejaculatory control,” she says.

3. Keep your clothes on

Specifically, Sinclair recommends dressing up in a sexy lingerie set—namely, one with an open crotch or backless feature. (Need a recommendation? The Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Lace Plunge Crotchless Teddy ($100) is a fan-favorite.)

4. Don’t forget to kiss

“One of the best things about missionary is that it’s seamless to be making out at the same time,” Dr. Fleming says. “French, American, or Butterfly Kisses—vary them up and turn up the heat.” Don’t feel like you have to rush the kissing, either. “Go slow and incorporate really long, deep kisses,” Sinclair says. “This helps you get really present in your bodies and the moment.”

5. Create more friction by inverting the leg position

Instead of having the penetrating partner between the legs of the person on the bottom, Dr. Fleming recommends switching it up. “Modify missionary so that the penetrating partner’s legs are outside of yours,” she explains. “Penetrating with two legs pressing together adds for nice additional stimulation.”

6. Perform kegels

Sure, kegels are thought to be a pre- and post-sex exercise to support proper pelvic floor function, but Dr. Fleming says that adding them into missionary sex can provide additional tension and pressure, lending to an even more satisfying climax.

7. Support the position with a pillow

“Great sex is all about angels—a pillow or wedge for the receiving partner elevates the hips for deeper penetration and better g-spot stimulation,” Dr. Fleming shares. (We like the Dominix Deluxe Sex Position Wedge ($85)).

8. Cater to the clitoris

Many women can’t climax with penetration alone. With that in mind, if at least one vulva is involved in your missionary mix, be sure to cater to it. While manual finger stimulation works just fine, toys like the Le Wand Double Vibe ($135) will take it to a whole new sensational level.

9. Try a cock ring

Whether you’re looking for additional clitoral stimulation or a tool to help stay erect, Dr. Fleming says that cock rings (like the best-selling We-Vibe Pivot ($109) can be incredibly helpful.

10. Or an insertable toy you both can enjoy

While many sex toys are targeted toward one person’s pleasure, the We-Vibe Chorus ($230) has a unique design that both partners will greatly benefit from. The curved silhouette is designed to be inserted in a way that hugs the front wall of the vagina, as well as the clit. That said, the internal portion of the toy is flatter, leaving room for a penetrating partner to enter and enjoy the vibrations. The coolest part, though, is that it can be synced with your favorite songs to vibrate to the beat of the music. In other words, prepare for a standing-ovation-worthy O.

11. Embrace dirty talk

There’s something undeniably hot about vocally sharing fantasies during sex—or even as a prelude to it. To make it even steamier, Sinclair says to whisper to really turn your partner on. And, of course, before saying anything (like situational name-calling), make sure you have consent.

12. Incorporate nipple play

Make missionary a full-body experience by focusing friction on the nipples, too. Dr. Fleming recommends nipple clips in addition to manual and oral nipple play.

13. Create leverage

One of the best ways to get deeper, as well as to vary speed and rhythm, is to use a footboard or headboard for support. According to Dr. Fleming, it will enable a greater thrust.

14. Relinquish control

If you feel safe doing so, Sinclair recommends incorporating handcuffs or ties (like the Adam & Eve Beginner’s Bondage Fantasy Set ($30)) into your routine. By tying the receiver up, it puts all control in the hands of the penetrator, which will undoubtedly heat up an otherwise seemingly boring sex position.

15. Maintain eye contact while elevating your missionary position

If you love being able to look into your partner’s eyes but crave deeper penetration, Sinclair says to have the penetrating partner stand on the ground and have the receiving partner scoot to the edge of the bed. Have the standing partner hold the receiving partner’s legs or prop them up against their shoulders.

16. Consider butt play

Anal stimulation can take missionary to a whole new level—for both partners. “It’s especially fun if you use a remote control vibrating toy like the Novice Plug ($135),” Sinclair says, because it gives your partner the control.

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