A recent small survey of 571 participants of all genders in the United States from feminist sex shop Early To Bed found that half of all respondents said they’d much rather cuddle than have sex. Of course, that also means the other half of the respondents would ostensibly rather have sex than cuddle. The good news here is that it's possible to be intimate in a best-of-both-worlds type of way by incorporating cuddle sex positions. This way, everyone involved in the partnered sex gets to be satisfied. Now, the question is, which cuddle sex position will you choose? After all, there are quite a few. Ahead, find seven of the best penetrative partnered sex positions for people who love cuddling, according to sex experts.
7 of the Best Sex Positions for People Who Love Cuddling
The spooning sex position is exactly what it sounds like: spooning with sex as an added bonus. “The person who’s being penetrated is going to be the little spoon, and the person doing the penetration will be the big spoon,” says sexologist Marla Renee Stewart, sex expert for sexual-wellness brand and retailer Lovers. This is a solid choice for maintaining close contact with limited hip movement. “The big spoon can use their arms to wrap around their lover and penetrate gently for more romantic love-making,” she adds.
In this tantric cuddle sex position, also known as yab yum, your legs will be wrapped around each other in a front-facing sitting position. “The lotus is a great position because you can be really close,” Stewart says. “[It] allows you to line your torsos up and get your arms around each other, kiss, and embrace for a close and cuddly experience.” She recommends using auditory feedback, like moans and heavy breathing in their ear, to heighten arousal. And according to Neal, holding each other closely and maintaining presence with one another is helpful for enhancing connection.
Looking to hug and kiss mid-penetration? Say hello to the most classic cuddle sex position: missionary. You may already know how to get into this classic sex position, but if not, here’s Neal’s simple how-to: “The receiver lies flat on their back while the giver penetrates from the top [and gets] very close to the receiver by leaning on their elbows.”
“To create a very intimate missionary position, maintain eye contact,” she adds. To take it up a notch, Stewart says the penetrating partner can use their weight to add some slightly stimulating pressure onto the receiver (only if doing so won’t hurt the person underneath, of course).
Another option is to put more focus on deep penetration, which will create an even more intimate experience while in missionary. According to COTR founder and CEO Alicia Sinclair (who is responsible for brands like Le Wand), the goal is to elevate the receiver's pelvis and create a great angle for reaching the g-spot or p-spot. To do so, she says that the receiver should put both of their legs on the giver’s shoulders to raise their pelvis.
“Sex positions like this allow for direct eye contact and for the giver to have more control over the speed and depth of thrusting,” Sinclair says. “It's a versatile position for both vaginal and anal penetration.” Of course, if lifting your pelvis for an extended period feels like too much of a workout, Sinclair says that using a position pillow or stack of regular pillows can help. “This is a great position for incorporating a vibrating butt plug, such as the b-Vibe Novice Plug for receivers who have a vulva,” she adds.
That’s not the only way to upgrade missionary, though. Pornstar and sexpert Valentina Bellucci points out that missionary can go vertical while still incorporating that close, cuddled appeal. To experiment with this hugging sex position, she says to stand face to face and have the standing penetrating partner hoist the receiver in the air. While she recommends holding the receiver under their thighs, she says that using a wall for additional leverage and support can make the position more accessible.
4. Side-By-Side, Front-Facing
Like the missionary position, Stewart says side-by-side, front-facing sex can help you achieve hugging, kissing, and penetration. To get into it, she says you’d have to lie on a flat surface (like a bed), face each other, and have your bodies connect through penetration.
5. Lap Dance Sex Position
Looking for a position where you can be in full control while still having the opportunity to be wrapped in your partner’s arms? Sinclair recommends spicing things up with a lap dance position. “The lap dance sex position brings focus on to the receiver and gives them space to run the show,” she explains. “It also lends itself to great foreplay and lots of skin-to-skin contact.”
To perform the sex position, Sinclair says to seat the penetrator on an armless chair (or wherever you want to perform the act). Once the penetrator is seated, it’s up to the receiver to begin the dance, which can be done facing away from or toward the penetrator. “In this sex position, the receiver can choose to either grind their crotch on their partner's thighs, sit on their partner's lap while they stimulate themselves in any myriad of ways, or lower themselves onto their partner's penis or dildo for vaginal or anal penetration,” Sinclair says, noting that the partner can cuddle them in the process for even more skin-to-skin contact. “Sex positions like the Lap Dance, in which the receiver is on top, allow for the receiver to control the depth and angle of penetration and to have full access to their own genitals and chest.”
6. Intimate Doggy
Similar to spooning, intimate doggy style places the penetrator behind the other partner. “Think about regular doggy but when the [receiver] is flat on the bed and the partner is cuddling her from behind,” Bellucci says, noting that it’s an intimate position, as the receiver can turn their head to the side to maintain eye contact and add kissing to the mix. “Also, [the penetrator won’t have much room for fast movement [in this position] so everything will have to be done slowly.”
7. The Tree Frog
Not all sexy cuddling positions have to incorporate hugging. Sometimes, adding ultra-deep penetration can create the same appeal as a close embrace. Case in point: the tree frog sex position.
“A position not restricted to lovers of nature, the tree frog should be in the playbook of any couple that wants to feel wide open together,” says sex and relationship therapist Arienne Williams. To enjoy the position, Williams says that the receiver should be on top, facing and straddling their partner. “The receiver maintains an excellent spread posture with knees in an upright position, much like a tree frog,” she explains. “Those long, sexy gazes are easy to achieve when maintaining this proximity to your lover.”
This position doesn’t only offer great eye contact, though. Sex and relationship therapist Charlie Williams, who is Arienne’s husband, points out that upright straddling offers more conntrol of the depth and speed of penetration. “This vulnerable gift grants the receiver power to dig deep at will and provides erotic control,” he says. “Kissing and cuddling can be slow and intimate when you're ‘getting froggy.’”
Ultimately, Stewart says any position where you can be close to your lover is a great sex position for people who love cuddling. Whichever position you choose, Neal says skin-to-skin contact is the name of the game here. “Go for maximum touch, pressure, and body connection to maximize pleasure,” she adds.
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