Lifestyle 10 Ways to Make Missionary Sex Anything But 'Vanilla' Consider these variations on the classic position for an even steamier experience. By Maressa Brown Maressa Brown Instagram Twitter Website Maressa Brown is a journalist and astrologer who's a regular lifestyle contributor and resident astrologer for InStyle. She has nearly two decades of professional experience writing, reporting, and editing lifestyle content for a variety of digital and print consumer-facing publications including Parents, Shape, Astrology.com, and more. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on February 18, 2022 @ 12:00PM Pin Share Tweet Email In This Article View All In This Article Think: One Course of Many Warm Up Lie Down Incorporate Pillows Get Edgy Penetrate Deeper Prioritize Clitoral Stimulation Try an Anal Toy Focus on Sensuality Share Your Needs Photo: Getty Images It's easy to dismiss missionary-style sex as utterly uninspired and snooze-worthy. The sex position — in which the receiving partner lies on their back and the giving partner is on top — is often considered the most vanilla, basic, and conventional way to get it on. But it deserves much more credit than that. "Far from the 'boring vanilla sex' stigma that missionary, unfortunately, has associated with it, this position offers an opportunity for more emotional intimacy because you are face to face with your lover," says Kiana Reeves, Chief Brand Officer and educator at sexual health and wellness company Foria. In fact, in this position, you could feel an especially powerful connection to your partner because you're able to look in their eyes, kiss, and enjoy full body contact, says Reeves. Plus, there are lots of ways to take the classic position to the next level that you may not have considered. Here are some expert tips on "remixing" missionary for even more pleasure. What Is 'Vanilla' Sex — and Why Are We Embarrassed By It? 1. Consider it just one part of a "multi-course" experience. Lyndsey Harper, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn and CEO of sexual wellness platform Rosy, encourages people to think of missionary sex as one "delicious dish on the buffet." "There are so many other options and add-ons before, after, and during," she notes. Anne Hodder-Shipp, an American College of Sexologists (ACS)-certified sex educator, agrees, noting, "Missionary doesn't have to be the main event, or even the final event, so enjoy missionary like you would any other kind of sex — and remember that sex doesn't have to stop just because one partner has orgasmed." 2. Be sure to warm up. Before diving into missionary — or any position, for that matter — enjoy activities that will boost your arousal, like sexting with your partner or reading an erotic story (alone or together), suggests Dr. Harper. You might also try oral sex, vibrator stimulation (for clitoral stimulation, reach for the LELO's SILA Cruise), manual stimulation, role play, bondage/blindfolds, and dirty talk, suggests Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., LELO sexpert and author of Becoming Cliterate and A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex. "As long as it's pleasurable and consensual, the sky's the limit!" she says. 3. Try this lazy morning sex variation. Instead of one partner climbing on top of the other, consider a relaxed twist on missionary: Both partners can lie on their sides, facing one another while the receiving partner's leg wraps around the giving partner's body to make room for penetration, advises Reeves. This variation might be more comfortable — and maybe a bit lazier and tailored to morning sex. 4. Incorporate pillows. "Start with pillows that can be placed under the bottom of the receiving partner," recommends Shannon Chavez, Psy.D., a psychologist and sex therapist in Los Angeles. This will elevate the hips, which, in turn, will enhance pressure, friction, and sensation to increase their pleasure potential. 5 Sex Positions That Will Make You Actually Like Shower Sex 5. Get edgy. Have the penetrating partner stand at the end of the bed, facing the head of the bed, and the receiving partner can lie on the bed with their hips and booty toward the edge, recommends Mintz. "The advantage of this is novelty and again, changing the angle of the penetration," she notes. 6. Consider these moves for deeper penetration. If you want to intensify the position, the receiving partner can lift and fold their legs against your chest while still lying on their back for deeper penetration, says Reeves. "Or you can ask your partner to hold your legs spread open and out up towards your shoulders for a different angle and deeper penetration," she notes. 7. Prioritize clitoral stimulation. "Clitoral stimulation is key for people with vulvas in any position," says Reeves. "It significantly increases your chance for orgasming during a sexual experience, and can help you reach different types of orgasms through the connected pathway of the clitourethralvaginal complex. This is a long word for the simple idea that all of our pleasure wiring works together when stimulated separately, which is how we can experience different combinations of orgasms." In order to achieve clitoral stimulation during missionary sex, you can use your hand or your partner's hand or consider adding a vibrator, explains Dr. Harper. "A small bullet vibrator works best in this situation because it doesn't get in the way or a combined vibrator that can stimulate you and your partner at the same time works for some couples as well," she notes. One to try: LELO's Tiani 3 or TOR 2. A Sex Therapist Shares Her Favorite Anal Toys 8. Try an anal toy. Missionary lends itself to anal stimulation. Either — or both — partners can wear an anal toy, and it might feel especially pleasurable to the receiving partner, because it offers the sensation of being "filled up," says Hodder-Shipp. "It's also a great way for the giving partner to experience additional stimulation hands-free," she notes. If you happen to be the one lying on your back just make sure it is a butt plug with a flat end, so it doesn't get in the way or cause discomfort, recommends Reeves. 9. Zero in on sensuality. "The missionary position allows you to use the senses as an arousal booster," points out Chavez. For instance, you can take in your partner's smell by nuzzling your face in their chest or neck while getting warmed up, she notes. "Eye gaze and visually connecting with your partner can increase arousal and release hormones that accelerate feelings of safety and bonding," adds Chavez. Missionary also allows you to talk to your partner, read their facial cues, and more readily take in any noises they might make during sex. "All of these factors can increase your own arousal and desire," says Chavez. 10. Share your needs. "For women, depending on where we are in our cycle and what is going on in our pelvis, some positions just may not do it for us at certain times while others may be uncomfortable or downright painful," acknowledges Dr. Harper. For that reason, if you ever experience sexual pain, you'll want to make sure to communicate it with your partner. "Sometimes this can be alleviated by a slight change in angle of position for you or your partner, decreasing the depth or angle of penetration," says Dr. Harper. "This can be achieved by rotating either partner's body slightly or by placing a small pillow under the bottom partner's hips."