When it comes to favorite positions, doggy style can be controversial. Some people love the intensity, the deep stimulation, and the animalistic feeling of being taken from behind. Other people miss out on eye contact and find the penetration angle too intense.
That’s also why doggy may be a favorite with certain partners and skippable with others. Just like any other position, it’ll feel different depending on who you’re with, and some people find that the deep angle achieved in doggy may be just right with some partners and way too much with others. For everyone who says, “I love doggy style” — some surveys have pegged it one of the most popular sex positions — there’s someone who’s unsure.
The trick is to find the right doggy style that vibes for both of you, says Angela Skurtu, a licensed sex therapist and president of St. Louis Marriage Therapy. If you miss intimacy, Skurtu suggests positioning a mirror to maintain eye contact, or take some time to look over your shoulder. You can also experiment with different speeds and depth — doggy style doesn’t necessarily mean, “thrust as hard as possible,” and some people like long, slow strokes rather than hard and heavy ones. You also may want to touch your clit or have your partner touch it, and experiment with your partner thrusting as they explore the rest of your body with their hands and tongue.
Bottom line: There is no one “doggy style” — and the best way to learn what you like is to try lots of techniques and see what works.
1. It’s Intense
“Doggy style can be intense, which is good and bad. I love it when I’m in the mood for dirty, sweaty, hair-pulling sex. I love when it’s a little aggressive. That said, I have to be in the right mood and will flip over and go back to missionary if I want something a little bit more emotionally intimate.” — Jess, 30
2. It Feels Like Porn
“It’s my favorite. I love it. But never as the first position. I need some more romantic moves before we jump right into doggy — take your time, guys! But then I like something like doggy — it makes me feel like I’m in a porno or something.” — Sarah, 28
3. It Can Be Confusing
“I like it when I’m feeling wild but don’t like guys finishing that way. It’s just not personal enough. And it’s kinda weird not being able to see what’s going on. Like, are you done?” — Lizzie, 26
4. It Doesn’t Really Work For My Body
“I have a tilted uterus, and I think for that reason it feels weird to me. Not painful, but often uncomfortable.” — Katherine, 32
5. The Sensations Are Amazing
“It’s as deep as it gets. I can play with myself or sometimes, if he’s really thrusting hard, my boyfriend’s balls hit my clit and it feels unreal. We don’t do it every time we have sex, but pretty much.” — Harri, 24
6. It’s Amazing When I’m In Control
“When I’ve been with partners who are really big it’s just been too much to let them go at it. But when they hold still and I control it, it’s really sexy.” — Hannah, 24
7. It All Depends On My Partner
“With my current partner it feels great— I don’t know if he’s hitting my G-spot or just an angle that I really like, and it’s a good way to make him finish as he’s less sensitive down there. My last boyfriend was tall, and the height difference made it pretty impossible — we tried to use pillows under my knees, but it always felt uncomfortable and was just not worth the trouble of adjusting all the time.” — Melissa, 33
8. It’s Sexy But I Need Some Warm-Up
“I don’t like starting off in doggy because you can’t see your partner, but once you ease into it, I think it’s the sexiest position out there.” — Emily, 28
9. A Mirror Is Everything
“I was eh about it until my partner and I had sex in front of a mirror at a hotel. Oh my God! I loved seeing the way my body responded and I loved watching him thrust inside me. The visual cues turned me on so much. We flipped to missionary to finish, but doggy style is now on my highlight reel for the visual impact alone.” — Rebecca, 32
10. The Trick Is Letting Go
“When I was younger, I didn’t like doggy because it felt too animalistic. But that’s why I love it now. I love when I’m with someone I trust and can just be as loud and intense as possible. I love moving my hips, making noises, and really getting into the sensation of letting go and letting my body do its thing.” — Stef, 34
Angela Skurtu, licensed sex therapist and president of St. Louis Marriage Therapy