What To Do If You Feel Like Missionary Doesn't Work For You

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For a lot of people, missionary is the sex position that they do most often — and that makes it seem like the default best sex position. In fact, for 3,000 people in SKYN Condom's 2017 Millennial Sex Survey, it was the second most popular position. And you can see why. It's comfortable, it's intimate, and it's great for feeling connected and mindful.  "Mindful sex is all about connection," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. "You need positions where you can look in each other's eyes, be aware of each other, be in the moment and connect on a deeper level."

Missionary sounds perfect for that, right? But the truth is, it just doesn't get everyone where they need to be to feel satisfied. For one, it doesn't always lend itself to clitoral stimulation (though you can certainly make it happen), and stats show up to 75 percent of women need that to orgasm. So if you find the position lackluster, you shouldn't put up with that just because it's one that people automatically go to.

The good news is that there are so many different ways to tweak and adjust the position in order to get what you need. Maybe you need to shift your body, maybe you need to add a toy, or maybe you just need something totally different. All of those options are completely OK. Here's what you should try if missionary just isn't feeling like enough:

1. Try Closing Your Legs

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The lack of clitoral stimulation can be a big problem in missionary, but variations where you have your legs closed can make all the difference. Like the 'belly to belly' variation.  

"She lays flat on her back," Dr. Kat Van Kirk, author of The Married Sex Solution: A Realistic Guide to Saving Your Sex Life and the resident relationship/sex expert at Adam and Eve tells Bustle. "She opens her legs and [her partner] penetrates initially in missionary position, but then she closes her legs while [her partner] is still inserted. [Her partner] then closes their legs and lowers their entire body down onto hers. Most women don't get enough clitoral stimulation. That being said, sometimes direct stimulation is too much for the average woman. This position allows for [her partner's] mons pubis (that fleshy area above their genitals), to be in perfect alignment with the area surrounding her clitoris, allowing for more diffuse sensation and face to face action."  

You can also do a starfish variation, where your legs are together but your partner's are spread out. It gives them traction while still giving you clitoral stimulation.

2. Or Raising Them

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If closing your legs doesn't work for you, try lifting them higher than they normally would be. The coital alignment technique can be a game changer for women who have trouble orgasming in the missionary position. And for others, it just allows a deeper penetration for those who prefer a more intense sensation. You can even put your legs right up onto your partner's shoulders, for really deep penetration. There are so many different variations, depending on how flexible you are, so just play around and enjoy.

3. Add A Vibrator

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If the missionary position just isn't doing it for you, no matter what variation you try, there's no harm in bringing in backup. Grab the lube or a vibrator for a totally new experience. A vibrating cock ring is a great option, because it increases the sensation for both of you and can be an easy way to start experimenting with toys in the bedroom.

4. Change The Power Play

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Missionary can sometimes feel like a very one-sided position. And if you've had selfish partners, it's easy to associate it with someone just jackhammering away while you try to get what you can out of it. So feel free to reclaim the position. Either use your hands to control the speed of thrusting or put your feet flat on the bed and use your hips to do it yourself. If you're more involved, it's easier to get what you want and need.

5. Move Into Other Positions

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Finally, don't be scared to just ditch the position completely. Not everything works for everyone — and that's OK. You should feel comfortable enough to explain to your partner that it's not working and stick to positions that you both enjoy. There are so many out there, you can find something that works for both of you.

Missionary is so often the default position that it's easy to feel like you should be enjoying it. But if it's not working, it's not working. Don't be afraid to experiment and, if you need to, leave it behind.