Whether you always like to take control in the bedroom or want to try out dominant sex positions for the very first time, there are countless ways to build on the classic cowgirl position so that you can play around with power dynamics and live out your fantasy.
That said, if you aren’t used to being dominant, it can take some getting used to. According to sex therapist Vanessa Marin, it’s common to fall into the trap of thinking the male or penetrating partner will be the one in charge. But that’s precisely why it’s extra hot to flip the script and take the lead in bed.
If you aren’t sure where to start, it may help to “go slow and let things build,” Kiana Reeves, a somatic sex educator, pelvic care practitioner, and chief brand officer at the sexual wellness company Foria, tells Bustle. “This can also help increase sensation and stimulation.” And also give you plenty of time to build up your confidence.
For another way to ease into domination, let go of any preconceived ideas you might have about what “dominant” sex has to look like. Instead, “lean into what feels good and what makes you feel the most connected and open,” Reeves says. “Follow the flow, and you might even discover a new position you never imagined.” In need of a few ideas? Read on below for 11 positions that’ll put you in control during sex, according to experts.
How To Do It: This is the classic woman-in-charge position, Marin says. It’s a great place to begin whether you’re trying dominance for the first time, or are just getting your evening started. To do it, have your partner lie flat on their back. Climb on top and straddle their waist, with one leg on either side of their body.
From there, sit up straight. It’s typically easiest if you rest your weight on your knees. Don’t be shy about using your hand to guide your partner’s penis or dildo into you. Once you’re both comfortable, rock your hips back and forth, go in circles, or gyrate in a figure-eight shape.
Why It’s Hot: You’re completely taking the reins in this position. You’re in charge of all of the movement, pace, depth, and speed, and your partner is just along for the ride.
Up The Domination Factor: Try putting the soles of your feet flat on the bed so you can lift yourself up for greater intensity. This variation will have your thighs burning pretty quickly, but it’s a lot of fun — even if it only lasts for a few seconds.
2. Reverse Missionary
How To Do It: From standard cowgirl, lean forward so your body is pressed against your partner’s chest. Extend your legs straight back, putting them on the outside of your partner’s legs. Then put your hands on either side of your partner’s body and use them to balance your weight. Slowly grind your pelvis back and forth.
Why It’s Hot: It’s fun to play around with reverse missionary because it switches up the tradition, Marin says, and allows you to be on top. The partner with a penis or dildo is usually in charge, but this time you’re taking on that role.
Up The Domination Factor: Pin your partner’s hands back behind their head.
3. Chair Sit
How To Do It: Have your partner sit up, either in bed, on a chair, or on the couch. Face them and straddle their lap. Lower yourself down onto their penis or strap-on and move like you would in the cowgirl position by bouncing up and down, grinding, or swirling your hips in a figure-eight.
Why It’s Hot: “This version of being on top physically brings your bodies closer together,” Reeves says. “You still get to be in control, guiding the pace and depth, and it allows for great stimulation of the G-spot angle. You also get to feel their entire body pressed against yours.”
Up The Domination Factor: Reeves suggests taking it up a notch by locking eyes and making out.
4. Face Sit
How To Do It: Have your partner lie flat on their back at the top of the bed with a pillow under their head. Straddle their face, with one leg on either side of their head. Hold onto the headboard or wall for balance while easing your body down so you’re hovering right over your partner’s mouth. Have them perform oral sex.
Why It’s Hot: This position is intense, but it’s also all about you and your pleasure — making it sexy and empowering.
Up The Domination Factor: This is a great position to try out some power-play role-playing, Marin says. You could, for example, tell your partner they can’t stop until they’ve given you multiple orgasms. (Quick safety note: Make sure to agree on a safe word before role-playing. If they won’t be able to speak clearly, agree on a safe signal.)
5. Reverse Face Sit
How To Do It: Turn around to face your partner’s feet. You’ll probably need to have your partner scoot down on the bed a bit to give you enough room for your legs.
Why It’s Hot: This 180-degree take on the face sit will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Ask your partner if they’d like to play with your butt as they pleasure you with their tongue.
Up The Domination Factor: Bend forward and perform oral on your partner, but only if they do a “good enough” job working on you. The second they start to slip up, remove your mouth.
6. Leaning Cowgirl
How To Do It: This is a simple variation of cowgirl, but it definitely deserves its own mention. All you do is change the angle of standard cowgirl by leaning backwards, placing your hands behind you, and resting your weight on your palms. From there, rock your pelvis back and forth or try rising up an inch or two and popping back down.
Why It’s Hot: This position gives your partner an amazing view. You’ll feel super sexy being on display but still in control.
Up The Domination Factor: Make your partner stroke your clitoris with their fingers or a toy.
7. Sideways Saddle
How To Do It: Have your partner lie flat on the bed with their knees bent and their feet flat. Straddle one of their legs so that you’re facing one thigh (you’ll be turned away from your partner’s head) with one of your legs on either side of their legs. From there, grind up against your partner’s thigh as you rock back and forth and side to side.
Why It’s Hot: Marin says this is one of the best sex positions for female orgasm. It works amazingly well for people who like grinding action against their clitoris. Not to mention, it puts you fully in charge since your partner will be pinned beneath you.
Up The Domination Factor: You can play up the domination by telling your partner you’re just using them to get yourself off, Marin says. Once you finish, leave them begging for more.
8. Reverse Cowgirl
How To Do It: This is another 180-degree change that makes a world of difference. From standard cowgirl, turn around so you’re facing your partner’s feet. You’ll still be straddling them, just in a different direction. You can sit straight up, or lean forward and rest your weight on your hands.
Why It’s Hot: Turning around exposes you to new internal hotspots. Plus, you can taunt your partner with an amazing view of your butt.
Up The Domination Factor: Tie up your partner’s hands so they can’t touch you, Marin suggests. Or get them right to the edge of orgasm, then stop. Repeat as many times as either one of you can stand.
9. Against The Wall
How To Do It: Turn your partner to face a wall and have them place their hands up over their head as you approach them from behind. “You can play with your hands, tongue, or a toy,” Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., the resident sexologist at ASTROGLIDE, tells Bustle.
Why It’s Hot: You’re the one calling the shots.
Up The Domination Factor: “You can [use a strap-on] and play with pegging if you’re both into it,” O’Reilly says.
10. Lap Dance
How To Do It: Have your partner sit on a sofa or chair. Straddle them while holding onto their shoulders or the back of the chair for leverage. Bob up and down or grind your hips back and forth — whatever strikes your fancy. This position is all about putting on a show, possibly before switching to one of the positions listed above.
Why It’s Hot: You’ll be face to face with your partner, which Marin says is all sorts of sexy. They’ll also get to bask in all of your head-boss-in-charge energy from close up, which feels amazing.
Up The Domination Factor: Tie your partner to the chair or tell them they’re not allowed to touch you as a way of increasing the tension, in a totally sexy way.
11. Standing Oral
How To Do It: Have your partner kneel down in front of you to perform oral sex while you’re standing.
Why It’s Hot: “There’s something powerful about positioning yourself above another person,” O’Reilly says.
Up The Domination Factor: No matter what position you’re in, O’Reilly says another way to up the domination factor is by introducing some light BDSM by physically limiting your partner’s movement.
“If you’re not familiar with bondage, simply use a soft scarf or tie, leaving space for them to wiggle around — just don’t cut off blood supply,” O’Reilly says. Tie your partner’s hands together or tie them to the bedpost. (Again, remember to have a safe word.)
Vanessa Marin, sex therapist
Kiana Reeves, somatic sex educator, pelvic care practitioner
Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., sexologist
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