What’s that saying from old church ladies, “The higher the hair, the closer to god”? Well, if you’ve been interested in adding some elevation between the sheets, grabbing a sex pillow (aka sex wedge) may just bring you closer to an, “Oh my god” moment.
According to a 2021 survey of 1,600 people conducted by Dame Labs, the research hub of sexual wellness company Dame, 81% of respondents reported they wanted to find better angles during partnered sex. Further, when asked about the best non-vibrating sex toys, pillows and wedges were rated the highest.
“A sex pillow can be used for comfort or to improve positioning to enhance the sexual experience,” Dr. Heather Jeffcoat, (she/her) women’s health physical therapist and author of Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide To The Sex Life You Deserve tells Bustle. “People tend to like them because they allow for further variation in position, and can improve accessibility of all the spots — G, P, and A.”
What Is A Sex Pillow?
According to Sarah Sloane, (she/they) sex and relationships educator and host of the podcast Social Intercourse, “Sex pillows are accessories that support our bodies in various positions so that we can enjoy sexual play more comfortably.” While pillows can be great for people with physical limitations, Sloane explains everyone can benefit from sex pillows.
“All bodies deserve — and can use — pillows that help them enjoy longer, more pleasure-focused sexual play sessions,” they tell Bustle. “If you think about the ways that you want to connect bodies, much of that relies on angles or holding particular positions. This is exactly what sex pillows can offer!”
Danny Griffin, Creative Director for Liberator, a bedroom adventure gear manufacturer continues that sex pillows or wedges are aids that “angle your body in positions you would otherwise be exerting yourself to maintain.”
Griffin continues that pillows or wedges can be especially useful during solo sex.
“We make several pillows for that purpose,” he says. “We call them ‘sex toy mounts’ because they are capable of holding your favorite sex toys in place for bumping, thrusting, and grinding against a soft but firm surface.”
Can You Just Use A Regular Pillow?
According to Taylor Sparks, (she/her) erotic educator and founder of Organic Loven, all pillows are not built the same. “Your standard bed pillow is designed to only hold the weight of your head, not your a*s, your partner’s a*s, and ‘Karen’s’ a*s too!” she tells Bustle. “A sex pillow is usually made of a dense foam and designed in different angle heights. These pillows are specifically designed to enhance all of your sexual positions.”
The hallmark of sex pillows, according to Griffin, is that they come in different shapes, like wedges or tubes (think sexy foam rollers), encouraging seamless exploration between the sheets. “Regular bed pillows are too soft and have to be constantly folded or rolled in search of the perfect angle for a specific position,” he says.
Additionally, high-quality sex pillows can be great for people with limited mobility and folks that use wheelchairs.
“I have clients who do not have the use of the lower half of their bodies, preventing them from ‘pushing back’ against their lovers during sex or the ability to hold their hips up to receive,” says Sparks.
As the name implies, sex pillows are literally designed for sex. From waterproof covers to the right firmness, they’re designed for sleeping with someone, not for sleeping.
Before shelling out for a specialized piece of sex furniture, Sloane suggests thinking about what you’re really looking for in a sex pillow. Just want to experiment with height play? Maybe a $14.99 foam pillow from Ikea would do it. Know you use a lot of lube? A budget vinyl inflatable wedge may have your number, or just add a waterproof case. “If you're curious but don't want to commit, you can always DIY it to see if the investment is worth it down the road,” Sloane says.
How To Use A Sex Pillow?
So, you bucked up and got the expensive sex pillow. Now what? As with all sexy things, it’ll take some time to find what works for you. Play around and see where it feels good. Do you like it under your hips? Maybe you want to lie down on it? If you’re confused about how to use the pillow with a partner, start by using it during solo play to get more comfortable on your own.
Per Sloane, sex pillows can be used to lift the hips of receiving partner, as they’re being entered or penetrated. As the receiving partner lies down, facing up, slide the pillow under their hips, back, and/or butt. “This may make the angle of penetration more comfortable, and not burden either body with having to hold an unsustainable position,” they say.
You also can lie down on the pillow facing it, enabling easier access to your behind. This can be great for doggy, anal, or any sort of rear stimulation.
How To Introduce A Sex Pillow To Your Partner
Chanta Blue, MSW, MEd., LCSW, CST, (she/they) sexuality and relationship therapist and co-founder of Blue Counseling and Wellness Center explains that introducing a new toy or position to a partner can feel intimidating. Before you spiral into nervousness, Blue suggests taking a breath, and remembering that it’s completely “normal” and healthy to want to try different things between the sheets.
When bringing up the pillow to your partner, frame it as something that will help you both experience more fun together, Sloane suggests, not something to compensate. “So often we're taught that if things aren't working perfectly in the bedroom, it's someone's ‘fault,’” they say. “Make sure that we're not starting the conversation by telling them what's wrong.”
Rather than, “You can never get deep enough” or “your legs always give out when you’re going down on me,” Sloane suggests saying something you really love about your sex life and what is working for you, and then framing the pillow as a way to maximize that. Something like, “It feels so good when you’re on top, but sometimes we both have to adjust a bit. I think using a sex pillow would keep us in the moment.”
How to Store Your Sex Pillow
You’ve figured out how to discreetly store all your vibes and camouflage your favorite lube among the other bottles on your nightstand. But hiding your sex wedge, well that’s another story. If you have the room, Blue suggests storing it under your bed, in a closet, or on a shelf. If you’re sheepish about your roommates or parents seeing it or don’t want to display your wedge, a small one may be the way to go. Additionally Blue suggests choosing a pillow that’s a color you like or that matches your space.
“You can easily use them as part of your room decor and, depending on which size you get as general body support when doing everyday activities like reading in bed,” they say.
While sex pillows are specially made for sex, they can also be used for not-sex. The strong foam is great for leaning against as you send work emails or lounging on when you watch The Bachelor. If you’re looking for a little lift and a lot of support, a sex pillow may be your new best friend.
Dr. Heather Jeffcoat, (she/her) women’s health physical therapist and author of Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide To The Sex Life You Deserve