The Pretzel Sex Position Offers A Whole Lot Of Stimulation
It’s more than just a salty snack.
As fun and effective as they are, experimenting with the latest sex toys and products to spice things up in the bedroom isn’t the answer for every couple. If this hits home for you, getting creative the “old school” way — i.e. with sex positions — might be more your style. Discovering new positions to try out can be a fun way to connect with your partner while working on closing that dang orgasm gap (which, yes, is a real thing).
You may be familiar with the classics: cowgirl, doggy style, missionary, etc. While they’re known crowdpleasers, positions like these can get a little dull over time. Enter: pretzel sex. Beyond its reputation for being a salty snack, “pretzel” is also a sex position that combines some of the best elements of missionary and doggy style to offer a whole lot of stimulation.
If you’re looking to add variety to your typical sexual routine, start the conversation with your partner about some different sex positions to try. As long as you feel safe and comfortable doing so, Dr. Carol Queen, sex educator and staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, says this can enhance the connection you have with each other. “Trying different positions implies a sense of curiosity and comfort in a sexual relationship, and some let you feel things differently,” she previously told Bustle. Sound like it would do the trick for you? Below, sex experts share all the details you need on how to nail the pretzel sex position.
What Is The Pretzel Sex Position?
The pretzel sex position is fairly simple, says sex educator Javay Frye-Nekrasova, especially since it borrows elements from other positions. “It is a partnered position where [the receiving] partner is laying essentially on their side with their legs spread, and the [penetrating] partner is on top of them between their legs in a position similar to being in doggy style, and the partner on the bottom has their top leg hugging or wrapped around their partner,” she tells Bustle. Together, both partners resemble, well... a pretzel.
Benefits Of Using The Pretzel Sex Position
Using the pretzel sex position has quite a few perks for both partners involved. The logistics of it allow for both extra relaxation and stimulation, according to Dr. Pebble Kranz, sexual medicine specialist and fellow of the European Committee on Sexual Medicine. “The receiving partner gets to relax all over, including the pelvic floor, because they are not holding themselves up — which may be useful for those who have sexual pain or those who have difficulty with orgasm,” she tells Bustle. “There may be less pressure on the chest of the person below, and there will be less strain on the upper body of the person above.”
The pretzel’s closeness and range of motion also allow for an extra opportunity for stimulation, which can make it more pleasurable all around. “It may be easier for either partner to reach and stimulate the clitoris which is where it's at for the vast majority of vagina owners,” Dr. Kranz explains. For the inserting partner, who gets to relax their pelvic floor muscles, they get to experience a better chance at arousal, she adds. “For those who like the base of the penis stimulated this could also be helpful.”
Drawbacks Of The Pretzel Sex Position
As with any new position, consider your physical or spatial limitations before jumping into experimentation. With pretzel-style sex, the cons are few, but still important to note for people with certain mobility issues. “Don't do this if either partner has knee problems or hip problems,” Dr. Kranz advises. “A larger person on top seated on the knee on the bottom could be very bad. Also, some receiving partners may physically need a wider spread of the legs for the easiest relaxation of the pelvic floor, so basically it depends on whether it feels good.” A twisted torso for the partner on the bottom could also be uncomfortable.
Ways To Modify The Pretzel Sex Position
You could get creative with the pretzel if you dare. When you’re in this position, you and your partner have access to your face, neck, breasts, and your butt — which pelvic floor physical therapist and sex counselor Dr. Sara Sohn says can lead to plenty of enhanced sensations along with the penetration. The receiving partner has control over the angle in which their leg is propped up on their partner, she adds, so someone with hip pain might feel relief from this position; conversely, she recommends that the receiver try propping their leg up on their partner’s shoulder, which can lead to even deeper penetration.
Frye-Nekrasova also points out that adding in sex toys can really turn up the heat during pretzel sex. Pro tip: Both partners have an opportunity to receive extra stimulation on either the clitoris or the frenulum (“the highly sensitive vein on the underside of the shaft of the penis,” she explains) if a vibrator is used.
Regardless of how you choose to approach the position, the most important parts of trying any new position with your partner are communication and comfort. As long as you focus on those two factors and don’t put too much pressure on the position “working out,” Dr. Kranz says you’ll be on the right path. “In my ideal world, any set of partners could feel free from shame and rigid ideas in order to play and experiment with whatever works in particular for them.” So have fun with it.
Dr. Carol Queen, sex educator and staff sexologist for Good Vibrations
Javay Frye-Nekrasova, sex educator and “The Millennial Sexpert”
Dr. Pebble Kranz, sexual medicine specialist and Fellow of the European Committee on Sexual Medicine
Dr. Sara Sohn, pelvic floor physical therapist, sex counselor, and creator of Better Sex by Sara