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Sure, Missionary may have a reputation for being The vanilla sex position. But it’s far from a snooze — Missionary sex can be mega-magical.

“The Missionary position allows for a ton of skin-to-skin contact all at once, which can increase sensuality, create closeness and connection, and help you combine multiple erogenous zones and sensations,” says Luna Matatas, a sexuality, body confidence, and kink educator and the creator of Peg the Patriarchy.

Missionary position, defined

Sometimes called Penetrator-on-Top or Face-to-Face, Missionary is any configuration that positions the penetrator on top and the receiver flat on their back beneath them — anal or vaginal, it’s still considered Missionary!

We’re just going to say it: Missionary is totally underrated. How come? It allows for all these v. pleasurable parts of sex:

  • easy clitoral access
  • eye contact
  • deep kissing
  • lots of skin-to-skin contact
  • rhythmic penetration

Plus, it’s accessible for a variety of bodies!

Because we’re all about this tried-and-true way of getting down, we asked Matatas and two other sex educators to share their top tips for making Missionary your go-to position.

  • prop your hips up with a pillow
  • move your legs
  • focus on the clitoris
  • use 5X as much lube as you think you need
  • head south
  • dabble in double penetration (DP)
  • have the penetrator bop in a booty plug
  • masturbate
  • check in if one person orgasms first

Enjoy shallow thrusts? Gravitate toward internal vibrators and wands? Odds are you enjoy having your G-spot or P-spot stimulated.

“Having the receiver elevate their hips with a pillow will increase the chances that their internal hot spots will get targeted during Missionary,” says body-positive sex educator Carly S, founder of Dildo or Dildon’t.

Toys to try

The Liberator Wedge or Dame Pillo. “[These] are harder than a sleeping pillow but less rigid than a couch pillow and will support you and your partner’s body weight the entire time,” says Carly S.

Depending on how the receiver positions their legs, you can access quite a few different nerve-rich zones in Missionary.

If the receiver is flexible, “they can bend their knees and rest their feet against their partner’s chest as they thrust,” says Matatas. This allows for deep penetration, great for hitting those internal “it” spots like the anterior fornix zone (A-spot) or cervix (C-spot).

If not, here’s a less acrobatic option: “Have the top stay upright and hold the back of the receiver’s thighs to comfortably support their angled pelvis as they thrust toward the back of the vagina,” she says.

Here are some leg variations to give a try, if you’re the receiver:

  • Spread your legs as wide as you can.
  • Rest your feet against the penetrator’s shoulders.
  • Bend your knees and open your legs like a butterfly.
  • Straighten your legs and rest your calves on the penetrator’s shoulders.

“Over 70 percent of people with vulva require clitoral stimulation to orgasm,” says pleasure-positive sex educator Reba Corrine Thomas.

Luckily, you or your partner can easily reach between the receiver’s legs to give that nerve-dense nub the love it deserves. She also suggests using a clitoral vibe.

If both people have vaginas, tribadism (aka tribbing) is also an option! This is the sexy move of rubbing clits against each other.

Toys to try

Carly S. recommends a wand vibrator like the Le Wand or Magic Wand that has a long handle and a bulbous head.

Or try the We Vibe Melt — this slim oral sex stimulator fits comfortably between two bodies.

Most vagina owners don’t naturally produce enough fluid to keep them lubricated for as long as sex lasts, says Thomas. So it’s essential to lube up!

“[Lube] can be the difference between pleasurable penetration and painful friction,” she says.

While we’re on the subject of lube, consider using one that contains CBD, which could enhance or contribute to relaxation. CBD is a vasodilator, meaning it opens up your blood vessels. Applying it topically promotes blood flow to your bits, which can help relax your pelvic floor muscles and contribute to natural lubrication.

And, anecdotally, Matatas says many of the people she works with find that CBD helps them relax during sex: “For those who experience pain during penetration, CBD lube may even reduce discomfort and increase pleasure.”

Lube to try

Thomas recommends a water-based lube like Sliquid Sassy or Get Naked because it’s compatible with all toys and condoms.

The two caveats are anal play and shower sex. In those cases, a thicker silicone-based lubricant like UberLube is best.

And if it’s CBD you’re after, try GoLove’s water-based CBD lube.

Missionary is a good position to play around with anal because it gives the receiver the chance to accept as much or as little of the dildo or penis as they want, says Carly S.

For folks in bigger bodies and those with knee problems, she recommends that the receiver slide one of those aforementioned sex pillows under their hips to open up their back door.

The best part? Unlike other popular anal sex positions, such as Doggy-Style, Missionary puts you and your boo face-to-face. “You can also read each other’s facial expressions for signs of either discomfort or pleasure,” adds Matatas.

And to be very, very clear: You need lube (silicone preferred) — not spit — to explore anal. No lube? No anal.

“Using saliva instead of lube is the difference between licking your lips when they’re dry, instead of grabbing lip balm,” says Matatas.

On the topic of anal… Missionary is an awesome position for vulva owners to experience simultaneous vaginal and anal penetration, says Matatas.

If you’ve decided DP isn’t your cup of tea based on the exaggerated clips on Pornhub, we’re here to make the case that it can be an exciting and seriously pleasurable time. “For people who enjoy feeling stuffed, double penetration can take the pleasure to a new level,” says Carly S.

You can explore DP with the help of a butt plug and/or dildo and/or penis — it doesn’t really matter what goes where, as long as it’s not painful. Starting small is always wise.

“Just keep in mind that your body is not a never-ending cavern,” says Carly S. “Even if you typically enjoy really thick, girthy toys, you’re probably not going to be able to fit two big toys inside you at once.”

Toys to try

  • The SpareParts Deuce Harness. This handy toy allows someone to penetrate with a penis and dildo at the same time.
  • The Ruse Double Dildo. This U-shaped double-ended dildo can fill a vagina and butthole simultaneously.

Don’t get it twisted: The joys of anal penetration during Missionary don’t have to be just for the receiving partner!

According to Thomas, butt plugs may be especially pleasurable for penis owners. “People with penises have a pleasure zone called the prostate that can (and should!) be accessed through the anus.” Stimulating this internal pleasure zone can lead to what she calls “a new kind of orgasm.”

Toys to try

  • The b-Vibe Snug Plug. This plug has a weight that jostles around inside it, adding stimulation with each thrust.
  • The b-Vibe Rimming Plug. This plug has a mechanism in its neck that simulates anilingus.

“It’s very unlikely you’re going to experience pleasure during partnered sex if you don’t know what you need to experience pleasure,” says Thomas. “It’s only when you know your own pleasure centers that you can tell a partner how you like to be touched or touch yourself during partnered play.”

Fun date idea: Once you know what you like, invite your partner to join you for a round of show-and-tell.

Sure, mutual masturbation may not have the same ~notoriety~ that Missionary does. But it’s an opportunity to learn what types of touch your partner likes (and vice versa), which could ultimately improve your sex life in all positions.

Simultaneous orgasms are a lot less common than movies make them seem. If you come first, that’s a great time to check in to see if the position is still working for your partner or if they’d prefer to switch it up.

The classic scenario is the person with the penis finishing first and collapsing without saying a word. Don’t let this be you! Even if your penis is down for the count, you still have fingers and a tongue and maybe (hopefully!) a drawer of toys. The point is to think about the other person and what they might want.

Of course, it might also just be time for bed. Nowhere does it say you must orgasm for sex to be sex. It’s all up to you and how you feel!

Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Follow her on Instagram.