Sex can be so many things: erotic, full of giggles, slightly awkward, adventurous. You can have sex to mark the end of a disagreement, with the goal of having a baby, or to celebrate relationship milestones. It can super speedy—or luxuriously slow.
And while all these varieties have their delights, sometimes what you crave most is super close sex, the kind that reminds you why you’re together. Lighting candles, putting on a playlist, and breaking out the massage oil will make things feel intimate. But you don’t need to set the mood with props to feel closer to each other. To physically and emotionally connect with your partner, try one of these positions.
Lots of touching during sex helps deepen your connection, and few positions offer the skin-to-skin contact spoon-style does. “This position is super cuddly and intimate, and it also creates a very different sensation for both partners,” says Anne Hodder, ACS, a multi-certified sex educator. Your shoulders, back, and butt are in close contact with your partner’s torso, and he can reach around and caress your breasts or clitoris for extra sensation.
“It’s also great for people who find standing or kneeling positions too painful or uncomfortable for their bodies,” Hodder adds, so it’s perfect when you’re sore after a hard workout or too tired to do a lot of moving around on the bed.
Woman on top
Any position that allows you to focus on your partner’s face is an opportunity for more intimacy. That’s why Stephen Snyder, MD, a New York City-based sex therapist and author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Term Relationship, calls woman on top ideal for super connected lovemaking. Your eyes are a comfortable distance away, he says, so eye contact comes naturally. “After you’ve done as much eye gazing as you like, [you] can fall on top of him for maximal skin-to-skin contact,” he says.
Lie on your side, facing your partner. Then lift your leg over his hip. “I recommend this position for building intimacy because you’re both looking into each other’s eyes and can easily reach the other person’s erogenous areas,” says Sunny Rodgers, clinical sexologist, certified sex coach, and ACS-certified sex educator.
While the action can be fast with this one, the pace can also be syrupy slow—perfect for lazy weekend mornings. “This position allows for a longer intimate experience which can bring both partners greater pleasure,” says Rodgers.
Yab yum (sitting with legs crossed)
Yab yum, a Tantric sex position, is a seated face-to-face option. Sex educator Bianca Alba, MPH, describes it as “a combination of sex and cuddling.” Have your partner sit upright with his legs either crossed or stretched in front of his body. Sit in his lap facing him, your legs around his hips. You can wrap your arms around each other, too. Nuzzling, kissing, and touching each other all over is easy in this position. “The person on the bottom will have some restricted thrusting movement, so it forces couples to slow it down with more of a gyration motion,” says Hodder.
Yab yum is incredibly intimate, but it’s not necessarily the most comfortable, natural position. To avoid discomfort, try sitting on a high-backed couch or chair (instead of on a bed or the floor), suggests Dr. Snyder. Then you can grasp the back of the seat with both hands for leverage as you grind against him, he says.
Legs on the floor
In this twist on missionary position, you’ll lie on the bed with your legs dangling off. Put a pillow under your butt to keep your pelvis upturned, recommends Rodgers. Then, have your partner stand at the end of the bed and lift your legs—you can wrap them around his waist or place them on his shoulders, she says.
There’s touching and eye contact aplenty in this sex style. Adds Rodgers: “This position allows both partners to use their hands to caress each other. While the man is in the best position to control the thrusting, the pillow allows for the woman to be in a perfect alignment for full penetration and optimal G-Spot stroking. This position was made for a relaxing pace where both partners can enjoy the connection without becoming too tired.”
Here’s another missionary variation that allows your partner to go deep: In split-missionary, you’ll keep your legs spread into a split. Any missionary position is super intimate, says Hodder, because it’s easy to stare into each other’s eyes, kiss mouths, and necks, and have tons of skin-to-skin contact. “Split missionary ups the ante and makes it easy to enjoy some of the deepest penetration possible,” Hodder says. Just note that you’ll need to be flexible to stay in an extended split (consider more incentive to make that weekly yoga class).
Surprise: Even doggy style, a position sans eye contact, can make you two feel connected. This position requires trust and closeness, points out sex educator Kait Scalisi, MPH. “Doggy style also lets the penetrating partner touch the other person all over, cuddle up against them, even hold hands (if doing a standing version),” she adds.
“To make doggy style super intimate, have the penetrating partner lean forward or over—depending on what version you’re doing—and hug the receiving partner while doing slow, deep thrusts,” says Scalisi. In this position, his mouth may be right near your ear, which is perfect for nuzzling or whispering enthusiastic comments.