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Poor missionary: outside of the vanilla sect, this old standard is much maligned. Sometimes, though, all it takes is a new partner or a new tweak to make the most common heterosexual position into the most extraordinary.

Chances are, if you’re a bi or straight person reading this column, you’ve pooh-poohed missionary or feel like you’ve graduated from that position at least some point in your sexual history. Maybe you still think it’s for n00bs. Fair enough. In the bedroom (or at least in the 20-something bedroom), it’s as if it’s cool to utterly avoid missionary altogether. Missionary is the AOL of contemporary het sex, amirite?

Of course, different positions work better for a variety of reasons: penis length, clitoral stimulation, prostate stimulation, curve of a penis/dildo, who gets control, angle penetration, potential force of penetration, et cetera. But in our quest to be so goddamn alt, we forget that, you know, maybe missionary is the most common position among breeders for a reason. Make missionary work for you! Customize your ride! Learn how to grow your penis in two weeks! OK, maybe not that last part.

Like a good pair of jeans, it’s all about the fit. It’s hard to find a pair that fits perfectly, so you need a little tailoring to make a good pair into a phenomenal pair. And it’s often worth that time/money spent. Are you following me on this common-ground, non-threatening extended simile?

If you’re looking for deeper penetration, swing your legs over the shoulders of the top partner. Some people really get off from that feeling of fullness, touching of the cervix, or finally being able to fit all of that cock inside of them. Squeezing your legs together and swinging them over one of the top’s shoulders will also add an extra tightness, which means more stimulation for both partners. Sometimes, with everything all squished in the lady department, that means clitoral stimulation in particular.

For a better angle of penetration, grab a pillow to place under the bottom’s, well, bottom. Missionary can get boring when you feel like you’re not hitting the right spot, so don’t be afraid to use a prop. Use your hands to lift the bottom to your cock for more intimacy and skin-on-skin contact; holding your partner this way also allows a more forceful fuck.

Couples in missionary find that the partner on top does all the work, but that doesn’t have to be the case. To switch control without switching positions, the bottom partner can thrust back. Tilt the pelvis up and leverage yourself on the mattress or floor. You can also hook your legs around the top’s, pushing off their calves to pump yourself up and down. Sure, it’s hard to keep up, but it offers the bottom a chance to control the motion and gives the top a bit of a break.

Missionary sex is often described as “intimate” because the partners can look each other in the eyes and experience lots of skin-to-skin contact. Take advantage of that! Bottoms have their hands free to let fingers roam on their partners, grab some ass, or externally stimulate themselves while being penetrated. Tops, whisper dirty things into your partners’ ears. For chrissake, just do something creative! You’ve got yourself a mouth and some digits, don’t you?

And yeah, if you’re into babymaking, missionary is totally down with that. You remember that scene from The Big Lebowski when Maude rocks back and forth on her back with her knees to her chest after she and the Dude get it on? The sperm abides, man. All your little ones can have a big fat pool party at your woman’s cervix.

Bottom line, missionary doesn’t have to be boring, but it may take some fine-tuning to get right with your partner. Sure, it sounds impressive to say that reverse cowgirl is your favorite position, but shying away from missionary just because it’s missionary doesn’t make sense. Sex should feel good, and if you’re physically able to fuck in missionary, why not? The only thing hotter (or in some cases, amusing) than making your partners come is watching them come, face-to-face.

Image from blentley.

The Sexual Manifesto is Christine Borden’s weekly column on sex in the city, sex and culture, and, well, sex. Got a tip for Christine (and it’s not in your pants)? Email her at

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