Q&A: The Missionary Position, What Am I Supposed To Be Doing?

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QUESTION: I was looking around on the internet and I saw a quote that read “Missionary is not an excuse to do nothing” and I feel like that’s me. I don't know what to do while my boyfriend and I are having sex and I think I just lay there. What am I supposed to be doing?

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laying in bed

Photo: mysi anne (flickr)

You can play around with missionary by moving your hips up and down, or slowly in a circle, or by keeping your hips still but squeezing your vaginal muscles around your partner’s penis.

Missionary position is one of the most commonly used sex positions throughout the world for a variety reasons, and I imagine that at least some of these reasons probably have to do with it being a relaxing position for many people, and one that feels good and offers many possibilities for tweaking it to your own preferences.

Missionary Position: No One Way to “Do” It

Your preferences, by the way, are what sex positions are really about. There is no one way to “do” the missionary position. If you are on the bottom in the missionary position, you could indeed lie there but it doesn’t mean that you are doing nothing.

You can play around with missionary by moving your hips up and down, or slowly in a circle, or by keeping your hips still but squeezing your vaginal muscles around your partner’s penis.

When you’re in missionary position, you can keep your legs straight out or you can bend one or both knees up, with your feet planted on the bed. Then again, you can bend your knees closer to your chest.

Bodies Are Different

These changes are more meaningful than they may seem at first glance. Everyone’s bodies are built a little differently, even though the basic parts are the same. And the way that your body fits with your boyfriend’s body is one of a kind and completely unique.

As such, you may find that certain adaptations to missionary make sex more pleasurable or even more comfortable. You may find that certain positions make it easier or more difficult for you to orgasm or for him to orgasm.

His Role

He can move around in missionary position, too. Some men take more of a push-up position in missionary or they may place their face close to or further from their partner’s face. Which, again, is less about making changes just to make them and more about finding out how you enjoy your sex.

Some couples find that it is really important for them, or just really enjoyable, to kiss each other or whisper things to each other during sex. Others want a little distance, either for emotional reasons or because they get really sweaty or warm if their bodies are too close during sex.

Make It Your Own

The missionary position – like so much of sex – is really a blank slate, and it’s available for you and your partner to make it what you want it to be.

Next Question: I Can’t Orgasm When I Masturbate In Front Of My Fiancé

My fiancé asked me to masturbate in front of him, but I can’t achieve orgasm when he’s present. I do enjoy this intimacy with him, but it bothers me that I can’t orgasm.

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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