The basic sex position is generally called the missionary position. In this position, the participants face each other. The receiving partner lies on their back with legs apart, while the penetrating partner lies on top. This position and the following variations are primarily used for vaginal intercourse, although some can also be used for anal sex.

 

  • The penetrating partner stands in front of the receiving partner, whose legs dangle over the edge of a bed or some other platform like a table.[3]With the receiving partner’s legs lifted towards the ceiling and resting against the penetrating partner, this is sometimes called the butterfly position. This can also be done as a kneeling position.

  • The receiving partner lies on his or her back. The penetrating partner stands and lifts the receiving partner’s pelvis for penetration. A variant is for the receiving partner to rest his or her legs on the penetrating partner’s shoulders.

  • The receiving partner lies on his or her back, legs pulled up straight and knees near to the head. The penetrating partner holds the receiving partner’s legs and penetrates from above.

  • Similarly to the previous position, but the receiving partner’s legs need not be straight and the penetrating partner wraps his or her arms around the receiving partner to push the legs as close as possible to the chest. Called the stopperage in Burton’s translation of The Perfumed Garden.[4]

  • The coital alignment technique, a position where a woman is penetrated vaginally: the penetrating partner enters vaginally in the missionary position and moves slightly forward so that the base of the phallus rubs the clitoris.

  • The receiving partner crosses their feet behind their head (or at least puts their feet next to their ears), while lying on their back. The penetrating partner then holds the receiving partner tightly around each instep or ankle and lies on the receiving partner full-length. A variation is to have the receiving partner cross their ankles on their stomach, knees to shoulders, and then have the penetrating partner lie on the receiving partner’s crossed ankles with their full weight. Called the Viennese oyster by The Joy of Sex.[5]

 

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