Has your whole sex life been a lie? We surveyed over 1,200 Women’s Health readers about their least favorite sex positions, and you won’t like the results: Women rated common moves like doggy style, reverse cowgirl, and 69 as the worst sex positions.
Chances are, those sex staples have been in your arsenal since you bought your first condom. Men have long relied on standard moves like missionary because they’re easy, efficient, and feel great—but as it turns out, women have quietly been cursing them the whole time.
To pinpoint the source of female frustration, we consulted with top experts to uncover why your five favorite positions just aren’t cutting it—and the upgrades you must make to satisfy her sex drive.
1. Doggy Style
Why she’s not into it: Put simply, it’s too painful. “The issue here is you may be ramming her cervix, which is why deep penetration is often more harmful than hot,” says Sara Gottfried, M.D., OB/GYN, author of The Hormone Cure.
Plus, if you’re fully removing yourself, then re-entering her, it often hurts her chances at staying fully lubricated, Dr. Gottfried explains.
Women in our survey also said doggy’s not intimate enough. Even though rough sex can be awesome if you’re both into it, most women are looking for more of a connection during sex, Dr. Gottfried says.
While you may have a blast admiring her assets when she’s on all fours, her view of the bed isn’t nearly as stimulating.
How to fix it: To prevent the bump and grind from getting painful, keep your thrusts short and shallow, rather than deep and fast. Shallow thrusts will stimulate the front third of her vagina, which is the most sensitive part, says Rebecca Rosenblat, a sex therapist and the author of Seducing Your Man.
Up the intimacy factor by running your hands through her hair, down her spine, and occasionally leaning forward to kiss and suck on her neck.
And don’t forget the clitoral stimulation, Dr. Gottfried advises. Just because you’re focusing on her backside, doesn’t mean you should neglect her most sensitive spots.
2. Woman on Top
Why she’s not into it: One word: insecurity. According to our survey, a majority of women feel more self-conscious when they’re on top.
Dr. Gottfried says women often worry about what their stomachs or breasts look like from where you’re laying. And even though you think she looks like a rock star, even the tiniest shred of doubt can put out her fire.
How to fix it: Switch into a side-by-side position like “The Spork.” Have her lie on her back, and raise her right leg.
Slot yourself between her legs at a 90-degree angle and ease inside her. This way, her legs will form the tines of a spork utensil.
3. Reverse Cowgirl
Why she’s not into it: Because it’s hard for her to climax like that—and not everything fits when she’s riding in reverse.
“Reverse cowgirl may seem sexy and adventurous, but when you actually try to enter her, things might not fit the way you think that they should,” says Jen Landa, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD and author of The Sex Drive Solution for Women.
It often boils down to the curvature of your penis not coinciding with the angle of her vagina, Dr. Landa says. Realistically, any time you bend your penis too far at the base, it’s not only uncomfortable for her, it becomes dangerous for you.
In other words, you can break your junk.
How to fix it: If you’re in it for the view, switch to doggy. The fit’s more practical, and you can help her reach orgasm, says Dr. Landa.
But if you still want the naughtiness factor, put the doggy to bed. Do this: Stand up, have her bend forward, place her hands on a stable mirror, then enter her from behind.
You’ll still be able to manually stimulate her, but now you can both use the mirror to your advantage.
Why she’s not into it: It doesn’t hit the right spots. “And if you’re on the smaller end of the spectrum, this position doesn’t really accentuate your size,” Dr. Landa says.
How to fix it: Try using the Coital Alignment Technique (CAT)—just dont call it that in bed. The position is similar to missionary, except your body is farther up and to one side. (So rather than being chest to chest, your chest is near her shoulders.)
Have her bend her legs about 45 degrees to tilt her hips up, which causes the base of your shaft to maintain constant contact with her clitoris.
Even though the name is a mouthful, the move is proven to work: Women who were unable to climax in regular missionary were 56 percent more likely to climax using CAT, according to a study from the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.
Why she’s not into it: She’s, well, preoccupied. According to our survey results, women say it’s too difficult to focus on receiving pleasure when they have to concentrate on giving it.
And pleasure and reaching climax is heavily determined by her mental state, Dr. Landa says. So it becomes difficult to relax and enjoy your oral skills if she’s trying to take care of your needs at the same time.
How to fix it: If you want her to get the most out of oral, you’re better off taking turns giving and receiving. Many women claim 69 feels anonymous to them, because they want their partner to be able to look them in the eyes and feel a connection, says Gottfried.
So if you stick to giving first, she’s way more likely to enjoy herself.