Sex Positions & Techniques
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Man on top, face to face, sexual positions
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The normal posture for face to face sex, half way between the position where the woman lies with her legs extended as far as possible (extreme extension), and the position where she raises them as much as possible (extreme flexion), is as follows. The woman lies on her back; her thighs are separated and her knees slightly bent. The man lies upon his partner's abdomen, supporting his knees and elbows as far as possible on the bed, in order to relieve her of his weight; his legs and thighs are between hers. This sex position is very enjoyable: it expresses the man's intense unconscious urge to feel that he both protects and possesses his partner, and equally accommodates a woman's sense of wanting be dominated or protected during lovemaking. It also allows a couple to increase their pleasure with kisses and caresses, and gives a greater range of emotion and sensation through the contact of their two bodies from chest to thighs.
However, one drawback can be the weight of the man's body. This is especially true if the woman is pregnant: heavy pressure on the pregnant uterus at a period in gestation when the whole abdomen is not so much enlarged is obviously not such a good idea.
If the guy's penis is on the small side, both his and her sensations during lovemaking may be improved by the partners slightly shifting and stretching until they find a posture which gives them more sensation. After the man has entered his partner, she may close her thighs and stretch her legs out to their whole length, so that her partner's thighs now enclose and clasp hers.
For the man, this has the double advantage of increased stimulation of the penile shaft, and the reassurance that his erect organ isn't going to slip out of her vagina. This position, with her legs extended, is especially useful and satisfying when the man has had difficulty in attaining full erection, for whatever reason.
Other advantages include the fact that the friction of the base of the penis against the pubic area of the woman's inclined pelvis, her labia majora, and the inner portions of her thighs, contributes to sensual pleasure for both partners, and may help to bring her to orgasm.
But although the woman has the advantage of increased stimulation of her vulva and vaginal opening, and, even more importantly, her clitoris is presented more fully to the friction or rhythmical stroking of her partner's penile shaft, unfortunately the erect penis - the phallus - cannot penetrate so deeply into her vagina. You can find out more about stimulating the clitoris here.
Another variation with the woman's legs pressed together can be adopted by the woman either from the beginning of sexual intercourse or immediately after the man has come: in the latter case she will retain her partner's semen in her vagina, by holding his penis firmly clasped in the vagina between her thighs (at least until his erection subsides).
The extension of the woman's legs can be made more complete by keeping the upper part of her body quite flat and placing a cushion under her pelvis; it must not be below her pelvis as this would have the opposite effect, nor should it be too soft and flat. In fact, a rather firm, hard pillow or cushion is preferable. The thicker the pillow, the better the angle of her body when her legs are extended. The result of such extension is increased inclination of the pelvis, and accessibility of the pubic region and clitoris. In other words this sexual position can lead to much more easily achieved orgasms for the woman.
The pubic symphysis and clitoris are pressed more closely and continuously against the front part of man's erect organ, and they also receive stronger stimulation. But to receive the full effects of extension, the woman's legs should be horizontal - whether closed or opened is immaterial - because any flexion of the thighs would decrease the angle of her pelvis and destroy the effect of the pillow positioned beneath her pelvis during sex. The greatest pelvic inclination is attained by stretching not only the spine but the thighs from the hip joints to their fullest extension, namely, by letting the legs hang down. You can see more about this here: advanced sex positions (2).
To get her legs hanging down, the woman can lie near the edge of the bed. The upper part of her body is flat, and, stretched as far as possible backwards, her sacrum is across or even a little over the edge of the bed; her slightly parted legs hang down while her feet rest against a firm support.
The edge of the bed must also offer firm support and be high enough for the man to enjoy intercourse comfortably. He positions himself between the knees of his partner, and begins by standing upright. A supine attitude is, of course, impossible for him, with his partner's body at such an angle. But in practice, his vertical attitude becomes diagonal. He bends forward as far as possible, resting his hands on the bed, on either side of his partner, as they make love.
Now what is the purpose of this position, which, by the way, has been recommended from ancient times as especially suitable for first-time intercourse? The explanation of this position for first time sex seems to be around the gentle breaking of the hymen. During penetration the erect penis is pressed downwards from its usual upward angle almost to the horizontal.
Once inside the man's partner, the penis and its base are pressed strongly against the woman's pubic area, and the glans of the man's penis slips smoothly along the vestibule and into the vaginal orifice, gently stretching the free edge of the hymeneal membrane, instead of immediately tearing it. It is ruptured by the pressure of the main portion of the penis, while in other circumstances, e.g. in the more usual position for face to face sex, it is destroyed by a sharp, sudden thrust of the penis from outside, in an unavoidably rougher, more painful manner.
Most people these days have sex long before they get married, and many girls and young women do not have an intact hymeneal membrane when they first have sex anyway. But if the woman is a virgin, then an adaptation of the "edge of the bed" position described above may be useful: the man can introduce the glans of his penis, in first-time intercourse, as smoothly and gently as possible.
This way he stretches the hymen (should it still be present) rather than splitting it forcibly. In the normal man on top sexual posture, the simplest way to break the hymen is for the man to lie at an angle which lets him approach and penetrate his partner from in front and above, so that his penis is pressed downwards as it enters his partner's vagina.
This position can also be used with success if there is painful soreness and even acute inflammation of the fossa navicularis. The fossa navicularis is that portion of the vestibule lying immediately in front of the posterior junction of the inner labia. It can form an appreciable depression behind the attachment of the hymenal membrane; and if the penis continually presses and rubs this area, a lesion can ensue.
Another benefit of intercourse in this position is that it concentrates stimulation in the region of the clitoris for the woman, and in the frenulum and the anterior penile shaft for the man. Obviously these are the most sensitive areas of the genitals. However, this variation does not promote the reception of semen in the uterus, as the phallus can only penetrate a comparatively little way, and the fluid ebbs back and out of the vagina after intercourse, because the vaginal orifice lies below and downwards from the cervix.
Sexual Postures With More Flexion Of The Woman's Body And Legs
In the most extreme form of this variation, the woman lies on her back, lifts her legs at right angles to her body from the hips, and rests them on the man's shoulders; he kneels or stands before her as he penetrates her.
At the same time the woman's spine in the lumbar region is flexed at a sharp angle and her vaginal opening is directed as far as possible upwards, so that her vulva lies sloping and almost flat, instead of vertically as in the normal face to face position, and the vagina (inside her body) is directed almost vertically downwards. At the same time the tissues of the perineum are drawn tight by the position of the pelvis.
This makes intercourse a very different experience for both partners. The man does not enter his partner's vagina from the front, but presses forward across the perineum. The clitoral region, situated in the anterior part of the vulva, is not touched at all during sex in this position. Only on entering the vagina does the man's glans meet the anterior vaginal wall.
As the man's erect cock penetrates further it has to adapt itself to the direction of the vagina which clasps and contains it, and it is strongly pressed downwards; thus the base of the male organ responds with an equally strong counter-pressure upwards against the anterior vaginal wall. This strong double pressure provides an appreciably heightened stimulation in comparison with the more usual approach of man on top (he lies on her, she lies flat on the bed underneath him), in which erect penis and vagina are oriented in the same direction. In the variation described here, pressure (and therefore feeling) is concentrated for the woman on the upper (anterior) interior side of the vagina and the lower (posterior) rim of the vaginal opening, and for the man on the upper edge of his glans penis and the underneath surface of the base of his penis.
In this position - which exposes and opens the pelvic fissure as widely as possible - the penis can penetrate the vagina right up to the point where it joins the body at the symphysis pubis, which is not otherwise possible. Therefore, a certain caution is advisable, till the man knows precisely how far he can penetrate. But a vagina of average length and width is able to receive and contain an erect penis of normal size throughout its length and at maximum penetration.
Only couples where the man's penis is longer than average and the women's vagina shorter than average might there be problems....mostly consisting of him hitting her cervix if he thrusts too hard. And a good lubricant will always help with any difficulties during intercourse.
Which Of These Two Methods Is Better?
That depends not only on the current moods and desires of the sexual partners, but also on the degree of slackness of the vaginal wall. If it has lost tenseness and contractile power (these two things generally occur simultaneously, for example after several births), then the clasping of the whole shaft of the penis, which requires parallel orientation of penis and vagina, is no longer possible.
Thus one of the great benefits of the normal face to face, man on top sexual position is cancelled. Moreover, the relaxed voluntary muscles (the constrictor cunni and levator vagina) are often weak as well. In these circumstances the more flexed position, with perineal tension and the backward pressure of the base of the penis, supply some compensatory stimuli.
The profound penetration and the orientation of the vaginal canal are favorable to conception in the flexed position. But while extreme flexion is well-adapted to the wide and/or slack vagina, this position does have difficulties and disadvantages for both partners.
For example, not every couple is capable of the almost gymnastic efforts needed to enjoy it. And when the woman has her legs on the man's shoulders, their faces and breasts and the whole upper portion of both partner's bodies are separated.
However, the ultimate extreme of flexion described above (woman's legs on man's shoulders), is not absolutely necessary to enjoy the considerable benefits of flexion.
Instead, you can have the woman laying on her back bending her legs at the hips and opening her thighs as widely as possible, and also bending her knees. This position exposes both vulva and perineum even more advantageously than the extreme "ankles on the man's shoulder position" - the position of extreme flexion - because there the knees are not bent. Intercourse in this position is much easier for both partners. Of course, the woman's knees can be bent to a greater or lesser degree, and her knees raised or lowered as the couple sees fit.
Finally, in the lovemaking positions previously described, the man's body was placed over the woman's. It is also possible to have intercourse with the bodies reversed; the woman's above the man's. Most couples try this but do not use it often, but it's always fun to experiment!