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Best Gay Sex Positions: Not As “Different” As Straight People Might Think

Alexandra Fine, Credentialed Sexologist, M. Psych | Written by Dame

Heterosexuals may not think very much about the mechanics of gay sex.

When and if they do, though, they probably assume that “gay sex positions” must, by definition, be very different than “straight” ones. After all, the anatomical parts don’t fit together exactly the same way.

They’d be mistaken.

Penis-owners have missionary sex, doggy-style sex, cowboy and reverse cowboy sex, too – and they’re all pretty damn good. (You’ve guessed correctly; cowboy is homologous to cowgirl.) Those sexual positions, naturally, aren’t the only ones that guys with penises can enjoy with each other. But missionary, doggy and cowboy/cowgirl are extremely common among all genders.

Yes, there are usually differences in the types of penetration that occur when gay and opposite-gender couples use the same basic positions. (Not always, though; plenty of straight couples have anal sex, too.)

Yes, gay sex normally involves more lube, since the anus and rectum aren’t capable of manufacturing their own lubrication like the vagina does. And yes, gay sex can often get messier, since it’s likely to involve the butt – and we all know what else is found in the butt.

But assuming that “gay men have their own way of doing things” is nothing more than heteronormative thinking.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get down to business. If you’re looking to change things up with new positions, let’s check out the best gay sex positions to try. (Opposite-gendered couples or other members of the LGBTQ community in the audience are welcome to keep reading as well.)

Terminology

Before getting down and dirty, let’s make sure that everyone’s on the same page.

We’ll do that by defining the terms commonly used to describe the roles of gay sex partners – and also by emphasizing that many people view these terms as possibly-offensive stereotypes which don’t properly define them or their sexual interest.

To be clear: we don’t use the terms to define people in any way. We use them simply because terms like “top” and “bottom” are the easiest shorthand for describing gay sex positions.

  • Tops: Dominant partners who prefer penetrating their significant other, and being in control of the activity.
  • Bottoms: Submissive partners who prefer being penetrated and yielding control. (“Power bottoms” prefer being the receiver, while remaining in control of the action with the way they move their bodies.)
  • Versatiles: Not surprisingly, many penis-havers prefer to experience both sides of the sexual fun, sometimes as a top and other times as a bottom. They’re known as either “versatiles” or “switches.”
  • Sides: Not everyone likes anal penetration. A “side” generally prefers rimming, oral sex, mutual masturbation or other foreplay with their partner. That’s quite common, in fact; a major survey published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reports that nearly two-thirds of penis havers did not have anal penetration with their same-gendered partner the last time they had sex.

Always remember that every person is different. The real key to great sex is simply going with the flow, regardless of roles or definitions.

OK, let’s get to it.

Old Faithfuls

Doggy Style

This time-honored position isn’t the best choice for intimacy, or even for communication. It is one of the best, though, for an energetic work-out featuring hard thrusting, deep penetration – and often, orgasm-producing prostate stimulation.

The classic doggy position has the bottom on all fours, facing away from their partner. The top then enters from behind, so they’re able to hold the bottom’s hips (or shoulders) for leverage during thrusting. The angle of penetration doesn’t always allow stimulation of the “p-spot,” but both partners are free to adjust their position slightly to ensure proper contact (and excitement).

An added benefit to doggy style is that both partners have access to the bottom’s penis for manual stimulation while the penetration is underway. Doggy is also particularly well suited to the power dynamics that can come into play between a top and a bottom, but versatiles certainly enjoy this position as much as anyone else.

Here’s a way to change things up for doggy style sex. If the bottom lies flat on a pillow with their rear elevated, the angles and stimulation feel very different – and very, very good.

One cautionary note: body shapes don’t always allow two partners to line up properly for easy penetration. It may take some effort to make doggy-style anal sex work. If two bodies just don’t fit together well, it’s better to try a different position than to endure the pain which might result.

Missionary

Few positions (other than the one we’ll get to next) provide the same closeness and intimacy as the missionary position. Eye contact, communication, deep kissing, simultaneous play in other erogenous zones; being face-to-face during missionary can greatly enhance a couple’s connection as they satisfy each other sexually.

The satisfaction is usually mutual, too. Most penises curve upward, the perfect angle for prostate massage in the bottom’s anus. The contact is almost as exciting for the top, since the tip of their penis rubs against the partner’s rectal wall. Climaxing together is never something that you can predict, but it’s a definite possibility during missionary.

As you’d probably guess, penetration isn’t something that happens “automatically” when two penis owners lie in the missionary position. The anal opening is normally too close to the bed (or whatever else the bottom is lying on). That means the bottom has to elevate their butt in order to provide access. The simplest way to do that is to position a pillow in the small of the back. When they then tilt their hips back, that pushes their rear off of the bed.

A more satisfactory approach is for the bottom to lift their legs into the air; resting them on the top’s shoulders will create all the access anyone could need. One variation on this position is sometimes called “pirate’s bounty,” in which just one of the bottom’s legs is held high in the air. Another option is for the bottom to pull both of their knees up to their chest. Each position allows for even deeper penetration.

Spooning

This classic side-by-side sex position may be the most intimate of all. The closeness, the slow sex, and the romance are unparalleled, and the top can use their arms to play with all of the bottom’s sensitive spots. Think Valentine’s Day sex rather than an acrobatic encounter.

Penetration during spooning can also be quite deep, with one simple move. The top simply has to use their elbow or arm to elevate the bottom’s upper leg; that creates a wide-open anal passage for deeper and stronger pumping.

The extra advantages to spooning? It’s an easy position to ease into if two partners are just waking up – and it’s an extremely comfortable position to doze off in once the sex is over.

A Little More Work, But Worth It

Cowboy

In cowboy sex, the bottom faces forward and straddles their partner, who enters from underneath. It doesn’t require lots of sexual experience, but it does require a good deal of energy – especially on the part of the bottom. (Remember, “top” and “bottom” specify which partner penetrates the other, not which one is above the other. In the cowboy position, the bottom is actually “on top.”)

In most positions, the top is usually the dominant partner. But in the cowboy position, it’s just the opposite. The top is the one doing the insertion, but it’s actually the bottom who can determine the speed and depth of penetration – and the prostate stimulation – by moving, thrusting or grinding to their liking. They can even use restraints on the top, if desired.

Cowboy still provides a great deal of pleasure to the top, who can also switch and take control of thrusting into the bottom. The cowboy position, however, is primarily about the pleasure of the bottom as they ride their partner.

Reverse cowboy is a similar position, but the bottom faces the top’s feet rather than their head. It’s a nice change-up from cowboy, because the points of contact between penis and anus are quite different and create different sensations. This variation can also provide the top with a greater opportunity to dominate the session; if the bottom lies back on their partner after insertion, instead of sitting up straight, the top has more leverage and a greater ability to thrust.

Standing

There are several ways for a gay couple to have sex while standing, but the position sometimes called the “bodyguard” may be the most popular. That could be because it requires only normal agility and balance to pull off successfully.

The bottom can stand in the middle of a room, but there’s much less chance of toppling over if they face a wall or table, and lean up against it. They arch their back (to better expose their anal opening), and the top enters from behind.

This position is a good one for those who like energetic sex, because standing gives both partners a much greater range of motion. If the top takes control, they can determine the rhythm of thrusting and grinding. The partners can also move together in a coordinated rhythm, though, something’s that more difficult to do when one (or both) is lying down. Bonus points for the bodyguard position: you can do it just about anywhere, no matter how small a room might be.

A similar position has the bottom kneeling on a couch or bed, while the top partner penetrates from behind. This variation prevents the bottom from taking control, but it lets the top thrust much more vigorously – increasing the chances that he’ll be able to stimulate the bottom’s p-spot.

Want to try one of the most challenging standing positions possible? In the Kama Sutra it’s known as the “suspended congress.” Two partners face each other and the top picks up the bottom, who wraps his arms around the top’s neck and his thighs around the top’s biceps. The top then penetrates their partner, supporting them by the lower back while thrusting. This position will undoubtedly require some athleticism and burn a lot of energy; if it’s too much to handle, it can be done with the bottom’s back resting against a wall.

Sitting

Gay sex while one or both partners are sitting isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Some of the possible positions aren’t that difficult, though, and they’re fun to try.

In one, the top relaxes in a chair with their knees pulled up to their chest. The bottom then sits backwards in the chair between the top’s legs for insertion and playtime. This option is best enjoyed in a rocking chair, or at least one with enough space for both partners.

In another position known as the “deck chair,” the bottom is the one sitting in the chair, knees against their chest (almost tucked into a ball, to provide the best access). The top then approaches, enters, and thrusts while standing.

Some gay men have been adventurous enough to try the Tantric Yab Yum position (better known as the lotus position). The top sits with legs crossed and the bottom climbs into their lap, wrapping their legs and arms around the top. Penetration isn’t as easy as it is for differently-gendered couples, but it is possible – and it’s ideal for slow, mindful, sensuous coupling.

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Other Possibilities

Those who’ve tried all of the positions we’ve mentioned so far, and are looking for something new and cool to take their sexual health to a new level, have a number of choices. You can find a more comprehensive list in a book from New York author Stephen Williams, The Awesome Gay Sex Positions. But here are a few of them.

Bumper Cars: This is sort of like doggy style, but both partners are on all fours with the top above and facing away from their partner. The penetration, naturally, comes at a very different angle than it would in doggy, so the sensations are quite different as well. This position requires flexibility to pull off, and it’s not easy for the top to time their thrusting when they can’t see their partner. But you wanted new and cool, right?

Flying: Here’s an acrobatic variation of chair sex. The top sits in a chair, body stretched out as straight as possible. The bottom climbs on, facing forward, for penetration. Then comes the “flying” part. The bottom leans back while extending their arms, the top holds onto their wrists – and the bottom then lifts their legs to “fly backward” while being pumped by the top.

Oral: We could endlessly debate whether the best positions for oral sex are really “sex positions.” But why bother? The venerable 69 position is always a winner, for all genders.