You've probably heard of the Kama Sutra, the ancient Hindu text that's basically an A to Z of sex positions. But you probably assumed that it's full of awkward and ridiculously acrobatic positions that only the most limber among us would ever try.
Well, that assumption is incorrect, my friend. There's a reason why the Kama Sutra has been a go-to sex position guide for thousands of years: it's full of practical, actionable tips for couples who want to try something beyond missionary. Yes, some of them are a tad tougher than others, but it's all about the attitude you bring to it.
“If you really want to try a certain position, you're going to need a positive and excited energy that will make it fun and pleasurable for your partner, no matter what the angle," says Laura Berman, Ph.D., a sex educator and sex therapist.
We asked experts for their favourite Kama Sutra positions that couples should try at least once — and aren't impossible for you to master.
Kama Sutra Sex Position #1: Sammukha
The Sammukha position is a relatively easy position to get started with, and one you've probably never thought to try. In this position, you’ll need to lean back against a wall while standing and spread your legs as wide as they can while your partner enters you. This position does lower you a bit, so if your partner is taller, you may need to stand on something, like an ottoman.
Although this position might seem a little awkward at first, it's actually an incredibly passionate and romantic position thanks to all the eye contact, says Eric M. Garrison, a sex expert and author of Mastering Multiple Position Sex. It also offers incredibly deep penetration.
Kama Sutra Sex Position #2: Janukurpara
Sex standing up gets a bad rap, but the Janukurpara position is well worth it. In this position, get your partner to lift you up, locking his elbows under your knees and gripping your butt with his hands while you place your arms around his neck to hold on. Janukurpara offers extra-deep penetration, lots of eye contact, and it has the added benefit of making you look like a champion.
"A lot of acrobatic positions offer just bragging rights, but some offer bragging rights and pleasure," says Garrison. "Janukurpara allows for great penetration, and can be the reward for time in the gym."
Kama Sutra Sex Position #3: Piditaka
As Garrison notes, acrobatic sex doesn't necessarily equate to pleasurable sex. The Piditaka position is a comfortable, laid-back position that has the benefit of being incredibly pleasurable. For this position, lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest, resting your feet on your partner’s chest as they kneel in front of you. With their knees on either side of your hips, they’ll need to raise your hips onto their thighs as they enter you.
"For those desiring the auspiciousness of the Kama Sutra even more, draw your feet up to touch your partner’s mouth and forehead, conveying tenderness, humility, and devotion," says sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright.
You probably know the Virsha by another name: the Reverse Cowgirl. In this position, your partner should lie flat on their back while you sits or kneel on top of them, facing their feet. Then, lower yourself on top of them and lean forward, gripping their ankles.
It sounds easy, but Garrison says it's surprisingly tough. "Virsha is Sanskrit for bull, and as simple as it sounds, it's no bull when I say that this is very difficult," says Garrison. "Even the best can't master it without practice—and what better reason to have lots of sex!"
Kama Sutra Sex Position #5: Tripadam
Tripadam is the perfect position for a quickie: it doesn't allow for deep penetration, but it does allow for "short and fast" fun, says Garrison.
In this position, you both stand, facing each other. Your partner puts his hand under one of your knees and raises it off the floor, turning the two of you into a "tripadam"(or tripod). Then, he enters you. (One note: this position works best if both of you are around the same height.)
Kama Sutra Sex Position #6: The Milk and Water Embrace
With this position, your partner sits down in an chair, on a short stool, or on the bed. Then, you sit down on top of them, with your back to their chest.
"This is perfect for people of all body sizes," says Garrison. If your female-bodied, "there is the potential benefit of four-hand stimulation for the (clit, breasts, inner thighs), and lots of leg intertwining for you both."
Kama Sutra Sex Position #7: Indrani
Indrani is named for the beautiful and seductive wife of Indra, the supreme deity in the Hindu faith. With this position, lie on your back and pulls your knees into your partner’s chest. His knees should straddle your hips leaving his hands free to stimulate your body, or he can be on his forearms.
"One of my caveats for any man-on-top positions is that communication is key," says Garrison. Because you'll be able to penetrate quite deeply, it may cause you pain. Therefore "the two must communicate openly and honestly, before, during, and after the Indrani."
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health US.