Missionary position seems like, perhaps, the most vanilla of them all, amirite? I mean, if you’re looking to spice things up, then it’s no match for Reverse Cowgirl or the Pretzel Dip (yeah, it’s a thing).
But Damian Jacob Sendler, M.D., Ph.D., chief of sexology and clinical research programs at Felnett Health Research Foundation for North America, says that doesn’t mean you should take missionary off the table. In fact, there are a few good reasons why it should be a regular part of your repertoire. “It’s quite basic...[but you] get to have a full-body experience where you can make out and kiss different body parts while having sex,” he says.
But first…am I doing this missionary position thing right?
Remember: Missionary is everyone's go-to position for a reason. It’s your pretty straightforward guy on top, lots of eye contact move.
How to: Lie on your back while your partner lies face down on top of you. Try shifting the angle of your legs for different sensations.
Okay so how can I take things up a notch?
1. Start with some foreplay.
This one might seem obvious, but there’s a tendency to skip it in favour of the main event. But Sendler says foreplay that explores the vagina can help you warm up so try a little penetration with your (or his) fingers.
2. Don’t leave out your boobs.
Your breasts and nipples are two of your biggest erogenous zones. Tease, massage, apply pressure—really anything that makes your girls (and you) happy, suggests Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First.
3. Use oral sex as transitional foreplay.
Turning to oral sex as a pre-missionary warmup “always spices up a sex life,” Sendler says. He recommends having your partner go down on you (you can also return the favour if you want), then quickly jumping into missionary style sex.
4. Adjust the rhythm.
Sex doesn't have to be a race (unless you're looking for a quickie). So switch your speed between fast and slow and change up the depth from shallow to deep to allow for various types of stimulation, says Kerner. You can also move your hips in a circular motion instead of an up-and-down direction, says Jessica O'Reilly, Ph.D., author of The New Sex Bible.
5. Include a vibrator in the mix.
Use your vibrator before your guy enters you, or, if you're up for it, go for double penetration, Sendler says. "While having missionary sex, the male partner can insert a small vibrator or vibrating ball into the anus of his female partner," he says. "This way the sensation is greater—it’s essentially diffused pelvic stimulation that helps turn on all erogenous tissues that are within the female pelvis."
6. Lie flat on his chest.
Consider this a slight twist on this beloved position: Not only will you feel (and literally be) closer, but the skin-to-skin rubbing of your boobs on his chest only heightens the experience for both of you, says O'Reilly. Plus, the angle of your vagina will stimulate your clitoris in a new, possibly better way.
7. Go for an inventive variation.
Heard of the Cross-Booty position? Didn't think so. Opt for this one when you want the closeness of missionary, but with an added bit of fun. Start with your partner entering you from the missionary position, then have him slide his chest and legs off your body so his pelvis is in the same location but his limbs form an “X” with yours. Bonus? This unique angle gives you ample opportunity to grab onto his back or butt while he thrusts.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.