Mix It Up

It's so easy to get lazy in bed. When the mood strikes, why contort like a Cirque du Soleil acrobat when 1) the fact that you're already having satisfying sex is more than most people accomplish and 2) a simple you're-on-top-tonight position can get the job done fine? But like anything easy — an energy bar for lunch, the treadmill at the gym, shopping on Bluefly.com — before long, you feel like you're missing out on the really fun stuff. So every once in a while (seriously, even just once a month) mix it up a little. For the best way to do that naked, we asked experts and real women to share their proven strategies for getting new thrills out of those same old sex positions you know and love.

Standby: Missionary

Gripe #1 "I can't move the way I need to for an orgasm."

To get more wiggle room — for hip-grinding or to reach your clitoris with your fingers — start by having him sit back on his heels on the bed. Then lie back against a couple of pillows, place your legs on either side of his thighs, and have him grasp your hips and pull your pelvis toward his, er, crotch. You can rest the bottoms of your feet on the bed for balance and leverage or wrap them around his waist. Stack those pillows up high behind you to prevent all the blood from rushing to your head. Then again, that might just add to the excitement.

Gripe #2 "I can't breathe when he's on top."

It's impossible to get swept away by passion when you're oxygen-deprived. For more breathing space, ask him to support his weight on his forearms, suggests David Taylor, M.D., who teaches a sexuality class for couples at Arizona's Miraval Life in Balance Resort. Put your hands on his chest to keep him there — guys get even lazier than we do. Because his body is now at a different angle to yours, his penis moves down more toward your tailbone, so the shaft can rub against your clitoris when he thrusts.

Standby: Woman on Top

Gripe #1 "I don't get the G-spot stimulation I crave."

Being on top is the best way for you to control the rhythm and level of penetration, and it's ideal for clitoral contact. But if you're looking for the almighty G-spot power-gasm, it's not going to do much for you. That's because your G-spot is located a few inches up the front wall of the vagina, Dr. Taylor says. Meaning just out of thrusting range if you're leaning forward or sitting upright, which most of us tend to do. Instead lean back, placing your hands behind you on his quads if you need the support. "From that angle his penis hits me in just the right place," says Amy K., 27, a lab technician from Maplewood, New Jersey.

Gripe #2 "When I start to move, everything jiggles and I don't feel sexy enough to enjoy myself."

Forget everything you've heard about how empowering and intimate it is to have sex with the lights on and just shut the damn things off — even the night-light. "If the reality is that you feel too self-conscious about your body to really let go in bed, then having sex in the dark will allow you to forget all about what you look like and just have some fun," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First. "There's no point in doing the empowering thing if it's not making you happy." When you're ready, fire up a candle and see how that makes you feel. Then light two, then three until you feel comfortable doing it in broad daylight. On the beach!

Standby: Hands and Knees

Gripe #1 "It's a turn-on, but it doesn't give me the clitoral contact I need and want."

No amount of wrangling the classic from — behind positions is going to move your clitoris to a different anatomical location. But you can free it up — along with your hands — if he kneels and rests his butt on his heels and then you lower yourself onto his lap, like you're sitting on a chair. Place your feet flat on the floor for balance and support — and so you can move up and down. If it sounds kind of like a workout, well, it is. But it feels so good you won't even notice that you're toning your calves and thighs.

Gripe #2 "It feels really impersonal because I can't see his face or touch his body."

The thing about having sex with your partner behind you is that it exposes the back of your body to a host of erotic sensations usually only played out in front. Plus, you tap into a naughty feeling that can be insanely hot. To get all of that without sacrificing any intimacy, try lying on your stomach and have him lie flat on top of you (with some of his weight on his arms so he doesn't squash you). "It's more intimate because it provides lots of skin-on-skin contact," Dr. Taylor says. Even if you can't see him, you can hear his breath in your ear and feel the warmth of his body.

Standby: Side by Side

Gripe #1 "We have sideways sex when we're both too tired to move. It's not very erotic."

Sleepy sex is so under-rated, especially first thing in the A.M. Make the relaxed side-by-side position more exciting but just as effortless with what Julie D., 33, a personal trainer from Lakeville, New York, calls the "sideways split." You lie on your back and he lies on his side perpendicular to you so that your bodies form a T shape, where your torso is the stem of the T. Drape one leg over his shoulder and the other over his calf. "I can control how much stimulation I'm getting by spreading my legs farther (for more) or closing them a bit (for less)," Julie says.

Gripe #2 "It's hard to figure out what to do with all our limbs."

Damn those pesky arms and legs. To get them out of the way, try spooning, suggests Patti Britton, Ph.D., clinical sexologist and author of The Art of Sex Coaching. You both lie on your sides, but your back is to him and he enters you from behind. Since you're facing away from him your limbs don't get so tangled up. "This variation makes it easier for him to touch your breasts and clitoris, and it's still very intimate," Dr. Britton says.

Standby: Standing Up

Gripe #1 "We're about the same height, so standing-up sex works if I stand on my tiptoes, but then my calves get tired!"

Orgasms are elusive enough without having to maneuver around on your tippy-toes. To double the surface area you stand on and still get the extra few inches you need for the perfect pelvic matchup, break out the -highest heels you own — platform boots, wedges, pumps, doesn't matter. Don't have any heels that high? Buy a cheap (but stable) pair for this purpose alone. You never have to wear them out of the house, and he'll get an extra thrill from seeing you in a pair of stilettos — which, for some still-a-mystery-to-us reason, guys seem to find hot.

Gripe #2 "I'm shorter than he is, so he needs to lift me. But then his arms get tired and I feel like he's going to drop me."

Lisa G., 31, a copywriter from Houston, solves that problem by perching her butt on the edge of the desk in her home office (a sturdy table or kitchen counter will also work). "It has the spontaneous quality of standing-up sex, without him having to lift me," she says. To make the most of the countertop approach, stick to the very edge of it so your clitoris stays front and center for maximum contact with his penis.
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