Q&A with J: Adding Variety to Your Marriage Bed

Today’s question is about variety in the marriage bed. Specifically positions, but I’ll deal with a bit more than that.

… my husband wants more variety. We mainly stick to two positions, missionary and me on top. They are great but I am self conscious about other positions like rear entry or reverse cowgirl. My husband would also like to do positions that show off more of my lady parts. I’m not sure what those would be. Any ideas?

Messy white bed and pillow, in the morning - with blog post title

If you’re going to do only one position, you’d probably start with missionary. It’s face-to-face, he’s putting forth most of the effort, and everybody’s heard about it. It’s also the most often seen position in movies and on TV.

Add one more, and you’ve likely gone to woman-on-top. Which is an excellent addition because the husband gets a great view, the wife gets more control over the action, and many women have an easier time orgasming with this angle.

But that’s a limited repertoire — two positions — and it makes sense to expand your options. You might find that variety increases your pleasure, the engagement of your five senses, and adds to your shared experiences. And you’ll likely find some favorites among positions you haven’t yet tried!

Let’s start with the self-consciousness about rear entry or reverse cowgirl. Because I totally get it. Waving your behind at your husband during sex can feel a little … awkward. I used to feel anxious about facing the other way from my husband. I wondered:

  • Why doesn’t he want to look into my eyes?
  • Is he more comfortable not looking directly at me during sex?
  • How can a front-seat view of my butt be attractive?

One day, I finally asked: “Why on earth would you want to see me from that angle?!” His explanation helped me understand why a husband would be interested in this position. For one thing, there’s a lovely view of your curves, including a heart shape created by your derrière and downward. Then there’s the ease of gripping your hips and thrusting from that angle. Plus, coming into the vagina from behind can allow deeper penetration, which often feels good to both of you.

Whatever your reasons for feeling self-conscious, I suggest you do some relaxation breaths, remind yourself how beautiful you are to your husband and how good this will feel, and then give those from-behind positions an honest try. After several times, I suspect your nervousness will subside, and you might discover you enjoy these options as well.

As for other “positions that show off more of my lady parts,” it’s less a matter of this sexual position or that sexual position than how you move your own body parts. Let me explain what I mean.

Are there numerous positions? If you go look up sexual positions, you’ll see a bunch of options. The well-known Kama Sutra names 64 positions. But if you actually look at them, you’ll see those positions are variations on a few themes. You’ve got sitting, standing, lying down, and then you figure out who’s on top, which way y’all are facing, and where your arms and legs are.

Understanding that there aren’t a gazillion completely different positions can ease anxiety or lack of confidence about trying things. Because once you’ve done some basic stuff, it’s really a matter of moving limbs and changing angles and so on.

How can you create variety with those changes? The same position can feel very different, and quite possibly more pleasurable, once you loosen up and move your legs and hips. For instance, the missionary position has greater potential for deep penetration and contact with your clitoris (hello, female pleasure center!) if you hike your hips upward and plant your feet on his chest or over his shoulders. That’s considered a new position, but it’s basically a tweak to Lying Down, Man on Top.

With your hips, when you’re lying down, try tilting them up. If/when you engage in rear entry, tilt your hips down (bum up). Honestly, a sex pillow can help if you want assistance getting into the right angle. Not only might that feel better to you, but it will give your husband a better glimpse of your “garden.”

The placement of your legs also can help with his view. In the missionary position, you can spread wide, either with your legs straight or your knees bent. If you can still do a butterfly pose (which I never could do in any gym class, but maybe you can), you could give that a try as well. In the Woman on Top position, you can try squatting instead of sitting, which gives you a bit more control but also exposes your genitalia to his sight.

What about the other activities? If your husband wants the best views of your body, those are likely more available with foreplay. You could let him use his hands to stimulate you, and he can do this from various angles. Again, tilting your hips and spreading your legs will provide better access. If you’re both into oral sex (called cunnilingus for women), that’s another way he can get up-close-and-personal. The view is pretty clear when you’re, um, down there.

But even him touching and stroking your naked body — moving himself and his viewpoint around as he goes — could add some variety and pleasurable exploration for you both. He could also give you a massage or rub lotion on your skin.

What more can you do for variety? Let’s go back to your original question (and not just your husband’s desire to see more of you *wink wink*): How can you get more variety in your sexual intimacy while minimizing all those self-conscious feelings? It’s not just positions or activities that achieve this goal.

Here are some ideas to play into your desire to lessen your nervousness and increase your engagement. How about some bedroom games? You can find some ideas on my Christmas gift posts, or by visiting on online Christian retailer of marital aids, or simply adapting one of your current games for your use, like strip poker or strip Battleship. What about setting the mood? You can add candles and music, and maybe even slow dance naked before you make love.

How about what you wear? Or adding more communication to your lovemaking? Or trying that missionary position in your car’s back seat or a tent in the backyard? Or stripping down and then reading love poetry or the Song of Songs to each other? Check out my 40 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband for more ideas.

Just get creative. Think of your marriage bedroom not only as a holy place of deep connection — which it is — but also an intimate playground where you can enjoy one another and your own pleasure. As Song of Songs 5:1 says: “Drink, be intoxicated with love!” (HCSB).

34 thoughts on “Q&A with J: Adding Variety to Your Marriage Bed

  1. A.C

    Before her pregnancy me and my wife tried different positions and I loved it. I love the rear entry position. The view and the thrusting makes this position great. And we did it often. After her pregnancy and now almost 1 and a half year later she is only willing to do two positions. Rear entry hearts her so I understand she doesn’t like that but she doesn’t like to try anything else. if it wasn’t because we have sex so little (48 days since last time, I’m keeping record”sigh”) it would feel boring.
    You mentioned foreplay and that’s another way to enjoy each other and when I read marriage blogs it seems like many women love foreplay. My wife doesn’t seem to like it at all. I would love to just first snuggle and then kiss each other and touch and even oral but my wife she just want to jump into it right away so we can finish. Afterwards I would love to snuggle but she just wants to get up and start to do other things. That’s at least how it’s been the few times we have had sex the last two years. She says that the lack of foreplay is because the time she is “horny” is very short, if we don’t have sex in that little time she won’t feel these desires anymore and then it can pass days or weeks before she wants to have sex again. She hasn’t explained why she doesn’t want afterplay. The only solution I find is that I think she finds me disgusting. Sounds weird but it’s the only explanation I can find. I know I sound like the girl and she like the dude but I feel like that. I wish she would take more time to make sex enjoyable for both of us.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I wonder why rear entry hurts her now. I would be asking a doctor about that, because I can’t think of a reason why that would change if she was okay with it before.

      And it’s always frustrating when one spouse says, “This is how I want/like sex,” with no discussion or negotiation for what would be good for both of you. Sex is, after all, a mutual activity.

      Perhaps her libido is in flux after having kids. I definitely know that my drive was kaput when my sons were very young. Maybe you could talk more about your desire to help her get into it more as well as being able to do things that make the experience enjoyable for you as well.

      (And 48 days? Man, I’m pulling for you. That’s a long wait, and I’m sure you feel about to explode. Hang in there, hubby. Just hang in there. Things could change, hopefully sooner rather than later.)

      Reply
      1. A.C

        I don’t know why it hurts. She says that it’s because she got stitches after giving birth but I don’t know. Does the pain last so long?
        I believe it can be because we had a daughter over a year ago. But she doesnt work on it. I have tried to tell her but it doesn’t help so much. She doesn’t feel like it and because she doesn’t feel like it she doesn’t seem to feel like she has to work on it. I don’t like to accuse my wife of being selfish because I have much to change to but I am starting to get the feeling more and more that she only does things if she benefits from them. She doesn’t like to go the extra mile. I try to do it but she only does Something if she really feels like it or else she doesn’t care. Like her feelings only matter. She is a wonderful person but since she was little she is used to get everything she wants and being the center. It’s like she doesn’t see past her own feelings sometimes. That’s why we don’t try many things because she doesn’t feel like it and that’s what matter. I’m sorry for rambling but i really don’t have anyone to talk to about this.

        Yeah I hope things will change soon. On Christmas Eve it’s been 50 days but I have bought an awesome Christmas gift so I really really hope that will get her in the mood!

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          I kind of wish a doctor would chime in here. Anyone? Because I can’t imagine why stitches would give her pain a year and a half later.

          Reply
      2. Tracy

        When I had our daughter I must have damaged something because deep penetration on rear entry hurt! And it hadn’t before, that was nine years ago and it’s better now but it took years. Is your wife still nursing? That can cause dryness and possibly lower libido.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Interesting. But I’d be asking my obstetrician about that rather than waiting years for things to get better. And you’re right about the dryness and lower libido.

          Reply
        2. A.C

          Oh ok. Then she is not the only one. Yeah she is still nursing. I had forgotten that nursing could lead to lower libido. That must be the reason. Well I really hope she will stop nursing soon because our daughter will be two years in august and my wife is already talking about having another child. That would mean two at least two years of this hell again. I love my daughter and I am blessed to have her but my wife got pregnant 4 months after our marriage and I sometimes feel like I only was married for 4 months. Then we became work partners or something.

          And J it would be really hard to get her to go to the doctor. If she doesn’t feel it’s necessary for her she won’t go.

          Reply
          1. T

            I had pain after my first child. The first time we tried I felt like he was cutting me with a knife it hurt so bad. Certain positions hurt worse than others. Having four children in four years didn’t help either. She may also be exhausted and need more help (not saying you aren’t helping because I’m not in your house to see who does what). But if she was pampered before kids she’s really on overload now. We have our seasons in marriage where sex is more challenging and that’s hard of the partner who wants/needs more. I’ve been in both places. In addition to seeking medical help for her pain you may also want to have some very open and honest conversations with a pastor or counselor.

          2. J Post author

            Thanks for your comment! I also had severe pain and finally (by pushing my doctor) discovered that I was very low on estrogen. Getting that treated relieved my pain. Which is why I often tell wives to seek answers!

      3. E

        Hi guys,

        Deep penetration Rear entry hurts me sometimes. I have been to the doctor about it, and it turn out I have a slightly prolapsed uterus (don’t google it!). It’s to do with weak pelvic floor muscles. Instead of cradling the uterus and keeping it tucked up, the uterus sinks into the vagina. In super severe cases, it can actually come out! I’ve seen it in cows before. But I think that rarely happens in humans! Certain times during my cycle hurt more than others.

        So, if you are finding that rear entry positions are painful for her, try doing it a bit shallower. I think pelvic floor exercises are supposed to help, but I haven’t found that to be so. I did see a suggestion on another blog about physiotherapists, who specialise in that area.

        You probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s been 10years since I gave birth and I wouldn’t say the pain has improved all that much, we just manage it, making sure it’s the right time of month and going slower.

        Go easy on your woman, if she’s anything like me, she will be feeling down and useless from not being able to do everything a woman is ‘supposed’ to be able to do. I felt like a failure for ages, and avoided sex as much as possible. So maybe something like that could be going on. Make sure she knows how loved she is and how sexy you find her. It cuts me to the bone when my husband complains about the lack of variety in our sex life, because of my physical issues, it feels like it’s all my fault. So reassurance could be what she needs to set the fire alight again.

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Ah, this information helps. I know someone who went through this issue (she wasn’t married, so sex wasn’t part of her problems), but I can see how that would easily affect your comfort level. True physical obstacles do not in any way make someone a failure in the sex department; I’m sad that you feel that way. I do hope you can find some relief. The woman I mentioned eventually had surgery, and everything got tucked back in where it should be, so to speak. My heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing your story. Many blessings!

          Reply
          1. Bobthemusicguy

            Another thing to consider is the husband’s penis size and shape. I’m long enough that if I am at certain angles, I can hit my wife’s cervix if I thrust real deep. Not a good idea. Also, virtually every penis has a curve, up, down, to one side, that may make certain positions, angles, and depth of penetration, a real difficulty for couples.

            My wife does not like rear entry because my curve hits her in a way that causes real discomfort, if not actual pain. W both have joint issues that make some positions difficult, if not impossible. Woman on top will probably never happen (sigh!), and for anatomical reasons, my wife will probably never have an orgasm through intercourse.

            We do the best, and the most, we can, but it doesn’t really bother me because I learned that what I wanted was intimacy with my wife, much more than certain physical sensations. We try to spice it up, and I think every couple should feel free to explore each other’s sexuality as much as they choose. But while “variety my be the spice of life” ( and of sex), some of us content for having a more plain, but satisfying sexual banquet.

            In an “All in the Family” episode, a friend describes sex with her husband as fireworks on the Fourth of July, to which Edith Bunker replies that for her, it’s more like a Thanksgiving feast.

        2. A.C

          Thank you very much for your comment! I had never thought about it that way. She doesn’t seem
          To have problems with missionary or her on top but as you say maybe she avoids sex because she doesn’t feel enough when she can’t do the other things. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t believe me when I say she is sexy or likes when I touch her. I don’t touch her so much now. I used to do it but she only seemed irritated or uncomfortable so I stopped. Maybe that wasn’t a great idea but I felt so hurt because she always reject me but maybe it’s because of that. She has said that she feels like a bad wife because she doesn’t take care of the house(i do most of the chores at home) and we don’t have sex. The thing is I don’t know how to help her and she doesn’t like to talk to people about these things. I would love to find a marriage counselor but she wouldn’t. She doesn’t even like to read marriage blogs. She doesn’t like that I read them either. She says that I start to ask weird questions or that I try to find problems where there are none when I read marriage blogs. It’s really hard t p get her to see that she can find help if those feelings are the issue. I don’t know maybe it’s that or maybe she just can’t see past her own feelings. Again thank you for your comment it helps.

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      4. Anonymous

        Definitely possible that it could still be related to stitches. I had an episiotomy when my baby was born nearly two years ago. It healed remarkably well, but I do still experience a tightness (and minor pain) with rear entry that I definitely believe is related to the scar tissue associated with that. We have sex on a nearly daily frequency, but I definitely find that if it has been a few days it can be worse. So my guess is that that with your infrequency of sex it definitely could be quite painful for her…that’s the only chance that scar tissues gets to “stretch out” and it definitely hurts to begin with. I usually just ask (my very tender and patient) husband to go really slow for a minute and after it’s stretched out it’s fine. The minimal pain never bothers me when he’s gentle and I’m so blessed to be married to a man who doesn’t WANT to do anything that actually causes me pain (even if it’s minimal I still have to convince him that I don’t mind continuing).
        In regards to her being unwilling to try different positions now, I just also wanted to add that body image issues after having a child can change things so much and definitely make women very self conscious about positions they may have enjoyed before when they felt good about their body. How a women feels about herself has such an impact on what she’s willing (or wanting) to do.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Just wanted to add one thing: When there is pain associated with sex it can be very hard to get past that if you’re not particularly in the mood or feeling very loved and intimate at the time. If I’m already feeling connected to my husband I really don’t mind a little pain in order to bring him pleasure and honestly would prefer to not even tell him that I’m experiencing discomfort. (In the interest of honesty and because he feels bad later if he finds out that it hurt, we’ve settled on the agreement that if it’s a little uncomfortable but I really don’t mind I don’t need to tell him, but if I’m laying there mentally wincing and waiting for it to end, I need to speak up and we’ll figure out what else we can do.) On the other hand, I’d I’m already not in the mood or feeling disconnected with my husband the pain gets to me way worse.
          I’m not saying this as a justification for your wife to never have sex with you, but because I think it’s important for you to understand that connection.

          Reply
        2. J Post author

          Thanks for sharing your experience. And I totally agree that body image post-childbirth can play a big role. In all honesty, it took me years to get over how my stomach hangs a bit over my C-section scar. My hubby, though, is like, “What? You look great!” As most husbands, thankfully, are.

          Reply
  2. Anonymous

    When I tried to do the rear entry, my wife said “no…I am not an animal!”. I was not too surprised by her statement. She thinks oral sex is gross. She thinks that I am pervert for wanting so much sex (I have told her that 2-3 time a week is my preference). Men who think about sex “all the time” are less spiritual. And so on.

    I do know that many of these ideas are reinforced by other Christian women (close relatives) in her life. Most married Christian guys that I know are also in sex starved marriages.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I always wish I could talk to those wives. Of course she’s not animal! That doesn’t even need to be said. Oddly enough, sex might feel better to her from that angle. *sigh* My best (brief) advice is to keep loving her, keep talking to her, and stress that it’s about intimacy with her, not just physical release of sexual tension. Praying for you…both.

      Reply
    2. Bobthemusicguy

      Anonymous, I’ve been there. My wife had the same ideas and limited sex for about 20 years, then totally refused me for 4 years. As she came under conviction of her sin, I came under conviction of mine. I was neglecting to relate to her in the ways she wanted most: time and talk. As I began to change, she did, too. Things turned around completely.

      And I also realized that I was misunderstanding my own sexual needs. I thought almost exclusively about the needs of my body, but I finally realized that what I really needed was intimacy.with my wife. As we have resumed sexual relations, yes, I would like more experimentation with positions, etc., but at our age and with some physical limitations, nothing too adventurous is possible. But now that I crave intimacy more than physical release, that doesn’t matter to me nearly as much anymore.

      You’re right about the misunderstanding about sex being “unspiritual” in many women’s (and some men’s) minds. This is a confusion of the flesh with the body. From my reading, I understand that the Greek uses two words, which should translate as “fleshy,” meaning the body, and “fleshly,” meaning the sin nature. I’m glad there are blogs like HHH that seek to correct this, but the message is still confused in many Christians’ minds.

      Reply
      1. Fruis

        This is so important! I was one of those wives who felt that my body was constantly taken advantage of, especially when our children were smaller. All day long it as clutching, hugging, kissing, holding hands, carrying, nursing, doing whatever they needed or wanted. When my husband then wanted sex I just couldn´t do it without feeling almost raped. The possibilities during my day to say no were very limited and the need to have control of my own body once the kids were asleep was enormous. To have sex when I didn´t really want to just made me avoid my husband even more.

        When the kids were older and less in physical need of me (and this is not as soon as you think, this was at maybe age ten/eleven as we have kids with special needs) I felt freer, but what really made a difference for me was when my husband started to communicate that the most important part of sex for him was intimacy, not the sexual release in itself. When I told him that I also longed for intimacy, for someone to be interested in ME, not in what I could do for said person, we started gaining relationship momentum and sex became more enjoyable for both of us. I finally began to see (with help from therapist) beyond “duties” and instead seeing that I as a person am also allowed to feel enjoyment in and out of the bedroom. We started to be more sexually intimate as well as more emotionally intimate after that.

        Our therapist stressed our mutual need to be intimate, to feel loved and less alone. Loneliness became the focal point instead of “who did or didn´t do what”. When I learned that intimacy was my husband´s greatest need it became so much easier to provide just that, sexual and non-sexual. We have sex more often and more easily, and even if we don´t have intercourse or any other sexual activities, we hold hands in bed or lie close or strike each others backs or other things to show intimacy, that we are there for each other.

        Reply
  3. Kay

    I was honest with my hubby and told him that I was insecure but open to trying new things, but that I was going to need his reassurance. “Tell me what you see/feel.” Hearing what he loves about seeing me helps me to see sex from his perspective and not my insecurities. I had a huge hang up about oral sex until very recently (married 10 years), but the first step toward becoming more comfortable with it was just for him to look but not touch. That was super hard for me and uncomfortable, but I’ll never forget when he said “You’re beautiful” and he wasn’t talking about my face.

    Take it slow. We can do it big things! One small step at a time.

    Reply
  4. Rachel

    I like to wear sexy panties and then slip them aside for rear entry. I feel less self conscious and my husband loves it too.

    Reply
  5. Mike

    After the birth of our first child my wife had pain due to stitches from an episeotomy (sp). The first time we had sex, I remember this sticking pain when I entered her. I did not know if it was scarring or a stitch. She had pain also after her time of healing. After that first time we both were hesitant to initiate sex with the other because of the memory of that pain. When we had sex I had to try different positions and angles in order to avoid that area that caused pain. I don’t recommend pain as a reason to experiment, I would suggest pleasure is a good reason instead.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      That first time after having a baby is, in my opinion, frightening for most wives. And yes, it sometimes hurts. Not only has it been a while since things happened down there, meaning your muscles haven’t had that particular workout in a while, you could have issues related to the childbirth that exacerbate discomfort. Thanks for the reminder to take it slow!

      Reply
  6. Bill & Elaine

    At this holiday time for many faiths my loving wife and I want to send thanks to J. for her wonderful blog. We both find it very, very helpful and inspirational even if we are 83 years old for me and 78 years old for her and have been loving each other for about 50 years with an enthusiasm that we still cannot believe at our age! We’ve always been great oral lovers and now at our age we have to devote almost all our lovemaking to that superb diversion, which is VERY fine and happily suited for us for an hour and a half twice each week. Boy, are we wonderfully enthusiastic lovers, even at our age! I still can’t get over it and am crazily in love with my darling wife who shares my loving enthusiasm in all the best of possible ways! I know I am a very lucky man.
    Happy holidays to all!

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      83 and 78? You’re my inspiration! Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and many, many blessings to you and your wife!

      Reply
    2. Louisa

      Thank you for sharing this Bill, While I am 40 years younger than you, I have pondered a bit on our marital intimacy as we age. Your testimony is such an inspiration. Many thanks to you, and blessings to you and your lovely wife. From hot and sunny Australia.

      Reply
  7. Bill & Elaine

    J., it’s kind of you to appreciate my comment and it got me to remember another nice, loving holiday story to tell you about.

    For quite a few years my wife and I during the holiday season have hung on our front door a nice, very large “Ho, Ho, Ho!” sign painted bright red that I had made on plywood. It’s a beautiful sign– red and bright and happy as can be. Well, one year not long ago I had to go to the hospital for heart surgery (I’m fit now) and stay there to recuperate for a while, so I couldn’t do my annual chore of hanging the “Ho, Ho, Ho!” sign on our house’s front door. So while I was in the hospital my wife decided to hang it on the door herself, which she did– sort of, for without realizing it and not really admiring it after she had finished, she accidentally hanged the sign on our front door UPSIDE DOWN so that then it read in large, bright red letters for all passers-by to see: “oH, oH, oH!”

    Well, all our neighbors and many others driving by had no idea what was going on at our house but you can bet that most of them probably thought it had to be something pretty darn exciting and maybe, or most likely, even something sexual!

    I came home from the hospital a couple of days later & pointed out the upside-down sign to her.
    She was chagrined, but I turned the sign right side up and swept her inside where on our bed I promptly made the previous “oH, oH, oH!” sign on our front door come true!

    Now that’s a loving Christmas memory we will never forget— and it’s one that we’re always sure to relive every year since.

    Hope you had a very loving Christmas, too!

    Reply
  8. Mike

    J, After reading all the comments on this post I had a thought. In the past maybe there was a very practical reason for having two or more wives. Maybe the husband needed a wife who was not in pain when having sex, and maybe a wife because she was in pain needed someone else to satisfy her husband sexually. I know medicine was not as advanced as it is today, and there were not a whole lot of blogs back then to get any help. In the OT God put up with more than one wife, Abraham, Jacob, David, etc., even though that was not His ideal. Many cultures today accept more than one wife as normal. I think of Muslims, Mormons, many African cultures, many native Americans, etc. even Sister Wives. So, maybe it is not just a sinful husband’s fulfilled fantasy, but also a wife’s wish to get a break. What are your thoughts, not just as a Christian, but as a wife and mother with multiple difficult births?

    Reply
  9. Beth

    Hi there!!! I have a question, my husband purchased some hand straps a while back. And I want to surprise him, by breaking them out, I really have no idea what I should do…..any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      No, I don’t have suggestions on using hand straps in the bedroom. While not entirely opposed to bondage, I actually have concerns about BDSM behaviors becoming trendy and prevalent in many marriage bed encounters. You can read my thoughts here and here and here. But I really can’t help you with your question. Wishing you and your husband all the best! Blessings.

      Reply
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