These Sex Positions Will Prove To You That Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
When it comes to penises, we’re often told that bigger is better — but in reality, that's far from the truth. In fact, studies suggest that, other than than a boost in confidence, larger penises don't afford the men who have them with any extra prowess in the bedroom.
And confidence? Well, that can be learned.
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The truth is, no matter what someone’s penis size, creativity and a willingness to experiment can be key. But there are some positions and techniques that are specially suited for various sizes of penises (even the Kama Sutra touts this).
So for those of you who have sex with people who have penises, we consulted four experts on the art and science of pleasure: Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, head researcher and professor of human sexuality at New York University; Kenneth Play, a sex educator based in Brooklyn who leads workshops on kink and pleasure; Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure; and Alfred Kendrick, a personal trainer who specializes in workouts that improve your sex life. They’ve helped us create a handy guide of sex positions and tricks that will finally lay the “small” penis stereotype to rest.
Forget your preconceived notions of penis size and read on for the positions, tools, and moves you may want to try with a male partner — not despite his small penis, but because of it. (And hey, these can totally be tried with a trusty strap-on, too!)
The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more, here.
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Sofa Side Saddle

The key to intensifying sex with a smaller penis (or dildo) is finding positions that provide deeper penetration, says Jessica O'Reilly, PhD, a Toronto-based sexologist. She suggests side saddle, which not only allows for full penetration, but helps the penis or dildo make unparalleled contact with the sides of the vaginal walls, writes O'Reilly in The New Sex Bible.

Try having the penetrative partner sit on the edge of a couch in the living room, as the receptive partner lowers their body all the way down over their lover's penis or dildo. Having sex on the sofa, rather than the bed, is an easy way to "spice things up in the bedroom" — by getting out of the bedroom.
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Missionary Anal

"I call [small penises] 'anal-friendly' penises," Play says. Since the anus doesn't self-lubricate, it can be tricky to make sure someone's prepped and ready to enjoy anal — and smaller penises means less stretching is needed, so anal can be more comfortable for the receiving partner.

To get into missionary anal position, you first have to warm up the anus properly with liberal use of lube and foreplay involving fingers, butt plugs, anal beads, or all three. Then, have the receiving partner lift their bottom (adding a pillow if needed) and maneuver together to find the right angle of anal insertion.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Pile Driver

This one requires some flexibility and might work better on a carpeted floor. Lay on your back. Then, swing your legs back and over your head to get your feet close to the ground. Your partner can help by lifting your butt up and over. (If you practice yoga, this is the one called "plow pose.") Then, your partner squats on top of you and enters you from above.

"If the guy can get positioned over [his partner], he doesn’t have to do that much work, just hold himself up," Kendrick says. Bonus points if you spread your legs — that’s called the Spread Eagle.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
It’s easy to think flexibility is just a novelty factor for sex, but it can be a game-changer, especially when it comes to deepening penetration. For guys who are worried about their penis size, improving flexibility in the hips is key.

"Guys are typically more stiff and they don’t have a great deal of coordination in the hip region, but the ability to move and manipulate hips is actually the ability to move and manipulate your penis," Kendrick says. "The more a guy can press his hips forward, the deeper he can penetrate."

To improve flexibility, guys can try a couple of basic yoga stretches: upward facing dog and frog pose, the ultimate hip opener.

"Any position where he’s straddling [his partner] will benefit from that," Kendrick says.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
Splitting Bamboo

Want to really get the legs out of the way? Lay down on your back with one leg draped over your partner’s shoulder or around his waist, while he straddles the other leg and enters you. It’s full-on contact, with your legs out of the way so he can get all the way inside. Plus, you have access to your clit to add a little something extra for yourself with your hands.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
An unforgettable sexual experience often involves more than just penetration, especially since it’s actually the norm to need more than just a penis to get off. A 2006 study, for example, found that only 30% of the 1,335 women surveyed regularly reached orgasm with penetration alone.

"We are a very penetration-centric culture — we think penetration is the end-all, be-all of sex, but it isn’t," says Dr. Zhana. "Many women say it feels better, it contributes to their orgasm, but there’s [often] more that needs to happen."

According to Play, most people think friction alone causes the type of intense pleasure that gathers into an orgasm, but it’s actually the pressure (like a massage) that takes it to the next level — and fingers are great for that, Play says.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Flexed Doggy Style

Start with doggy style, where you are on your hands and knees and your partner is kneeling behind you. Then, drop your chest and head to the bed and tilt your butt up in the air — the more you curve your back, the better. Then, your partner moves his knees a couple inches back so he can tilt his pelvis forward.

"In that position, the guy is able to push his hips forwards enough to penetrate [his partner]," Kendrick says.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Just like you hope your partner will appreciate you for more than your breasts, butt, or mouth, there’s a lot more to sex with a man than meets the eye. According to a 2015 estimate by Esquire, the average penis size is 5.16 inches. Not six. Not seven. Definitely not eight. So before you eye a man’s penis with disappointment, ask yourself if you’re comparing it to your favorite porn performer (or GIF), and if that is even fair. (It’s not.) Also, ask yourself if you truly prefer a larger penis or if that is what you assumed you prefer because of cultural messaging.

"If the measure of a lover was solely based on the size of a guy’s penis, then you could buy a big dildo and have the best lover in the world," Play says. "And yet, we sell way more vibrators than dildos."

That’s not to say size doesn’t matter at all — there’s just not a default preference.

"There’s nothing that works for everyone," Dr. Vrangalova says. "There are just certain patterns. It about figuring out what works for your body, and working with that."

In fact, many women prefer smaller penises.

"You can have a penis that is too small for the vagina it’s going into or too large," says Dr. Vrangalova. "Some women like cervical stimulation, while there are women who hate it."

That is to say, if his penis hitting the back of your vagina makes you squirm — in a bad way — you might have a more pleasurable experience with a smaller size.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Propped Reverse Cowgirl

In this position, your partner is lying down with a pillow underneath his butt (this will press his hips forward and expose more of the penis) and you’re sitting on top of him but facing toward his feet.

"The great thing about it is that the [person on top] can control the movement of [their] pleasure," Kendrick says. "In a normal position, the legs would get in the way."
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Props like wedge pillows and ice cubes can be game-changers. You likely have them around the house already. But sometimes, it’s fun to invest in some sex-specific props.

Play’s "personal sex hack" is using a yoga hammock. This silky system will suspend you at whatever height you choose (his hip height, for example) without making you dig your tailbone into a hard table. You can hold onto the sides for leverage or lift your legs up and tuck them into the sides. Plus, it allows your partner to easily swivel you around.

"Also, you can add some bondage play with bondage tape for a creative suspension play," Play says. "It’s easy and fun." (Both he and Dr. Vrangalova recommend this tape.)
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Side Cowgirl

Again, you are in cowgirl (no pillow under your partner’s butt this time) and you simply swing your legs over to one side, with your hands behind you on the other side of your partner’s body.

"Your butt cheeks and [thighs] will drop down in the crevice in his legs, allowing for much deeper penetration," Kendrick says.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
Ask any sexually active woman about her best heterosexual experience, ever, and she likely won’t describe the way the man’s penis looked, but rather, the way he looked at her, treated her, and touched her.

"Especially when it comes to casual partners, passion and intimacy can make up for a lot of different shortcomings," Dr. Vrangalova says. "It’s not even a particular skill. Those kinds of things — being passionate and present — those are based on intention. You just have to want to do them or act that way."
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
Anal

Don’t forget about one of the biggest benefits of a small penis: easier access to the back door. A woman’s anus is naturally tighter than her vagina, which can make anal sex a difficult proposition requiring a lot of warm-up, communication, and acceptance of the fact that it might just not work this time, especially if the penetrator has a large penis.To someone who enjoys anal sex, a small penis can look like the answer to their prayers. And if you don’t know if you enjoy anal sex, trying it out with a smaller sized penis might be a great first step (though using graduated butt plugs can also do the trick).
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
"Some of the best lovers, regardless of their penis size, are the ones who know how to incorporate vibrators or dildos,” Dr. Zhana says.
Bringing toys into the bedroom is a fun way to mix things up, no matter the situation. And don’t feel like you have to stick with phallic toys, either — there are plenty of vibes out there that will make you and your partner forget all about any penis hang ups. You can even experiment with themes — Halloween sex toys, anyone?
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
The High Dive

Have your partner lay with his hips and legs on the bed, but his torso back-bending off the bed. Then climb on top in Cowgirl. This forces his hips forward, which helps with penetration, Kendrick says.

Just keep in mind that a guy should be hard and ready to go before taking this position. It’s difficult to get an erection when his blood is flowing away from his penis.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca
No matter how big a man’s penis is, he can still feel body shame for not looking like the men he’s seen in porn — and this can cause him to lose erections. You can help keep him from panicking by lowering the pressure, since Play says that it’s the negative thought loop that often keeps men from staying hard (if they’ve ruled out physical causes, that is).

Say, "I don’t need you to be hard right now.” Then, do all the fun things that don’t involve a penis. Once your partner stops silently berating himself, he can relax and enjoy you.

Plus, a little flattery never hurt, as long as you believe it.

“Share your authentic experience and why you love having sex with this person,” Play says.

“Let him know what you love about him and what he's really good at in bed,” says Levine. “Understand and talk about what he needs to embrace his body.”

For a long-term partner, you also might suggest sex therapy.
"Penis anxiety can be a pretty serious issue,” Dr. Zhana says. "Most men who get penis enlargement surgery fall within the average range. It’s like penile body dysmorphia. For that, it would require professional help."

Most smaller-than-huge guys, though, don’t need therapy. They just need some compassion and enthusiasm from a lovely partner like you — plus a few strategic positions to help you wake up the neighbors.
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