Standing Sex Positions That Will Take Your Sex Life To New Heights

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
One evening at a particularly raunchy dance party in Brooklyn, my partner and I realized that we just couldn’t wait to make it back to either of our bedrooms. In a horny frenzy, we scanned our surroundings for a private area outdoors, and wandered into a parking lot full of trucks. After we hastily scrambled between a concrete wall and the front of an 18-wheeler and pulled our pants down just enough, I flopped forwards onto the hood of the truck, grabbing the side mirror to brace myself. What ensued was some of the hottest, naughtiest-feeling sex of my life — it was so sudden and out of the ordinary, it felt like a scene out of a movie.
I’m usually a total bottom and generally stick to a finite set of dependably-orgasmic (and horizontal) sex positions. But during vertical sex, I’m much more active, and usually have to engage my muscles (especially my pelvic floor) in ways that in-bed sex doesn’t usually require. And personally, getting all that blood pumping can make it easier for me to orgasm. Afterwards, I find myself adorably sweaty, flushed, blissed out, and often ready to pass out. But while upright sex can seem daunting, or more trouble than it’s worth, it can actually create more possibilities for intimacy.
“Being able to have sex standing up not only adds variety [to] one’s sex life, but also provides options for spontaneity, especially in tight spaces,” Madeleine Castellanos, MD, functional medicine physician and sex therapist, tells me (and considering how much I loved my truck-yard experience, I couldn’t agree more).
“Adding surprise to our sexual repertoire also re-stimulates dopamine receptors in the brain,” says sex coach Patti Britton, MD. “These are one of the many neurotransmitters responsible for lust.”
Obviously, I had to find out more ways I could work standing sex into my repertoire. But as I researched sex positions, I had trouble finding a guide that was inclusive of gender and had variations accommodating a wide range of physical abilities — standing sex can be quite the workout. Most traditional guides describe sexual roles for the “man” and the “woman,” but I knew that all of these positions could be enjoyed regardless of genitals.
So I enlisted a few sexperts (like Dr. Castellanos and Dr. Britton) to help me round up the best standing sex positions. In this guide, I’ve indicated the “giver” as the more active partner, the one doing the penetrating — but of course, the penetrative positions for the “giver” can be performed with a penis or a strap-on. (Strap-ons are actually advantageous, since you can rotate the dildo to find the most comfortable position for each partner.) Conversely, the “receiver” is the more passive partner, the one being penetrated either vaginally or anally (although you will need to be more delicate in these positions if you are using them for anal).
Ahead, my favorite standing sex positions. Trust me when I say these will bring your sex life to new heights.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Variation on Venus

In this variation on the Necklace of Venus (ahead), the receiver is still positioned on a countertop, which allows for G-spot or prostate stimulation. By placing their legs on the giver's shoulders, you can allow for deep penetration, while also controlling the angle to find what gives the most pleasure. This is a great position for standing beginners who aren't quite ready for both partners to get vertical yet.
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I know I'm not the only one with the fantasy of having sex while being pushed up against the wall. And the best part about this position is that you don't need gymnast-like flexibility to do it.

If you're the receiver, stand facing your partner, whose feet should be firmly planted on the ground. Lift one leg and wrap it around your partner's hip. They can either hold it there, or (for a challenge) you can try wrapping it far enough around them that you can hold yourself up without their help. Use your elevated leg to help guide the depth of penetration, as well as the speed.
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When talking about standing sex, it would be impossible to skip mentioning the classic: shower sex. While we think anything that gets you off goes, chances are you're not fucking horizontally on your shower floor, unless it's massive or has a bench. There are plenty of variations on how to have shower sex, but you'll need to be standing for most of them.
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The Mermaid is a particularly acrobatic pose, and it requires core strength and practice. Standing in a “spooning” position, the giver wraps their arms around the receiver’s abdomen, and the receiver locks their arms around the giver’s and uses this support to lift their legs up and behind their partner, latching their feet around the thighs. While this position is quite difficult, it can be extremely thrilling to have your entire body weight supported while being penetrated. Since both partners’ arms are interlocked, this position is slightly less difficult than other standing positions that require more upper body strength.
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Who says you can’t have hot standing sex in the teensiest of showers? This pose was designed for tight spaces and doorways, and it involves both parties utilizing wall space. Both the giver and receiver lean their bodies back to rest against the walls or door jamb and use their contact points with the wall as a fulcrum to pivot from so that they can exert thrusting movements. The receiver keeps one leg on the ground between the giver’s legs, and lifts their other leg and places it over the giver’s shoulder. The giver can use their hands to manipulate their partner’s hips and hold them steady.

Sure, this one takes a lot of flexibility if you’re the receiver. But I personally find this pose psychologically stimulating, since I imagine going over to my partner’s house, dropping everything immediately, and getting right down to business in a doorway. Sometimes, you’re just too horny to make it all the way to the bedroom, and I love the idea of sex that is urgent and can’t wait.
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Pile Driver

The Pile Driver is fantastic for folks who like to manually stimulate themselves externally while being penetrated. It’s also a great pose for intense G-spot and prostate stimulation (and also ideal for squirters who like to watch themselves ejaculate). The receiver lies on their back and lifts their legs backwards until their hips and lower back raise up, much like the the plow pose in yoga. While this position requires more flexibility and range of motion if you’re the receiver, holding onto your ankles can help keep you stabile.

I prefer doing this position when there’s a headboard I can latch my toes or feet onto to keep my body stabile. If I can find a way to position my feet so that I won’t accidentally kick my legs down and whack my partner in the face, I feel a lot more comfortable and can use my free hands to grab their chest or rub my clit.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

Yogis, rejoice! In this sturdy pose, the receiver bends over and “tents” their body, much like a downward dog, while the giver stands behind. This configuration allows for vigorous sex without risking the two of you falling over (it happens!).

The receiver also has the ability to control the pace and depth of penetration by bending or straightening their knees. While this pose won’t deliver direct G-spot/prostate stimulation, it is great for those who crave deep, intense penetration. As a person who tires quickly, I find that this pose is great towards the end of having standing sex when I find myself running out of steam. Taking the pressure off of my legs and core and putting a bit of work into my arms allows me to keep going for even longer.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
90-Degree Angle

This position allows for momentum and gravity to ramp up the intensity of penetration. The giver stands behind the receiver, much like in the mopping position. But instead of the receiver bending over and using the floor to brace themselves, the giver holds the receiver’s hands behind their back to keep them upright at a 90-degree angle. Not only does this position allow for deep penetration, but it also lets the receiver relax while their weight acts as a counterbalance.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
The Sexy Prune

If you’re a size queen or king, you’ll love how this position creates a sensation of tightness and fullness, regardless of a penis or dildo’s size. The receiver lays on their back on a surface that is waist-level for the standing giver. The receiver raises their legs to make a 90-degree angle and has the option to cross their legs to create greater friction. As the giver penetrates, the pelvic muscles of the receiver create compression. Internally rotating the legs will create more pressure in the vaginal canal, while externally rotating the legs creates more pressure in the anal canal.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
Fire Hydrant

In this position, the receiver stands as the giver kneels or sits below them and performs oral sex.

“Standing helps a person feel sexy and powerful,” says Dr. Castellanos, adding that “letting your partner kiss and caress your whole body up and down” as you stand can make the experience even sexier.

It’s so true — if I’m giving a blowjob in this position, I love having both of my hands free to wrap around my partner’s thighs or reach up and grab at his chest. Even though we aren’t face-to-face, this can be an incredibly sensual pose.

As the receiver of this position, I also love the beautiful aerial view of my partner’s face buried in my crotch. Pro tip: The receiver can lean against a wall if standing for long periods of time causes discomfort.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

Ah, one of my favorite poses for tight spaces — the Candle is essentially spooning, or getting fucked from behind, while standing. In this position, the receiver can tighten or loosen how tightly they’re keeping their thighs together in order to control the sensation.

Additionally, the receiver can lean into a wall for added support — I personally find it incredibly arousing to be confined and smooshed up against a wall, especially in a small shower.

During my research, I found that this pose seemed to be among the most popular. Dr. Britton says that this could be because it “allows you to have your hands free to kiss and caress your partner’s back and neck.” It’s also a relatively simple position, and allows both partners to be completely upright — not just the giver.

“It’s more of a cardiovascular workout, and you can have more control over how your body moves with your partner, leading to more pleasure and sensation,” notes Shannon Chavez, MD, a licensed psychologist and sex therapist based in L.A.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

Trust me, there’s nothing narcissistic about this pose — it truly is advantageous for both partners. This variation of the Candle pose allows both partners to face the same direction, and if you’re in the bathroom or another room with a mirror, you can watch yourselves. The giver stands behind the receiver and holds one of the receiver’s legs (or alternatively, the receiver can prop their leg up on a chair or set of stairs).

If you’re the giver, you’ll have the ability to control the pace and rhythm by holding onto their body. As the receiver, you’ll have greater control over the angle of penetration, allowing you to receive as much G-spot/prostate stimulation as you desire.

“This position works well for toys, because it allows access to reaching your partner both from in front and behind, permitting great stimulation from any angle,” says Dr. Castellanos.

Pairing this pose with an external vibrator or masturbation sleeve will take the stimulation to a whole new level.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

This position is essentially the face-to-face version of Narcissus, or a vertical variation of the beloved missionary position (admittedly one of my all-time faves). The giver holds one of the receiver’s legs, or the leg can be propped up on a chair. This intimate, penetrative position’s greatest challenge is accommodating height differences, so don’t be afraid to wear heels or utilize stairs if you are the shorter partner.

Having your bodies in alignment allows you to watch your partner’s face and kiss and caress their body.

This position can also make it easier to thrust for a longer period of time, which can be more difficult as the top partner with gravity working against you. “Without having to hold up your weight, you can focus more on sensations, feel more relaxed in your body, and have less tension and stress in your muscles,” Dr. Chavez adds.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
Suspended Congress

In the most athletic position on this list, partners begin face to face, and the receiver is lifted off the ground by the giver. The receiver uses their arms and legs to wrap around the giver and hold them tight, and both partners use their arms and hips to grind into each other. This one is sure to get you hot and sweaty.

“This is an intensely erotic position, but does require a significant amount of strength,” says Dr. Castellanos. “You can replicate some great movie sex.”
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca
Necklace of Venus

In this position, the receiver is seated on a surface such as a countertop while the giver stands and faces them.

“This works well when you have a countertop that is right at your partner’s hip level,” Dr. Castellanos explains.

This position is arguably the most ideal for G-spot and prostate stimulation, because the receiver has the ability to lean backwards in order to control the angle and amount of pressure.

“Focus on moving your hips forward and back,” says Dr. Chavez. “The motion is great for circulation and increases blood flow to the genitals for heightened sensation with touch. You can also wrap a leg around your partner to increase the friction and motion during intercourse.”

If you’re skeptical about the comfort of standing sex, this position is a great one to start out with. Dr. Castellanos notes that standing and upright positions like this one are ideal for providing relief to certain joints, such as the knees, elbows, and hips.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

For this one, the receiver lays belly-down on a countertop. Legs can remain on the ground, but the giver also has the option of holding a leg on either side of their body.

“This position can allow for full exposure while being able to use leg muscles for extra motion and tension,” says Dr. Castellanos. “It’s more gentle on the hips than doggie-style, but offers all the benefits.”

This is another position that can provide deep, intense penetration with minimal physical effort. If the giver leans into the position, they will be able to provide even more intense G-spot/prostate stimulation than when standing upright. They can also use their hands on the receiver’s hips to go even deeper.
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Illustrated by: Paola Delucca

I really get into eating ass, and while the Fire Hydrant can incorporate ass-play, I thought analingus deserved special mention here. In this position, the giver sits behind the receiver, perhaps propped up on a cushion, and uses their mouth to lick, kiss, and “eat” the receiver’s bum. The giver can face away from the receiver and lean back to access them, or face their butt and scoot a bit more between their legs to get to them.

Yes, you can eat ass reclined, but when the receiver is standing, they also have the ability to “sit” into your face a bit more, and this can be particularly pleasurable for receivers who have a penis. Since the prostate can be indirectly stimulated through the taint, your face, nose, or chin can apply pressure as you lick and suck.
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This position is nearly identical to Mopping, except it gives the receiver more active control. Being able to control the depth of penetration can be crucial, especially if you have a partner with a longer penis. You can also do a variation of this position in bed with your knees down. Not only does this position expose your butt for spanking or anal play, it also allows you to use a hand to stimulate yourself externally. (Make sure you keep your balance, though!)
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.

We all know toys can enhance your sex life. Some sex toys were meant to be used upright — like the sex swing, for example, which can help you get creative with highly personalized standing positions. Looking for more sex toys to use with your partner? Check out our favorite picks.
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