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.
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.

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series