Elle Oh Elle

The Ideal Sex Positions, Based on Your Size

penis sizes and shapes
Steven Clouse/Thrillist

Height, weight, mobility, genitals, gender: with so many variables, how does one avoid pain while optimizing pleasure?

It's frustrating when you can't have the sex that you want, with someone you care for and are intensely attracted to, because your parts don't match. There are lots of Internet listicles, click-bait quizzes, and astrology charts that claim to reveal the sexual compatibility of you and your mate. But we here at Thrillist are savvy enough to avoid pseudoscience, and instead, learn from real-life sexperts.

In the Kama Sutra, Hindu philosopher Vatsayana devoted a portion of his writing to discovering human sexual compatibility based on astrological charting. By properly matching the "yoni" of two people, it is argued that their souls and sexuality will properly align for optimum pairing. Monkey and Lion, Elephant and Buffalo, Cat and Dog. If only it were so simple! Read on for solutions to all your size and activity-level issues.
 

Your penis is too big

Yeah, it doesn't sound like a problem... but it often is. Big dicks prevent all kinds of fun sex acts; including a big variety of positions, heavy thrusting, and deep-throating. Those of us with short canals and larger-than-average partners can try placing a couple of cockrings at the base of the man's penis. Not too tight! These little rings can provide a good stopping point, so that the tip of his penis doesn't smash your cervix. Cock rings can run the cost of a few bucks, and are reusable when washed with antibacterial soap.

"When it comes to girthy phalluses, I can't recommend lube enough!" says Amory Jane of She Bop sex shop in Portland, Oregon. "While we can work with length a little easier, by using positions that allow us to control depth, I think the keys to girth are being aroused, taking things slowly at first, and using a nice, slippery lubricant. Lube is great in general, but with thicker penises, it can be the difference between 'owwww' and 'ohhhhh.'"

"Woman-on-top is really key as she has the most control over penetration depth and positioning within her canal," says Erica, a certified sexological bodyworker in Portland, Oregon. "While most people think of woman-on-top as forward-facing, I recommend women explore forward, backward, bending one leg 90 degrees and leaning to the side, ride it side-saddle, squatting on it -- explore all the ways you can sit, squat, [and] slide while on top."
 

Your penis is too small

There are loads of contraptions that you can purchase online and in sex shops for small dicks, including strap-ons and even penis cages that encapsulate a smaller penis with a thick sleeve to provide more girth and length. Aside from those, I'm a fan of "stuffing," which works great for smaller penises or those experiencing erectile dysfunction. As one woman we'll call Mary explained to me, "We stuff him inside of my lubed vagina, and kiss and touch and I will clench and release my vaginal muscles. We can both feel these sensations, and it’s mutually beneficial. Sometimes one or both of us can climax."

Scissoring also feels amazing, and I’ve enjoyed it with different genders. With or without penetration, the criss-crossed legs and constant friction provide a very intimate opportunity for orgasm, due to stimulation on your pubic mound. Razor burn is really the only potential bummer in scissoring.

And don't forget about butt stuff! "Wearing a butt plug during penis-vagina sex can create a fuller feeling for both partners," says Amory Jane. "If the butt plug is of the vibrating variety, it can also add extra stimulation for both people as the vibrations travel through the vaginal wall."
 

Your vagina is too tight

If it's painful to attempt or complete vaginal intercourse, here's an easy trick. Lube up your belly, lie on your back, and use your hand to sandwich his penis between your stomach and palm. The person with the penis can thrust without hurting you! Missionary position works well because the weight of their body, and the ability to kiss and embrace is very similar to vag/peen intercourse.

If you just need a warm-up before penetration, use a vibrator of your choosing (my go-to is the Hitachi Wand). If you can orgasm before penetration, all the better -- your O will relax your muscles and engorge and lubricate that region, making sex more probable.
 

Your vagina is too loose

Kegels are a healthy and free way in which to strengthen your pelvic floor. Sexperts recommend trying kegels when sitting on the toilet, as you stop and start and stop and continue your flow of urine. If you've done kegels before, you know that you can do a few reps anytime, anywhere! Stuck in traffic, in line at the store, at the office... I'm doing mine right now.

If you are the owner of an accommodating vagina and you'd like extra stimulation, throw some Ben Wa balls into the mix. Ben Wa balls can be ceramic, metallic, or silicone, and provide weight and stimulation for one or both of you. Do not put these in your butt, they can travel upward and require a hospital visit.
 

Our equipment just doesn't line up

As a huge proponent of doggy style, I was bummed when I realized my SO and I couldn't immediately pull it off. His legs are shorter than mine, so our equipment wasn't lining up. Luckily, the solution was as simple as stuffing a couple of pillows under his knees. If you can afford fancy sex furniture, Liberator makes a solid, comfortable, and easy-to-clean adult playground.

As a shorter person, I know that two partners with 12in of height difference between them have experienced the challenges of standing sex. Instead of humping with feet at hip distance, the standing penis can widen his stance considerably, bringing his waist lower to meet the recipient. But it took me years to figure this out.

For truly perfect positioning, you need a whole lot of trial and error. If something hurts, don't do it. If something feels good, tell your partner. Happy exercising!

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Elle Stanger is a stripper extraordinaire and Instagram princess residing in Portland, Oregon. She is 5'2" and likes all sizes of people. Follow her to the revolution: @ElleStanger. Oregon and Washington residents may contact Erica for sexological bodywork at: inspir8tional@gmail.com