Missionary Style

Think about intercourse positions, but let’s start at a place no other book does. Does your prayer time include a period for praise and thanksgiving to God? Then the next time you pray, thank God for the Missionary position.

Think about how most mammals have sex. It’s generally male behind female, “doggie style,” which efficiently places the sperm deep in the vagina. But there is so much beauty in making love while facing your partner, looking into each other’s eyes, kissing passionately, having full access to face, ears, chest, etc. We should praise God first for giving us our spouse and then for giving us this face-to-face missionary position in which to enjoy him or her.

Let’s further explore the missionary position and some of its variations. Why is it called the “missionary position”? Alfred Kinsley first coined the phrase in his 1948 text, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. He mistakenly thought missionaries in Polynesia taught their converts that this man on top position was the recommended way for Christians to make love.[1]

In the true story, the natives in that area made love using the doggy-style (like most mammals). They saw the white missionaries doing some horizontal dancing and thought it hilarious. Great conversation fodder around the campfire that night.

Can you imagine the teenage boys (because you know it had to be teenage boys) who peeked into the missionaries’ tent that night? Looking, laughing hysterically with buddies, but still trying to be quiet? Some things never change.

The name stuck because folks tend to think of this position as tame or unexciting...as they imagined missionaries to be. I believe the opposite is true (about missionary position, not necessarily about missionaries), and here’s why.

The substantial skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest, face-to-face contact provides for romantic coupling. Either partner can control the rhythm. Possible leg positions provide many different options.

Here are some missionary (or face-to-face) variations you may want to try:

a.     Basic Missionary: Her legs outside his, with her knees bent and feet on the mattress, where she has the ability to move her hips and control the rhythm.

b.     Legs together Missionary: Her legs together and his outside provides a tight squeeze on his penis. It’s a surprisingly different feel.

c.     “V” is for Victory: Her legs up on his shoulders provides a deep penis penetration and a different angle.

d.     Butterfly: She can lie with her hips on the edge of the bed with legs on the floor and outside his. In this Butterfly position, the man stands (he doesn’t have to support his weight on his arms) and it gives the woman more options for movement. While the clitoris isn’t rubbed by intercourse in this variation, it is easily reached for manual stimulation.

e.     Standing Missionary: While it looks good in the movies, and can be fun, it takes lots of fitness and energy. Also, most couple’s genitals don’t align when they stand, so you may need to do some shimming (pillows, an ottoman, this book...whatever works). By the way, do you know why Baptists don’t have sex standing up? They’re worried someone might see them and think they’re dancing.

f.      Good Mornings: This standing sex variation will work regardless of height differences, but requires some real effort from the man. As they face each other standing, she jumps into his arms and he leans down and forward, sliding penis into vagina. He will rock down to 90 degrees then back up to vertical. It’s a workout.

g.     Face-to-Face in the Water: this wonderful standing sex position uses the buoyancy of water to handle the gravity load. Face each other with knees bent in the water and rock back and forth. This position offers great clitoral rub on the pubic bone.

h.     Riding High: One of the best secrets for wonderful missionary style sex is “Riding High.” In most of the positions described above, the man can simply move up slightly from what feels natural and grind his pubic bone around the clitoris. This slight variation can substantially increase the woman’s pleasure during intercourse.

i.      Pillow Support: Another small variation that can make a big difference is adding a pillow or two under the woman’s hips. The different angle can change everything. Make sure it is comfortable for her and does not cause back strain.

Far from unimaginative sex, you can spice up the missionary position with so many wonderful variations. Learn to have wild fun as you look into each other’s eyes. Just remember that there is also a downside to missionary style. A man who tries to domineer and control his spouse may insist on using the missionary position because he can trap her with his weight and control the thrusting. If you only ever have sex in the missionary position and the man controls everything, you have a problem.

[1] Priest, Robert J, "Missionary Positions: Christian, Modernist, and Postmodernist," Current Anthropology, 42 (1): 29–68. From Wikipedia article on Missionary Position.