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TERRIBLE SEX TIPS: “8 orgasmic positions YOU MUST TRY”

I'm sorry, but he's totally fucking her ass in this picture. There's just no other explanation for the angles...

I'm sorry, but he's totally fucking her ass in this picture. There's just no other explanation for the angles...

Some sex positions have stuck in the public consciousness like wedding confetti to a sweaty ass in the back of the church. These positions are not always named correctly—with the right person, for example, "missionary" position is anything but boring or doctrinal—and they're not necessarily good for everyone, depending on who has the bad knees in the couple, but you could name a few and most people would know what you were talking about.

Then there are the things you discover with your lover(s) that you don't know any names for, they're just positions that you find yourselves in as you roll around in the bed, or on the carpet, or yeah, on the pew in the back of the church. Later, when you tell your closest friends about it, they may say, oh yeah, I like that one, but in the moment, when you have a BING BING BING thrilling through your entire body, you don't have a name for it, you don't know how you got there, it might even feel like there is an extra pair of hands in there, it feels so good, but you're sure as shit that you will remember how to get there later.

And THEN there are the positions that WomensHealthMag.com comes up with, in articles like "8 Orgasmic Positions YOU MUST TRY".

First of all, any headline title that includes the words "MUST" or "SHOULD", I tune out immediately. I don't have to do a goddamn thing, is my rebellious streak's automatic response. This is part of making women feel inadequate with what they are already doing in sex, or like they're falling behind on the sexual trends. I guess the phrasing works, or else they wouldn't use it, but I hate that it does.

Secondly, this is Women's Health Magazine. The hard-copy version of it is all "flatten those abs" or "tone those thighs", so it's not actually "health", it's just weight loss sublimated into the endless pursuit of a mirage of health. They're not particularly interested in how accessible their "new" sexual positions are; if you can't do them, then you're obviously not healthy enough (e.g. skinny enough) to be up with the trends.

Articles like this are aspirational Kama Sutras. "The Backbend"? Really? In that position, just how much do you think you can adjust the pacing of the thrusts? (This position also features the most blandly terrifying sentence I have ever read in a sex-tip article: "Just be careful not to bend the penis back too far." YIKES.) Because of where this article appears, it can't actually show more detailed logistics or talk about it more graphically than "penetration" or "depth." So when the description for the "Pop-Up" position articulates in great detail how the knees should be arranged, but doesn't say anything about how, uh, penetration happens, the reader is left to put the puzzle of flesh together in their mind and go, huh, but how does…? Answer: it probably doesn't.

Or how about the positions that need special equipment, like an exercise ball? If you don't own an exercise ball, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. Speaking for myself, I am totally fine with that. I did some few workouts on exercise balls in my dancing days, and holy fuck, that's a lot of balance and maneuvering. If you try to lie back and get properly shtupped, you are going to fall RIGHT off, I don't care how carefully you position your hands on either side. (Let go of the floor to pull him in? NOT BLOODY LIKELY.) Or a rocking chair. Where are you gonna get that kind of sturdy chair? Even if you take into account the fact that Women's Health Mag is mostly promoting the idea of women under 120 pounds, I don't think even Cracker Barrel's deluxe models are going to stand up to that kind of treatment.

I feel like positions get labeled so that they can more easily fit into someone's sexual curriculum or, more likely, the next volume of sex positions from Women's Health Magazine. You see this approach repeated in Men's Health Magazine, and Maxim, and Cosmo, and... All the ways that we can interlock flesh become narrowed down to impractical and vague listicles for people who are already acrobats.

For the rest of us… I'm inclined to think that all we really need to have a lot of fun is curiosity, openness, and basic safety guidelines (don't put your weight to bear without checking, check in frequently about comfort and adjust as necessary). Sex is not a static posture, a single pose—except perhaps for the most formal of exhibitionists or sadists—sex is a moving, sweating, panting process. It's a dance; it's a journey. We are wrestling our way through it, and not really stopping in any one place. Our needs for what comes out of sex may change from moment to moment.

In other words, the only sex position We Must Try is mouth closed, ears open, and nerve endings at the ready, waiting to see what happens next.

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