Romantic sex can be hot.

Advertisement

When you think of romantic sex, what comes to mind? Soft mood lighting and instrumental jazz music? That might be the stereotype, but romantic sex is so much more. It's about connectivity, intimacy, and passion. It's about bonding with your partner through sex that's special and satisfying.

While some people might think that romantic sex can only happen in a long-term relationship, Ruth Neustifter, PhD, an associate professor of couples and family therapy at the University of Guelph in Ontario, tells Health that you can definitely have it early in a relationship or even in a hook-up. Regardless of who you're having it with, romantic sex is when you're able to build serious heat through shared arousal with your partner, according to Lexx Brown-James, a certified sexuality educator who owns the Institute for Sexuality and Intimacy, LLC.

The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-GettyImages-909428446
Credit: Getty Images

Romantic sex positions help you achieve that connection and arousal: you make eye contact, breathe in time with each other, and have more opportunities for skin-to-skin touching. Of course, for some people, that level of connection is overstimulating. "If that's the case, absolutely adapt for yourself," Neustifter suggests. Here are eight romantic sex positions that experts recommend for the best romantic sex you'll ever have.

The best romantic sex positions

The lotus

Crisscross-Applesauce-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

This is a classic romantic sex position, according to Neustifter. You and your partner sit cross-legged and facing each other, with one person on the other's lap. If you're on the bottom, you'll be acting as the chair. If you're on top, you'll be straddling your partner with your arms and legs wrapped around them.

"You can kind of work together to create balance if you're leaning backwards a little bit by holding each other's shoulders or arms," Neustifter says. "You can put your hands over each other's hearts, make eye contact, and breathe. You can hear each other and really have that face-to-face."

Lounge chair

Lounge-Chair-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

This is an easy position for anybody to get into, including those who might not be able to do the original lotus. One partner will sit up straight on the floor or bed, their back against the wall or headboard, legs spread. The other will lie back on top of the person who is sitting down, facing away from them. "The person in the back can reach round and touch the person in the front's chest, and can stimulate their genitals or the rest of the body. And the person in the front can touch themselves, which also takes a lot of pressure off trying to please each other," Neustifter explains.

This position can help you get in tune with each other's breathing and body movements. It can also give the person in back the ability to run their fingers through their partner's hair. It's also a good one for those who find eye contact during sex a little hard. But if you want to bring eye contact into it, you can always put up a mirror, Neustifter says.

Missionary

Missionary-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

"Missionary is sometimes seen as a boring or a go-to position, but it is also a position that allows us to maximize lots of erogenous zones all at once," sex and pleasure educator Luna Matatas tells Health.

With one person on the bottom and the other on top, missionary lets you look into each other's eyes. You can watch your partner's facial expressions and see how your body is connecting with theirs. There's also excess skin contact, which "can increase sensuality, feelings of closeness and connection, and help to create multiple arousing sensations," according to Matatas. "Missionary gives us easy access to kissing during penetration, to pressing chests together, to pinning wrists or holding hands, and to stimulating multiple hot spots with our mouths: nipples, necks, ears and shoulders."

If you're on top, don't be nervous about putting your body weight on your partner below. That's how you get that full skin-to-skin contact. "I think it's really, really important if you're going to be in missionary position to actually connect your bodies and to be skin-to-skin—not just genitals-to-genitals—so you can feed off of each other's energy and really be in touch with each other's skin," Marla Renee Stewart, owner of the sex and sexuality workshop program Velvet Lips, tells Health.

Spooning

Spooning-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

In this classic position, you're lying side-by-side with your partner, with your bodies lined up together and one person's back facing the front of the other.

While penetration can happen in this position, spooning is also great without it. That's because both people can reach around and use their hands to stimulate each other's genitals, Matatas explains. "This [position] allows for hands to freely roam, caress, touch, and massage. [It offers] lots of skin contact, and if you're turned on by scent, this is a great position to take in the scent of your partner's skin, hair, and neck," she says.

With spooning, the "big spoon" can reach areas that front-facing kissing typically doesn't give access to. Switch it up by swapping between being the big and little spoon. The spoon position feels safe and comfortable for many people, according to Brown-James. And it's a position that people of different body sizes can do, she says.

Because it's low-impact, spooning is also a good position for people with differing abilities, Goody Howard, a sexologist and lead educator at Ask Goody, tells Health. "You don't have to be propped up or sitting up on anything, and so it just allows the bodies to kind of find their own rhythm," she says.

Full-body caress

Full-Body-Carress-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

In this skin-to-skin position, one person is lying on their stomach, and their partner is facing down on that person's back. If you're on top, hold yourself up with elbows or hands. If you're propping yourself up with your elbows, your hands are now free to touch your partner's chest, nipples, and other body parts—especially those that aren't touched as often, like your back, the back of the neck, and butt.

"There's an added benefit of the closeness of your faces for things like whispering dirty talk or even just enjoying the moans and breath changes of your partner as they get more aroused," Matatas says.

The butterfly

The-Butterfly-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

This position can be especially good if you or your partner has a limited range of motion. In the butterfly position, the partner with the limited range of motion lies on their back. Their legs will be over the shoulders of the person on top, who has more range of motion and can help guide the person on bottom to find the perfect position for both of you.

An easier version of this position is when the person lying down puts their feet on their partner's chest. If the person lying down separates their knees a bit wider, the genitalia will be exposed even more, which means more pleasure.

The seated 'V'

The-A-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos-1

This position can be "really hot and really arousing," Brown-James says. Here's how it's done: One person sits upright with their back against a wall or other surface; their legs are spread open. (You can also bend your knees or have your legs together.) The other person straddles that sitting partner.

The position can be done with both partners facing each other or with the top partner facing away so the person on bottom can get a really nice back view. "They get to see the roundness of their butt, they get to see the elongation and the curve of a spine, they get to see hair," Brown-James says. Do it in front of a mirror so you can watch how you connect.

Knee up, knee down

Knee-Up-Knee-Down-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos

Whether you're having vaginal sex, anal sex, or rubbing your genitals for stimulation, this position is comfortable and low-impact, so you can take your time and maximize your pleasure. Here's how to do it: One person lies down on their back, the other kneels. The person kneeling then place one knee in between the legs of the person lying down; their other leg is bent, with their foot planted down next to their partner's hip. "It allows for maximum exposure of both genitals," Howard says.

"It's my favorite position," Howard says. "I think of it as a romantic position simply because I feel powerful, beautiful, and strong in that position, and so I think that that's kind of permeates into the romance of connection."

Tips for how to have the best romantic sex

While the positions themselves will leave you feeling satisfied and connected, there are ways to make them even better. Howard gives these tips:

  • Vary your tempo, speed, and angle.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Touch and engage your partner with your hands.
  • Give vulnerable affirmation and positive reinforcement, like moans or actual words.
  • Use your body to give the type of energy that you want to be reciprocated in that moment.
  • Don't restrict kissing to faces or genitals. Any part of the body can be kissable. Add a blindfold to make the kissing more exciting.

How to bring romantic sex into your life

If you're interested in having romantic sex, Howard says to set the mood. Light a candle, make sure you have fresh sheets on the bed, have some soft music or white noise playing. (If you don't have any music, the sounds of making love can also be "quite intoxicating and romantic," she points out.)

Maybe you want to talk to your partner about it first—they'll probably be really excited to hear that you want to try something romantic, connected, and sexual with them, Neustifter says. "One way to bring it up could just be to mention this article and say, 'Hey, I was reading this. I was wondering if we could explore this together. I'm really into you. I really love you and adore you, and I'm wondering if this might be fun to try,'" she explains.

The benefits of romantic sex

Because romantic sex focuses so much on connection, it can be invigorating not only physically but also emotionally. If you're in love with the person you're having romantic sex with, "it can help to remind us what we love about the person" and "it can be really affirming for the relationship, which can be great, especially in stressful times like we're at now," according to Neustifter.

​​​​​To get our top sexual health stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Health Hookup newsletter