It’s no secret that sex makes you happier—in fact, researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder found that people who had sex at least once a week were 44 percent more likely to be happy than people who didn’t get down at all.
And like getting fit or climbing the ladder at work, a better sex life does actually take some work. But it’s worth it: Couples who put effort into their sex lives have stronger relationships, new research from the University of Toronto suggests.
So add these 12 new sex positions to your to-do list. Challenge yourself to try two each week. We promise it’ll be the smartest resolution you’re ever set.
Sex position: The cat
a.k.a. Coital Alignment Technique
Why it’s awesome: This twist on missionary position increases clitoral stimulation for your partner, says sex researcher Nicole Prause, Ph.D. In fact, past research has found that women who had trouble reaching orgasm during missionary position were more likely to orgasm using the coital alignment technique.
How to try it: Start in missionary position and shift your body up and over to one side. Rock forward and back instead of thrusting up and down to help you maintain direct contact with her clitoris, says Prause.
Sex position: The ottoman empire
Why it’s awesome: It’s versatile, says sex counsellor Eric M. Garrison, author of Mastering Multiple Position Sex. She gets to control the depth and speed, but it allows you to thrust at the same time, which can be hard to do with a bed fully underneath you, he says. Plus, both of your hands are totally free, so you can tease her erogenous zones or incorporate a sex toy.
How to try it: Lie back on an ottoman (without wheels!) so it supports your entire back. Have her straddle you, so she can move up and down. If you have a strong core, you can move half way down the ottoman, which gives you more freedom to thrust.
For a twist, she can kneel between your legs and perform oral sex on you, or straddle your face while you perform oral on her.
Related: 10 Annoying Things You Do During Sex
Sex position: The chair
Why it’s awesome: If you haven’t mastered standing positions, ease into them with this one. It will provide intense and deep penetration for her, says Garrison. (Here are 11 more positions that will help you go deeper during sex.)
How to try it: Lean your back against the wall as though you’re doing a wall sit. Your legs should be bent almost to a right angle and close enough together that she can straddle you, says Garrison.
While it might take more concentration to keep your balance, your hands are free to rest on her hips, play with her breasts, or stroke her back as you thrust. Depending on her height, her feet might not be able to touch the floor. If it gets too tiring, form a tripod by having her drop one of her feet to the floor, which makes it easier on your legs.
Why it’s awesome: It’s a bit wild and the challenge can feel really exhilarating, says Garrison. Plus, her clitoris will rub against your pubic bone, making it extra pleasurable for her.
How to try it: Starting from the chair position, have her wrap her legs around you. Then, have her lean back, and with your hands beneath her bum, lift her up and move to an almost standing position. Lift her up and down your shaft. To help maintain your energy, keep your legs slightly bent.
Sex position: The twist and shout
Why it’s awesome: This sex position is slow and encourages deeper penetration. It’s also super intimate because you’re able to see her body while maintaining eye contact, says Garrison.
How to try it: Lie on your back as if you’re ready to do a sit-up, but with one leg extended out and the other bent. Have her straddle on of your legs. She can then move up and down your penis, controlling the depth and speed. Depending on which side your penis naturally curves, she can sit and grind against you in the opposite direction of the curve, which should feel great for you.
Sex position: Cradled cowgirl
Why it’s awesome: This position is great when you want to give her clitoral stimulation, while still maintaining the closeness and intimacy that some other face-to-face positions bring, says sex researcher Jessica Wood, Ph.D.(c).
How to try it: Instead of assuming the traditional sitting-up cowgirl position, have her lay forward so that her face is cradled into your neck. This can help align your bodies to provide more direct clitoral stimulation.
You have your hands free to hold her hips, or for added pleasure, you can reach around and stimulate her anus, if she’s into that, says Wood. If not, here are nine other secret erogenous zones she’s been dying for you to touch.
Sex position: Backdoor oral
Why it’s awesome: “This can be a different sensation than typical oral sex positions, as you are coming at it from behind rather than in front,” says Wood.
How to try it: Have her lay on her stomach and place a pillow under her hips, which will help lift her butt up so you have easier access to her vulva, says Wood. This also leaves your hands free to insert a finger or two into her vagina for some internal stimulation at the same time.
Sex position: doggy angle
Why it’s awesome: It’s a great twist on the classic doggy style position, but it doesn’t require as much strength or flexibility from both of you, says Moushumi Ghose, a licensed marriage therapist and author of Classic Positions Reinvented. Plus, from this angle, it’s a bit easier for you or her to manually stimulate her clitoris.
How to try it: Have her lay face down with her butt raised in the air for easy access. Your legs should be close together inside hers. For more support, she can place a pillow under her stomach or prop herself up with her forearms with her hands framing her head and neck. To make it more intense, place your hands on her back or hips so you can thrust with more force.
Related: The Sex Position Finder
Sex position: The double decker
Why it’s awesome: This is an easy transition from any woman-on-top position, says Ghose. Plus, this angle lets you see her body react to your thrusting and your hands are free to roam her whole body—from her breasts all the way down to her clitoris.
How to try it: Start in reverse cowgirl. Have her lean back until she’s propped on her elbows, with her back on your chest and her arms supporting her body weight. Hold her at her waist to maintain more control over the rhythm of your thrusting.
Sex position: The galley
Why it’s awesome: Watching her take charge can be a thrill, says Ghose. Plus, if she’s into anal play, you can use your fingers from this position. This also gives her an opportunity to use a sex toy on her clitoris.
How to try it: This is a variation of reverse cowgirl. Sit with your legs forward and lean back on your arms. She will lie down on your legs with her head near your feet and straddle you at the hips, using her arms for support. Her legs should be stretched out behind her, but can be bent at the knees for more support. You can place your hands on her butt and push her back and forth here, suggests Ghose.
Sex position: The twisted spoon
Why it’s awesome: This spooning variation provides deep penetration but isn’t physically taxing like doggy style, says Robin Milhausen, Ph.D., a professor of human sexuality at the University of Guelph in Canada. Plus, it creates more tension in both of your bodies, which easily amps up arousal, she says.
How to try it: Both of you will lie on your sides, with you behind her. Have her raise her top leg in the air. She should hold on to her raised leg’s ankle while you thrust from behind. To really get her going, stimulate her breasts or clitoris or have her use a sex toy while you thrust.
Related: Make Doggy-Style Hotter
Sex position: The duet
Why it’s awesome: “Masturbation is one of the best ways to get to know your own body, how you experience pleasure, and ultimately how a partner can satisfy you. This is a fast track to teaching your partner what works best for you and feels great at the same time,” says Amie Harwick, Ph.D., M.F.T., a California-based marriage and family therapist and author of The New Sex Bible for Women.
Plus, you’ll get to see exactly how she likes to be touched, too. And the view of her doing it isn’t bad.
How to try it: Ask your partner to touch herself while you touch yourself, says Harwick. She might be shy at first. If that’s the case, have her sit in front of you and lean her back into your chest to make it more comfortable and less invasive feeling.
You can start by touching her body as she masturbates and gradually start touching yourself, so you both end up engaging in masturbation.
Read more here: Men