A heterosexual couple can choose a wide range of positions for penile-vaginal inter­course, or coitus. ■ Table 8.7 shows college students’ three favorite positions. Many people have a favorite position yet enjoy others, as shown in I Figures 8.7 through 8.11. A 30-year-old man stated:

Different intercourse positions usually express and evoke particular emotions for me. Being on top, I enjoy feeling aggressive; when on the bottom, I experi­ence a special kind of receptive sensuality. In the side-by-side position, I easily feel gentle and intimate. I like sharing all these dimensions of myself with my lover. (Authors’ files)

■ TABLE 8.7 College Students Answer the Question Intercourse Position?"

"What Is Your Favorite

Men (%)

Women (%)

Man on top



Woman on top



Doggie style



SOURCE: Elliott & Brantley (1997).

Each position provides various opportunities for physical and emotional expression. Changes in health, age, weight, pregnancy, or partners can create different preferences. In some positions, one person has greater freedom to initiate and control the tempo, angle, and style of movement to create arousing stimulation. In other positions, mutual control of the rhythm of thrusting works well. Some positions—such as the woman above, sit­ting upright—lend themselves to manual stimulation of the clitoris during intercourse. Many couples like a position that allows partners to make eye contact and see each other’s bodies. The face-to-face, side-lying position can provide a particularly relaxed connection, with each partner having one hand free to caress the other’s body. Rear entry can be a good position during pregnancy, when pressure against the woman’s abdomen is uncomfortable. The "tailgate" position is a rear-entry position where the woman is lying flat on her stomach, and the man enters from behind (Taormino, 2011). This position is

particularly good for G-spot stimulation. Beyond options for position, cooperation and consideration are important, particularly at intromission (entry of the penis into the intromission

vagina). Often the woman can best guide her partner’s penis into her vagina by moving Insertion °f the penis into the vagina. her body or using her hand. If the penis slips out of the vagina, which can occur fairly easily in some positions, it is usually easiest for the woman to lend a helping hand to guide the penis back into the vagina.