scorecard4 ways to perform the cowgirl sex position and tips to maximize pleasure
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4 ways to perform the cowgirl sex position and tips to maximize pleasure

Madeline Kennedy,Sara Rosen   

4 ways to perform the cowgirl sex position and tips to maximize pleasure
Insider Picks3 min read
  • The cowgirl sex position allows the partner being penetrated to be on top and have control.
  • To make cowgirl better, try leaning slightly forward or putting pillows under your knees.

If you have a vulva, then the cowgirl is a great sex position for exploring your own pleasure.

"The cowgirl is often a favorite among women because it allows women to have more control within the sexual experience, allowing her to be freer in her movements," says Rachel Smith, LMFT, couples and sex therapist in private practice.

Note: You can also call it cowboy or just "rider," depending on how you identify your gender.

Here's how to get into the cowgirl position, and some variations on cowgirl that can spice things up.

How to do cowgirl

To do the traditional cowgirl position:

  1. Your partner lies flat on their back with their legs out straight.
  2. You sit straddling on top of them, facing toward their head.
  3. While sitting up straight, insert your partner's penis or a sex toy into your vagina.

When you're in the riding position on top, you can choose the pace, depth, and angle of penetration, which can help you find what feels best for you, Smith says.

"This position also allows for greater friction and rubbing of the clitoris, which is the main pleasure center," says Smith.

Stimulating your clitoris can make you more likely to have an orgasm — in a 2015 survey, 37% of women said they're only able to orgasm during sex if their clitoris is stimulated.

Tips for making cowgirl better

  • Cowgirl works best if you bend slightly forward over your partner, allowing your clitoris to rub against your partner's pelvis, Smith says. This means you'll be rocking your hips back and forth instead of bouncing up and down.
  • If the penetration feels too deep, you can put pillows under your knees to prop you up a bit higher.

Cowgirl variations

If you're already a pro at regular cowgirl, here are three variations you can explore with a partner.

1. Reverse cowgirl

To do the reverse cowgirl:

  1. Your partner lies flat on their back, with legs out straight.
  2. Turn around so that you're facing your partner's feet.
  3. Sit straddling your partner, with your knees on either side of their legs.

During reverse cowgirl, your partner's penis or sex toy will penetrate you at a different angle, "allowing for a different form of play and exploration," Smith says. Just like the traditional cowgirl position, you have complete control over how you move.

Leaning slightly backward will give you extra room to stimulate your own clitoris, Smith says. You can do this using your hands or an external sex toy like a vibrator.

2. Horizontal cowgirl

To do horizontal cowgirl:

  1. Get into the regular cowgirl position.
  2. Bend forward toward your partner, so that your chests are close together or touching.

In this position, you can still brace with your knees and control the movement, and because of the angle of penetration, you may be able to better stimulate your G-spot.

The G-spot has more nerve endings than other areas of your vagina, which may help you climax more easily during penetrative intercourse.

This position can also be more intimate than some of the other cowgirl variations, as you can make close eye contact and kiss your partner.

3. Sitting up cowgirl

To do sitting up cowgirl:

  1. Your partner sits up instead of lying down, with their legs folded or out in front of them. It may help if they have a wall to sit up against.
  2. You sit straddling their lap, so you're both sitting upright.

Because your bodies are so close together, you may be able to rub your clitoris against their pelvis.

This position also gives your partner a chance to use their mouth to stimulate your nipples, neck, and anything else within reach.

Insider's takeaway

Depending on the variation you're trying, cowgirl is a great sex position to stimulate your clitoris, G-spot, nipples, and more. And, it's a position that people of any size and athletic abilityshould feel confident exploring.

You also get to make choices about how fast or deep you want to be penetrated, which may make it easier to orgasm.

"The cowgirl positions put women in control of their own pleasure and also helps to add some variety and spice to any sexual experience," Smith says.