How to Nail the Cowgirl Sex Position (and a Few Variations to Try)
The cowgirl (or cowboy, rider) position can be enjoyed by everyone. It just takes some finesse.
The cowgirl sex position (or cowboy, rider, cowperson, etc.) can be enjoyed by everyone. It just sometimes takes some calculated finesse. One of the most enticing things about this position is the control and dominance it can provide for the rider. Still feel like you have no idea what you're doing up there, or simply want to make it more pleasurable? Here, valued sex experts share how you can make the cowgirl sex position work for you.
Just to add a little disclaimer here: While we're going to refer to the "cowgirl position" as "cowgirl" for consistency, this position can also be referred to as the "cowboy" "person on top," or "rider" for gender-non-conforming individuals. (Can we get a 'Yeehaw!' for inclusion??)
If you find this position intimidating, exhausting, or too uncomfortable, there is usually a way around it. With that being said, not every sex position works for every person (and that is totally OK). But, if you're interested in upping your pleasure potential while being on top, check out these tips to pull it off and make the most of it.
Cowgirl Sex Position 101: A Quick Refresher
Cowgirl (or your chosen name for it) refers to the position where one partner is on top of the other, legs on either side of their hips. This position usually involves penetration, with the person on top (being penetrated) doing most of the "movement" or "work."
It's a great position for controlling the speed of movement and asserting some very sexy dominance. "The cowgirl sex position is many women/vulva-owners' all-time favorite positions because it's the one where they're most likely to climax," explains Lucy Rowett, a certified intimacy coach and clinical sexologist. "That's because you're in control of the grinding, you can move your hips easily, and there is more clitoral stimulation." (See: The Best Sex Positions If You Like Clitoral Stimulation)
When it comes to cowgirl, how you move in this position is up to you. Most people might picture bouncing up and down like you may have seen in movies or porn, but this isn't always the case. You can also grind your hips against your partner, (great for clitoral stimulation), move your hips in circles, or, if you get tired, you can hold still and let your partner help with "the work" and let them basically bang it out with some glute bridges.
It's really about what makes you feel comfortable. If you have an eager partner who wants you to bounce up and down, but you don't really like doing that, say so. If they don't enjoy this position together, there are plenty of others to choose from.
1. Add a little support.
Since this position can be a little bit intimidating for some (and straight-up tiring for others), it's perfectly OK to modify it in any way that fits your needs. For instance, if you need a lift you can "experiment with putting a pillow or two underneath your partner's hips (to make a slope) this makes it easier for you to ride them without tiring out your thighs too soon," explains Elle Chase, a certified sexuality educator. This makes the position easier because there isn't as much distance to travel for the actual "bounce," meaning there is a lot less thigh burn involved (and, while that's fun in barre class, most people don't love that when they're trying to orgasm). (P.S. Here are sex pillows and cushions that work way better than regular ones—and require less laundry.)
2. Bring your external clitoris along for the ride.
The external clitoris (the part you can see at the top of the vulva) is key in female-bodied orgasms. If you own a clitoris, make sure you're engaging it during cowgirl. (If you're not experiencing pleasure during a sex position, what's the point?)
"If you have a vulva and you're on top during cowgirl, play with your external clitoris while you ride your partner — or lean forward so that your external clit rubs pleasurably on your partner's pelvis," says August McLaughlin, a certified sex educator and author and host of Girl Boner (a book series and podcast about sex). (Related: How to Get More Pleasure Out of Common Sex Positions)
To get even closer to your partner's hip bone, you can swing one leg between theirs, and lay almost in a half split. This can bring your clit in closer contact with their pelvis. (Keep in mind this probably isn't ideal if you have issues with flexibility.)
If clitoral contact doesn't happen for you, no matter how close you get to your partner physically, you can bring in a couple's vibrator — like the We-Vibe Chorus or Eva II (Buy It, $135, dameproducts.com) — that's strategically designed to fit between your bodies hands-free for more clitoral stimulation.
3. Include toys.
On that note, there are so many different ways to bring toys in on your ride. "If you or a partner has a penis, add a cock ring for added firmness and mutual pleasure," says McLaughlin. "This can be especially helpful if the penis haver doesn't maintain erections as easily in a bottom position."
If you love wand vibrators, you might enjoy bringing it into Reverse Cowgirl (riding backward). Chase says a Magic Wand (Buy It, $176, ellaparadis.com) is great for this position because while sitting upright, you can grind against the head of the wand for maximum pleasure. You or your partner can also don a finger vibe to make any hand play that much more stimulating. (Try the PicoBong Ipo Finger Vibe, $50, lelo.com)
4. Invite your nipples to the party.
If you enjoy having your nipples being played with, the forward-facing (or classic) cowgirl sex position is an excellent way to give your partner full access. "Guide your partner's hands to your breasts or nipples for fondling, pinching, or massage — whatever type of touch you most desire," says McLaughlin. "You can also play with your own breasts or nipples while your partner watches for added heat. This also allows you to show your partner exactly how you like to be touched." (See: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Nipple Play)
5. Stimulate your G-spot — when you're horizontal.
The G-spot is (more of a G-area, if we're being exact) is the area surrounding the urethral sponge and the backend of the internal clitoris. Located internally, you can find it by inserting a toy or fingers into the vagina and hooking up behind the public bone.
"For optimum G-spot stimulation, Horizontal Cowgirl might be just what you're looking for. Start by sitting on top of your partner like you would for a traditional cowgirl, then lower yourself onto your partner's body so you're chest to chest," explains Chase. "The angle is still great for hitting the G-spot, and can still control the movements like you would sitting up."
6. Control the depth with a little tweaking.
Sometimes the cowgirl sex position can be too deep and that can be uncomfortable or even painful — no one needs that in their lives. Grab some pillows for some extra knee support. Known as "Supported Cowgirl," this lifted position can help you control depth. Or, "turn around and have your receiving partner prop their knees up at an angle," says McLaughlin. "This allows you to brace yourself over them with something to hold onto (their knees)."
If you need extra penetration control, you can also enlist the help of a wearable like OhNut Rings (Buy It, $65 for 4, babeland.com) which are designed specifically to help vulva-owners control the depth of penetration. (It's like a cock ring that acts as a sort of bumper, so your partner can only go so deep.)
7. Reverse it if you're a little self-conscious.
"For folks who might be a little self-conscious about their tummy or chest bouncing about, Reverse Cowgirl is the way to go," says Chase. "Not only does your partner get a great rearview, but if you like, you can rest your hands on their legs for a little extra leverage."
Remember that this position simply isn't for everyone. People like what they like and who we are sexually is as unique as our individual personalities. If these takes on the cowgirl sex position are helpful for you, great! If not, there are a million other sex positions you can try instead.
Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, sexologist, author of All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.