If you and your boo are significantly different sizes, sex may present some logistical challenges—whether you’re attempting to align the body of a basketball player with that of a jockey or a linebacker’s figure with a ballerina’s. Fortunately, there are ways to deal short of finding another partner. Read on for size-difference tips, with insight from sex therapist Vanessa Marin, who happens to be five feet tall with a six-foot spouse, and sex educator Kelly Shibari, Penthouse’s first self-described plus-size model and collaborator on the instructional film Guide to Wicked Sex: Plus Size.
1. Have standing sex on the stairs.
Whether the shorter partner needs to stand on one stair (or three!) to line up with the other, you know that this is one prop that won’t move around while you do—way better than that wobbly coffee table you assembled with only half the screws it came with.
2. Try a sex wedge.
Both Marin and Shibari are fans of the Liberator line of sex wedges, which tilt the receiving partner’s hips up, for example, so that the other partner can penetrate more deeply. It also provides platform for shorter partners to kneel on during doggy-style sex.
The Wedge and the Wedge/Ramp Combo, which come in "short," "regular," "tall," and "plus size," also take pressure off knees, wrists, and backs—meaning that sex can last as long as you’d like it to. "I’ve found that it allows for more visual stimulation as well, because not only are you getting slower, deeper thrusts, but you can see each other completely from the waist up," Shibari says. This physical separation is also helpful for tall-short couples who find their torsos smushed together during missionary (which results in the shorter person’s face smushed into a chest. Not always great).
3. Invest in a sex swing.
If you really want to up your accessories game, consider a sex swing. Sex swings are completely height-adjustable (cha-ching), and many can be conveniently hung over doors—providing all of the benefits of sex against a wall with none of the buckling knees or crashing to the ground.
4. Missionary can be tricky, so move the action to a table or counter.
"Sometimes bodies fit better together if you’re not directly on top of each other—because one partner has a belly or a large bust, or [because] laying on top of each other makes it harder to breathe," Shibari says. Not so comfy. But if the receiving partner lies on a table or counter with their butt at the edge, the penetrating partner can stand and have a better shot at lining up with them if they’re really tall. This can also make penetration deeper and take strain off joints.
5. Get *~very familiar~* with the edge of the bed.
Have the shorter partner lie on their stomach or back at the edge of the bed, and the taller partner kneel next to the bed to better align the body parts that count. (Pro tip: Use a pillow to cushion knees.)
6. Try spooning for couples with very different heights, or if the receiving partner is curvier.
Since the movement is horizontal, curvy bellies or breasts won’t impede deep penetration, and since you’re not facing one another, the fact that your faces won’t line up doesn’t matter. What’s more, hands are left free to roam.
7. Use the taller partner’s lap as a booster seat.
"A good option [for tall-short couples] is to have the smaller partner sit in the lap of the larger partner, like in Lotus position," Marin says. If the shorter person is the receiving partner, the boost in height they get from sitting on the penetrating partner’s lap makes eye contact easier. The receiver can wrap their legs around their partner for added intimacy.
8. Try a strap designed for doggy style.
Sportsheets sells a "Plus Size Doggie Strap" (as well as a smaller-size model) that gives the penetrating partner better access and the receiving partner more internal stimulation during sex from behind. The BDSM vibe of restraining your partner with the strap ups the excitement factor, and there’s even a vibrating version if you want to go all out.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.