I’m just gonna come out and say it: Missionary is the best damn position there is. And I’m not alone. See also: “The 14 Best Things About Missionary Sex”—ha! Yes, it has a reputation of being super vanilla, but whatever. Here are my theories on that: Some of the bad rap comes from the name. Who wants to do it like…missionaries? Also, because it’s so popular, people think they’re being super basic if they’re into it. (Eff that. Let your basic bitch shine.) Plus, like a lot of sex positions that focus on just penetration, it can be hard/completely effing impossible to orgasm from a penetration-focused position that doesn’t inherently provide much-needed clitoral stimulation.
BUT this is all fixable. Call it something else, then go ahead and revel in the basic-ness that is missionary. It has all kinds of good things going for it. It’s great for kissing, neck nuzzling, and eye contact. It’s easy. There’s tons of skin-to-skin contact and the deliciously primal feeling of your partner’s body weight atop you. You can tweak it with toys, different angles, moving your legs around, and adding masturbation to make sure you’re getting the kind of stimulation you need.
If you’re new to this classic, here’s a missionary how-to. And if you require more missionary info, geek out with “8 Things You Never Knew About Missionary” and “Surprising Things Guys Love About Missionary,” or check out what some other women and men have to say about it.
1. Slo-Mo Missionary
Missionary becomes insanely intimate if you slow it waaay down. Take every moment and stretch it out. The moment of anticipation just before they enter you when the tip of their penis or strap-on presses against you. The slow slide-in (make it even slower than you think it should be). The moment they’re all in (pause and just feel each other, squeezing your Kegels around them). Add some gentle stimulation—stroke their balls or chest, or hold their face in your hands. So intense.
2. Slippery When Wet
Go super decadent by lubing yourselves up—everywhere. Cover your chest and legs with lube, then slide around on each other in slippery debauchery. Use a ton of towels or invest in a waterproof blanket specially designed to handle lubes, goos, and such. (Also good for the squirters among us.)
3. The X Spot
Lie on your back, spreading your legs and arms like an X. Your partner hovers above you, avoiding most contact except groin to groin. It puts the focus on one thing—the feeling of them penetrating you. (Hand on your clit totally allowed too.) Close your eyes and just feel or look into each other’s eyes to see how you’re wrecking each other.
4. The Pleasing Prop-Up
If your partner is on the smaller side or you’re just a fan of extra-deep penetration, there’s a super-easy hack to try in standard missionary position. Prop a pillow under your butt to lift your hips higher on an angle. It’s a subtle shift that changes the sensation dramatically.
5. The Dirty Dangle
On the flip side, having your partner stand and enter you can sometimes ease off some of the depth of penetration, should you be in a “my cervix needs a break” kind of mood. Plus, this one is ideal for doin’ it in the kitchen.
6. The Purring Kitty
In CAT (aka Coital Alignment Technique), he shifts a bit so that his hips are higher than yours. Once he’s inside you, have him lift his hips and grind his pubic bone against your clit. He can circle his hips, rub up and down, or go from side to side—whatever feels right. Super sexy and intimate, great for long passionate kisses, and your best shot for having a hands-free orgasm. Meee-ow.
7. Shoot the Moon
Remember that ye olde Shoot the Moon wooden game? You two should look like that once you’re in position here. Bend your legs up to your chest and have him grab your ankles as he enters you. He can bend your legs, push them together on your chest, spread them apart, push them straight up—the challenge is figuring out exactly the right ways to play you. When at least one of you is groaning incoherently, you have a winner!
8. The Lock and Load
When you press your legs together in missionary, suddenly every stroke is enhanced. Seriously, it’s like MSG for sex. (And if your man’s on the smaller size in the penile region, this is definitely the position for you—he’ll feel like he’s filling you up and he won’t slip out.) This position is also good for the super lazy among us because you can take control without moving: Roll your hips around slowly and you’ll get this amazing slide-y friction that will drive you both batshit crazy.
9. The I Want You, I Need You
According to famous research by Marta Meana, PhD, being hotly desired is what turns women on most. And there’s no better way to see how much a guy desires you than watching him hoist your legs over his shoulders so he can be inside you, like, right now. This twist on missionary also lets him enter you super deep—even deeper if he grabs your hips for leverage—which is pretty much always a good thing.
10. The Side Winder
This take on missionary is best if your man is (too) generously endowed—he won’t be able to enter you quite as deep. In normal missionary, have him spin about 45 degrees to one side so your bodies form an X and he’s entering you at a sideways angle. From here, you get a hot view of his sexy back and ass humping you, and you can tell him just how steamy he looks.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.