There’s a lot of content out there that seems to be focused on making sex into a game of Survival of the Fittest. Part of the misguided pressure we put on sex is that it needs to be this gravity-defying feat, and that the only way to enjoy it is if you or your partner are bent into contortionist shapes.
Enter, the butterfly: a pleasure-packed sex position that plenty of people can not only “handle,” but really enjoy. Once you read how to do it, it might just become your new go-to. “The butterfly position is a variation if you love missionary but want something just a little bit more intense and adventurous,” says Moushumi Ghose, MFT, a licensed sex therapist.
This position will make you feel a lot more acrobatic than you actually are. Let’s cancel the idea that if your partner’s legs ain’t behind their ears, it ain’t fun, ya hear? That kind thinking misses the main point of sex: PLEASURE. Not how bendy you are!
Alright, let’s do this. It’s time to spread your wings and fly (and by “fly,” we obviously mean “have lots of orgasms”).
There are a few names out there for this position (we’ve called it the “G-Whiz” in the past), but it’s often called “the butterfly” because when you’re in this position with a partner, the shape of your body and their legs kind of, sort of, if you squint your eyes a bit, looks like a butterfly. There are several variations of this position-some more daring than others-but it’s the classic butterfly that we’re talking about here.
In this position, the receiver is on their back with their ankles on the giver’s shoulders. The giver enters from the top, the same way they would in missionary, hands on either side of the receiver.
If “ankles on shoulders” sounds like a sex injury waiting to happen, the receiver can also opt to bend their knees and bring their legs up-basically in the Happy Baby position from yoga.
If you’re the receiver, a huge benefit of this position is the ability to lie back and relax. Sometimes you just don’t want to do the work during sex, and this position allows you to do just that.
What’s more, the giver can slide against the receiver’s body, rather than up and down, which can make it pretty low-effort for them, too (in a good way). The giver can also “scoot down to the edge of the bed and then throw [their] legs over [the receiver’s> shoulders,” Ghose says. This can make the position even easier for the giver, as standing takes pressure off of their arms. The receiver “can tilt [their] hips upward to gain more control of the depth and intensity of penetration,” Ghose adds.
This position has so many possibilities, which is another part of what makes it butterfly-esque: it can morph into different forms. You’re welcome for that truly deep thought. Speaking of deep, that’s another benefit: it lets you get deep, physically. Yep, we went there. Deal with it.
Plus, there’s plenty of room to incorporate sex toys in tandem with deep penetration. “This position also provides for plenty of unobstructed access to the receptive partner’s clitoris or penis,” says Dr. Lanae St.John, a board certified sexologist and author of Read Me: A Parental Primer for “The Talk.
Lastly, power dynamics can be a thrilling aspect of the butterfly. “This is a great position for when [the giver] wants to surrender during sex, lay back, and allow [their] partner to take the lead while maximizing depth,” says Lorrae Bradbury, a sex coach and founder of the sex-positive website Slutty Girl Problems. Have you been wanting to be more assertive and dominant in the bedroom? Well, now’s your chance.
Everyone can enjoy the butterfly position for anal, regardless of the genitals they possess. To have anal sex in the butterfly position, the receiver will “want to bring [their] legs closer to [their] body or bend [their] knees closer to [their] chest, to allow [their] sphincter to relax and be in a more optimum position for [their] pleasure,” Bradbury explains. If your legs aren’t up high enough, “the position of your anal muscles won’t be ideal for penetration, and could lead to pain or discomfort.”
It can also be helpful to get a pillow involved for extra lift. You can place a pillow under the receiver’s butt to help tilt their hips upward. This can help with bodily alignment and more comfortable penetration. “Try using pillows or a Liberator Ramp/Wedge to do the hip elevating for you,” St.John says.
Sex position guides are blueprints for your sexual exploration. There are no limits to how you can explore different ways of f*cking. “The key to this position is perfecting the angle that works for you, and exploring how both of your bodies feel most comfortable and pleasurable as you optimize the angles,” Bradbury says.
The special sauce that makes sex so enjoyable is a willingness to mess up, laugh, and try different things until everyone is experiencing pleasure.