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The Faces of Love and Sex

The Love World

The Sexual Stage

Sex and The senses

Common Sex Positions

Variations – Standard and Exotic

Other Entry Ports

Rhythm and Release

Love Songs

Love Machines and Love Potions


Sexual insight and Destiny:  Finding New Fulfillment

Variations -Standard And Exotic

Even the most exotic sex position is in some way only a variation on one of the four basic positions that have already been described. Some of the possible variations are so commonly used as to be habitual preferred positions; others are sufficiently extreme in their phenomenological configurations, involving such a degree of physical strain for one or both partners that they are unlikely to be used more than occasionally. Some of the most exotic positions come close to contradicting fantastics pattern of the basic position from which they have evolved, but that seeming contradiction is itself of significance.

A number of my patients have states that although they have distinct preferences in terms of the basic positions, they find that when they are extremely excited, “anything goes.” What they mean by “anything goes,” however, demands some clarification. From the exotic positions that have been reported to me, it seems clear that while an individual may be wiling to bend himself or herself into some quite extraordinary bodily attitudes, these extreme positions nevertheless tend to reflect fundamental life patterns stretched to their limit. Thus, even when a person gets “ carried away,” it is generally in a particular direction that is in the line with that person’s basic orientation to life.

Once again it should be emphasized that I am talking about spontaneously assumed exotic positions, not those that are assumed in a conscious attempt to have sex and the senses in every position that can be conceived. In fact, a couple who work their way through a sex manual, trying position 37 on Tuesday and position 38 on Wednesday, are indicating that their fundamental everyday relationship is based on moment-to-moment stimulation, rather than extended interpersonal sexual fulfillment, and shows that they are searching for ways in which to establishes or reestablish deep personal contact. Indeed, most couples trying new positions in response to the stimulation of a sex manual will “experiment’ with those positions that in one way or another reflect some aspect of their whole relationship, while completely ignoring other suggested positions.

In presenting the standard variations and exotic positions in this chapter, I will be dealing with several concrete kinds of phenomenological data. Are the partners facing one another, thus showing intimacy? Which partner is bearing the physical weight of the position? Is the partner bearing the physical weight supporting the other or being dominated by the other? What degree of skin contact is involved? What distance between the partners exists? Which of the senses are most involved in the position, and which are least bought into play? Are the hands free to caress the partner or are they subjugated only to a supportive and holding role? All these elements enter into the phenomenological import of these positions, although one element may be crucial in one case and of secondary interest in another.

As might be expected, the variations on the missionary position tend to be more “conservative,” less exotic and less gymnastic than either the female-astride or rear-entry variations. The most common variations on the missionary position -one used by many couples- is usually called by the French world Flanquette. In this position the woman is not completely supine but lies somewhat on one side. The man is above her, but instead of having both his legs between her thighs, one leg is placed outside one of her thighs and the other inside. It is thus necessary for the woman to lie turned slightly to the side so that genital contact may be made between the partners. This position affords increased contact between the penis and the clitoris. Aside from this physiological advantage, however, the position involves a greater equality of the lower limbs and hips of the partners; the woman is no longer in the totally supine missionary position but is more intermingled with her partner. Since one of her hips is lifted off the bed surface, this position also allows the woman somewhat more mobility. This position is moving in the direction of common sex positions, yet the man remains on top.

Another often employed variant of the missionary position conveys a very different phenomenological message. The woman lies flat on her back with her legs raised almost at a right angle to her torso, placing her feet over the man’s shoulders as he kneels with her buttocks between his thighs. the faces of love and sex , but the ability to kiss may be curtailed since the woman’s legs act as a barrier between the upper bodies of the partners. There is lessened skin contact than in the usual missionary position, and the man’s freedom to fondle the woman is diminished since he is likely to need one hand to brace himself against the bed surface. The woman can caress the man’s face or chest and hold his waist or thighs, but she cannot clasp him to her. The man in this position is very active; deep, aggressive penetration is facilitated. This position, which I call the Locomotive, has recently been adopted by a couple whose life together is undergoing a period of stress, with many major changes imminent in their overall situation. The wife is particularly concerned by this period of flux, and it is she who instigated the use of this position, finding that the assertiveness of her husband in this position give her a sense of reassurance as to his strength and solidity.