When you think of romantic sex, what comes to mind? Soft mood lighting and instrumental jazz music? That might be the stereotype, but romantic sex is so much more. It's about connectivity, intimacy, and passion. It's about bonding with your partner through sex that's special and satisfying.
While some people might think that romantic sex can only happen in a long-term relationship, Ruth Neustifter, PhD, an associate professor of couples and family therapy at the University of Guelph in Ontario, tells Health that you can definitely have it early in a relationship or even in a hook-up. Regardless of who you're having it with, romantic sex is when you're able to build serious heat through shared arousal with your partner, according to Lexx Brown-James, a certified sexuality educator who owns the Institute for Sexuality and Intimacy, LLC.
The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-GettyImages-909428446 help you achieve that connection and arousal: you make eye contact, breathe in time with each other, and have more opportunities for skin-to-skin touching. Of course, for some people, that level of connection is overstimulating. "If that's the case, absolutely adapt for yourself," Neustifter suggests. Here are eight romantic sex positions that experts recommend for the best romantic sex you'll ever have.
The best romantic sex positions
Missionary-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos tells Health.
With one person on the bottom and the other on top, missionary lets you look into each other's eyes. You can watch your partner's facial expressions and see how your body is connecting with theirs. There's also excess skin contact, which "can increase sensuality, feelings of closeness and connection, and help to create multiple arousing sensations," according to Matatas. "Missionary gives us easy access to kissing during penetration, to pressing chests together, to pinning wrists or holding hands, and to stimulating multiple hot spots with our mouths: nipples, necks, ears and shoulders."
If you're on top, don't be nervous about putting your body weight on your partner below. That's how you get that full skin-to-skin contact. "I think it's really, really important if you're going to be in missionary position to actually connect your bodies and to be skin-to-skin—not just genitals-to-genitals—so you can feed off of each other's energy and really be in touch with each other's skin," Marla Renee Stewart, owner of the sex and sexuality workshop program Velvet Lips, tells Health.
Spooning-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos , tells Health. "You don't have to be propped up or sitting up on anything, and so it just allows the bodies to kind of find their own rhythm," she says.
Knee up, knee down
Knee-Up-Knee-Down-The-Best-Romantic-Sex-Positions-Illos , or rubbing your genitals for stimulation, this position is comfortable and low-impact, so you can take your time and maximize your pleasure. Here's how to do it: One person lies down on their back, the other kneels. The person kneeling then place one knee in between the legs of the person lying down; their other leg is bent, with their foot planted down next to their partner's hip. "It allows for maximum exposure of both genitals," Howard says.
"It's my favorite position," Howard says. "I think of it as a romantic position simply because I feel powerful, beautiful, and strong in that position, and so I think that that's kind of permeates into the romance of connection."
Tips for how to have the best romantic sex
While the positions themselves will leave you feeling satisfied and connected, there are ways to make them even better. Howard gives these tips:
- Vary your tempo, speed, and angle.
- Make eye contact.
- Touch and engage your partner with your hands.
- Give vulnerable affirmation and positive reinforcement, like moans or actual words.
- Use your body to give the type of energy that you want to be reciprocated in that moment.
- Don't restrict kissing to faces or genitals. Any part of the body can be kissable. Add a blindfold to make the kissing more exciting.
How to bring romantic sex into your life
If you're interested in having romantic sex, Howard says to set the mood. Light a candle, make sure you have fresh sheets on the bed, have some soft music or white noise playing. (If you don't have any music, the sounds of making love can also be "quite intoxicating and romantic," she points out.)
Maybe you want to talk to your partner about it first—they'll probably be really excited to hear that you want to try something romantic, connected, and sexual with them, Neustifter says. "One way to bring it up could just be to mention this article and say, 'Hey, I was reading this. I was wondering if we could explore this together. I'm really into you. I really love you and adore you, and I'm wondering if this might be fun to try,'" she explains.
The benefits of romantic sex
Because romantic sex focuses so much on connection, it can be invigorating not only physically but also emotionally. If you're in love with the person you're having romantic sex with, "it can help to remind us what we love about the person" and "it can be really affirming for the relationship, which can be great, especially in stressful times like we're at now," according to Neustifter.