8 Tips To Master The Cowgirl Sex Position, From Experts
Looking for a liberating sex position to try out? Consider adding the cowgirl sex position to your repertoire. It's a classic for a reason.
The cowgirl position.
The cowgirl is a popular sex position well known for its ease and its literal visual translation for "girl on top." Psychotherapist and sex therapist Melinda DeSeta, LMHC, tells mbg the term comes from the image of one person mounting their partner and riding them, similar to a cowperson on a bucking horse.
For vulva owners, the cowgirl offers both vaginal and clitoral stimulation, so it can be a highly arousing position. "The beauty of the cowgirl is in its simplicity," DeSeta says. "It gives the person on top the ability to control the rhythm, pace, angle, and depth of penetration."
Also known as girl on top, cowboy, cowperson, or rider, this mounted position is pleasurable for all gender identities with the right accessories.
How it works.
Pleasure coach and sex educator Violet breaks down the details of the classic cowgirl sex position we all know and love today: To start, the partners are facing each other. The penetrating partner lies flat on their back with their legs straight. The rider sits on top of them in a straddling or squatting position with their knees bent around their partner's hips.
The person on top can then insert the bottom partner's penis, dildo, or fingers into their vagina or anus and proceed to ride their partner, simulating the movements of a horse's bouncing motion. The person on the bottom is able to receive and use their hands while the person on top rides them both to orgasmic bliss.
Why you may want to try the position.
The person on top is in control.
The cowgirl is often described as an empowering position for the rider since you can guide your sexual experience in whatever gratifying, delectable ways you desire. You're in charge of setting the pace and if and how you want to reach orgasm, plus how slowly or quickly your partner comes. It's a huge confidence booster to wield your sexuality and take charge of your pleasure.
(Psst: If you're looking for more domination, try the Amazon sex position.)
It could be easier to achieve orgasm.
If you have a vulva and have had difficulty orgasming in the past, DeSeta points out this could be a great position since you can move at whatever position feels best for you. "In the cowgirl position, angle is everything! The cowgirl position does not mean you sit on your partner at a 90-degree angle. The rider has the ability to lean toward [their] partner at a 45-degree angle for G-spot and clitoral stimulation."
Direct clitoral stimulation for vulva owners.
Being on top also allows for you and your partner to grind or rub your clitoris during penetration. "Many women have shared that this direct clitoral stimulation leads them to orgasm more quickly and intensely," DeSeta says. "This position is also one of the most intimate and romantic positions as it allows both people to look at one another and visually explore each other's bodies."
It's provocative for both partners.
There are a lot of benefits for being on top, but the person on the bottom receives too. It can be an incredibly thrilling experience to see your partner up close and personal as they are in ecstasy while setting the tempo. But according to Violet, the excitement doesn't stop there.
If you're on the bottom, you still play a vital role. You can help match, rock, or gyrate your partner while you're lying down. When their legs start to give out or shake a little bit, you can hold on to them for support and share in the teamwork by thrusting. "This is a fun way for the person who is penetrating to 'bottom' from the top or even to take control of the penetration," she says.
Tips & techniques to optimize pleasure.
If you're looking to get more experience in the saddle, read on for some pointers to master the cowgirl sex position. Remember to focus on doing what feels enjoyable to you. What works for someone else may not work for you, so check in with your body and adjust when necessary!
Play around and be handsy.
DeSeta emphasizes the importance of mixing in other sexual acts so the cowgirl sex position doesn't feel mechanical. "Try leaning toward your partner for a teasing kiss or experiment with leaning back to tickle their legs," she suggests. You can touch yourself all over and put your chest in their face, or massage your partner's balls if they've got 'em.
Lean on their chest.
"In my experience, this one is a real ego stroker for the penetrator. Use them to lean on! This allows your partner to feel like they are reliable and highlights their strength even from being on the bottom," Violet says. You can place your hands on their chest or right above their pectoral muscles to lean on while you're riding.
Do what feels good and be creative.
When people think of the cowgirl, Violet notes it's typically seen as riding your partner by rigorously bouncing up and down. "It's an incredible way to do it, [but] don't be afraid to try out other motions that feel good," she says. You can sit cross-legged for the lotus sex position, move up and down, forward and backward, or sideways while toying around with the pace and depth. This doesn't always have to happen on a bed either—try doing it on a chair, a sofa, or a similar setup. Or, turn it around for reverse cowgirl.
Add a toy and experiment.
Due to the flexibility of the cowgirl sex position, DeSeta points out it offers room to add a toy for clitoral stimulation, an anal toy, or both.
Violet suggests doing so by leaning back and stimulating your clitoris with your hands or vibrator. "This will give them a full-frontal of your vulva [which] can be such an erotic experience. Lean into the show you are putting on and allow that exhibitionist in you to be fueled." She notes that it can be vulnerable to be on display, but instead of shying away from it, take this as an opportunity to own your sexual self.
Allow them to take control.
If you are the one doing the penetrating, Violet encourages you to help your partner from the bottom by grabbing their hips and raising them about 3 to 4 inches up on the penis or dildo. "This way, you have some extra space to begin thrusting, and because you are lying down, this motion can be easier. So grab their hips, hold them up, and thrust at your desired speed." If you're doing reverse cowgirl, add a pillow or some cushioning under your body for better positioning and comfort.
Move and lift the hips.
To get a little deeper, DeSeta suggests the penetrating partner place their feet flat on the bed, bending their knees, and lifting their hips. Doing this will create deeper penetration and immense, extra pleasure for both.
If the penetration is too much and it's tough to receive the entirety of the dildo or penis, Violet advises adjusting until you find a relaxed position by leaning your hips forward and back. "A lot of folx G-spots or P-spots are at a slight angle inside the vaginal canal or anus, so some adjustments will most likely need to be made to hit that right spot. Take the time to do that before you start riding," she adds.
Lead with enthusiasm and presence.
Whether you're on top or bottom, it's easy to only focus on penetration and what you're feeling with your genital parts. However, being mindful during sex can bring awareness to your entire body and engage all of its senses. Make out with your partner, caress their body, and respond to their physicality by holding them closer to you. Those little tantric actions make all the difference.
Don't forget the lube.
When you're turned on, blood flows to your vagina, which causes your vaginal walls and clitoris to swell, secreting fluids that make you wet and creating natural lubrication. Adding more lube on top of that generates a new dimension to the sensations and decreases any bits of friction. As DeSeta puts it, "Whether you need lubrication or not, it only amplifies the pleasure." And if you're doing anal or any other type of sex where there's not any natural lubrication, definitely don't skip out!
The bottom line.
There is no right or wrong way to do the cowgirl position. It will differ for everyone, so feeling good and being embodied is the name of the game. Just trying out new and different sex positions together will keep intimacy multifaceted and bring you closer together.
By continuing to lean into playful exploration, it makes sex fun for everyone involved. Stay adventurous and giddy up, cowboys and cowgirls.
Julie Nguyen is a writer, certified relationship coach, Enneagram educator, and former matchmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. She has a degree in Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University. She previously worked as a matchmaker at LastFirst Matchmaking and the Modern Love Club, and she is currently training with the Family Constellations and Somatic Healing Institute in trauma-informed facilitation.