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4 Techniques Women Use To Take Vaginal Penetration To The Next Level

Abby Moore
Editorial Operations Manager
By Abby Moore
Editorial Operations Manager
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Image by VegterFoto / Stocksy
May 18, 2021

While fun for many, vaginal penetration isn't likely to make a woman reach orgasm. Fewer than one in five women reach orgasm from penetrative sex alone, usually requiring clitoral stimulation to get there. That said, there are ways to make sex better without completely getting rid of missionary—and many women may actually be using these techniques already.

A study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One surveyed 3,017 American women between 18 and 93 years old, mostly cisgender and heterosexual, asking how they increase their pleasure during vaginal penetrative sex. Here are the four most common techniques they found: 

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1.

Rocking 

Of the participants, 76.4% said they increase the sensation of penetration with a technique called "rocking." With this technique, the woman is rocking her body up and down so that the clitoris is constantly rubbing against the base of the penis or sex toy. Though P-in-V sex involves the penis being thrust in and out, "rocking" requires it to stay put inside the vagina the whole time. 

2.

Angling

The most popular technique women said they use to increase pleasure was called "angling." Of those who were surveyed, 87.5% say they rotate, raise, or lower the pelvis or hips during penetration to hit that sweet spot. 

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3.

Pairing 

Though this was the least common technique, 69.7% of women still said they use a technique called "pairing" to increase pleasure during penetration. Pairing describes the act of touching yourself or having your partner stimulate your clit (either with their finger or a sex toy) as penetrative sex is happening. This usually leads to what is called "blended orgasm," a type of orgasm triggered through simultaneous vaginal and clitoral stimulation.

4.

Shallowing 

The second most common technique is called "shallowing." More than 83% of participants said this act—where their partner shallowly touches the inside of the vagina with the tip of their penis, a sex toy, the tongue, lips, or fingertip—is more likely to increase pleasure or the chance of reaching orgasm when followed by penetration.

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Why does this research matter?

Since the odds of reaching orgasm through penetration alone are pretty low, it's important for women to know there are a handful of techniques that can make the act more pleasurable for them. The researchers behind the study also emphasized the importance of just having concrete language to describe these techniques.

"This information can help us build a vocabulary to describe female pleasure that currently doesn't exist," lead author of the study Devon J. Hensel, Ph.D., says in a news release

"When something doesn't even have a name, it's made literally unspeakable," research scientist Christiana von Hippel, ScD, MPH, adds. "Until now, there haven't been words for the specific ways women improve their pleasure. By giving these prevalent techniques names and showing how they can be effective, we hope women will be empowered to explore what they like and advocate for what they want, in and outside of the bedroom."

Because knowledge, paired with sexual self-esteem, are the keys to better sex. 

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Abby Moore
Abby Moore
Editorial Operations Manager

Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.