What is the ballet dancer sex position? How to try this standing move and its benefits

Here, a sexologist explains how to do the standing ballet dancer sex position and why it's so great

Man and woman dancing in the kitchen, laughing and smiling, representing the ballet dancer sex position
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The ballet dancer sex position is a great one for those looking to try a standing sex position for the first time and level up intimacy in the bedroom with something a little different. 

While it might sound like a move designed for only the most flexible of people, if you can do any type of cowgirl move then you can do the ballet dancer sex position. You'll be standing up rather than kneeling on the bed but you'll be firing up all the same muscles in a similar way. 

The ballet dancer is a little more intimate than the cowgirl though, so if you love that one and the butterfly sex position, then this one's one to add to the list of your best sex positions to try this month. Here, a sexologist and sex coach explains everything you need to know about the ballet dancer sex position, how to do it flawlessly, and all the benefits you can enjoy. 

What is the ballet dancer sex position?

The ballet dancer is an easy standing sex position, explains Massimo Stocchi-Fontana (opens in new tab), a sexologist, sex coach, and psychotherapist. "Start by raising one leg, either the left or the right, and hook this leg as high as possible above the penetrating partner's glutes or lower back," he explains. "Stabilize yourself by holding your partner around their neck or shoulders and they can support you by holding your leg." 

Having a wall behind you is almost essential for getting the ballet dancer sex position right, he adds, unless you've got some serious core strength. "This allows for a great deal of support for both of you, in case strength or stability is not quite there." 

Illustration of the ballet dancer sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

As partners are standing opposite each other in the ballet dancer sex position, it's an incredibly intimate move and a great one for watching each other's reactions during sex. The face-on positioning does make it a harder one for couples with a height difference but this shouldn't stop you, the sexologist says. 

"You can go on your top toes if your partner is a lot taller than you, or you can modify in lots of creative ways if there's a real vertical challenge," Stocchi-Fontana says. For example, the shorter partner can stand on a couple of larger books to make a small platform for easier access, or if the taller partner is particularly strong, they can lift their partner to meet them. 

"Allow yourself to enjoy the process of making it work, meet your partner's mouth and face and eyes to create more intimacy and connection," Stocchi-Fontana suggests. 

What are the benefits of the ballet dancer sex position?

1. It's an adaptable position

Using the wall as support, both partners can adapt the position to suit them. "The penetrating partner can go as deep as they like while having the guidance of the other person's facial reactions to determine what feels good," he says. "The other partner can also regulate how deeply they want to be penetrated with the hooked leg, releasing it for less depth and lifting it higher for more."

2. It offers dual stimulation

If you want dual stimulation during sex, you can also adapt the position to make this happen either manually or with a bullet vibrator. "The penetrating partner has direct access to the clitoris if they move the hand that otherwise supports the hooked leg and, with a switch of the hand, the anus can also be stimulated by grabbing the buttocks and massaging."

3. Full-body workout

The ballet dancer has its name for a reason. While no one goes into the bedroom looking for a cardio session, that is one of the unintended benefits of this position. "This one's a bit more physical in nature than others," Stocchi-Fontana says. "Not only are you getting an amazing leg workout but going onto your toes will give you a full calf and glute workout too as you have to work to stabilize yourself while keeping your leg in position." 

It's the same for the penetrating partner too, as they act as the main support to keep the position balanced. Looking for more of the same? Try the flatiron sex position for all its core-strengthening benefits on the bed. 

How to make the ballet dancer sex position even better

If you're new to standing positions, you may also just want to take it one step at a time. Be sure to use plenty of the best lube to ensure an easy glide and if you want to take the pressure off the elevated leg, rest it on a side table or stool. You can still experience the same intensity as long as you stand close to your partner but you won't have the additional pressure on your hip or leg.

For additional stimulation and deeper penetration, with or without the help of support on the side, lift your leg higher. "The deeper the stretch in the groin area, the greater depths can be reached," Stocchi-Fontana explains.

And if you're looking to get even more adventurous and push your new-found standing skills, you could always try the reverse ballet dancer. It's almost as complex as the full nelson sex position, with a bit more balance involved. "Instead of the leg hooking behind your partner from the front, the penetrating partner starts from behind and you slowly hinge at the hips with your torso moving away from them. Lift your leg behind you and, from here, hook it behind your partner's back," he explains. For stability, the penetrating partner can hold onto your hips and you can always use surfaces around you to stabilize yourself. 

Grace Walsh
Health Editor

A digital health journalist with over five years experience writing and editing for UK publications, Grace has covered the world of health and wellbeing extensively for Cosmopolitan, The i Paper and more.


She started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness. Everything from the best protein powder to sleep technology, the latest health trend to nutrition essentials, Grace has a huge spectrum of interests in the wellness sphere. Having reported on the coronavirus pandemic since the very first swab, she now also counts public health among them.