Standing sex positions: 7 moves to reignite your sex life

Experts reveal how to make the best standing sex positions even better with recommended variations, benefits, and tips

Couple standing up and embracing romantically, looking into each other's eyes, representing the best standing sex positions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Standing sex positions are perfect for those looking to be a little more spontaneous in their relationships. Whether you like to stick to the bedroom or are more adventurous with your surroundings, one of these is sure to deliver mutual excitement and pleasure.

You may also be pleased to hear that standing sex is much easier than it looks. While there are some athletic positions to try, these moves are not so much about acrobatics but rather intimacy from a new point of view. The only trouble you'll run into is if there's a big height difference between your partner and you. 

To explain how to get the most from standing sex positions, all the benefits, and tips for improving them, we speak to two certified sex experts. So whether you want to plan for spontaneity in the future or just enjoy some of the best sex positions out there, we have you sorted.  

Best standing sex positions

1. The Stand Off

The bendover up against the wall sex position illustration

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

The stand off is the perfect standing position for when you're feeling frisky and in a tight spot, says Annabelle Knight, a sex expert with qualifications in couples counseling and psychosexual therapy. "It's ideal for those who want to start off slow and build up to penetration."

How to do it: "With one partner standing in the upright position and placing their hand out to a wall or a piece of furniture to support their weight, the other partner can come in from behind," she explains. "Holding onto their lover's waist, they can be guided in with each thrust."

Why it's great: If you're a fan of the best oral sex positions, the stand off move is a good one to start with. "It's great for a spot of foreplay prior to full penetration, and although you're not eye-to-eye, it's quite an intimate position as you're very much led by your bodies," says Knight, who works with Lovehoney.

2. The Butter Churner

Illustration of the butter churner sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

 The butter churner sex position is a famous one among standing moves, perhaps down to its reputation for being a little difficult. It's certainly not for the faint-hearted but if you're up for a challenge, it could be for you.

How to do it: "If you're the bottom partner, lie on your back and raise your legs. Your partner stands between your legs, allowing for deep penetration," explains sex and relationship psychologist Jo Hemmings. Be sure to watch out for your / your partner's neck during this move, as moving too vigorously can put extra pressure on the bottom partner's neck and spine. 

Why it's great: For those who enjoy deep penetrative sex, the butter churner is up there with the best ones since the higher angle of the penetrating partner offers a downward motion toward the cervix, leveling up the intensity. Also, height difference isn't so much of an issue from this angle. 

3. The Knees Up

The knees up sex position, one of the best standing sex positions

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

Want to try something really new and different? "The knees up sex position is the ideal move for those who are flexible and have strong stamina," says Knight.

How to do it: "The receiving partner sits on a chair and the penetrating partner lowers themselves down in front of them. With the receiving partner placing their legs on their partner's shoulders and wrapping their arms around them in a tight embrace, the giving partner holds the receiving one tightly and stands up."

Why it's great: For those who can make this position work, it's amazing at "providing deep and satisfying penetration to the G-spot," she says. "Combined with eye contact, you'll be sure to have a great time."

Equally, if you're worried about height difference being an issue during standing sex, the penetrating partner can lower or lift their partner to the desired height. 

4. The Butterfly

Butterfly sex position illustration, one of the best standing sex positions

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

The butterfly sex position is another favorite. While only one partner is standing in their move, we still consider it to be one of the best standing sex positions. 

How to do it: The partner receiving lies on their back on a table or another flat surface with their legs up against their partner's chest and shoulders. The other stands between their legs and uses the support of the table or their partner's hips to guide themselves in. 

Why it's great: It's similar to the knees up in many ways, offering the penetrating partner an elevated position to control the thrusting as they wish. However, there's no lifting required here. The penetrating partner also gets an amazing view of their partner from above. 

5. Against the Wall

An illustration of standing sex against the wall

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

Against the wall (otherwise known as the clasp sex position) is probably the sex position you'd think of first when considering standing sex. It's simple and easy to do, feels great, and is the go-to for spontaneous sex. 

How to do it: "Stand with your back against a smooth wall. It'll hurt if you stand against something textured. Your partner lifts your legs and supports you against the wall," explains Hemmings. 

Or if that feels a bit athletic, she says, "This also works on a kitchen countertop or a dining table." To do it this way, follow the set-up for the butterfly sex position above but stay sitting rather than lying down across the surface. 

Why it's great: Whether in the kitchen or the bedroom, planned out or in the spur of the moment, doing it against the wall can be so hot. Partners are intensely face-to-face and it feels impulsive, says Hemmings, "but it gives a sense of stability and allows for deep penetration, while [allowing the penetrating partner] to control the depth and angle of penetration."

6. The Ballet Dancer

Illustration of the ballet dancer sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

Want to keep things even more simple than going against the wall? Try the ballet dancer sex position. It's as graceful as it sounds and pretty much anyone can do it. 

How to do it: With the receiving partner standing against a smooth wall, the other partner stands in the middle of their legs, lifting one up slightly if needed to enter. The partner against the wall can steady themselves if needed by wrapping their arms around the back of their partner's neck or lower back. It should be slow and intimate, with plenty of kissing and eye contact.

Why it's great: The ballet dancer offers partners the chance to stimulate other erogenous zones like the nipples, inner thighs, neck, and behind the ears for a full-blown sensory experience. Also, unlike many of the other standing sex positions on this list, the person being penetrated is in control as they can open or close their legs as much as feels comfortable.

There's a time and place for adventurous moves like the butter churner and helicopter sex position. But perhaps more often than not, slow and sensual sex wins out when it comes to sexual satisfaction. 

7. The Babe Bendover

The babe bendover sex position illustration

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

If you love doggy style, this is the best standing sex position for you. "It's a position that maximizes pleasure for both partners," explains Knight, since this one focuses on the G-spot, while allowing room for a little extra stimulation with one of the best sex toys, if needed. 

How to do it: "The receiver stands with their back to their partner, who penetrates them. The giver holds their partner's hips while the receiver leans forward onto their hands, putting their legs behind their partner's."

Why it's great: For those who want to explore a little domination as a way to spice things up in the bedroom, this is a winner. "The giver is in complete control of the angle, penetration, and pace," she explains. But to make things even hotter, "have a mirror in front of you so you can both see the action."

Benefits of standing sex 

1. Intimate connection

Even though many of the best standing sex positions require couples to stand facing away from each other, the variations that allow face-to-face interaction are ideal for helping to re-foster or establish an intimate connection. 

"Standing facing each other while embracing and maintaining eye contact allows for deep kissing and intimate connection," says Hemmings. "If there is a significant height difference, your partner can adjust their position slightly during penetration to make it more comfortable for the both of you."

2. Something new in the bedroom

Standing sex isn't exactly missionary. It's not the 'norm' when it comes to sex, says Knight, which can really help to take things up a notch in the bedroom and add some spice into your relationship

"Upright sex positions can help to increase the levels of intimacy and the experience in general," she adds. "They also often provide much deeper levels of penetration and many find the variety of standing positions and angles enjoyable to experiment with."

3. Works in a small space

The main benefit of standing sex is that it can really be done anywhere, anytime, provided you have a dash of lube on hand. 

"Standing sex positions are also great if you’re in a tight or small space, or for spontaneous moments of pleasure," explains Knight. "They do often require a higher level of physicality, which for some can increase arousal and get the heart racing with adrenaline, adding another layer to the level of enjoyment." 

How to improve standing sex 

  • Use plenty of lube: “As standing penetrative sex can be quite deep, it is important to avoid friction and be as slippery as possible," says Hemmings, who also works with Knect, a water-based lubricant brand. "It’s important when standing to feel as comfortable as possible and so it’s a good idea to use lube."
  • Make adjustments where needed: The great thing about the best standing sex positions is that they can all be adjusted where needed. For example, a good alternative to many is the face off sex position, equally as sensual - but seated.
  • Move it into the shower: Sex in the shower can really make sparks fly. If you're looking for another way to level standing sex up, take it into the shower, making sure you've both got a firm footing or something (vaguely dry) to rest against. Avoid other areas of the bathroom though, like resting against the sink. These are prone to cracking under even the slightest body weight. 
  • Don't take it too seriously: Sex is supposed to be fun after all. Standing sex is by no means the easiest angle to take so if it goes wrong, someone slips up, or you can't quite do it, just change things up and laugh about it together. 
Grace Walsh
Health Channel Editor

Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. She is also a qualified fitness instructor. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. 

A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more.