What is the bow and arrow sex position? Expert reveals how this missionary variation can spice things up

The bow and arrow sex position, sometimes called Cupid's arrow, is a great variation on missionary sex

Couple in bed together laughing and smiling, representing the bow and arrow sex position
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The bow and arrow sex position, also called Cupid's arrow, is a take on missionary you may not have tried before.

For those who like to mix things up in the bedroom, it may be a winner. This move is an interesting mixture of cowgirl and missionary, offering the benefits of both positions.

If you're looking to try something new, the bow and arrow sex position is worth a try. Some people even believe it's one of the best sex positions around, thanks to its comfortability and ease. Here, woman&home speaks to a sex expert to reveal all the details. 

What is the bow and arrow sex position?

In simplest terms, it's the missionary position but with the roles reversed so the penetrating partner is on the bottom, lying on their back, instead of on top, says Tera Masters, an expert in women's sexual pleasure and MD at sextoys.co.uk. "Apart from that, it's exactly the same. With a bit of assistance, the receiving partner slides down and thrusts, grinding their hips up and down dictating the pace and rhythm."

It's very similar to other missionary sex positions out there - including Cupid's Arrow and the Kama Sutra's Butterflies in Flight position as well. "It is a time-tested technique that offers pleasure and intimacy to both partners simultaneously."

Illustration of the bow and arrow sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

For those looking to learn how to spice things up in the bedroom, it could be a real winner. "There’s an element of role reversal and inverted power dynamics at play here, if you want," Masters adds. "It can also just be a very mellow, laid-back position for lots of good communication and playfulness."

Benefits of the bow and arrow sex position 

1. Communication

Famously, sex only gets better the more you talk about it, and this position is ideal for just that.

"This position puts you face to face for lots of eye contact and a choice between intimate sweet nothings or outrageous dirty talk," says Masters. 

2. The bow and arrow is a comfortable sex position

Looking for one of the best sex positions after menopause? The best sex positions for lower back pain? This one has you covered. "No achy joints or sore muscles from sexual gymnastics [with the bow and arrow sex position]," says Masters. 

"You can both lie back and take your time. That makes the bow and arrow great for people with limited mobility."

3. Mutual pleasure

This position allows very close control of the sensations, helping you both delay or speed up orgasm at will, says Masters. "Not that an orgasm should be the destination for good sex, but if you're experimenting with simultaneous climaxes, this position is a good place to start."

How to make the bow and arrow sex position even better

Naturally, if you want to improve stimulation in this position - whether you're not quite getting enough clitoral contact or your partner needs a break - you can use your best vibrator

"A couple's vibrator or a vibrating penis ring is best," says Masters. "These will encourage experimentation and intensify all the sensations of sex."

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.