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.

Sure, by this point you may feel like you've done all the sex positions out there so what's the point of this one? Well, while the bow and arrow might be very similar to missionary sex, it's almost a mixture of cowgirl and missionary - offering the benefits of both positions in this one move. 

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 speak 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."

If you think the bow and arrow sex position sounds familiar, that's because it's very similar to other missionary sex positions out there - including Cupid's Arrow and the Kama Sutra's Butterflies in Flight position. "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. "If you’re not looking for that it can just be a very mellow, laid-back position that allows a lot of good communication and playfulness."

Benefits of the bow and arrow sex position 

1. Communication

The bow and arrow sex position has the potential to open up the lines of communication between you and your partner again. 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

While some sex positions are suited for one partner's pleasure more than the other, the bow and arrow sex position is ideal for the both of you. 

"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

"The cupid's arrow sex position can be enhanced with a couple's vibrator or a vibrating penis ring," says Masters. "These will encourage experimentation and intensify all the sensations of sex."

Grace Walsh
Health Editor

A digital health journalist with over six years of 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 as well. Everything from the best protein powder to dating apps, 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.