What is the flatiron sex position and can it really help you burn calories?

The flatiron sex position is ideal for a bedroom workout. Here, a sexologist explains how to do it right

Woman and man representing flatiron sex position, lying down on white bedsheets laughing and smiling together
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The flatiron sex position doesn't have anything to do with ironing, but there's definitely plenty of work involved. While you might be a little tired after trying this one out, we promise it's worth the effort. 

If missionary has you yawning and doggy has been done, then now's the time to try the flatiron sex position. It's a great combination of the two, allowing for deep penetration and possible dual stimulation while keeping things interesting. 

It's one of the best sex positions for those looking to get a little athletic in the bedroom too, as both partners will need to use stabilizing muscles to keep the tempo going. Here, a sexologist reveals everything you need to know about the flatiron sex position and how to do it right first time. 

What is the flatiron sex position?

The flatiron sex position is a sexy twist on doggy style, explains Massimo Stocchi-Fontana, an accredited sexologist, sex coach, and psychotherapist. "One partner lies flat down on their stomach while another straddles the back of their partner's thighs while penetrating from behind," he says. "The penetrating partner has the option of either having their legs on the outside of the receiving partner's legs on the inside." 

Much like the speed bump sex position, the only difference between the options is that penetration will be deeper with the top partner's legs on the inside of the bottom partner's and the top partner may have to work harder to balance, while penetration will be less intense and it will be easier to balance with the top partner's legs on the outside. 

Illustration of the flatiron sex position

(Image credit: H.Maddison)

The flatiron sex position targets the G-spot primarily so although the position is a great one for anyone, it works best if the person on the bottom has a vagina. This means that as well as being a great one for heterosexual couples, it's one of the best lesbian sex positions for couples to try with the help of a vibrator or sex toy if preferred. 

However, the flatiron has a particular reputation. Thanks to the specific angle that both top and bottom partners have to get into for the intense G-spot stimulation, it's a great cardio activity and ideal for anyone who wants to burn a few calories in the bedroom. 

Is the flatiron good for burning calories?

While no sex position is going to burn as many calories as a stint on the treadmill, the flatiron is one of the best positions for burning calories during sex. "It will be more difficult for the top partner to balance with their legs on the inside, as they will have to hold themselves up [by pressing down onto the bed]. This makes it an amazing upper-body workout for the top partner," says Stocchi-Fontana, as it targets the shoulders, chest, and core, similar to how a kneeling press-up would. 

While the bottom partner has to tilt their pelvis towards the person above them, engaging their core and stabilizing themselves using their upper back. Techniques like these are used in some of the best calorie-burning exercises more generally, like Pilates for weight loss or strength training - so we know it actually works.

"It's an amazing stretch for the lower back, resembling child's pose in yoga with a twist," he adds. "The twist is that there are many orgasms that come with this pose if it's done right."

Everyone burns calories at different rates based on factors like fitness level, age, and gender, but according to research by Université du Québec à Montréal, the average person burns 85 calories during sexual activity generally. With the additional pressures that come with the flatiron, the total burn is likely to be higher than this. 

What are the benefits of the flatiron sex position?

1. Varied intensity

The flatiron sex position isn't a one-pose movement - or it shouldn't be at least. "This position is magnificent for an interchange of stimulation for the bottom partner where they can have varied sensations coming from the varied depth of penetration when their partner is switching their leg positions over," says Stocchi-Fontana. 

To do this position justice, and only if the bottom partner is comfortable with a deeper intensity, the top partner can switch their legs from being on the outside to the inside multiple times throughout the session. "This positioning will allow the person on the bottom to regulate the pressure simply by opening and closing their legs," he says.

2. Clitoral stimulation

The dual stimulation of the G-spot and clitoris is entirely possible in the flatiron sex position via manual stimulation or with your best bullet vibrators, as the bottom partner's hips are elevated off the bed or other surface.

"Clitoral stimulation can either come from the partner behind, as there's room to move a hand under the pelvis, or the person on the bottom can pleasure themselves while being penetrated," the sexologist says. 

3. Ideal for smaller penis sizes

The flatiron is a great position for anyone concerned about penis size, he says. Whether your partner is less endowed or your pick of the best sex toys is a little on the smaller side, positioning the top partner's legs on the inside of the bottom partner's and the tilted pelvis positioning will enable deeper penetration. 

"So there's no reason to be anxious about not being able to pleasure your partner if performance issues are a concern," he assures. If this is something you're concerned about, then it's also worth trying the butterfly sex position, as this has similar advantages.

How to make the flat iron even better

If you're not up for a workout tonight, you can make the flatiron sex position easier. "If the top partner puts their legs on the outside, they can penetrate while resting on their partner's thighs," says sexologist Stocchi-Fontana, taking away the need to stabilize using upper-body strength. "Their hands can be repositioned to hold and caress the buttocks, and they have access to the clitoris from the front or back." 

The flatiron sex position allows for deep penetration, which can be uncomfortable if you don't have the right accessories. To ensure that it's an easy glide every time, be sure that you're using one of the best lubes and incorporate a pillow if necessary for additional support. "Place it under the pelvis of the bottom partner," he says. "This will alleviate any pelvic pressure or lower back pain ." 

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.