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Shapes 'n' sizes: sex positions for all

We’d like to respond to the messages you’ve sent describing issues you’ve faced with some sex positions due to physical differences both between you and your partner and between the two of you and the couples you’ve seen in the Lovers’ Guide programmes.

To start with, we’d like to say this: Let’s celebrate difference! We humans certainly do come in all different shapes and sizes – and what a boring world it would be if that weren’t the case. Some of these differences - height, for example, or penis size - are differences we’re born with and, even were we to want to, can’t do a whole lot about. (Indeed, it’s usually damaging to want to try.) Other differences - most obviously weight – can be largely the results of choices we make.

There’s that old saying about recognising the things we can’t change, those we can and having the wisdom to know which is which. But this isn’t about change. Let’s assume that, choice-wise, you have exactly the body you want. After all, why wouldn’t you?

Acceptance, celebration, compromise, choice

Acceptance and celebration are the key words when it comes to fitting two different bodies together in the best and most pleasurable ways possible. There’ll be compromise too: if the woman is relatively tall, for example, and the man relatively short, then face-to-face communication may well be inhibited in the missionary sex positions, while standing sex might be a non-starter. If the man has a particularly small penis, his partner may want him to use the deeper sex positions to maximise sensation for her. These are valid outcomes of the bodies we live in. It’s a case of loving our partners and ourselves for who we are and adjusting accordingly.

Where there are physical attributes we can do something about, and they are posing problems, then we do, of course, have the choice, either to put up with and work around the problems or to deal with the root cause and change the choices we make, day to day, about who we want to be and how we want our bodies to be.

Of these chosen differences, body fat and obesity are probably most common. Being a bit on the cuddly side shouldn’t raise too many issues. If either partner, though, is truly obese, then many sex positions, the missionary position included, may well prove difficult – the bodies simply might not fit together very well. We won’t lecture you about weight here, just to say that the day-to-day issues posed by obesity don’t magically stop at the bedroom door. You may love carrying a lot of weight; you may hate it; you may be entirely indifferent to it. It’s your body; it’s your choice.

Try this

To sum up a few ideas here, intended to help lose any anxiety about our bodies when it comes to having sex specifically, our bodies when we are having sex are the very same bodies we carry round and live in each day. We don’t magically change our bodies when we start to have sex, pleasant though it might be to imagine sex as a special place where we all transform into magazine-perfect figures.

We hope you’re happy with your body and that your partner is happy with his or hers, and you both are with each other’s. If that’s the case, then you’ll be able to explore those positions that appeal most to you and tune them to get things just right for you.

Here’s something you could have lots of fun trying: pick an evening to practise as many sex positions as you wish with your clothes on (yes, clothes ON!). This way – try it with the Lovers’ Guide Sexual Positions DVD playing – you can rattle through a whole host of positions without worrying about making mistakes or spoiling the sexy mood. You can feel free to giggle when the wheelbarrow goes wrong, not mind if the dog gets excited and wants to join in when standing sex results in your collapsing. Do bother to take note of positions that might just work in practice – and have a pretty good fun time all the while.

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