Most Popular & Common Sexual Positions Worldwide [2022 Data]

In this article, we’ve reviewed ALL interesting data and found the most common sexual positions. All broken down by gender, sexual orientation, and more. Read on:

common sexual positions

Ever wanted to spice up your sex life and change things up in the bedroom?

Well, you’re not alone.

Almost every American couple has experimented with different sex positions at one time or another.

In this article, we’ve reviewed all the data and found out which sex positions are most popular, which are most fantasized about, and which are the worst – all broken down by gender, sexual orientation, and more.

Let’s dive in: 

Top Common Sexual Positions Statistics You Should Know:

  • Reverse Cowgirl/boy was the top searched sex position in America Based on Google Trends.
  • “Research shows that couples who can communicate openly about sex have better sex than those who don’t,” says Isiah McKimmie.
  • Couples with 3-5 positions have sex 2.5 times per week, compared to just once per week for couples with only one position.
  • 75.3% of men say they’re the ones who want to try a new sex position.
  • 41.7% of women say they’re the ones who want to try a new sex position.
  • On average, Americans use 2.5 sex positions during each session.
  • Only 6% of couples use 5 or more positions in a session.
  • 19% of wives say their spouse tells them how to move.
  • 35.1% of people say Doggy Style is their favorite sex position.
  • Women said Missionary was the sex position where they achieve the orgasm most.
  • 40% of Gay Americans prefer to top.
  • 59% of married people say they are happy with the quality of sex in their marriage. 41% say they’re unhappy with the sex they’re having while married.
  •  42.7% of men and 56.8% of women said 69 Standing was the most uncomfortable sex position.

Most Searched Sex Position In America

The most common sex positions change frequently over the years and can vary in different states throughout the U.S. Here’s what data has shown the most common sex positions in America and in each state are:

The top searched sex position in America Based on Google Trends (from highest to lowest:) (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1

  • Reverse Cowgirl/boy
  • Doggy-style
  • Missionary
  • Cowgirl/boy
  • Queening (face-sitting)
  • Lotus
  • Eating Out (cunnilingus)
  • Spooning
  • Rim Job (analingus)
  • 69
  • Lap Dance (chair)
  • Mutual Masturbation
  • Blow Job (fellatio)
  • Butterfly
  • Bumper Cars
  • Valedictorian
  • Cliff Diver
  • Scissoring
  • Mermaid
  • Pretzel
  • Wheelbarrow

The most popular sex positions in every US state: (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1

  • Alabama: Doggy-style
  • Alaska: Missionary
  • Arizona: Rim Job (analingus)
  • Arkansas: Reverse Cowgirl
  • California: Cliff Diver
  • Colorado: Rim Job (analingus)
  • Connecticut: Doggy-style
  • District of Columbia: Queening (face-sitting)
  • Delaware: Reverse Cowgirl
  • Florida: Butterfly
  • Georgia: Missionary
  • Hawaii: Eating Out (cunnilingus)
  • Idaho: Reverse Cowgirl
  • Illinois: Mutual Masturbation
  • Indiana: Reverse Cowgirl
  • Iowa: Queening (face-sitting)
  • Kansas: Missionary
  • Kentucky: Reverse Cowgirl
  • Louisiana: Cowgirl
  • Maine: Eating Out (cunnilingus)
  • Maryland: Lotus
  • Massachusetts: Mermaid
  • Michigan: Mermaid
  • Minnesota: Rim Job (analingus)
  • Mississippi: Scissoring
  • Missouri: Reverse Cowgirl
  • Montana: Blow Job (fellatio)
  • Nebraska: Cowgirl
  • Nevada: Queening (face-sitting)
  • New Hampshire: Queening (face-sitting)
  • New Jersey: Bumper Cars
  • New Mexico: Doggy-style
  • New York: Wheelbarrow
  • North Carolina: Butterfly
  • North Dakota: Doggy-style
  • Ohio: Valedictorian
  • Oklahoma: Doggy-style
  • Oregon: Lap Dance (Chair)
  • Pennsylvania: 69
  • Rhode Island: Bumper Cars
  • South Carolina: Lap Dance (Chair)
  • South Dakota: Doggy-style
  • Tennessee: Reverse Cowboy
  • Texas: Pretzel
  • Utah: Eating Out (cunnilingus)
  • Vermont: Spooning
  • Virginia: Cowgirl
  • Washington: Cowboy
  • West Virginia: Reverse Cowgirl
  • Wisconsin: Cowgirl
  • Wyoming: Missionary

Why Is It Important To Try New Sexual Positions?

Trying new sex positions isn’t just for fun – it can also help build your relationship with your partner, according to these specialists:

  • New sex positions can create better experiences and improve your orgasms: (Women’s Health Mag, 2021)2
    • When you try new and different sex positions, “you set yourself up for a more stimulating experience and bigger finish,” according to Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex therapist in L.A.
  • Communicating with your partner about sex positions you want can lead to better sex: (Woman’s Day, 2021)3
    • “Research shows that couples who can communicate openly about sex have better sex than those who don’t,” says Isiah McKimmie, couples therapist, sexologist, and coach.
  • Changing it up can lead to having more sex: (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • Couples who continue to use one sex position have sex just over once per week.
    • Couples with two sex positions have sex almost twice per week.
    • Couples with 3-5 positions have sex 2.5 times per week, compared to just once per week for couples with only one position.

How Often Do Couples Try New Sex Positions?

If sex is better and happens more often when couples try more positions, then how often do they branch out? Here’s what studies have found:

  • 87% of people say their relationship is “slightly” to “moderately” sexually adventurous. (Superdrug, 2020)5
  • 9% said they aren’t at all adventurous in bed. (Superdrug, 2020)5
  • When asked how anxious Americans and Europeans would be when trying sex positions for the first time: (Superdrug, 2020)5
    • 6.7% of male Americans said they would be anxious. 
    • 5.2% of female Americans would feel anxious.
    • 8.6% of European men said they would be anxious. 
    • 11.0% of European women would feel anxious.
  • How often do Americans try new sex positions with a partner? (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1
    • Never: 2.8%
    • Rarely: 24.4%
    • Sometimes: 40.1%
    • Often: 20.2%
    • Always: 12.6%
  • When asked who usually wants to try the new sex position (with responses from the UK and US): (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • 75.3% of men say they’re the ones who want to try a new sex position.
    • 24.7% of men say that their partner introduces the idea of trying a new sex position.
    • 41.7% of women say they’re the ones who want to try a new sex position.
    • 58.3% of women say that their partner introduces the idea of trying a new sex position.

  • When asked about where they learned about new sex positions, the top responses were: (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • From Porn:
      • Male: 53.8%
      • Female: 19.0%
    • Online (But not Porn):
      • Male: 21.9%
      • Female: 30.0%
    • From a Partner:
      • Male: 16.4%
      • Female: 42.2%
    • From Movies or TV shows:
      • Male: 7.9%
      • Female: 8.8%
  • People’s biggest fears when trying a new sex position: (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • Male
      • “I will hurt my partner”: 37.5%
      • “I’m not flexible enough”: 23.9%
      • “I will hurt myself”: 8.5%
      • “I will seem inexperienced”: 21.2%
      • “I’m too heavy/big”: 8.9%
    • Female
      • “I will hurt my partner”: 9.1%
      • “I’m not flexible enough”: 31.9%
      • “I will hurt myself”: 23.5%
      • “I will seem inexperienced”: 14.7%
      • “I’m too heavy/big”: 20.9%

How Many Sex Positions Do Most People Use In One Session?

People generally like to change it up during sex, according to these studies:

  • On average, Americans use 2.5 sex positions during each session. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • Men say they use 2.3 sex positions per session, and women say 2.8 sex positions per session. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • How many different positions do couples use during a sex session? (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • 45% of couples use 2 positions during a sex session.
    • 24% of couples use 3 positions.
    • 17% of couples use 1 position.
    • Only 6% of couples use 5 or more positions in a session.

  • How do people generally transition between sexual positions and/or activities during sex? (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • 30%: Discuss it (“do you want to try/switch to …”).
    • 11%: I move how I want to be, and my spouse follows.
    • 7%: I move my spouse where I want them to be.
    • 7%: I tell my spouse what to do.
    • 10%: My spouse tells me what to do.
    • 10%: We don’t change positions and/or activities.
    • 9%: Without conversation (we always do the same thing).
    • 18%: Without conversation (we just know what we want to do).

  • How do husbands transition between sexual positions and/or activities during sex? (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • 13% of husbands say they don’t change positions or activities during sex; they stick with what they started with.
    • 12% of husbands move how they want, and their spouse follows.
    • 10% of husbands tell their wives what to do next.
    • 9% of husbands physically move their wives how they want them to be.
    • 8% of husbands say they follow the same script.
    • Only 5% of husbands take the lead from their wives.

  • How do wives transition between sexual positions and/or activities during sex? (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • 19% of wives say their spouse tells them how to move.
    • 10% of wives say they follow the same script for every session.
    • 10% of wives move how they want and let their husbands follow.
    • Only 2% of women say they don’t change positions.
    • Less than 4% of wives physically move their spouse or tell them where to move.

People’s Favorite Sex Positions

Some people have a ‘go-to’ position when having sex, and others like to change it up frequently. When asked what their favorite sex position was, here’s what people said:

  • People’s favorite sex positions: (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • 35.1%: Doggy Style
    • 22.5%: Missionary
    • 19.4%: Cowgirl
    • 4.3%: Holding Legs Up
    • 4.3%: 69
    • 4.1%: Spooning
    • 3.9%: Reverse Cowgirl
    • 3.2%: Oral
    • 2.1%: Anal
    • 1.2%: Tabletop

  • Most popular sex positions among Europeans and Americans by gender: (Superdrug, 2020)5
    • Male
      • 68.4%: 69
      • 74.0%: 69 Standing
      • 87.9%: Anal
      • 38.5%: Cowgirl
      • 61.7%: Doggy Style
      • 64.4%: Kneeling Wheelbarrow
      • 63.7%: Mutual Masturbation
      • 33.3%: Missionary
      • 79.6%: Oral
      • 51.6%: Reverse Cowgirl
      • 38.5%: Spooning
      • 68.9%: Sex Standing
      • 53.1%: Tabletop
      • 52.8%: Legs Up
    • Female
      • 31.6%: 69
      • 26.3%: 69 Standing
      • 12.1%: Anal
      • 61.5%: Cowgirl
      • 38.6%: Doggy Style
      • 35.6%: Kneeling Wheelbarrow
      • 36.3%: Mutual Masturbation
      • 66.7%: Missionary
      • 20.4%: Oral
      • 48.4%: Reverse Cowgirl
      • 61.5%: Spooning
      • 31.1%: Sex Standing
      • 47.1%: Tabletop
      • 47.5%: Legs Up

  • People use their favorite sex position an average of 60% of the time. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • 3% of people never use their favorite sex position. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • Only 10% of people use their favorite sex position every time. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • People’s favorite sex positions by country: (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • The United Kingdom: Doggy Style
    • France: Doggy Style
    • Spain: Doggy Style
    • Germany: Doggy Style
    • Austria: Doggy Style
    • Romania: Doggy Style
    • Portugal: Holding Legs Up
    • Hungary: Holding Legs Up
    • Italy: Cowgirl
    • Switzerland: Cowgirl
    • Belgium: Cowgirl
    • Poland: Spooning
    • The Netherlands: Missionary
    • The United States: Doggy Style

Want to learn more about the best sex position? Check out our guide here!


Favorite Sex Positions For Each Gender

Men and women have surprisingly similar opinions on what the best sex position is. Most agree that doggy style is their favorite – but women tend to like missionary more than men do. Here’s what the stats say:

  • About 57% of the time men enjoy woman-on-top positions (ex: cowgirl), rear-entry positions (ex: doggy style), and man-on-top positions (ex: missionary) most often. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • 64% of the time, women enjoy missionary positions, woman-on-top positions (ex: cowgirl), and rear entry positions (ex: doggy style). (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • Favorite sex positions by gender: (ZAVA, 2022)6
  • Male
    • Doggy Style
    • Cowgirl
    • Missionary
    • Reverse Cowgirl
    • 69
    • Spooning
    • Oral
    • Holding Legs Up
    • Anal
    • Tabletop
  • Men said Doggy-style was the sex position where they achieve orgasms most. (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1
  • Female
    • Doggy Style
    • Missionary
    • Cowgirl
    • Holding Legs Up
    • Spooning
    • 69
    • Oral
    • Reverse Cowgirl
    • Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • Tabletop
  • Women said Missionary was the sex position where they achieve orgasms most. (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1

Favorite Sex Positions And Preferences By Their Sexual Orientation

Different sexual orientations often prefer different sex positions, according to these studies:

American’s top 5 favorite sex positions by sexual orientation: (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1

  • Gay/Lesbian
    • Lotus: 22%
    • Doggy-style: 16%
    • Cowboy/Cowgirl: 13%
    • Bodyguard: 11%
    • Flatiron: 9%

  • Bisexual
    • Missionary: 21%
    • Doggy-style: 20%
    • Cowboy/Cowgirl: 13%
    • Spooning: 10%
    • Bodyguard: 7%
    • Butterfly: 7%

  • Straight
    • Doggy-style: 26%
    • Missionary: 21%
    • Cowboy/Cowgirl: 19%
    • Reverse Cowboy/Cowgirl: 7%
    • Butterfly: 5%

People’s favorite sex positions by sexual orientation (Including both U.K. and U.S. participants): (ZAVA, 2022)6

  • Straight
    • Doggy Style
    • Missionary
    • Cowgirl
    • Reverse Cowgirl
    • Holding Legs Up

  • Bisexual
    • Doggy Style
    • Cowgirl
    • Missionary
    • Holding Legs Up
    • Anal

  • Gay
    • Doggy Style
    • Missionary
    • 69
    • Oral
    • Anal
  • Gay Americans’ sex preferences: (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1
    • 40% of Gay Americans prefer to top.
    • 37% of Gay Americans prefer to bottom.
    • 23% of Gay Americans like doing both top and bottom.

Sex Positions That Most People Want To Try

Even for adventurous couples, there may be a few positions they’ve never tried before – but want to. Here are the most common sex positions people want to try when experimenting in bed:

  • The Lotus sex position was the position that most people wanted to try in one study. (Bespoke Surgical, 2021)1
  • Top sex positions that most people want to try: (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • 19.9%: Tabletop
    • 16.1%: 69 Standing Up
    • 13.4%: Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • 12.1%: Anal
    • 9.0%: Reverse Cowgirl
    • 8.7%: Standing
    • 6.4%: Doggy Style
    • 5.3%: 69
    • 5.0%: Holding Legs Up
    • 4.2%: Spooning

Sex positions that most people want to try by gender: (ZAVA, 2022)6

  • Male
    • 69 Standing Up
    • Anal
    • Tabletop
    • Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • Reverse Cowgirl
    • Standing
    • Doggy Style
    • 69
    • Holding Legs Up
    • Spooning

  • Female
    • Tabletop
    • Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • 69 Standing Up
    • Standing
    • Reverse Cowgirl
    • Holding Legs Up
    • Doggy Style
    • 69
    • Missionary
    • Spooning

Sex positions that most people want to try by sexual orientation: (ZAVA, 2022)6

  • Straight
    • Tabletop
    • 69 Standing Up
    • Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • Anal
    • Reverse Cowgirl

  • Bisexual
    • Tabletop
    • 69 Standing Up
    • Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • Standing
    • Reverse Cowgirl

  • Gay
    • 69 Standing Up
    • Tabletop
    • Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • Reverse Cowgirl
    • Standing

  • Sex positions that most people want to try by country: (ZAVA, 2022)6
    • The United Kingdom: Tabletop
    • France: Standing
    • Spain: 69 Standing Up
    • Germany: Tabletop
    • Austria: Anal
    • Romania: Holding Legs Up
    • Portugal: Tabletop
    • Hungary: Reverse Cowgirl
    • Italy: Tabletop
    • Switzerland: Anal
    • Belgium: Kneeling Wheelbarrow
    • Poland: 69
    • the Netherlands: 69 Standing Up
    • The United States: Tabletop

Do Married Couples Also Have A Variety Of Sex Positions?

Most married couples seem to stick to just a couple of positions in the bedroom, according to these stats:

  • 59% of married people say they are happy with the quality of sex in their marriage. 41% say they’re unhappy with the sex they’re having while married. (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
  • Married people’s favorite sex position for “regular” sex: (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • 28%: “Standard” man on top (missionary position)
    • 28%: “Standard” woman on top
    • 9%: Man on top
    • 6%: Rear entry
    • 6%: Woman on top
    • 25%: Rear entry (doggie style)
  • Most preferred sex positions among wives: (Uncovering Intimacy, 2015)4
    • 35%: Missionary
    • 23%: Rear entry (doggy style)
    • 22%: Woman on top

(Note: Data for husbands was unavailable)

Looking for sex studies about marriage? Head over to our article here.


People’s Least Favorite Sex Positions

We’ve covered the favorites and fantasies, but what about the flops? Here are the top sex positions that people have tried and weren’t fans of:

  • When Americans and Europeans were asked about the least comfortable sex positions: (Superdrug, 2020)5
    • Men: 
      • 42.7%: 69 Standing
      • 30.5%: Anal
      • 18.6%: Kneeling Wheelbarrow
      • 8.0%: 69
      • 7.0%: Sex Standing
      • 4.8%: Reverse Cowgirl
      • 4.2%: Oral
      • 4.0%: Tabletop
      • 3.6%: Legs Up
      • 3.0%: Spooning
      • 2.1%: Cowgirl
      • 1.5%: Doggy Style
      • 0.8%: Missionary
    • Women: 
      • 56.8%: 69 Standing
      • 54.6%: Anal
      • 24.8%: Kneeling Wheelbarrow
      • 16.6%: Sex Standing
      • 14.7%: 69
      • 9.6%: Reverse Cowgirl
      • 6.9%: Oral
      • 7.1%: Tabletop
      • 6.3%: Legs Up
      • 3.4%: Spooning 
      • 3.3%: Cowgirl
      • 3.8%: Doggy Style
      • 1.0%: Missionary

So despite 69 standing being one of the most popular fantasies, it’s also the least enjoyed. Maybe just stick to the usual with that one!


Conclusion

Men and women, gay or straight, everybody has different ways of enjoying themselves in the bedroom. And while it might be scary, studies have shown that experimenting while getting busy can improve your sex life immensely, so have at it!

For more sex studies and statistics, consider checking out our guide here.

Footnotes

  1. Bespoke Surgical, 2021. A survey of 1,000 Americans.
  2. Women’s Health Mag, 2021. An article on sex positions, the hows, and the whys.
  3. Woman’s Day, 2021. An article on the best sex positions that every woman should know.
  4. Uncovering Intimacy, 2015. A survey of 527 respondents.
  5. Superdrug, 2020. A survey of 1,000 Europeans and Americans.
  6. ZAVA, 2022. A survey of 2,000 people from the U.K and the U.S.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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