Sex is supposed to relieve tension and anxiety, not cause it. But a recent survey found that certain positions actually do stress people out—and they’re not necessarily the moves that you would expect.
The survey was conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor, a London-based telemedicine company. One thousand people from the United States and Europe, all of whom were in relationships, were asked questions about their emotional comfort level with specific sexual scenarios and positions.
So what came in at the number one they were “least comfortable” doing? Standing 69, a move that only the fit and flexy should attempt. It involves a man holding a woman upside down while she crosses her legs around his neck for support, and then they give each other oral sex. Almost 43% of men surveyed put it at the top of their least-comfortable list, and 57% of women did the same.
The second most stressful sex position was anal sex. Though this sex style has become more mainstream in recent years, it still poses some risks, which is why we get the apprehension. Anal sex can result in anal tearing if the receptive partner is not relaxed or isn’t using enough lubricant. That tearing can make it easier to contract STDs like rectal gonorrhea, anal chlamydia, and HIV. Are you stress-sweating yet?
The “kneeling wheelbarrow” came in third; this move is a spin on missionary, with the man kneeling and facing his partner while she positions her pelvis against his and the backs of her thighs aligned with his torso, knees on his shoulders. Masturbation and 69 while lying down came in fourth and fifth respectively. We’re a little puzzled as to why masturbation made the list, since solo sex doesn’t just feel good, it qualifies as self-care.
So no judgment on our part; if any of these are among your favorite moves, more power to you. But if the thought of trying a standing 69 makes your heart skip a beat (and not in the good way), there are lots of other ways to bliss out yourself and your partner. After all, sex should be about enjoying time as a couple and feeling pleasure, not having a panic attack.