When you think about sex positions, tried-and-true ones like missionary and cowgirl likely come to mind. But there’s another lesser-known position that is capturing Americans’ interest these days.
According to Google Trends data analyzed by BedBible, a sex toy review platform, “the pretzel” was the most-searched sex position in 14 states including Louisiana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Nevada, Utah and West Virginia, among others.
So what is the pretzel, anyway? It’s when the person on the bottom lies on their side while the person on top kneels down, straddling their partner’s bottom leg and holding up the top leg while penetrating them. It’s easier than the name suggests, but this illustration might help you get a clearer idea of the position:
Sex therapist Nazanin Moali, host of the “Sexology” podcast, said the pretzel is a “relatively common position” — one many people may have tried but perhaps without knowing it had a name, she told HuffPost.
Sex educator Luna Matatas said that while she’s never heard it called “the pretzel,” she’s familiar with it and has even tried it herself.
“I’d say it’s not really well known as a go-to position, but for people who like to mix things up, this is probably in their repertoire of positions!” she told HuffPost.
You Might Want To Try The Pretzel If...
It’s a great position to experiment with if you enjoy missionary, but are looking to change things up a bit, Matatas said. For one, the pretzel can be a great option if you’re looking to enhance intimacy because it allows you to make eye contact with your partner. Not to mention it’s conducive to deep penetration because “the top can lift their partner’s top leg any which way to really get in deeper,” sex columnist Zachary Zane wrote for Men’s Health.
Plus, the position allows both partners to have at least one hand free, “which means you can add on sexy touch to your own or your partner’s body and even use a toy against the clitoris easily,” Matatas said.
The pretzel is also a good one to consider if you and your partner have a height differential or larger mid-sections, “but still want to thrust deeply and closely to your partner,” Matatas added
But You Might Want To Avoid It If...
The pretzel can be an uncomfortable position for folks who don’t like the feeling of deep penetration or struggle with certain kinds of pain.
For example, if the person on the bottom has hip pain, they may find it uncomfortable to lie on their side or have their leg held up this way, Matatas said, noting that lowering the top leg can relieve some of that discomfort.
According to Moali, the pretzel may not be the best choice if the person on top has back pain, “as they bear most of the work,” she said.
“Consequently, this position might be more enjoyable after warming up with a few other positions when the body is more aroused,” she added.
If You Want To Try, Here Are Some Pointers
Planning to give the pretzel a try? Consider attempting the position from both sides, “as some have reported experiencing more intense pleasure in one side rather than the other,” Moali said.
The person lying on their back can also adjust their posture to find what feels most comfortable for them.
For those who enjoy clitoral stimulation, focus more on a grinding pelvic motion rather than an in-and-out one, Moali suggested.
To add some more variation, you can try the pretzel on different furniture — such as the couch or a dining table, she said.
“The angles and softness or firmness of your immediate surrounding may offer novel sensations and experiences,” Moali said.