8 Sex Positions That Can Reduce Stress

Couple playing in bed

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Sex has many benefits, and one of the most surprising ones is stress relief—and there may be some positions that can relieve stress more effectively than others. During sex, your body releases a cocktail of feel-good hormones that not only make sex pleasurable but can also help to reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.

In a 2012 study, researchers found that sex can relieve stress for both men and women. What’s even more interesting is that particular positions during sex work better than others in helping to reduce stress.

Having sex in any position that maximizes both your pleasures is a great way to use sex as a stress reliever. With that said, here are some sex positions that can help reduce your stress.

Missionary 

Good ol' missionary is excellent for reducing stress because it’s a position most people are familiar with and comfortable with. When you are at your most relaxed, you are more likely to enjoy sex. And when you are enjoying sex, you are more likely to have an orgasm, which releases hormones that can help with stress. 

Standing Up 

Standing during sex might seem uncomfortable in theory, but can be an excellent position for stress relief. This is because you are likely to work up a sweat in this position, which is great to reduce stress.

It might take a couple of tries for you and your partner to find a position that works for you, but it’s worth it.

Tip: It might help for the person who’s being penetrated to be bent over a piece of furniture or leaned against a wall or door. 

Doggy-style 

The person on the receiving end of penetration during doggy-style might experience stress relief as a result of relinquishing control during sex. One cause of stress is being overwhelmed with life and feeling like you are juggling too many things at once. Not having to think too much about who’s in control can ease some of that pressure during sex. 

Spooning

Spooning is one of the most intimate positions you could find yourself in during sex. When spooning, you’ll be held as close to your partner as possible.

Just doing this, even without penetrative sex, can feel very relaxing and comforting. Spooning is also a relatively low-effort position that many people can easily do. 

Coital Alignment 

This is a variation of the missionary position. With coital alignment, however, the person being penetrated keeps their legs only slightly apart. If either partner has a clitoris, this position provides great access to the clitoris for additional stimulation. 

Flat Doggy 

This variation of the doggy-style position has you lying on your front instead of being on all fours. Some people find this a little more comfortable than the doggy-style position. You also have the added benefit of having more skin-to-skin contact with your partner. It can be a very intimate and sensual position which increases its potential for stress relief. 

Yab-Yum 

The Yab-Yum is a popular tantric style sex position. This position allows for partners to have intimate access to each other’s sensual spots. With the Yab-Yum, you sit facing your partner and wrap your legs around their lower back. This allows them to thrust upwards into you while maintaining eye contact, which increases intimacy.

An essential component of Yab-Yum, as is with tantric sex positions, is to slow things down and enjoy each stroke while staring into your partner’s eyes.

Get On Top 

In the same way, relinquishing control with doggy-style or flat doggy-style could help ease your stress; taking control of your pleasure could have the same. This is especially so if you’ve been feeling a little like you don’t have a lot of control over other aspects of your life.

Being on top helps you to control the pace and when and how your orgasm occurs. Not to mention that it could also help you work up a sweat, and it’s common knowledge that exercise is a great way to reduce stress.

Reminder: Get Comfortable

While the positions in this article are a great place to start when using sex as a stress reliever, the most important way to use sex for stress relief is to ensure that you and your partner are at your most comfortable and enjoying the sex. In order to do this, you can:

  • Start by ensuring foreplay is sufficient
  • Make sure you are both aroused
  • Ensure that all parties have given consent
  • Set the mood (you can light candles or play music)

However, if you are not in the mood for sex or are too stressed even to enjoy sex, it may be time to look into eliminating stressors from your life. 

A Word From Verywell

Although sex can help reduce stress, it’s important to look into other stress management techniques as stress could inevitably affect your sex drive because high levels of daily stress could reduce the frequency of sexual activity and decrease sexual satisfaction.

If you need additional support or want to learn other ways sex can help relieve your stress, reach out to a sex therapist.

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3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Jackson EM. Stress relief: the role of exercise in stress management. ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal. 2013;17(3):14-19.

  3. Bodenmann G, Atkins DC, Schär M, Poffet V. The association between daily stress and sexual activity. Journal of Family Psychology. 2010;24(3):271-279.