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How Many Times Should You Try a New Sex Position Before Calling It Quits?

If you love something, sometimes it’s best to let it go

While it’s tempting to believe that a new sex position will spice up your sex life, not all of them are worthwhile for everyone. Take the standing 69, for instance, which is arguably the least pleasurable—but most acrobatic—sex position of all time.

While it’s true that you never know until you try, it’s also true that you never really know until you’ve tried it a few times, since successfully adding a sex position to your repertoire can require a few attempts before both parties get the most out of it. But then, this itself raises another important question: How many unsuccessful attempts should you make before admitting that it’s just not for you, and consigning the position to your sex-move trash can?

“If it’s an issue of positioning, give it two or three tries before attempting a simpler variation,” says adult film star Whitney Wright. “If your partner isn’t really into the position, but you want to try it (and they’ve agreed to attempt it), then I recommend Googling it. My ex didn’t use lube the first couple times we tried anal, so I swore it off for the longest time. If we’d done it the right way and I could’ve eased into it, though, I would’ve been open to doing it more often.”

Understand, however, that mastering a new position requires discipline. “Most couples I speak with only attempt new positions during the frenzy of sex, with the lights out or in a drunken stupor,” says clinical sexologist and certified sex coach Sunny Rodgers. “Instead, try getting into the position prior to sex, possibly with your clothes and the lights on. Perhaps you’ll both need to stretch, she’ll need a pillow or he’ll need something to hold onto. Often, taking a stab at a position without alcohol or any other distractions is an ideal way to master tantric perfection.”

But some positions might just not be right for you and your partner. “Thirty percent of women have a tilted uterus (aka, a retroverted uterus), which means that her uterus faces her pelvis,” Rodgers explains. “This common condition can make certain sex positions [like doggy-style or reverse cowgirl] painful. If that’s the case, then it’s best to move onto a different position altogether.”

Other positions, like the aforementioned (and infamous) standing 69, simply might not provide enough bang for the buck. “If the position is too much of a bother for the amount of pleasure it provides, that’s a good sign that it’s not meant to be your signature sex position,” Rodgers emphasizes. “Lucky for you, there are plenty other positions available to try.”

You could, for example, try the Cat. Or the Waterfall. Or the Stairway to Heaven. Or the Face-Off. Or the Lazy Man. Or the David Copperfield. Or the Pretzel. Or the G-Whiz. Or the Cowgirl. Or the Hot Seat. Or the Spin Cycle. Or the Reverse Cowgirl. Or the Pole Position. Or the Closed for Business. Or the Flatiron. Or the Butter Churner. Or the Ballet Dancer. Or the Stand and Deliver. Or the Iron Chef. Or the Standing Wheelbarrow. Or the Crouching Dragon. Or the Couch Surfer. Or the Magic Mountain. Or the Sensual Spoon. Or the Spork. Or the Snow Angel. Or the Fusion. Or the Spider.

Or the… Eh, you get the point.