This article was scientifically fact-checked by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz.
While most Kama Sutra guides focus on feats meant for the truly acrobatic—fun to try but perhaps not sustainable—it’s also important to look at how your favorite sex* positions can be altered and adapted for different needs.
Did you know that up to 84% of men and 73% of women report a significant decrease in the frequency of coupled sex when they’re suffering from back pain? Your sex life doesn’t have to suffer due to painful joints or decreased flexibility! With a bit of extra care and know-how, there are ways to enjoy intimacy through sex positions for seniors, sex positions for older people and sex positions for the elderly!
We hope you enjoy this guide to sex positions for seniors and and anyone else who has limited mobility, and we hope you leave us comments with other coping strategies you’ve discovered!
As we age, we experience a decrease in sexual thoughts and overall libido which affects our arousal. It’s common to experience reduced vaginal lubrication, diminished sensitivity and a slower arousal period. This can cause more mild orgasms or a lack of them altogether. The good news is that sexual desire doesn’t disappear as you age, and having sex shouldn’t either. You may just have to adjust to the restriction of limited mobility through the sex positions below.
Despite physical limitation, sex can still be enjoyable. All it takes is a little adaptation, like in the following sex positions.
The most notorious sex position, missionary requires the woman to lay flat on her back while her partner is on top of her. This position is ideal for those with hip, knee or back pain, and if pressure on the back is still too intense, try sitting on the edge of a chair while your partner kneels. Don’t forget to use pillows as support!
Modified missionary is especially helpful for people with lower back pain. Instead of the woman lying with her legs flat like in regular missionary, she places pillows below her hips with her feet in the air while her partner stands on the edge of the bed. This allows the man to thrust with his entire body as opposed to just his hips.
Doggy style requires entry from behind while the woman faces away from her partner on her knees. It’s notable for stimulating the inner upper walls of the vagina, commonly referred to as the G-spot, but make sure neither partner has back pain. Doggy style is great for couples who are overweight or experiencing hip pain. Pillows can also be placed under the woman’s arms for support.
Missionary, flipped! Cowgirl requires the man to lay flat while the woman straddles him. For more support, she can lean over and use her hands to hold her up. It requires little physical mobility for the man while offering a less strenuous role for women with fatigue or chronic pain.
Another great position to relieve stress on the back and legs is the time bomb, which requires the man to be sitting while the woman sits on top facing him. Being face to face can also increase intimacy.
While the traditional 69 can be thrilling with dual oral stimulation, it can be painful on the joints to keep the proper position. The sideways 69 still allows for all the oral fun, without the stress on your joints. Simply have both partners lay sideways, heads opposite one another.
This position requires two people to lay facing the same side with their bodies curled into one another. Because the bed provides support of the body, it’s great for those with fibromyalgia. It also frees the hands to stimulate your partner’s erogenous zones. If the man has arthritis or back pain, he can prop his elbow up so that his hand supports his head.
If you feel pain in any of these positions, try something else! You’ll find something that works for your range of movement. Just remember, limited mobility does not mean you have to stop having sex.
*In this article, for ease of reader understanding, we are using the words sex and intercourse as synonymous, as is done in popular culture in general. Similarly, we use the word “foreplay” the way it is used in popular culture (i.e., the sexual acts such as oral sex that come before intercourse). However, as aptly pointed out by our sex expert Laurie Mintz, we would also like to acknowledge that such language exalts men’s most reliable rout to orgasm and linguistically erases women’s most reliable route to orgasm—clitoral stimulation, either alone or coupled with penetration. Indeed, only between 4% and 18% of women reliably orgasm from penetration alone. We look forward to the day when such language is not commonly used in culture.
Facts checked by:
Dr. Laurie Mintz
Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida, teaching Human Sexuality to hundreds of students a year. She has published over 50 research articles and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mintz also has maintained a private practice for over 30 years, working with individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. She is also an author and speaker, spreading scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance sexual pleasure.