You've probably heard of the Kama Sutra, the ancient Hindu text that's basically an A to Z of sex positions. But you probably assumed that it's full of awkward and ridiculously acrobatic positions that only the most limber among us would ever try.
Well, that assumption is incorrect, my friend. There's a reason why the Kama Sutra has been a go-to sex position guide for thousands of years: it's full of practical, actionable tips for couples who want to try something beyond missionary. Yes, some of them are a tad tougher than others, but it's all about the attitude you bring to it.
“If you really want to try a certain position, you're going to need a positive and excited energy that will make it fun and pleasurable for your partner, no matter what the angle," says Laura Berman, Ph.D., a sex educator and sex therapist.
We asked experts for their favourite Kama Sutra positions that couples should try at least once — and aren't impossible for you to master.
Kama Sutra Sex Position #1: Sammukha
The Sammukha position is a relatively easy position to get started with, and one you've probably never thought to try. In this position, your partner leans back against a wall while standing and spreads their legs as wide as they can while you enter them. This position does lower them a bit, so if your partner is shorter, they may need to stand on something, like an ottoman.
Although this position might seem a little awkward at first, it's actually an incredibly passionate and romantic position thanks to all the eye contact, says Eric M. Garrison, a sex expert and author of Mastering Multiple Position Sex. It also offers incredibly deep penetration.
Kama Sutra Sex Position #2: Janukurpara
Sex standing up gets a bad rap, but the Janukurpara position is well worth it. In this position, you lift your partner up, locking your elbows under their knees and gripping their butt with your hands while they place their arms around your neck to hold on. Janukurpara offers extra-deep penetration, lots of eye contact, and it has the added benefit of making you look like a champion.
"A lot of acrobatic positions offer just bragging rights, but some offer bragging rights and pleasure," says Garrison. "Janukurpara allows for great penetration, and can be the reward for time in the gym."
Kama Sutra Sex Position #3: Piditaka
As Garrison notes, acrobatic sex doesn't necessarily equate to pleasurable sex. The Piditaka position is a comfortable, laid-back position that has the benefit of being incredibly pleasurable. In this position, your partner lies on their back and pulls their knees into their chest, resting their feet on your chest as you kneel in front of them. With your knees on either side of their hips, you raise their hips onto your thighs and enter them.
"For those desiring the auspiciousness of the Kama Sutra even more, you can draw your partner's feet up to touch your mouth and forehead, conveying tenderness, humility, and devotion," says sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright.
Kama Sutra Sex Position #4: Virsha
You probably know the Virsha by another name: the Reverse Cowgirl. In this position, you lie flat on your back while your partner sits or kneels on top of you, facing your feet. Your partner then lowers themselves onto you and leans forward, gripping your ankles.
It sounds easy, but Garrison says it's surprisingly tough. "Virsha is Sanskrit for bull, and as simple as it sounds, it's no bull when I say that this is very difficult," says Garrison. "Even the best can't master it without practice—and what better reason to have lots of sex!"
Kama Sutra Sex Position #5: Tripadam
Tripadam is the perfect position for a quickie: it doesn't allow for deep penetration, but it does allow for "short and fast" fun, says Garrison.
In this position, you both stand, facing each other. You put your hand under one of your partner's knees and raise it off the floor, turning the two of you into a "tripadam"(or tripod). Then enter your partner. (One note: this position works best if both of you are around the same height.)
Kama Sutra Sex Position #6: The Milk and Water Embrace
With this position, you sit down in an chair, on a short stool, or on the bed. Then your partner sits down on you with their back to your chest.
"This is perfect for people of all body sizes," says Garrison. If your partner is female-bodied, "there is the potential benefit of four-hand stimulation for her (clit, breasts, inner thighs), and lots of leg intertwining for you both."
Kama Sutra Sex Position #7: Indrani
Indrani is named for the beautiful and seductive wife of Indra, the supreme deity in the Hindu faith. With this position, your partner lies on their back and pulls their knees into their chest. Your knees can straddle your partner's hips so you have your hands free to stimulate their body, or your can be on your forearms.
"One of my caveats for any man-on-top positions is that communication is key," says Garrison. Because you'll be able to penetrate quite deeply, it may cause your partner pain. Therefore "the two must communicate openly and honestly, before, during, and after the Indrani."
This article originally appeared on Men's Health