Back pain can turn sex into a punishment more than a pleasurable activity. And while pain can be a great thing to introduce to your sex life, this probably isn’t what you had in mind.
Sex can be extremely detrimental to your sex life because it can trigger or worsen back pain. Thrusting, arching your back, or even just supporting your weight can make sex uncomfortable or even unbearably painful. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to have a lot of great sex without breaking your back.
A few simple tweaks to your usual positions, trying new ones, or even doing a bit of pre-sex preparation can bring you and your partner’s sexcapades back to life.
Types of Back Pain
Different types of back pain can be triggered or exacerbated by specific movements and positions. Being the giver or receiver in a position can greatly affect the viability of sex positions, so understanding the type of back pain you suffer from can help improve your sex life.
1. Extension Intolerance
Extension intolerance is when extension movements like back-arching aggravate the back pain. Make sure that the partner that suffers from extension intolerance can maintain a more neutral position during sex so that they are pain-free throughout the experience.
2. Flexion Intolerance
Flexion intolerant individuals experience pain in their lower back due to the flexing of the torso over the hips. Enjoying moves that maximize hip and knee movements will help keep the pain at bay.
3. Motion Intolerant
Any movement of the spine away from neutral, upright-standing, or laying-down positions may cause discomfort, so low- stress positions will definitely work best for individuals who experience this kind of back pain.
Back-Pain-Friendly Sex Positions
Here are a few sex positions for you to consider for your next naughty play session. Take into consideration which partner suffers from back pain or even if both of you do! These moves will be able to give you and your partner a blissful sexual experience that you may not have been able to enjoy in a while.
Missionary is a pretty safe position if any kind of spinal movement can cause back pain. One partner lays on their back as the partner lays on top. You can adjust the move for deeper penetration when the person laying on their back puts their knees up. Placing a rolled-up towel or a pillow under their lower back can help add stability.
The person on top can use their hands for support as they lay on top of or kneel over their partner.
2. Doggy Style
If you experience pain after being bent forward or sitting down for long periods of time, then this bent over position may be ideal for you or even your partner. If you’re on the receiving end of the sexual move, ease the pressure off your back by supporting yourself on your hands instead of leaning down on your elbows.
The receiving partner get down on all fours while the giving partner kneels behind, aligning their pelvises for easy entry.
This is an easy, lazy day position that can work well for individuals with back pain. The giving partner lays curled behind the receiving partner, aligning their pelvises. The giving partner enters from the rear as both can grind and achieve deep penetration without over-rextention. Add a few pillows and cushions to make sure that the spine is supported.
4. Woman on Top
This can be a great option if the giver is unable to give too much bucking and thrusting. As the giver lays prone on the bed, the receiver positions themselves with legs on either side of their body while they sit facing them. If the receiver has issues with sitting up straight for too long, leaning forward on the forearms instead of on their hands can help provide relief.
5. Seated Scissors
In this position, the giving partner lays on their back and the receiving partner straddles the giving partner facing away from them. One leg is placed between the givers and the other outside the giver’s hip. This gives the receiver a lot of extra angles, creative ranges of motion, and more grinding options for clitoral stimulation with little to no effort from the giver.
This position not only allows the giving partner comfort, but control and a multitude of options for stimulation to the receiving partner.
6. Layer Cake
Similar to the missionary position, the partners face each other as they lay on top of each other. Both partners keep their legs close together so the receiver feels fuller when penetrated. This also allows for a lot of grinding action and clitoral stimulation. This position lets both partners rest in a neutral position easing the pressure of the back. It also offers maximum stimulation with minimum movement.
7. Reverse Slither
If you or your partner are more fond of entry form behind, but your back just can’t handle doggy position, then this is a good compromise. Both partners lay on top of each other facing the ceiling. The giving partner lays on the bottom. This leave the hands free to roam and stimulate other parts of the body like the breasts and clitoris.
8. Stacked Snakes
If facing the ceiling is a bit too vulnerable, you can both flip over and try the stacked snakes position instead. This is still great for preventing back pain during sex. The receiver lays stomach down and the giver lays on top, penetrating their partner from behind. You can add a toy for the receiving partner to grind on. A firm pillow or even the hand can work to stimulate the pelvic region, as well.
9. On the Stomach
Another easy position for the receiver. The receiver lays on their stomach while the giver will position themselves on all fours, supporting themselves on their hands. The giver’s pelvis is lowered to position themselves to penetrate the receiving partner. This position is pretty low impact for both partners. The angled penetration of the giving partner is great for smaller movements. Adding a pillow or two beneath the receiving partner’s pelvis can help deepen penetration and allow for a bit more range of movement from both partners.
10. Star Wars
Lay on your back. You can opt to have your arms tucked beneath you and leverage your weight to prop yourself up. You can lift your legs up so they point straight up to the sky or have them tucked towards your chest. Have the giving partner get down on all fours and slowly back up towards you so they can penetrate you from behind, but in reverse. It’s a but of a more advanced move, but it just goes to show you don’t have to give up creative moves because you suffer from back pain.
11. Sideways 69
If neither of you are really that comfortable laying on your back, or maybe you’re backs just can’t handle too much upward thrusting. The Sideways 69 might be the answer to your problems. Each partner lays on their sides with their heads on opposite ends so that you are each facing each other’s pelvis. This position allows you to mutually pleasure each other without stressing out your backs. Putting a pillow under your heads to reduce strain on your neck, or adding a wedge anywhere else can help make the experience even better!
12. Reclined Butterfly
This position can give the receiver a nice back stretch aside from being a great position for deep penetrative sex. With the receiver laying on their back, have them spread their legs and slightly bend their knees. The giving partner kneels (or stands at the end of the bed) as they lightly lift the giver’s hips enough to comfortably penetrate them.
The receiver can then choose to open or close their thighs like the wings of a butterfly to be able to adjust the angle and set the pace. This also leaves the giver’s hands-free to roam and stimulate other erogenous zones.
13. Trunk Space
If you’re looking for a more adventurous location but are concerned about back pain, worry not. We’ve got your back (pun intended). If you’re parked in your car and ready to get down, recline the chair and have the receiving partner lean over it towards the back, with the giving partner laying on top of the receiver. This keeps both of you supported and comfortable while having a rowdy, sensual sex session in your car.
If you’re not quite ready to give up your pre-back pain sex position favorites, incorporating a couple of tools to your arsenal can revive the enjoyment you used to get from your tried and true moves.
1. Get yourself a wedge.
Wedges are prism-shaped cushions created to offer your body support depending on where it’s positioned. A lot of the time, during sex, wedges are placed under the hips to help lift and allow for deeper penetration. In this case, it can help alleviate back pain.
2. A pillow can work, too.
There are pillows design to help enhance your sexual experience, like wedges. But if you’re in a bind, or just aren’t ready to invest in a pillow specifically designed for sex, any pillow you have on hand can work just as well. You may need to fold it over, or lay on multiple pillows to get the support you, your partner, and your backs need, but it can still get the job done.
3. Install a sex swing.
Sex swings can help you get back into the swing of it. It can reduce the pressure on your back because your body is fully supported by the swing. Thrusting is also made easier because the swinging can do all the work. Most swings can also be adjusted to suit your needs and activities, making it easy to tailor the swing to ease any pain or discomfort you may feel during sexual acts.
Other Things You Can Do
Aside from exploring new sex positions and adding tools to your sex sessions, here are a few other things you can try out to make your and your partner’s sexual experience pain-free!
1. Pay attention to your posture.
Unless the position you’re in causes severe pain, try switching up your posture. Sometimes a little tweak, like leaning back instead of forward, is all it takes to get rid of the discomfort you may be experiencing.
2. Take a hot bath or shower beforehand.
Hot showers and baths can help ease tense muscles and make you more limber before sex. Turn it into foreplay and enjoy a soak with your partner.
3. Take a pain reliever.
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve pain and inflammation. Things like ibuprofen and naproxen are easily accessible. Just make sure that you’re getting checked to help get to the source of the pain and not just relying on the meds for temporary relief.
4. Talk to your partner.
Make sure that you’re communicating with your partner about your concerns and any pain you experience. This lays any worries that you may not be having sex as often because you’ve lost interest in them to rest. This way you can also explore sex positions that are both comfortable for you and pleasurable for your partner.
5. Find other ways to pleasure each other.
Like the sideways 69 that we mentioned earlier, penetrative sex is not the only way to give and receive sexual pleasure. You can engage in mutual masturbation, oral sex, or hand jobs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few more tidbits of information you may have wanted to know about sex and back pain.
1. Is it safe to engage in sexual activity when you have back pain?
Depending on the severity and your doctor’s advice, it is usually okay. Listen to your body and what it needs. If it just can’t handle sex today, don’t force it because you may end up making it worse or causing permanent damage.
2. I’m still experiencing back pain despite following your recommended sex positions. What do I do?
Keep exploring. Back pain causes can differ from person to person. Aside from consulting a doctor, scour the internet and look for forums where people with back pain discuss what positions work for them and try them out with your partner.
3. I don’t feel the pain during sex, but my back starts to hurt afterward. What can I do?
Sex is a physical activity and a way to avoid muscle pain after any physical activity is by stretching. It may be strange to get out of bed after a great sex session to start doing cool-down stretches, but doing so will definitely help prevent the post-sex soreness that may occur. If you would like, you can also give each other post-coital massages to make sure that both of you feel rejuvenated after all that strenuous activity.
4. Are there activities that can help my sex game and prevent back pain?
Yoga. Practicing yoga helps with your flexibility allowing you to try out more acrobatic moves, and help stretch out, strengthen, and limber up your back muscles.
5. I’m afraid telling my partner about my back pain will change how they view me. Do I have to tell them?
Telling them is all up to you, but we strongly recommend you inform your partner about your back pain. Especially if it has been negatively affecting your sex life. Isn’t it better for them to know that the reason the sex (possibly) hasn’t been as good is because of pain instead of them thinking that you just aren’t as attracted to them? Also remember that honesty is important in a relationship, and you may discover that they appreciate honesty and vulnerability.
Back pain is a part of life – no matter how active and healthy you are, at some point in your life, you will experience back pain. It’s frustrating when back pain gets in the way of sex exploration, but there are things you can do and positions that work best for individuals experiencing back pain. Understanding your pain and what movements trigger that pain can make all the difference. Make adjustments where you need to, and keep your lines of communication open with your partner so that sex is great for both of you.