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Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011

Height Difference

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I'm 4-foot-11, and I had sexual intercourse with a man who was 6-foot-7. I found that the sex we had was hard for me to deal with when it came to the positions that we did. I've always thought that my height is the problem of my relationships. What are the perfect sex positions for petite women like myself?

"Perfect sex positions" will vary not only based on someone's height, but also on what kind of stimulation they find enjoyable. This means that there's not one universally "perfect" position for all petite people. That said, there are definitely some that work better than others when there is a large height difference between partners.

To get some suggestions, I asked readers who had experienced this situation for their recommendations. Most people who gave input referenced their experience as part of a male/female couple where the female was significantly shorter than the male, although some of the positions suggested could work for couples of any gender where the receptive partner (person who is being penetrated with a penis, dildo or other toy) is the smaller of the two.

Those who responded universally suggested having the smaller receptive partner on top. This can work with the larger partner either lying back or sitting—two people mentioned sitting on a partner's lap and straddling him or wrapping their legs around his back.

The second most common response was using furniture of some kind to even out the height difference. This can be as simple as having the smaller partner lie on his or her back on a bed, table or other flat surface while the taller person stands. Bending the smaller partner over a piece of furniture, like a couch, could also work. Cushions or pillows can be used to even out height differences during doggy-style sex where the penetrating partner is coming from behind. If you can afford it, purchasing sex furniture, such as the pieces made by Liberator (http://www.liberator.com/)—some of which we carry at the Tool Shed—can be a solution, especially if you don't want to get lube on your sofa.

Two readers mentioned oral sex as being their go-to; good to remember that there are many different kinds of sex to try besides "penis-in-vagina" (or other orifice)! One person suggested, "69ing [aka mutual oral sex] can be helped with cushions for either one person's head or underneath someone's butt, or if it's still too far you can have one partner use their hand(s) instead, perhaps alternating who's using what."

"Spoon" positions where the larger penetrative partner lies behind the smaller receptive partner and both face the same direction, lying on their sides, can also work.

Several readers commented that they could make almost any position work, except for sex where both partners are standing—especially in the shower. One person warned, "AVOID SHOWER SEX AT ALL COSTS!" I can only assume that there's a past injury that is serious enough to warrant such an all-caps explanation.

Not everything about having a partner who is much shorter or taller than you is problematic. There are some fun, unique things that partners with height differences can do. As one reader noted, "Great thing about being small—it's easy for most guys to pick you up and nail you against the wall!" Instead of thinking of your height as a problem in your relationships, remember that it's a part of what makes you you, and something that your partners are likely to find attractive or sexy.

Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to
laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

Laura Anne Stuart has a master's degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns the
Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee's East Side.