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The Ultimate Guide to Sex Positions: Lotus

By Maya Khamala

Let’s talk about sex positions.

Whether you’re starting out with a new partner or looking to spice things up with an old flame, this series of guides is for you. 

Next up, we have the deeply intimate Lotus position.


The lotus position (AKA the ‘yab-yum’ position) is a tantric sex position that has one partner sitting in the other’s lap face-to-face, for intimate penetration or external stimulation, as the mood dictates. 

In tantraan ancient Indian spiritual belief system focused on moving energy (sexual energy included) between partners to encourage healing, spiritual growth, and deeper intimacy—Lotus represents the union of masculine, penetrative energies (Shiva) and feminine, receptive energies (Shakti). However, partners can serve either role or even switch between them freely, regardless of gender identity.

Lotus is actually based on the lotus yoga position, in which you sit cross-legged, but with your feet propped on top of your thighs. The lotus sex position is similar, and involves one partner sitting cross-legged, and the other facing them while straddling them. Think cowgirl, but seated upright. The configuration leaves two face-to-face bodies pressed tightly together, for romancing of all flavors.

If you're looking for a super up-close-and-personal position, one in which you can sit wrapped around your partner, kissing, talking/whispering, making eye contact, and switching up angles as needed, Lotus may be for you.

A note on terms:

When discussing penetration, we use the terms “thrusting partner” for the person with the penis (biological or synthetic), and “receiving partner” for the person accepting the act of penetration (vaginal or anal).

It is important to note that being a receiver is not a passive, subservient role. It is an active, enthusiastic role. There is power in choice, and by choosing to invite their partner inside them, the receiver is exercising that power.

Furthermore, the thrusting partner is not just a giver. Of course, they also receive pleasure during the act. But for the sake of clarity and consistency, we have selected these terms for the two sides of the dynamic.

How to do it:

To get into this position, the thrusting partner sits in a cross-legged position (on the bed, or wherever you wish to get intimate). The receiving partner then straddles them closely, and lowers down so they are effectively chest-to-chest, and eye-to-eye. The receiving partner’s legs are wrapped around the thrusting partner's waist or torso. If this is comfortable, the thrusting partner can also pull the receiver closer with their arms. Feel free to wrap your arms around one another and really melt into this position.

Once you strike the position, the specifics of what exactly you do depends entirely on your genital combination and sexual preferences.

Typically, the thrusting partner penetrates the receiving partner, whether vaginally or anally. Since the position is intended to encourage slow, soulful merging rather than rapid, climax-oriented movement, you might experiment with slow rocking.

If penetration is not an option, you might explore oral-to-nipple stimulation, manual stimulation (all hands!), making out, necking, external vibrators, and/or grinding

Reasons we love it:

-Encourages intimacy and closeness via prolonged eye contact and heart-to-heart connection

-Promotes communication (your faces are so close that talking happens more naturally)

- Leaves the hands free for self-stimulation, or stimulation of one’s partner

-Free hands also means ample opportunity for exploring erogenous zones, and/or using sex toys

-Versatility: the angle/position can be easily adjusted, and explored with or without penetration

Variations to try out:

Draped Lotus

The receiving partner drapes their knees on the thrusting partner's shoulders rather than around their waist, letting their feet drape down their back.

For those interested in anal sex, this variation can be amazing because the receiving partner’s anus is more easily accessible this way.

Chair Lotus

The thrusting partner sits in a chair, either cross-legged or with feet on the ground, and the receiver sits on their partner's lap facing them, but with their legs hanging down toward the floor.

This variation offers more freedom of movement, as both partners can push off from the floor, as well as hold onto the back of the chair. Not to mention, the chair offers better back support.

Reverse Lotus

The receiving partner sits on their partner's lap with their legs crossed or in a squatting position—but facing away from them.

This variation can be a fun switch-up, particularly if you have breasts, as your partner can hold onto them while thrusting. This may also be a good accessibility option for those exploring anal. 


Rather than wrap yourself around each another completely, one or both partners can keep their legs straight or slightly bent. The thrusting partner should also feel free to lean against a wall.

This one’s for those who worry they need to be uber flexible or into yoga to manage the lotus position. False.


The receiving partner can kneels while straddling the bottom partner (holding up some of their own weight), while still maintaining full-body contact.

This variation alleviates some of the strain potentially felt by the thrusting partner, who holds most of the weight in this position.

Leaning back

In the usual position, both partners lean (or stretch) back slightly, changing up the angle of their hips, and offering more deep penetration and g-spot stimulation than traditional Lotus.

If you or your partner are more flexible or want to achieve a slightly different penetrative sensation, this variation may work for you.

Other tips and tricks:

-Work in some dirty talk. Face-to-face positions are incredibly conducive to experimenting with erotic conversation or simple words of affection. Don’t overthink it. Something as simple as "You feel so good," or "I love feeling close to you” just might change your (sex) life.

-Add some lube to the mix. Lube helps reduce friction, increases the glide between bodies (or between fingers and nipples), supports changes in speed and tempo, and is an absolute must for anal. Bellesa’s Water-Based Lubricant is a great option, particularly if you're planning to use silicone-based toys or latex barriers like condoms or dental dams, as other lubes can break these down, and compromise their effectiveness.

-Incorporate sex toys. Vibrators tend to take things to the next level in any position. A vibrating cock ring like Halo or wearable couple’s toy like the Luvli Ditto 2 work best for penetrative intercourse. Meanwhile, the classic Nirvana magic wand and the rechargeable Bodywand are great for nonpenetrative play, and can be used on any part of the body.

-Experiment with eye contact. If the vibe is ripe, you and your partner might try tantric eye gazing. Start by locking right eye to right eye, left eye to left eye. Then, breathe together. Eye-gazing takes us to whole new levels of intimacy. If you feel the urge to look away, that’s normal. Trust the process. <3

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