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Doggy style

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Illustration of the doggy style position

Doggy style is a sex position in which one participant bends over, crouches on all fours (usually on hands and knees), or lies on their abdomen, for sexual intercourse, other forms of sexual penetration or other sexual activity. Doggy style is a form of a rear-entry position, others being with the receiving partner lying on the side in the spoons sex position[1] or the reverse cowgirl sex position. Non-penetrative sex in this position may also be regarded as doggy style.[2]

Although it is not the most commonly used sex position, it is regarded as the favoured position by men, while the reverse cowgirl position is favoured by women.[3] Between sex partners, the person in the doggy style position is usually passive,[4] while the other partner is active (although sometimes it can be the other way around if the person in doggy position backs up into their partner behind them). Either partner may be the dominant partner or the submissive partner.[4]

History and etymology

Erotic plaque depicting the doggy style intercourse between a man and a woman. From Iraq, Old Babylonian Period, 2000–1500 BCE. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul.
Ancient Roman oil lamp depicting the doggy style position

In ancient Rome, this practice was known as coitus more ferarum, Latin for "sexual intercourse in the manner of wild beasts".[5] The specific origin of the term doggy style is not known, but is presumably a reference to the initial position assumed by dogs when mating. It is described in the Kama Sutra as the cow position or the congress of a cow,[6] and is listed in The Perfumed Garden.[7]


The posture adopted by the receiving partner resembles lordosis behaviour – a physical posture seen in many female mammals, often when they are ready for sex/mating, the primary characteristic of which is a ventral arching of the spine. During vaginal penetration from behind, the penis may penetrate deeper into the vagina, reaching preferential contact with the posterior wall of the vagina and probably reaching the posterior fornix; while in the missionary position, it is in preferential contact with the anterior wall of the vagina and the tip of the penis can reach the anterior fornix.[8]

In this position, the receiving partner implicitly gives the active partner a carte blanche over their body. Besides other potential sex acts, the active partner may also massage or stimulate the receiving partner's erogenous zones, such as the genitals, nipples, buttocks, administer a spanking,[1][9] or introduce a sex toy, such as a dildo or vibrator, into the vagina or anus. The doggy position may be erotic or sexually provocative for participants.[10]

Advantages and disadvantages

Doggy style may be a preferred sex position if either partner has back issues or some other medical conditions. During doggy style, the scrotum sometimes provides friction to the clitoris, thus possibly producing an orgasm or sexual stimulation in the woman.[11][12] For some women, doggy style sex helps to stimulate an area that may be termed "the G-spot". However, this position may offer only minimal stimulation of the clitoris; so some women may require digital stimulation to achieve orgasm. Some men may, however, be able to stimulate the clitoris simultaneously with the penis and the scrotum respectively during doggy style sex.[12]

Doggy style offers benefits as a sex position in group sex, such as during a threesome. Doggy style allows the passive partner to perform fellatio on male participant (termed "spitroast") or to perform cunnilingus on a female participant.

Some women may feel vulnerable in this position, as it requires and implies a level of trust and a surrender of control by the receiving to the active partner.[13] However, some women find this transfer of control to the partner arousing. According to the book Sexual Pleasure by Barbara Keesling, many established couples find doggy style relationship-affirming.[13]

Some consider doggy style to be unromantic.[1] The position is considered by some to be less intimate because eye contact and kissing are more difficult. However, it is the most popular sex position.[14]

As a theme in art

Doggy style has been known in most cultures in all times, and has been depicted in art:

See also


  1. ^ a b c Nilamadhab Kar; Gopal Chandra Kar (2005). Comprehensive Textbook of Sexual Medicine. Jaypee Brothers Publishers. pp. 110–111. ISBN 978-8180614057. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  2. ^ Rachel Wright (24 August 2022). "These 12 Non-Penetrative Sex Positions Are Deliciously Satisfying". Men's Health. Archived from the original on 24 August 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  3. ^ "The Missionary Position". Sexual Health Center. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  4. ^ a b Comfort, Alex; Quilliam, Susan (2008). The Joy of Sex. London: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1-84533-429-1.
  5. ^ Robert J. Campbell (2009). Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-19-534159-1.
  6. ^ The Kama Sutra, as given at "CHAPTER VI". The Kama Sutra of Vatsayayana. Kamasutra-sex.org. 1883. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2006.
  7. ^ The Perfumed Garden. Park Street Press. pp. 38–41. ISBN 978-0892814435.
  8. ^ A. Faix; J. F. Lapray; O. Callede; A. Maubon; K. Lanfrey (2002). "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of Sexual Intercourse: Second Experience in Missionary Position and Initial Experience in Posterior Position" (PDF). Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 28: 63–76. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/00926230252851203. PMID 11898711. S2CID 16407035. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  9. ^ Rogiere, Jean, The Little Book of Sex. Ulysses Press, 2001. ISBN 1-56975-305-9, 96 pages.
  10. ^ Laura T. Coffey (23 September 2009). "Do high heels empower or oppress women?". TODAY msnbc.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2009.
  11. ^ Janssen, Erick, Nicole Prause, and James H. Geer. "The sexual response." Handbook of psychophysiology (2007): 245-266
  12. ^ a b Jones, Richard (2013). Human Reproductive Biology. Academic Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780123821850. The rear-entry position of mating may allow the scrotum to stimulate the clitoris and, in this way, may produce an orgasm ...
  13. ^ a b Keesling, Barbara (1993). Sexual Pleasure: Reaching New Heights of Sexual Arousal & Intimacy. Hunter House Publishers. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-89793-148-9.
  14. ^ Laken, Howard (17 April 2018). "4,000 People Ages 19 -36 Just Ranked This Sex Position As Their Favorite".