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Listen to an audio summary

Primal, animal, taboo, and dangerous—only a few of the ways lovers describe rough and passionate sex.

Why do so many of us like rough sex so much? Well, it takes us out of our heads for an escape; it makes for a more vigorous bedroom workout; it's exciting and can produce mammoth orgasms; it gives us a great excuse to relinquish control and experience a little healthy fear; it's perfect for roleplay and bondage fans, and it's a long, long way from vanilla.

According to this study of almost 5,000 US college students, What is Rough Sex, Who Does It, and Who Likes It? 80% of those currently with a romantic or sexual partner had rough sex, and almost all of them enjoyed it. They determined their most common behaviors as choking, hair pulling, and spanking.

Switching things up between positions, places, and the pace and tenderness of your sex sessions is perfectly healthy and fun. For those still apprehensive, rough sex isn't a product of a damaged sex life but a great addition to a healthy one.

As Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D., author of the book 'Tell Me What You Want' stated in his Psychology Today article:

"We need to change the way that we think about rough sex. Historically, it has been lumped in with kink and BDSM and considered to be a fringe interest and activity; however, the fantasy and the behavior actually seem so common as to be a normative part of human sexuality."

So, for those of you ready to spice things up a little, here are our top tips for adding a little rough sex to your repertoire in what might be a few new or some of your existing favorite sex positions.

1. Doggy Style

Illustration of the Doggy Style Sex Position

How and why to have Doggy-style rough sex

Doggy Style is renowned for great penetration and easy, straightforward access. It lends itself to the optimum control of hard, deep-thrusting, and angle of penetration, so it's ideal for giving her G-spot an extra-tough workout. With a little extra padding provided by the receiver's buttocks, the giver can pound much harder than in other positions. On top of all that, the visual rewards are incredibly satisfying.

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What makes Doggy-style great for rough sex

If there's a better hands-free sex position for adding a little spanking and hair-pulling, we're not sure what it is.

Also, for those with a pair of cuffs, straps, or other tethers to hand and an accommodating bedframe, tying the receiver's hands to the bed head makes for an excellent, aggressive-looking dominant sex position.

If there's a better hands-free sex position for adding a little spanking and hair-pulling, we're not sure what it is.

Warning: If you're doing Doggy Style on the floor, be wary of carpet burns to your knees. Whatever your floor substrates and coverings are, friction burns and knee injuries are a real thing!

2. Missionary

Illustration of the Missionary Sex Position

How and why to have rough Missionary position sex

How does vanilla old Missionary make our list? Well, it's the most practical and easy-access sex position in the book, so it's incredibly straightforward to add pace, pressure, power, and performance just by upping the intensity. With the giving partner in control, they dictate how hard and fast the action gets, and they're in a perfect position to simulate strangling and choking.

What makes the Missionary position great for rough sex

The receiver can wrap their legs around the giver to control the depth of penetration and also add to the motion, movement, and friction between their genitals.

Modifying the Missionary position – Try it with the receiving partner laid on a table or desk with the giver standing. They can rest their knees while adding power and added control.

To make any sex position feel more aggressive, grab your partner by their wrists. Missionary is perfect for this, increasing power and control to the dominant partner.

Alternatively, why not switch positions and roles completely? With the receiving partner on top in Missionary, they can control the pace and power as they grind and work a more submissive partner's body.

3. Reverse Cowgirl

Illustration of the Reverse Cowgirl Sex Position

How and why to try Reverse Cowgirl for rough sex

With the receiving partner on top and facing away, the lack of eye contact doesn't make this position any less intimate. What it does provide, however, is an opportunity for them to get lost in the moment, allowing them to become sexually selfish, taking exactly what they want from the act without any concern for the person underneath.

For the partner below, it offers plenty of deep penetration and some excellent slapping and scratching opportunities.

What makes Reverse Cowgirl great for rough sex

Modifying Reverse Cowgirl into Pole Position, the receiving partner brings one leg inside their partner's legs, giving them a thigh to rub and grind against—perfect for added clitoral stimulation. Adding lube to the thigh will amplify the slipperyness and sexual sensations.

4. On the Edge of the Bed, With the Receiver on the Lap

Illustration of the On the edge of the bed, with the receiver on the lap Sex Position

How and why to have some lap-dance style rough sex on the edge of the bed

This position is pretty much Cowgirl sat upright on the edge of the bed—unless the penetrating partner needs a rest or would prefer a better view, and in that case, they've got a whole bed to lay back on.

The receiving partner takes full control—much like in Reverse Cowgirl—of the power, pace, grinding, and thrusting, but this time, staring into their eyes, creating a different type of intimacy.

What makes the Edge-of-the-bed position great for rough sex

It's an ideal sex position for both partners to go hands-free if the riding partner moves onto their knees. To dominate the sex play, they can push their partner backward onto the bed and give them their wildest personal sex show with a truly exceptional view as they go frantic and crazy on their lap.

5. Receiver Facing Down

Illustration of the Receiver Facing Down Sex Position

How and why to have Face-down rough sex

With the receiving partner laid flat on their front, the giving partner enters them from behind. This position has a lot to do with dominance. With the receiving partner laid flat, somewhat in submission, it can feel like the giving partner has 100% control over everything they get. For next-level roleplaying, BDSM, and kink fanatics, face-down rough sex can simulate rape—and while that's not for everyone, in a safe environment, it definitely has its fans.

What makes the Face-down position great for rough sex

With consent (of course), the giver can grab the receiver's hands behind their back, creating a face-down, aggressive-looking, controlling sex position. If theatrics is your thing, there isn't much that looks as angry and aggressive as the so-called Power Grab position. And if you want to step this position up a level, throwing in some aggressive dirty talk will make it even feistier.

6. Carrying the Receiver

Illustration of the Carrying the Receiver Sex Position

How and why to enjoy rough Carrying-Sex

A TV and Hollywood movie staple. When does a passionate TV sex scene fail to have the giving partner lift the other person and carry them off to the bedroom (or onto a desk, table, or kitchen worktop)? Introduce sex to this carrying position and you've got a very sexy position that lends itself to some truly hardcore penetration.

What makes the Carrying position great for rough sex

For role-players, it's the best option to relive those movie moments in person. It brings a closeness other sex positions can't replicate, as both are holding onto each other with all their strength and might.

When the giver's strength starts to fade, pushing their partner up against a wall brings a whole new level of roughness to the mix.

If you like to feel like you've truly been worked hard, getting pumped and pounded up against a wall will be extremely pleasurable.

7. Receiver Against the Wall

Illustration of the Receiver Against the Wall Sex Position

How and why you should have rough sex up against a wall

Unlike Carrying-Sex up against a wall, in this position, the receiver stands facing it, with their hands placed on it to soak up some of the shock of being pounded from behind. With their legs spread wide and a bend at their waist, the giver has the best access for penetration and is in a position where they can deliver the most power and fastest pace.

What makes doing it against a wall great for rough sex

Location, location, location. Hard sex against a wall is ideal to take on tour. It's naughty, dangerous, wild, and exciting. If location is your thing, sex against a wall is perfect for nightclub toilets, alleyways, al fresco sex in nature, and anywhere else you can avert prying eyes—or not, if exhibitionism is your kink!

10 Tips for the Best Rough Sex

Rough sex isn't merely about pace and power. It's about grabbing, manhandling, control, and communication, and it's a lot about desire and feeling.

This study in the EvoS Journal, Rough Sex and Pornography Preferences, found that rough sex has more to do with novelty-seeking and adventure than aggression. And when it comes to who's using it to get turned on outside of their relationships, this survey by Pornhub found that women were 63% more likely to show interest in their rough sex category.

Rough sex isn't merely about pace and power. It's about grabbing, manhandling, control, and communication, and it's a lot about desire and feeling.

However, with much of the intensity and arousal revolving around passion and danger, it's also about being safe, so our first and possibly most important piece of advice revolves around consent, boundaries, and safewords.

1. Have a conversation about boundaries and safewords

While the idea of rough sex sounds exciting, in practice, it can be devastating when done without care. Knowing what's on the table and what isn't is a must; knowing your partner's limits and putting appropriate boundaries in place to protect them will deepen your relationship.

As with any sexual exploration, using safewords is a must. Sometimes, especially in roleplay and BDSM, stop doesn't mean stop, so having an unmistakable safeword that does will prevent any misinterpretations and protect you both from things going awry.

Make sure you have a similar definition of rough sex

A negative experience can ruin rough sex for either partner if they're pushed into something they're not ready for or is psychologically triggering. Talking about just how rough rough is for both of you, how hard to pull or push, how wild you're prepared to get, and the positions you find mentally or physically uncomfortable are all topics you need to cover in advance.

A negative experience can ruin rough sex for either partner if they're pushed into something they're not ready for or is psychologically triggering.

Some people will be negatively triggered by rough sex (more often women who have suffered some kind of abuse) yet in quite different ways to someone who can't find pleasure in being in any way rough with their partner. It's essential to communicate with each other before, during, and after rough sex for your best experience.

2. Take care of each other's bodies

  • Use lube to reduce friction.
  • Don't use restraints that restrict blood flow or breathing.
  • Don't strike or slap around the organs – aim for soft, fleshy areas.
  • Oral sex can be rough sex if you're careful. A 'faux job' (a blowjob combined with a handjob) delivers added pace and pressure while the mouth creates the sensation. Face sitting makes incredibly hot, rough oral sex; just be aware of how much pressure and weight you're putting on your partner's face and neck.
  • Both sexes' genitals are fragile, so take extra care while upping the speed and power.

3. Talk dirty

For many, talking dirty can take a little getting used to, but once they feel comfortable sharing a few of their favorite filthy phrases and suggestive suggestions, it can make sex incredibly arousing. Talk to your partner about the kind of things they'd like to hear, and build slowly, increasing your confidence as you go.

4. Grab their hair

Hair pulling is hot. It's aggressive, submissive, controlling, and sensual. You're not doing it to hurt your partner but to administer some firm control and intensity. Again, check in with your partner to see how hard they like it—perhaps use the traffic light safeword system for control: green for more, amber to be careful, and red to stop immediately.

5. Try different locations

Passionate sex can create the desire to get wild at any time, so be open to taking full advantage wherever and whenever the mood takes you. As we mentioned earlier, you can dive into penetrative or oral sex almost anywhere, and often, the wilder, the more wonderful. For those hoping not to get caught, speed is essential, upping the pace and roughness of your outdoor sex life.

6. Take your time—or don't, it's up to you

For those engaging in a deeper sex play session, duration is essential for a slow build to a hard pounding. Rough sex is just as much about power: the intensity of hard kissing, slow and controlled hard thrusting, spanking, hair pulling, biting, and pinching nipples, as well as engaging in your favorite positions to bring it all together into an almighty powerful climax.

Both you and your partner need to feel satisfied by your rough sex ventures. Rough sex is often associated with powering to the finish line, and that's more than enough for many partners.

For those, the speed and intensity of rough sex can encourage quicker climaxes, so a 'quickie' is perfect, as shown in this study of 734 undergraduates (77% of which were women), The Rough Stuff: Understanding Aggressive Consensual Sex, women reported reaching orgasm much faster during rough sex.

"Men and women only differed in their opinion of one sexual behavior during rough sex. Women reported reaching orgasm much faster during rough sex than men."

The Rough Stuff: Understanding Aggressive Consensual Sex Evolutionary Pshychological Science"

7. Engage in roleplay

For roleplay fans, rough sex is likely already part of your repertoire. Just who, exactly, has been naughty this time? Which of you needs punishing? If you haven't tried it, why not join thousands of sex lovers who already know how much a bit of play-acting can make spanking and hair-pulling even hotter?

8. BDSM

Restraints, domination, switching roles, gagging, blindfolds—it's standard fodder for BDSM enthusiasts, as is incredibly well-defined and controlled rough sex with their dominating or submissive partners. BDSM takes rough sex to different levels, where penetrative sex positions might not even feature in their activities. BDSM dirty talk can include degradation and humiliation as well as praise and encouragement. Rough sex can be both mental and physical by getting into your partner's head or applying pleasurable pain to their genitals, nipples, and other intimate areas.

9. Slapping, choking, scratching, and more!

...pinching, biting, pushing fingers or pants into your partner's mouth, and more—if it's rough and hot, why not? Go hands-free and get a bit bitey, or go fully hands-on, grabbing, groping, squeezing, and slapping if that's more your thing.

When it comes to slapping and spanking, toys are well utilized in BDSM circles, so why not invest in a few paddles, floggers, whips, and canes?

If you or your partner are into choking and strangling, it's better to simulate the action. It's far too easy to damage the throat and airway, making it incredibly dangerous. If that is your kink, please take utmost care and have an alternative to a spoken safeword to stay within your set limits.

Our Rough Sex Kit

Discover our top picks for exploring the adventurous side of your sexuality:

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Anal Dildo

- Intensifies rough play with targeted anal stimulation.
- Smooth texture and gradual sizing for heightened pleasure.
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Water-Based Warming Lubricant

- Ensures smooth movements without discomfort.
- Offers extended lubrication for uninterrupted pleasure.
- Gentle on the skin, promoting comfort and intimacy.
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Deep Throat Flavored Oral Sex Numbing Spray

- Reduces discomfort, enhancing oral enjoyment.
- The numbing effect promotes relaxation during intimate activities.
- Helps alleviate performance anxiety, fostering open communication.
Good Head Deep Throat Flavored Oral Numbing Spray
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Temperature Play Toy

- Provides options for both warming and cooling sensations.
- Stimulates nerve endings, intensifying pleasure.
- Adds an element of excitement and exploration to intimate encounters.
Jewel Butt Plug with Diamond Gems
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10. Make aftercare essential

Despite rough sex being an act of fantasy, it's easy to get lost in and after the moment. Most people will accept rough sex exactly for what it is, but if the dirty talk or physicality of your sex play leaves either partner feeling abused in any way, or the deep thrusting or slapping left physical marks or bruises, it's essential to come back to earth and reconnect within your loving relationship.

It's also the right time to talk about what worked, what didn't, and what you'd like to try or change in future sex sessions. Too rough? Not rough enough? The only way you'll learn about each other's wants and needs is by discussing your rough sex adventures together.

Summary

Most sex positions lend themselves to rough sex, and with endless options to choose from, it's a great way to make a steady sex life more exciting and edgy. You don't have to engage in rough sex all the time to keep things intense. Saving it for special date nights, occasions, or when rougher simply feels right can add even more to your sex play.

As long as your sex is safe and consensual, passionate and intense sex can create deeper bonds, more freedom and confidence in the bedroom, and closer, more fulfilling relationships.

And if that's not enough reason to give it a whirl, who couldn't use a little more ass-slapping?

Interested in delving into sexual experiences?

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