How to Thrust on Top of Your Partner During Sex

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How to Thrust on Top of Your Partner During Sex


Does anyone else feel like there are some parts of sex we talk about in minute detail (“37 Steps to the Perfect Blow Job!”) while others just get glossed over? Even the internet, which we’ve come to see as a one-stop-shop for all the information you might need about literally anything can make us feel like somehow we are the only one asking a certain question. I feel like the specifics of thrusting is one of those topics. When we’re talking about sexual techniques we spend time talking through the best sex positions, adult sex toys, and lubricants but we kind of “yadda, yadda, yadda” past the thrusting part.

This is especially curious as lots of folks seem to enjoy being on the receiving end of the thrusting (seriously, there’s even a whole bevy of thrusting sex toys designed to replicate the sensation during solo play!). With that in mind, today we are doing a deep dive on thrusting, specifically thrusting when you are on top! We’ll talk about how thrusting works, how to keep it comfortable and we’ll even look at some specific techniques. So read on to learn how to take your thrusting game to the next level! 

What is thrusting?

Before we go any further, we should probably get clear on exactly what we are talking about. When we talk about penetrative sex, there is an “in and out” motion we tend to associate with the act. That is thrusting, in a nutshell. Sure, there are other motions you can experiment with but in general, thrusting is the active component of vaginal or anal intercourse.  It involves shifting the body to shift the penis or dildo forward. It’s a pretty simple motion -- so much so that even the Kama Sutra, which explains everything in minute detail doesn’t offer explicit instructions on it!

Thrusting can be done by either the person doing the penetrating (whether with a penis or a dildo) or by the person being penetrated or by both. 


Thrusting Techniques

When it comes to thrusting satisfaction, there are so many thrusting techniques to take your pleasure to the next level and several of them are quite simple!

Elevated Thrusting

Want to transform your thrusting experience with one easy step? No problem! Just put a pillow or firm cushion under the hips of the partner who is on the bottom. This can keep them comfortable, lift their genitals up for more accessibility, and offer new and exciting angles. All of that with one simple prop! From there you can explore the thrusting sensations that feel good for both of you. 

Hold It

We say “thrusting” and obviously we picture movement but there’s pleasure to be found in stillness too. This sex position involves incorporating moments of sustained deep penetration. Also, it’s simple AF. Insert the erect penis or dildo and (carefully) press it into the partner’s body as deeply as possible and then stop. Focus on your breathing, maintain eye contact, and when you can’t wait anymore get back to the active thrusting. It’s like a super-sexy staring contest that builds anticipation and arousal with each breath. 


Again, satisfying thrusting is so much more than “in and out”. Churning can create a ton of sensation with very little movement and it’s super easy to do!

Once the penis or dildo is inserted, you can do this one hands free by focusing on your hip thrust -- either partner can be the one who moves their hips, but you definitely want one of you to be in charge of this part, and it should probably be whoever is on top. Use the hips to make circles which allows the penis or dildo to circle around inside the vagina or anus. The range of motion will be small but the sensations can be intense.

To make the most out of this variation, have the person doing the penetration take a hold of the base of the penis or dildo and manually move it in circles, rather than relying on hip movement. This will intensify the churning sensation.


This one is pretty specific to penis and vaginal intercourse, where the person doing the penetrating is on top and it is effective AF. Have the receiving partner lie on their back in a straight line (so this is one where you don’t want to use the pillow or cushion we discussed earlier). The partner doing the penetrating gets on top but is higher up on their partner’s body than usual (if you are familiar with the Coital Alignment Technique you will recognize this setup) and penetrates from there.

What makes this special is the angle. The penis or dildo is not coming at the vagina from a right angle here, it is instead, parallel to it which means that each thrust will be in contact with the clitoral area. The thrusting in this position is not wild and deep, it’s more slow and controlled but the payoff can be well worth it. 

Shallow thrusts

When it comes to thrusting depth, a lot of folks think it’s all about going super deep but, especially if you are thrusting on top of your partner, there are some benefits to keeping things a bit more on the shallow end. Especially if you want to make sure the partner who is being penetrated is comfortable or if you want to last a bit longer in bed. Whatever the reason, consider varying your thrusting depth and spending some time focused on the shallow thrusts.

If you want to explore the benefits of shallow thrusting, there’s a very cool technique for mixing up your thrusting routine, and that works especially well when you are thrusting on top of your partner. Check it out! 

Shallow Thrusting Technique

This technique is also known as the “Taoist Thrusting Technique” and it can help deliver maximum pleasure by varying thrust depth! Here’s how it works:

  • Start by delivering 9 shallow thrusts followed by 1 deep thrust.
  • Next do 8 shallow thrusts and then 2 deep thrusts.
  • Now try 7 shallow thrusts followed by 3 deep thrusts.
  • As you’ve probably figured out by now, you keep going like this until you reach 10 deep thrusts.

Once you’ve gone through the whole sequence, you can either continue thrusting at your own pace or reverse the whole thing, starting with 1 shallow thrust and 9 deep ones, continuing until you arrive back at 9 shallow thrusts. Don’t stress too much about getting the numbers exact, the magic here is in the variety and progression.


Deep thrusts

So, then what about deep thrusting? Well, that can be great too! The key is to start slowly and carefully as sudden deep penetration can be painful for both of you without sufficient arousal. Additionally, if you are thrusting on top of your partner, stay aware of their comfort because it  can be easy to get carried away when you’re going hard and deep. 

There are lots of enjoyable ways to thrust during sex so go have fun exploring your options!

If you want to take your sex life to the next level check out PinkCherry’s HUGE selection of adult sex toys, lube, and more! They’ve got everything you need for the sexy exploration you want!


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Written By: JoEllen Notte

JoEllen Notte is a writer, speaker, sex educator, and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead as well as for Glamour, The BBC, Bitch, PsychCentral, and more. JoEllen is the author of The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression, and the Conversations We Aren’t Having.