By Rebecca Weinberg
Odds are you’ve gotten good at finding the vibrators, lubricants, fantasy items and condoms you want and need. Over the last five years, these ites have received incredible amounts of media attention, which has helped normalize shopping for and enjoying them. Some products categories, however, are still left out of sex advice columns and top 10 lists—even when they could potentially have a huge impact on our sex lives. The category we’re going to discuss today is one of those: sex positon aids.
From accessibility to experimentation, positioning aids offer many benefits. Yet many people don’t know about them. Let’s bust some stereotypes and review some of the key reasons why positioning tools should be the next big thing.
What exactly are sex position aids?
Sometimes called sex pillows or cushions, sex position aids are props designed to help support the body for more comfortable and functional sex play. They come in a range of shapes. Some look like big wedges (ex: Heart Position Wedge), while others look more like platform ramps with a wider and longer surface area. These shapes allow for a comfortable decline or lift while reducing neck and back strain. For convenience, these two shapes are often sold as a set and can be used together for even more pleasure support. Some cushions or pillows come in fun shapes, like hearts. When not in use, they can blend in with accent pillows on a couch or bed, thanks to their unassuming shape. Others act more like bolsters for heads, shoulders or knees.
Some styles may feature kinky accessories. With interest in light bondage continuing to increase among consumers, sex position aids often come with attached cuffs to give users the option of incorporating restraint play. Some designs are equipped with restraints, such as adjustable cuffs. When strapped around the ankles or wrists, this positioning gear expertly and comfortably keeps the user’s arms or legs apart and restrained in place. Other designs are even compatible with many vibrators or dildos to enable hands-free solo pleasure.
Whatever the shape, positioning aids are typically made using high-density foam that allows them to hold their shape and support the body weight of one or more users, though some are inflatable for easy storage and travel. Those made with high-density foam feature removable plush covers that are water-resistant, stain-resistant and machine-washable, making it easy to enjoy them no matter how messy the fun might get.
“You can benefit from these props throughout the day regardless of how much sex you have.”
Can’t people just use regular pillows?
Of course they can. No need to invest in position aids if a simple pillow does the trick! But while that’s certainly an economical option for folks on a budget household pillows squish and smush down quite quickly. Being unable to retain there shape drastically reduces their boosting capability. If you need reliable support, a down or fluffy pillow isn’t going to cut it and could even cause more discomfort.
Sex position aids really have a leg up when it comes to their durable, supportive construction. Their firm, sturdy foam interior won’t squish or squash under your body, which means the user can stay present and focus on their pleasure without worrying about the prop underneath them. It also makes more sex positions and activities doable, expanding your options beyond what they might have thought possible.
The many benefits of sex pillows
There are so many ways sex cushions and positioning tools can level up sexual experience and a lot of them boil down to “They make sex feel even better!” Let’s get specific.
· Sex ergonomics: People have special desk chairs mouse pads and even video game controllers made to keep them in the right position while they work and play, right? Think of sex position pillows the same way! These specialty cushions make it easier for you to find comfortable positions and angles during sex without straining yourself, enabling you to enjoy if for longer periods of time without risking soreness or joint cricks. Think oral without neck pain, missionary without low-back strain, oral without neck pain, missionary without low-back strain, doggy style without knee and wrist pain. Sounds divine!
· What you were already doing, but better: Sex position aids let couples take their favorite positions and activities and make them even more effective and enjoyable. Think deeper insertion, easier access, more surface area to play with, reduced need for stamina and endurance — need I go on?
· BDSM without setup and breakdown: Since some sex cushions are designed with attachments and loops meant for restraints and other BDSM gear, you can save time and energy by skipping the setup process. Simply whip out the cushion and get down to it. When you’re done, you can simply stow it away without having to break down any equipment.
· Relief for mobility and strength challenges: back pain, arthritis and numerous other physical issues and disabilities can make sex challenging, uncomfortable and even impossible — especially in certain positions. Sex position aids and foam pillows ca be game changers thanks to their firm, unsquishable construction that holds the user up and in place. They can provide full support for the back, legs, hips, neck, or whatever parts of the body need it. They can keep weight and pressure off of sensitive spots. They also enable a wider range of motion and movement spots. They also enable a wider range of motion and movement without requiring the user to maintain challenging or inaccessible positions.
· Pregnancy sex: Pregnancy can be incredibly uncomfortable, which means pregnancy sex often isn’t appealing. Toward the end of the third trimester, few positions — sexual or otherwise — feel accessible and comfortable. Sex cushions and positioning aids help support the lower back, hips and torso and make it possible for pregnant people who want to receive oral or insertive sex to enjoy it safely without straining already sore, sensitive and swollen areas.
· Hands-free solo play: Sex pillows that allow you to mount or position dildos, vibrators or strokers can facilitate and even more enjoyable solo experience by allowing you to play hands-free and get lost in the fantasy.
Another fantastic bonus of sex position aids is that they can often serve nonsexual purposes. The multi-use factor helps make the investment feel even more worth it, as you can benefit from these props throughout the day regardless of how much sex you want or have.
· Smaller wedge—and heart-shaped cushions can serve as lap desks to keep a laptop at a comfortable angle.
· During cold and flu season and especially when trying to escape the dreaded nighttime cough, wedge and ramp or platform shapes can help you easily achieve that doctor-recommended propped-up sleeping position without sacrificing comfort.
· A clever sex writer recently documented online that she now uses her large sex position ramp cusion as an accessibility device for her small aging dog so he can safely and easily get on and off her couch. Adorable!
· A Popular online furniture store sells multiple items — including couch-sized sex position aids! — touting their benefits as “stretching aids” to help loosen tight and tired muscles.
Sex position aids, pillows and cushions likely won’t be the first products that beginners will try but they certainly can be the next ones they take home. Remember that along with all the sex benefits, these kinds of props can be game changers for a variety of nonsexual activities too, making the investment feel far more practical and necessary these unique products represent a real chance for you to change your sex life for the better.
Pillow Talk by Rebecca Weinberg originally appeared in Sexual Health Magazine