What Is Reverse Cowgirl

This information can help you figure out what angle(s) the top can try without causing the bottom partner pain.

What is the Cowgirl Position?

Many people describe the cowgirl position as mutually satisfying, yet also empowering for the person on top. This sex position is popular among some people with vaginas, as they might find it easier to orgasm.

This position may be best known as the cowgirl position, but it can also be called the cowboy, rider, or cowperson position for people of all gender identities.

How Does It Work?

The cowgirl position requires a partner. It’s generally described by experts as a position for two people, including one person with a penis and one person with a vagina. However, with the right accessories, any gender pairing could work.

The position requires the person with the penis to lie down with their legs straight, while the person receiving penetration kneels on top with their legs out to either side of the person lying down. The partners face each other.

What Is the Difference between Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl, and Horizontal Cowgirl?

Reverse cowgirl and horizontal cowgirl are variations of the traditional cowgirl sex position.

In the reverse cowgirl position, the person on top straddles the person with the penis while facing their feet. According to Ian Kerner, Ph.D., as quoted in Men’s Health, this should be done slowly as the angle in this position is slightly unnatural. This position gives the person lying down a view of their partner’s buttocks.

According to certified sexuality educator August McLaughlin, as quoted in Shape, if the traditional cowgirl position is too deep or painful for you, try reverse cowgirl with your partner’s knees propped up so that you have something to hold onto.

The horizontal cowgirl position starts with the person with the penis lying down with their legs straight while the person on top straddles them, like in a regular cowgirl position. The difference is that the person on top then slowly lowers themself until the partners are chest to chest.

Myths About the Cowgirl Position

The Person on Top Does All the Work

The person lying down during the cowgirl position doesn’t have to play a passive role. They can help lift the hips or thighs of the person on top to support them. They can also lift their pelvis and thrust. Doing this also means that the person on top won’t tire as easily.

Another way for the person on bottom to play a more active role is by having the person on top lean on their forearms, curve their belly under, and hold this position. Their partner then lifts their pelvis to thrust.

It Pleasures the Person with the Penis More

In a study, researchers found that 75% of women are unable to have an orgasm with just sexual intercourse, and 83% usually need clitorial stimulation to orgasm. The clitoris is sensitive tissue that can be stimulated when someone with a vagina is aroused.

There are a few ways to adapt the cowgirl position so that the clitoris gets more stimulation. One way is by having either person stimulate the clitoris while in this position. The person on top can also lean forward so that their clitoris rubs on their partner’s pelvis.

Another way is by using sex toys like vibrators or penis rings.

How to Try the Cowgirl Position Safely

Cowgirl position takes some concentration to make the experience safe and enjoyable. Partners should talk to each other about what they’re comfortable doing and watch out for potential injury risks.

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Talk to Your Partner about Trying the Cowgirl Position

Sex is psychological, says certified sex coach Layla Martin in Cosmopolitan. Being on top puts the person with the vagina in a vulnerable position, so it might be intimidating for some people. It’s important to communicate with your partner about trying new positions.

You could also discuss trying the different variations — traditional, reverse, or horizontal cowgirl — to see what feels most comfortable to you. The person on top might say that they feel more comfortable with reverse cowgirl as it takes away the eye-contact.

Someone who is self-conscious about their chest or stomach may also prefer reverse cowgirl since it allows them to face away from their partner, certified sexuality educator Ellie Chase says in Shape.

Possible Risks

In the cowgirl position, there is potential for the penis to slip out and push against the partner’s pelvis or buttocks, causing possible injury. There is a higher likelihood of this happening in the reverse cowgirl position.

A study in Brazil found that about half the number of people with penile fractures had sustained the injury while in the cowgirl position.

A penis has no bones, but when erect, it has two cylinders of erectile tissue that fill with blood. If an erect penis is bent forcefully, the outer lining of these cylinders can tear, making a popping or cracking sound along with swelling, bruising, discoloration, and pain.

To keep this from happening, the person with the penis can hold onto their partner’s hips to help control penetration. The person on top can also focus on grinding or rocking instead of bouncing up and down.

If this position is new for you and your partner, take it slow and first and communicate to minimize the risks and maximize your enjoyment.

Show Sources

Advances in Urology: “Mechanisms Predisposing Penile Fracture and Long-Term Outcomes on Erectile and Voiding Functions.”

Cosmopolitan: “7 Sex Acts That Could Actually Break a Penis.”

Cosmopolitan: “16 Things to Know if You Want to Make On-Top Sex SO Much Better.”

Cosmopolitan: “Here’s How to Master Reverse Cowgirl.”

Marie Claire: “What to Do If Cowgirl Position Isn’t Working for You.”

Mayo Clinic: “Is it possible to fracture your penis?”

Men’s Health: “How to Make Reverse Cowgirl Even Hotter.”

Shape: “How to Nail the Cowgirl Sex Position (and a Few Variations to Try)”.

The Family Planning Association: “Orgasms in UK Women – an Online Survey.”

Women’s Health: “10 Hot-As-Hell Sex Positions For Short Women And Tall Men.”

Women’s Health: “Here’s Exactly How To Do One Of The Best Sex Positions Ever: The Cowgirl.”

12 Ways to Increase Your Pleasure in the ‘Reverse Cowgirl’ Position

illustration of a person with long curly red hair wearing a light blue slip and straddling their out-of-frame partner

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Gone are the days when reverse cowgirl was known only as such. These days, the position is known by less-gendered terms. For example, some use “reverse cow-human,” “reverse rider on top,” or simply “reverse rider.”

No matter what you call it, here are some tips for making reverse rider — formerly known as reverse cowgirl — even better.

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We believe pleasure is a fundamental aspect of a safe and healthy sex life. That’s why we rely on experienced writers, educators, and other experts to share their suggestions on everything from the technique you use to the sex toy you buy.

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Reverse rider is a derivative of rider-on-top, which entails one partner on top of another, facing them.

“For reverse rider, the partner on top is in the opposite direction so that they’re looking at their partner’s feet, and their partner is looking at their butt and back,” explains Dr. Sadie Allison, author of “ Ride ’Em Cowgirl! Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking” and founder of Ticklekitty.com, an online sex toy boutique.

There are several variations of this configuration that switch up where and in what direction the top partner places their feet and knees.

What remains the same is that there’s a partner on top, placed in such a way that eye contact isn’t feasible.

Typically, reverse rider is a penetrative sex position that involves the person on top being vaginally or anally penetrated by the person on bottom (via penis or strap-on).

But, depending on preferences, flexibility, and body shapes and sizes, reverse rider can also be modified for:

Experiment with angle

“Figuring out which angle enhances the experience for you and your partner will take some trial and error,” Sadie says.

That’s because what feels good will vary based on a wide variety of factors, including:

  • current hydration levels
  • recent activity and sleep levels
  • the shape of the receiver’s vaginal or anal canal
  • the size and angle of the penis or dildo
  • how well lubricated the receiver is
  • all partners’ stress levels

One way to explore angles is to try different reverse rider variations:

  • Crab. The partner on top repositions their feet to be beside their partner’s knees and leans back onto their hands.
  • Cat-cow. The rider plants their knees on either side of their partner’s hips and slides onto the shaft. Next, they lean forward into a tabletop position and experiment with arching their back.
  • Chair. The bottom sits in a chair, feet planted on the ground. The top can sit on their lap, slowly easing down the shaft, before moving at a rhythm that feels best.

If there’s a penis, consider its angle

PSA: Not every penis is angled the same way.

“Some penis owners have cocks that, when erect, go straight up to their belly button,” Sadie says. “Other people have penises that curl towards the right or left.”

This information can help you figure out what angle(s) the top can try without causing the bottom partner pain.

Observation can be a powerful indicator here, but you can also invite your partner to share this information by asking:

  • “Are there any angles that cause you pain?”
  • “Can you shift my hips with your hands to show me how far forward I can go before it hurts you?”
  • “How does this feel on your cock?”
  • “What angle works best for you here?”

Remember: It takes two to tango

Contrary to popular belief, the rider doesn’t have to do all the work.

The bottom partner can help by holding their partner’s hips and help establish a rocking or thrusting pattern that’s enjoyable for both. They can also thrust up from the bottom.

“Having both partners be fully involved in finding the right rhythm can establish a sense of intimacy as you find shared pleasure,” Sadie says.

Put on music

“Having music play in the background can help you both find your rhythm,” says Texas-based sex educator Goody Howard, instructor of Rideology, an erotic fitness class dedicated to building stamina, increasing confidence, and adding control to being on top.

That’s why she recommends either singing a song in your head while you thrust, or firing up your favorite playlist.

“What songs are best will vary based on your preferences, but ideally you’ll pick something that makes you feel powerful,” she says.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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