How Do I Go On Top?

How Do I Go On Top?

To go on top without hurting their penis it’s a good idea to make sure that the penis is pretty hard. Then guide it in with your hand. Move slowly at first rather than bouncing up and down like you’re on a trampoline. Then keep checking in with them during sex that it’s comfortable, noticing their body language, facial expressions and how they might guide you with their hands and words. More detail below (obvs).

How do I (with a vagina) ride a penis without damaging it? I’ve heard so many horror stories so have avoided being on top as much as possible but more and more guys keep asking me to try it. I want to do it but I’m really scared of doing it wrong and hurting them. What do you do?

As I say in this article, it is possible to damage a penis. It’s something that a lot of penis holders worry about, as you might imagine, and it’s something that I get asked a lot too. Being on top is one of the positions that may cause a damage to a penis but if you are sensible and follow some of my basic tips then you can enjoy being on top without having to worry too much.

Hard ons and arousal

Penises don’t have to be hard in order to enjoy sex but being on top is one of those positions where I think that the penis has to be pretty hard. There are lots of different kinds of sex that can be enjoyable when penises that are between a 1 or 7 out of 10 on the HardOn™ scale. However for on top sex the penis needs to be probably around an 8 or a 9 at least. This is because if there is too much flex in the penis then a little bit of bending may occur, which might result in injury.

So if you are both wanting to do the on-top position then you will want to make sure that the penis is hard. If it isn’t you could do other kinds of sex to make it harder (or you could do other kinds of sex and do on top sex another time). If you were still interested in being on top you could also try gently rubbing your bits against their bits. You could still wear your pants if you are worried about STIs or pregnancy.

Whilst we are talking about hard ons, you might also need to make sure that your vagina is relaxed and moist enough. You know your vagina better than anyone else — you might need to have particular kinds of sex that get you aroused (e.g. snogging, masturbation, general stroking). Or you might need lubricant to make sure that your vagina is slidey enough.

Much of the advice here is also true for anal sex on top too by the way. Remember that for anal sex you do need some lubricant and also you will find it easier to gently finger the anus with the lube first (make sure that you don’t take fingers or penises out of the anus and then put them into anywhere else without washing them or replacing a condom).

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Get into position

Being on top means you sitting either side of your partner’s hips. It’s probably best to be facing your partner so that you can see their facial expressions and hear them (if these senses are available to you). This position means putting your legs quite wide, which after a while, may ache a bit.

On top sex position

It’s always okay to change positions if you are getting uncomfortable for whatever reason. Some people like to change to squatting over their partner so that the soles of their feet are on the floor/bed/whatever, but that might be a little bit tricky for you if you’ve not done this very much before.

Putting it in

I think the safest way to put the penis in the vagina (or to put the vagina around the penis) when you’re on top is to hold it the penis, line up the tip with the opening of the vagina and then slowly lower yourself. By holding it you can also make sure that it’s hard enough too. Go slowly enough that it feels comfortable for you (if it hurts or feels sore at any point you can stop) but also quickly enough that the penis will remain hard. All the while check in with the other person that this is all good. There’s more advice on how to have entry sex from me here.


Once it’s inside you can just check for you to see how that feels. It might feel like a new sensation up there because the angle might be different, it may feel a little deeper, you might feel more access to the muscles in your vagina than in other positions. Also you are more in control of the movements and this might be a first for you. So may try small movements at first. Just moving a centimetre can feel like quite a bit movement for you and for the other person. At first, try smaller grindy grindy movements rather than bouncing up and down like you’re on a trampoline.

You can lean forward or backwards or be upright, depends on what is more comfortable for them but also what feels nice for you. A lot of people say that they like being on top because they can be in control, so you could see what different angles and different kinds of movements feel good for you, as well as the other person. You might feel extra stimulation of different parts of your vagina which might feel nice, or it might feel a bit much. Another benefit of being on top is that you can also touch different bits of your bits that you might not normally be able to reach — like your clitoris.

Checking in with them

But back to your worries about hurting their dick. When they are inside you can be guided by them in case they lose their erection a little bit. As you have a bit more control being on top, it is on you to check in with them from time to time. So pay attention to their facial expressions, what they are doing with their hands and how things are feeling generally. People may use their body to indicate that they want you to go a bit faster or slower, or to make the movements bigger or smaller.

Hand can be used to move someone or to give useful info
Listen out for words. Short phrases are often easier for people to say during sex than before. Like "touch me here" or "like this" or "harder please" or "just like that"

If you are bouncing a bit too much and they are worried about slipping out and you bouncing back down on them in a painful way they could tell you, or they move their hips up a little bit to indicate that they want your bodies to be a bit closer.

How to end it

If you are enjoying it you might want to do this for a couple of minutes, or longer. You don’t have to do it until somebody orgasms. As with any kind of sex, do it while it feels nice and stop doing it when it doesn’t. You would be using muscles in a way that you may not have used them before, so you might get cramp or a bit achy after a while. The more you practise the easier this will get, but only do that if this is something you enjoy. If it feels uncomfortable and not your thing it’s totally okay not to want to do it again.

What’s the best sex position for you?

Why (penis in vagina) sex can be meh

How to have sex

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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’ve been on the telly and the radio and have written articles for newspapers and magazines. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Read more about me and BISH here. Find out about my other work here Justin Hancock

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6 thoughts on “How Do I Go On Top?

  1. I like that you’re telling people to end it when you want, not when someone orgasms. That’s the problem with movies – we think we need to keep going until the bitter end and it should be perfect and hot… and that’s not always the case!

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