The first time I remember being turned on by a sex scene in a book was as a high-schooler reading The Boleyn Inheritance — the lesser-known sequel to Philippa Gregory’s Tudor smut masterpiece, The Other Boleyn Girl. Toward the end of the novel, Henry VIII’s doomed fifth wife, Katherine Howard, has adulterous (and ultimately fatal) sex with the similarly doomed courtier Thomas Culpeper, straddling him as he sits in a high-backed chair.
Spoiler alert: they both get executed for adultery, but the chair sex scene is hot enough that you have to wonder if it might have been worth it. Regardless, I’ve been into chair sex ever since, and believe that the chair is one of the most underutilized pieces of furniture — sexually speaking — especially given its relative ubiquity and accessibility. No, doing it on a chair is perhaps not as exotic as fucking on the kitchen floor, dining room table or washing machine, but it’s certainly a lot more practical, while remaining far less trite than the bed.
In short, chair sex offers the perfect blend of novelty and feasibility, two key but often overlooked tenets of good sex. But while the premise is relatively simple — you have sex on a chair, duh — there’s more variety and finesse to chair-based sex than meets the eye. For your edification, I’ve kindly outlined some tips from noted chair sex enthusiast yours truly, as well as a few other experts, on how to execute the chair-based sex session of your fantasies. (And if you don’t have any of those fantasies, please flip to page 406 of The Boleyn Inheritance. You’re welcome.)
The best chair sex positions
At first glance, a chair may seem like a somewhat restrictive vehicle for sex, one that more or less limits your options to a kind of chair-based cowgirl, in which the penetrating party sits while their partner straddles them. To be clear, this is a perfectly fine and valid way to fuck and/or be fucked in a chair — nothing wrong with the classics. But to think that this is the only way to do it in a chair is sheer folly.
If you’re willing to get creative, the chair can be a platform for as many different sex acts and positions as the bed: standing, sitting, oral, bent over the arm of the couch (it’s worth noting that for the purposes of this article I am considering a couch a chair) — the possibilities are virtually endless.
“When it comes to chair or couch sex, there are many possible positions, and cowgirl isn’t the only one,” says Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of Becoming Cliterate and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex, and a sexpert for LELO. She outlines “just four of many options” below, and this list is far from exhaustive:
- Cowgirl Against the Wall: (also called “Lap Dance”) The person on the bottom (the person penetrating) sits, legs together, in an armless chair with their knees touching the wall. The person on top (the person being penetrated) then straddles the giver’s lap and lowers themselves down onto their partner while keeping themselves steady by pressing their upper back against the wall and undulating their hips for a unique penetrative experience.
- Chair Back Bliss: (also called “The Iron Throne”) The receiver of penetration leans over the chair’s back and the penetrating partner enters from behind.
- Doggy Chair Style: (pretty self-explanatory, doesn’t really need a more creative name) The penetrating partner stands behind, entering while the receiving partner is standing, bent at the waist, in front of the chair. The partner being penetrated holds onto the chair.
- Backwards Fun: (also called “Zeal”) The penetrating partner sits in a chair, leans their body back and rests their head on the chair back. The partner being penetrated sits on the bottom partner, with their back to them and tilts their body slightly forward with palms resting on their partner’s knees.
Also, don’t forget about oral. As is the case with good sex of any kind (on any kind of furniture), it’s important not to limit your chair-based exploration to penetrative sex alone. While a chair can certainly provide a platform for any number of penetrative positions, it can also be great for oral sex, regardless of any given genital configurations of the partners at hand.
Selecting the right chair sex chair
At this advanced stage of my chair-sex-having career, I pride myself on being able to identify an ideal chair sex chair upon first glance. Still, not all chairs are created equally, and it can be surprisingly difficult to find one suitable for the job. As Mintz wisely puts it, “Some chairs are more comfortable than others, and this is true in general and for sex in specific.”
Of course, as Mintz notes, different positions will demand different chair specifications. But for traditional cowgirl chair sex, I’d recommend something with arms — they’re helpful for stability. At the same time, however, the seat needs to be wide enough to accommodate two people — or, more specifically, one person straddling another person — and sometimes arms can take up more seat breadth than they’re worth. Obviously, there’s sometimes a little trial and error involved, and that’s fine. If the arms are getting in the way, you can always just bend your partner over them; it’s called problem-solving skills.
Seat depth is also an often desirable quality in a chair sex chair, though if you’re experimenting with other positions that don’t involve a receiving partner straddling a penetrating one, being further away from a seated partner’s genitals isn’t always ideal.
Firmness is also something crucial to be considered. “Make sure the chair or couch isn’t too soft,” says Maureen Pollack, co-founder of Lovability and inventor of the (TikTok-famous) WaterSlyde. “Though this may seem like it would be more comfortable, it absorbs the momentum. The firmer the easier.” Still, while you don’t want to be sinking into the cushions, you don’t want any bruised knees or tailbones, so avoid any hard surfaces totally devoid of cushioning.
You’re also going to want to watch the upholstery. In the interest of swift cleanup, Pollack recommends sticking with leather or vegan leather furniture. “Sex can get messy, and there is nothing wrong with that, but you don’t want a frabic piece of furniture that will absorb fluids,” she advises. And if you can’t find a cleanup friendly option, make sure you have your trusty sex towel ready.
If, on the other hand, you find that you just can’t bring yourself to sacrifice the chairs and couches on which you and other members of your household engage in everyday acts of lounging to the sins of carnal activity, there is a wide range of stylish yet sex-specific furniture available these days. While these options run the gamut from pillows designed to make certain positions more comfortable to kinkier options (read: sex swings), Mintz says that if you’re in need of full-fledged furniture that “looks like regular furniture but is designed for sex,” then look no further than Liberator. In addition to sex toys and accessories, the company also sells and manufactures a line of high-end sex chaises and loungers designed specifically with carnal contortions in mind.
Last but not least — and this goes without saying — you should probably avoid anything with wheels.