In feudal Japan, Geisha women used pillows to keep their heads propped up and their hair intact throughout the night. The ancient Egyptians used them to support the heads of the deceased in tombs. The ancient Chinese made their pillows out of jade and believed lying on them could transfer the stone’s healing properties to the brain. Today, the ways in which we use pillows aren’t quite as dramatic. We typically use them for comfort, specifically to get a good night’s sleep. Of course, that’s not the only bedroom activity they can help enhance. Pillows are very useful for sex.
“Pillows are perfect sex tools,” says Anne Hodder, a multi-certified sex & relationships educator based in Los Angeles. “They can be used pretty much anywhere your body might need a little boost, prop, or extra cushion – especially for those of us with hip, neck, back, or joint pain of any kind.”
In fact, the practice of incorporating sex pillows into the bedroom has become so popular an industry has sprung up around the idea. In fact, here are a variety of sex pillows to purchase, including wedges, domes, and those from a brand known as The Liberator. These tools allow couples to experiment with a variety of positions without strain.
Below, Hodder walks us through the many ways in which pillows can help angle us into better sex. Just make sure to wash it regularly — or have a designated sex pillow.
A Sex Pillow Helps Prop You Up
Known as the pillow technique, using a sex pillow to prop up a partner’s hips can help enhance pleasure. “It makes it easier to access and stimulate the clitoris, which is of course essential during cunnilingus,” she adds. And it’s not just about oral. Research suggests that a majority of women require clitoral stimulation to climax during sex. Positions like the coital alignment technique are designed to improve her odds of orgasm by angling the shaft of the penis against the clitoris. Throwing a pillow into the mix might make things even easier to maneuver.
A Sex Pillow Makes Things Easier To Access
“The most common way to use a pillow is under the hips during missionary or under the pelvis during lying-down-from-behind positions, which lifts the hips and pelvis just enough to make entering and accessing the vagina easier and more comfortable,” Hodder explains. “It also gives her partner a clearer view of the vaginal opening to reduce the risk of fumbling upon entry and accidentally thrusting or poking against the urethra or perineum.”
A Sex Pillow Helps With Height Differences
The same way some need step stools in the kitchen, others need pillows during sex. “Because we are all different heights, I often recommend keeping a couple of pillows at hand in case the receiving partner needs a little lift in order to meet their partner’s penis at the right level,” says Hodder. “Some couples enjoy a form of missionary that involves the receiving partner lying on their back on the bed with their butt scootched to the edge and the giving partner standing in front of them, usually holding their partner’s legs for support. In some cases, this position isn’t physically possible without pillows.”
A Sex Pillow Helps Enhance The View
“A pillow under the head or neck during any position that involves lying down not only adds comfort but makes it easier to make eye contact with or view your partner without neck strain,” Hodder explains. Studies show that eye contact can help increase feelings of passion and love. Others suggest maintaining eye contact during sex can help increase feelings of intimacy and trust. Certainly, those are important elements to incorporate into sex. And besides, we know certain visuals can help trigger sexual desire. Enhancing the view might just help expedite the process.
A Sex Pillow Makes Oral Easier
“Oral sex positions that involve a partner kneeling require a pillow or cushion of some sort to keep the knees safe and pain-free, especially if you plan to be down there for a while,” says Hodder. “For kneeling, I recommend a thicker pillow; memory foam pillows are the best and most stable/sturdy for this kind of play.”
This article was originally published on