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 Europeans started using them in churches to support their knees during prayer. 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. Today, we typically use them to help get a good night’s sleep. Of course, that’s not the only bedroom activity they can help enhance. Yes, we are talking about 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.” She’s right. In fact, the practice of incorporating pillows into our sexual escapades has become so popular an industry has sprung up around the idea. Below, Hodder walks us through the many ways in which pillows can help angle us into better sex.
They Make 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.”
They Help Elevate The Goods
“A pillow under the hips also 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.
They Help 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.
They Help With Height Differences
The same way some need stepstools 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.”
They Make 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.”