Do You Need a Sex Pillow? 7 Reasons to Try One

Sex pillows or cushions are tools to help you have more pleasurable and comfortable sex. Here are other reasons you may want to try one.

When your sex life is good, it can make everything in your life feel better. And when it’s bad, it can have ripple effects that go far beyond the bedroom. Everyone deserves to have a happy, healthy sex life, and thankfully there are lots of options these days to help you achieve that. One underrated item that can be very useful is a sex pillow. They’re so great at lessening pain, improving pleasure, and accommodating a wide range of health issues that sex experts consider them almost necessary.

“Sex pillows are something that we recommend to many of our patients,” says Michael Ingber, MD, a sexual health specialist, and assistant clinical professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York.

Here’s why you might want to consider investing in a sex pillow, how to use one, and a few options.

(Related: I Can’t Seem to Orgasm During Sex. What Gives?)

What is a sex pillow?

Sex pillows may sound kinky at first—and they certainly can be used for kink play—but what they really are is a tool to help you position you or your partner’s bodies in different ways, says Carol Queen, PhD, certified sexologist for Good Vibrations, a sexual health and wellness retailer, and co-author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.

Sex pillows are generally made from firm foam surrounded by padding and a removable cloth or plastic covering. They come in many shapes, but the most popular ones are cubes, rectangles, wedges, ramps, bars, and chaises. Most pillows come in regular or plus size.

(Related: What Exactly Is Tantric Sex, and Should I Try It with My Partner?)

How to use a sex pillow

Sex pillows aren’t just for laying on! They come in such a variety of shapes so you can position them in different ways. “They’re all intended to assist positioning and promote comfort,” Queen says.

The cubes and bolsters can be great to lean on or hug during rear-entry; the ramps and wedges are great for elevating the hips and/or supporting the back; the chaises can support various positions and also often have bondage rings built in, she explains. You can also find sex pillows with pockets or attachments to help position sex toys for easier use.

These aren’t hard rules, though. Find a shape that you like and experiment with different positions. Even though they are just “pillows,” they are tools, and so you should read the instructions before using, says Dr. Ingber. “Be careful when first using them,” he says. “Experiment with your partner, take it slow, and as always, if something doesn’t feel comfortable, then stop.”

And note: Sex pillows aren’t just for straight couples. They can be just as helpful for same-sex couples or for solo encounters, says Dr. Ingber.

(Related: Are There Different Types of Orgasms? What Sex Experts Say)

Why you should use a sex pillow

Comfort

The top reason people use a sex pillow is to improve their comfort during sex. It can help you adjust your position, angle, and depth of penetration, allowing you to find your ideal situation. This isn’t just nice; it’s necessary, as many people can’t enjoy sex or climax if they are uncomfortable, says Dr. Ingber. You shouldn’t just accept uncomfortable or painful sex, he adds. The more comfortable you are during sex, the longer it could last.

Less pain

“One in three women report pain during intercourse, and this can be related to the pelvic floor muscles,” says Dr. Ingber. These are a group of muscles that surround all the pelvic organs, and when they get tight or tense, they can cause “penetrational dyspareunia”, or pain with deep penetration. “Sex pillows often allow couples to experiment with varying positions, and working with sexual health specialists, we can often help women have pain-free sex,” he says.

Increased sexual pleasure

Many women do not orgasm from missionary position alone. Sex pillows can help you find a position that allows for more effective penetration, easier oral sex, or more stimulation of the clitoris. It may also make it easier to use sex toys, either alone or with a partner.

Kink play

Getting tied to the bed sounds sexy until you realize your bed has nothing to tie to or is too rickety. Sex pillows can solve that problem in a safe and easy way with a wide variety of loops and attachments designed for bondage and other types of kink play, says Queen.

Help with mobility challenges

People with arthritis, back pain, or other medical issues can find sex to be difficult and painful. Sex pillows can help reduce the pressure on joints, support your hips and back, and allow for a greater range of motion than you could do on your own.

Pregnancy sex

By the end of pregnancy, nearly everything is uncomfortable, and lying flat on your back for long periods of time isn’t a good idea. A sex pillow can help you get into a position that is comfortable and safe while still allowing you to have satisfying sex.

General health

Having regular, satisfying sex is good for you physically and emotionally. It strengthens your relationship with your partner and yourself. If a sex pillow helps you have more good sex then it is worth it for that reason alone. This is what happens to your body if you stop having sex.

(Related: Your Vibrator Shopping Guide)

What to consider before buying a sex pillow

Talk to your doctor

If you are using the pillow to help with pain or a medical condition, talk to your doctor or a sex therapist about the size and style that will be most effective for your situation.

A quality cover

A removable, washable cover is a must. Sex can be messy, and you will want to be able to clean yours easily, Queen says.

Firmness

Pillows vary in firmness, so be sure to order one that will be as firm or as soft as you need.

Allergens

Check the tag for what is used in the filling. Some people are irritated by or allergic to certain pillow fillings. This is uncomfortable enough on its own but can be a real problem when it is in contact with your most sensitive areas, says Dr. Ingber.

The return policy

Sex pillows are sold in some adult stores, but the widest variety is available online. Buy from a reputable manufacturer, says Queen. That way you know exactly what you are getting, and most will have a return policy if it doesn’t work out as you’d like.

The best sex pillows

Here are some of the best sex pillows to try, according to the criteria from the experts.

Drive Medical Folding Bed Wedge

Drive Medical Folding Bed Wedge

Drive Medical Folding Bed Wedge

This basic wedge pillow from Drive Medical gets rave reviews for being sturdy, durable, and easy to clean. It doesn’t have any fancy bells or whistles, but it gets the job done. The wedge shape is versatile and can be folded into a rectangle for more options. It comes in two sizes, and the lower price makes it a great option for people who are new to sex pillows and just want to try it out.

$56, amazon.ca

Black Label Hipster Chaise

Black Label Hipster Chaise

Black Label Hipster chaise

This S-shaped lounging chaise from Good Vibes is designed to conform to curves in a variety of ways, providing support for many different positions. The moisture-repellant cover is removable and machine washable. It comes with clips for attaching toys, handcuffs, or other items.

$205 US, goodvibes.com

Liberator Wedge Ramp Combo

Liberator Wedge Ramp Combo

Liberator Wedge Ramp Combo

Liberator is a well-respected manufacturer of sex pillows, and this wedge-ramp combo is one of their top sellers. It is extremely versatile and is constructed to offer support for the back and hips while still cradling the head, for maximum comfort. It comes in six colours and two sizes.

$265 US, liberator.com

Tula Toy Mount

Tula Toy Mount

Tula Toy Mount

This Good Vibes pillow provides targeted, firm support during couple and solo sessions. It comes with two pockets to securely hold sex toys in a more convenient position, leaving your hands free.

$100 US, goodvibes.com

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