Thousands of women aged 18 to 93 have described specific ways they make vaginal penetration more pleasurable in a new study.

Researchers in the US used information from more than 4000 online surveys, and a further 1000 follow-up interviews to identify four main techniques popular during vaginal penetration. The ones on top: angling, rocking, shallowing and pairing. 

Angling, described in the study as “rotating, raising, or lowering the pelvis/hips during penetration to adjust where inside the vagina the toy or penis rubs and what it feels like” was popular with 88 percent of women. 

About three-quarters said they liked rocking - when the base of a penis or sex toy rubs against the clitoris constantly while remaining wholly inside the vagina. Eighty-four percent also enjoyed shallowing - where there’s penetrative touch just inside the entrance of the vagina with a fingertip, sex toy, penis tip, tongue or lips during vaginal penetration. 

And about 70 percent said they orgasmed more often, or enjoyed vaginal penetration more when pairing. That’s when either the woman herself or her partner stimulates her clitoris with a finger or sex toy during vaginal penetraiton.  

The study, published in the open access journal PLOS ONE this month, was led by Dr Devon Hensel, an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr Hensel is part of OMGyes - a group of professionals dedicated to creating honest, practical resources about women’s pleasure. 

This story is part of Re:’s Pleasure Week. See here for more stories about pleasure and sex. From the pleasure gap between women to kākāpō sex helmets - we have you covered.

Related stories:

Why are straight men scared of their own butts: School for Straights

Sex toy review: Fun for more than one

I tried Shibari, the kinky Japanese art of rope bondage