What Is the Pretzel Sex Position?

Medically Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo, MD on July 02, 2023
4 min read

Some sex positions sound deceptively simple but actually require gymnast-like contortions. The pretzel is a position that sounds more complicated and difficult than it is. The pretzel requires more effort from the partner on top, which is the partner penetrating the other. This sex position demands less athleticism from the partner on bottom.   

Many people enjoy the pretzel position because it allows for deep penetration without sacrificing eye contact, which can contribute to a sense of intimacy. Additionally, the pretzel sex position is sometimes called the pretzel dip, but the two names refer to the same basic maneuver.

The pretzel is a two-person sex position. It is traditionally described in language that implies a man and a woman, but it equally can be performed by two women or two men. The only requirement is that at least one of the two people penetrates the other.

In the pretzel, one partner lies on their side. Facing them, the other partner straddles their bottom leg, keeping their torso upright. The person on bottom bends the knee of the top leg. The person on top thrusts into the person on bottom, controlling the depth and tempo.

If the raised leg makes the person on bottom feel unstable, they can use their top arm to help them stay in position, placing it in front or behind them.

The angle and depth of penetration can be adjusted in several ways:

  • The partner on top can grab the top arm of the person on bottom, pulling the bottom person towards them
  • The partner on bottom can bring the knee closer to the chest
  • The partner on bottom can hook the leg back around the person on top

Because of the body poses involved in the pretzel, some people recommend the pretzel for more sensual, grinding sex. Wild thrusting is a little more difficult in the position.

The pretzel can be used for more than penis-in-vagina sex. Slight adjustments to the ways in which the bodies are angled will enable anal sex. The pretzel can also be used between women using a strap-on or double dildo. While the position generally refers to penetrative sex, the basic pose could also be sustained while the person on top grinds into the person on bottom.

The Pretzel Dip

The pretzel dip is simply another name for the pretzel sex position.

The Passion Pretzel

The passion pretzel is not a variation of the pretzel. It is a wholly different position.

In the passion pretzel, the two partners kneel, facing one another. They then set their opposite feet down, opening their bodies towards one another. They slowly move together until they can join genitals and rock towards and away from one another. Some people may enjoy the position because it allows for equal effort and control on the part of both partners. The slow grind of torsos in this position may also allow for clitoral stimulation.

The person on bottom is passive.

In addition to being able to help control the angle of penetration, the person on bottom can also use their free top arm to enhance sensation for one or both partners.

It only provides internal stimulation for a woman, making it difficult for her to achieve orgasm.

There are several varieties of female orgasm, though many of them do not work for all women. The angle of penetration can allow the man to hit a woman’s g-spot, stimulating her in this way.

As for external stimulation, both partners have hands available to rub the sensitive tissue of the clitoris. In addition, the woman may rub up against the leg of the person on top or even find an angle that permits grinding contact.

If more stimulation is wanted, partners could always try introducing external vibrators or vibrating cock rings.

The pretzel sex position can be accomplished by most people of average health and fitness. If you find an uncomfortable angle or the position puts stress on a part of your body, talk to your partner and adjust or stop.

Talking to Your Partner about Trying the Pretzel Sex Position

Communication is important for healthy sexual encounters at any stage of a relationship. Be open and honest about what you want and why. 

Using common reference points that you both understand can help. For example, you might say that you enjoy the deep penetration of doggy-style but would like to try something a little more intimate.

Possible Risks

The pretzel sex position is more likely to put stress on the body of the person on top, particularly if they have preexisting conditions such as lower back pain. Any thrusting position can aggravate weak or damaged back muscles.