What Is Reverse Cowgirl?

Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on October 13, 2023
6 min read

photo of Reverse cowgirl sex position

The reverse cowgirl is a sex position in which one partner sits on top of the other, facing away from them. It's a variation of the cowgirl position. The partner on top has most of the control and does most of the moving, while the partner on the bottom lies on their back.

It's a little different, but this position is nothing new: References to it can be found as far back in history as the Kama Sutra, a 2,300-year-old Hindu text that included descriptions of hundreds of sexual positions. In the ancient text, reverse cowgirl is known as The Tigress.

What is the difference between cowgirl and reverse cowgirl? 

One partner sits on top of the other in both positions. However, in cowgirl, the person on top faces forward toward their partner’s head, while in reverse cowgirl they are turned in the opposite direction, toward their partner’s feet. The partner on top has most of the control and does most of the moving, while the partner on the bottom lies on their back. It's also called the reverse rider.

This position can take some practice, but it can add to the pleasure of both partners in several ways:  

  • It can change up sexual dynamics: The partner receiving penetration can take a dominant role, while the penetrative partner can be more passive. 
  • It gives the person on the bottom a view of their partner from behind. 
  • If the partner on top is shy about self-stimulation in front of others, they can do so without being watched. 
  • The bottom partner's hands are free to touch and stimulate the person on top. 
  • The angle of entry allows for deep penetration and may stimulate the G-spot for partners with vaginas.

To get into position, the "rider" can stand over their partner and then lower themselves to squat down over their partner's penis or dildo. They can also kneel astride them if they prefer to stay on their knees. Once they're comfortable, they can try some variations to the beginning sitting position: 

  • The partner on top can lean forward on their hands while bouncing their hips up and down. 
  • The partner on top can stay upright and lean on their knees while bouncing up and down, or, alternatively, they can grind their hips back and forth. 
  • A third and more complex variation is for the partner on top to lean back and support their weight with their feet and their hands stretched out behind them. They can move their body up and down or back and forth.

If you have limited flexibility or mobility issues that make this position a little more challenging, there are a few things you can try to make it more comfortable: 

Use pillows: Putting pillows under the bottom partner's back can help ease back strain. The top partner can also tuck them under their knees for extra support and cushioning. 

Lean on the headboard: If there's a sturdy bed with a headboard, the bottom partner can lie with their feet pointing toward the headboard, while the top partner can hold onto it for support. 

Reverse cowgirl in a chair: For a sitting reverse cowgirl, the penetrative partner sits upright in a chair or on the edge of a bed. The partner on top then sits between their legs, facing away from them. This way they can support themselves with their feet on the floor or with their hands if using a chair that has arms.  

Bottom partner helps. The person on the bottom can help their partner in this position by using their hands to help lift them or hold them up while they thrust upward. 

Switch the angle. The partner on top can change the angle of penetration by varying their body position. They can lean forward or backward and bend or arch their back, like in the yoga "cat and cow" position. 

Reverse cowgirl is a position that any couple can try. Two partners with penises can do it with anal intercourse, and if both partners have vaginas, one can wear a strap-on dildo. The positions and motions are the same for all couples.

The reverse cowgirl position requires a little flexibility and coordination, so it's important for to be careful and make sure you're doing it safely to protect both partners. 

Possible Risks

Staying in the reverse cowgirl position for a long time could be uncomfortable for your knees and some other joints. It can also put a strain on the leg and arm muscles. It might be a good idea to do some stretching before you try this position.

If the two of you get out of sync, there's a chance that if the bottom partner has a penis, it could slip out and get bent backward or caught under the top partner's pubic bone. This can cause penile fracture, which is when the spongy tissue inside the penis is damaged or torn. It's a medical emergency that usually needs surgery to treat. 

It's also possible for the penetration to be too deep and for the bottom partner's penis or dildo to strike the top partner's cervix or go too far into their rectum. 

Tips for Reverse Cowgirl 

Don’t try to rush it. You might feel stimulation in new and different areas of your body. Take a moment to get used to any new sensations before you commit to a rhythm.

Talk to your partner. As with any new sex position, be sure to communicate with your partner and be sure that both of you understand what it is and what you’re supposed to do. This position empowers the person on top to control the action, so if you’re on top, don’t be afraid to let your partner know what it is that you want or need more of. Let your partner know when you need or want to vary the position or switch to a new position entirely.

Take anatomy into account. Think about how your bodies will fit: the size and angle of the penetrating partner's penis and the receiving partner's vagina or rectum. You can make too-deep penetration less likely by having the top partner change the angle or lean forward or backward slightly. Go slowly. Use small motions at first or grind instead of thrusting. You can also use a penis bumper or a shorter dildo. And definitely let your partner know how things feel as you go. 

Use lubrication. A water-based lube will help make penetration easier. 

Be ready for fatigue. Holding this position can be quite tiring for the partner on top. If their knees get tired, they can try shifting the heels of their feet outward or inward to relieve some pressure. You and your partner can also rotate among the different reverse cowgirl variations to give your muscles a break. Additionally, the penetrating partner can hold the partner on the top by the hips or waist and thrust upward.

Try props or pillows. You can use pillows or foam wedges to support both partners and prevent back or knee strain as well as to adjust your penetration angle. 

Put on some music. Listening to a song can add to the mood while it helps you both stay on the same rhythm.

Go for extra stimulation. With this position, it's easy to bring additional types of stimulation into the mix, especially for the top partner. They can use their hands, a vibrator, or a stroker to stimulate their genitals. The bottom partner can use their hands to stimulate the top partner's anus with their fingers, vibrator, or a butt plug. The top partner can use their hands or a sex toy to stimulate the bottom partner's genitals as they ride them. 

Take turns being the active partner. If the top partner gets tired, the bottom partner can use their hands to help them move or thrust upward from their lying-down position.

Reverse cowgirl is a sex position in which one partner sits on top of the other facing away from them. It offers deep penetration and allows the top partner to stimulate themselves. But it takes flexibility and balance to do it safely, and both partners need to be careful and communicate with each other.