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It has been pointed out that this is probably the most common position for sexual intercourse in our society, so commonplace that it is often termed the "normal" one. Most women express a preference for this position, and about 70% of American males have never copulated in any other manner. However, the position is relatively rare in other culturesso rare, in fact, that even considering its popularity in this country, on a universal basis it is far from being a favorite coital position.
Ordinarily, vaginal-penile contact is quite easily achieved when the woman reclines on her back with legs apart and knees bent. She can shift her pelvis or perhaps place a small pillow under her buttocks to help adjust the slant of the vagina for easy and deep penetration. It is sometimes desirable for the woman to close her legs after entry, thus constricting the vaginal opening and walls, in order to provide more
The man partially supports himself on his elbows and knees to avoid putting his full weight on his wife. He is largely in control of the bodily rhythms, as his weight and size limit his wife to circular, up and down, and rocking pelvic movements. The husband should try to keep contact with the clitoris by putting pressure on the upper part of his wife's vulva. Pressure on her pubic bone is helpful in that it sandwiches the clitoris between it and the point of the husband's bodily contact, which is usually at his pubic bone. There are numerous variations on the man-astride position, such as the woman's pulling her knees to her shoulders, or locking her legs around her husband's body.
The advantages of the face-to-face, man-above position are many. In this posture, the woman is usually relaxed, and the man has the primary initiative; in our culture, this male-superior position appears to have certain psychological advantages. Entry is simple, and any adaptations that bring pleasure to the couple can be made easily. It is convenient for couples who enjoy the man's pelvic thrust. In addition, the husband can often maintain penetration after he has had an orgasm, and the position facilitates caressing, kissing, and affectionate intimacy between the two. It is an excellent position for impregnation, as the woman can keep her knees raised after the ejaculation, improving chances of the sperm's entering the uterus.
The disadvantages of the face-to-face, man-above position are the obverse of the advantages. The wife's movements and active participation may be too restricted; penetration may be too deep for her comfort. It may also be uncomfortable for a woman with an obese or awkward husband, and it may be too acrobatic for older or stouter couples. Some men have difficulty in maintaining contact with their partner's clitoris in this position, and manual stimulation of that organ is difficult during coitus. The position is often too exciting for the man, causing him to reach climax too quickly. Furthermore, it is uncomfortable and inadvisable for women in the last stages of pregnancy.