Cindy Chupack
Photo: Joe Pugliese
Q: My boyfriend's birthday is coming up, and I really want to turn him on with some exciting new positions. Our sex life is great, but I want to use some moves that will make this time the best he's ever had.
— Shalesha, Virginia

A: I'm glad you wrote, Shalesha, because you got me thinking: Every year I read about those researchers who predict the hot new colors—like mango and avocado—that we'll be seeing on everything from iPods to mixers, but who's predicting the hot new sexual positions for '08? Is there a research facility somewhere in Michigan where two tired but limber coworkers are toiling round the clock to invent cutting-edge combinations? ("Can you reach my nipple with your left toe, Ralph, because that we haven't done.")

The truth is, unless you're a contortionist for Cirque du Soleil, it's hard to create a completely new position, but thanks to books, websites, instructional videos, and that oldie but goodie the Kama Sutra, there are hundreds of documented positions to choose from. And you should choose, because for all I know, you consider the Reverse Wheelbarrow positively old hat.

I did a quick survey, and two guides made my cut from bookstore to bed stand: The first is The Sex Deck, by Emily Dubberley with Dr. Dawn Harper, a big red deck of cards containing 52 sexual positions. Let your boyfriend pick one at random, or deal him a good hand. On the front of each card is the position's name and illustration, and on the back is a description of how to do it, why it's good for men (and for women), and cautionary notes like "This position should be avoided if the man is particularly well-endowed." (Note: If you're really doing this as a gift for your man, always maintain the position that you're worried he's too well-endowed for this particular position.)'s Position of the Day Playbook is a tongue-in-cheek (and tongue in a lot of other places) workbook that gives you not just a choice for every day of the year but also a system for rating it and an estimate of how many calories you'll burn! Since it's organized like a calendar, you could choose the position that falls on your boyfriend's birthday, or give him the book as a promise that this year is going to be the best (and most physically demanding) of his life. I found the book's tone, illustrations, and position names—the Edward Scissorlegs, the Twister Stalemate—refreshingly playful. So playful, in fact, that some of the contortions might be impossible to achieve. For example, the Magician's Assistant requires the man to stand while the woman straddles him, holding only his wrists for support so she's basically suspended faceup in midair. My husband welcomed the challenge, but during the 1.2 seconds I was "suspended," I laughed so hard, I couldn't breathe. Then again, a position that makes you laugh is almost as good as a position that makes you scream. It's all about fun...and, apparently, defying gravity.

Another option is to custom blend a position for your boyfriend in the same way you custom blend a perfume. Ask him what view of you he most enjoys during sex. Where would he like his hands...and your hands? Does he get dizzy when he's upside down? Then blend it all together and name it something intriguing, like Position #141: Let Shalesha Unleash Ya!

Regardless of your position on positions, I love that Shalesha is looking to spice up her already spicy love life. That's the key to great sex: being open, creative, and active in the never-ending quest to make love better.