Missionary gets a bad rap: it's boring, it's safe, it's vanilla.

Thing is, it doesn't have to be.

The ol' stalwart can be the hottest thing since molten lava oozing out from beneath an oceanic subduction zone … if you know what you're doing.

Here are seven ways to make that happen for you and your fuck-cushion.

1. Try the CAT (Coital Alignment Technique)

The Coital Alignment Technique is perfect for people who want to spice up their vanilla as it were, but don't want to get too crazy with it.

The basic technique has the man shifting his body forward towards his partner, so that his cock penetrates her at a more vertical angle (perpendicular to the bed … or Camry backseat or … whatever). The goal here is to have the base of his dick and pelvic bone rubb against his partner's clit as he thrusts downwards.

It's a little awkward as first, and isn't as familiar-feeling as ordinary missionary, but if you can make it work, I swear to all that is holy that it'll make the position 1,394 times better.

Confused? Here, the CAT has a whole website dedicated to its perfection where you can find more detailed instructions and weird, PSA-style vidoes.

(It's not necessarily a gendered technique; any combination of men and women can do it, although it does work better for clits).

2. Get kinky

Missionary is a great position to work in all levels of kink into your sex life.

Kink newbs can experiment with gags and blindfolds that allow you to remove one sense so that others are heightened. More advanced kinksters can use the vulnerability of the position to play around with handcuffs, ropes and other restraints, all of which are relatively inexpensive and intuitive to use.

A particularly great bondage-y thing to try with missionary is tying the bottom partner's hands to the bed post or the legs of the bed so that they're comfortable, but in a position of submission.

3. Use toys

There's a whole galaxy of sex toys you can use during missionary to make it more interesting.

You can turn up the heat to solar gas levels by using a vibrator on you or your partner's clit, inserting a small butt plug or prostate stimulator into each other's butts, or by teasing each other with hot wax or feathers while you're in missionary position.

Then, there's the glorious world of couples toys, which are specially designed sex gadgets that both partners can use. For example, the WeVibe or the Lelo IDA both have a small, vibrating arms that can be inserted into the vagina or anus along with a penis so that both parties can feel the vibration.

If one of you has any trepidations about toys, talk about  them as an enhancement to, not a replacements for, the less vibrate-y human touch.

4. Orgasm before you fuck

Over three quarters of vagina-having Americans don't orgasm from penetration alone. That's why one of the best ways to fuck is to fuck after the female partner has come.

Why? Multiple orgasms, that's why. Many women find that having orgasms before sex makes orgasms during sex much more likely — the first orgasm usually puts them over the hump and makes the subsequent few a little easier. So, incorporate toys, oral, fingering, or whatever else you gets you off beforehand.

What does this have to do with missionary? Well, you precocious brat, missionary is the most common position women report having orgasms in. So, if you can ensure you or your partner is already taken care of before missionary, missionary itself should be a whole lot more exciting.

5. Actually do the dead fish

Although the dead fish is on par with stubbing your toe on a hacksaw when it's not wanted, it can be an insanely hot way to play with control and power when it is.

To pick up what I'm putting down, have one person lie on their back, completely still, on the fuck-surface of your choice. The other person gets to have at them while they're in that position, enjoying free reign to control their partner's body and movements. Basically, the bottom partner is like an inflatable sex doll, and the top is like the last, lonely bachelor standing at the bachelor party.

As difficult as it might be for the bottom to be quiet or resist gyrating around, this technique builds up the sexual tension between both partners until you can't keep it together any longer and you have to move and moan. It can also be a veryo y insightful way to find out what kinds of things your partner would do to you if they were able to have complete control.

If you want to get even kinkier, play around with consensual "sleep" sex — the bottom person can lie there, silent and still, and pretend they're sleeping while the little buddy on top pretends to take advantage of them (this is only something you should do if you've consensually agreed to, obviously). The complete relinquishing of control and the consensual "violation" can make missionary about as vanilla as a chocolate mud-pie … which, I'm assuming, isn't very vanilla. I don't know, I'm bad at backing. Anyway. Moving on. 

6. Butt stuff

Missionary is the unequivocal best position for beginner anal sex because it allows the penetrator to see their partner's facial reactions. This is vital because because of how much anal can hurt when it's not done correctly — and pain is a sign that you need to stop and reassess.

Face-down, ass-up, it can be harder to communicate, especially for people who find it difficult to speak up when something doesn't feel right during sex. However when you can actually see each other's faces during sex like you can in missionary, you don't necessarily have to "say" anything if you don't feel comfortable doing so (which I hope isn't the case — you have every right to speak up about what does and does not feel good). Instead, you can let your facial expressions do the talking for you.

7. Peg away

When most people think of missionary, they imagine that the female partner is on the bottom and the man is on top, which is a cute, but woefully old fashioned way to look at our species' most popular position.

Instead of succumbing to this old, gendered idea, switch up your roles and expectations by trying pegging if your partner's willing. It's a big step, and involves mutual enthusiastic enthusiastic consent all around, but I can guarantee you that if you give it a whirl, missionary will be less mehhh, and more memorable. Magnificent. Moving. Motivational. Other M words. Great. Good talk.