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What is Slow Sex and why it's so important

Written by Alice Child, Somatic Sexologist

Sydney-based Somatic Sexologist and Sex & Intimacy Counsellor Alice Child explains why “warm sex” or "slow sex" is vital for all relationships, and explains the best sex positions and activities for turning up the heat (with less of the sweat!)

A couple spooning side by side in bed
When we slow down, we can feel more.

“Hot Sex” is usually defined as fast, intense, and energetic thrusting. Not only is this picture not representative of all bodies and sexualities, but it gives a very limited - and boring! - picture of what great sex is.

It can also be really harmful for relationships as not everyone enjoys that sort of intimacy. Slow sex aka "warm sex" is vital for long term relationships, and involves slower experiences of sensuality, intimacy, pleasure, and connection.

And let's face it sometimes we are exhausted and want great connection and intimacy without the workout. Here are some tips to help you have just that!

This guide contains general advice only. If you need more tailored support, please book in a session.

What is the definition of slow sex / warm sex?💥💫

Sex Therapist Dr. Jack Morin coined the term “warm sex” in his Book The Erotic Mind. In his words, “warm sex revolves around calmer experiences of sensuality, affection, pleasure, and playful fun”.

Although warm sex can be extremely pleasurable, intense, connective, intimate and orgasmic the key difference is that orgasm and high arousal are not its main goal - instead the focus is on connection, sensuality and pleasure.

What is the benefit of warm sex?

There are lots of other reasons why we might want lower energy sex or slower more sensual sex. For example:

🌟 Mismatched libido or periods of lower sex drive

Dr. Jack Morin emphasizes the importance of “warm sex” in long term relationships. He says that “to preserve opportunities for lusty, passionate sex, most successful long-term couples need to develop the ability to enjoy “warm sex.” This is especially true during periods when desire for sex is relatively low (eg after childbirth) because “warm sex allows couples to maintain a physical bond and helps them to continue perceiving each other in a sexual light.”

He goes on to say that he has never seen a couple who has been able to rebuild a sexual connection after they had stopped thinking of each other in an erotic way for five or more years… so warm sex is vital for keeping that flame alive, especially for couples with different sex drives.

🌟Feel more pleasure and connection!

Warm sex or slow sex is often slower, gentler and very intimate. This can lead to deep feelings of connection, and allow you to really surrender and feel more subtle sensations. When we slow down, we feel more.

It also give the clitoris time to fully become engorged and ready for pleasure (which can sometimes take up to 30-40 minutes!)


Sometimes we are just not in the mood for high energy and exotic sex positions on a Tuesday night! With warm sex, intimacy can still be on the table.


Lots of sex positions are a privilege of the able-bodied. Great sex, intimacy and pleasure should be available for everyone.


Certain positions feel painful or uncomfortable for certain bodies - going slowly is vital for people who have a history of painful sex.


As our body changes overtime, certain positions may no longer be achievable or feel as pleasurable.

🌟Performance anxiety and erectile difficulties

The expectation that sex should look like porn (think high energy penetrative positions) can often increase peoples performance anxiety. This can make getting or maintaining an erection really challenging, leading to erectile difficulty. Removing the pressure of high energy sex can really help.


Slower, gentler sex can be great for people with a history of trauma who need to rebuild safety, trust and control.


Variety is the spice of life and by changing up our sexual scripts we add more curiosity, newness and fun to our sex life.

What are some warm sex ideas that don’t involve penetration?

Sexual connection and intimacy looks very different for everybody, and some of the most extraordinary, pleasurable, intimate and connective sex can involve absolutely no penetration at all.

If you don't believe me, some ideas are:

🌟 Tantra

🌟 Erotic massages

🌟 Oral sex / 69

🌟 Sensation play

🌟Sensual Bondage / Shibari rope sessions

🌟Role play / Dirty Talk

🌟Sensual Masturbation in front of each other

🌟 Sexting / sharing nudes

🌟A naughty handjob somewhere unexpected

🌟 Using a sex toy on each other

🌟Sensual fingering

What are some great low energy sex position ideas that can involve penetration?


A personal favourite! Lie with one person as the big spoon and one person as the little spoon. Allow the big spoons hands explore the body of the little spoon, kissing and caressing their neck and back. If the big spoon has a penis, this is great for penetration that is less deep than in other positions but still very pleasurable, and can give great g spot action. Works for both vaginal and anal penetration.

You can both add a gentle rock/grind to this position to still build friction and pleasure without breaking a sweat! It’s essentially doggy without the effort/back bends. The hands of the big spoon can also wrap around to give extra stimulation to the little spoons nipples/clitoris/penis /body!

An illustration of a couple spooning

🌟Lazy 69 (lying on your side):

A variation of the popular 69 oral sex position where one person is on top (how exhausting!) you can both be lying on your side facing each other with one persons feet at the top of the bed and one persons feet at the bottom of the bed.

Shuffle towards each other until you are both facing each others genitals and explore each other with your hands and mouths. Very sexy, very slow.

An illustration of a couple in the 69 position
Image via Insider

🌟Flat missionary:

A low energy adaptation of the classic missionary (one person lying down on their back, the other person kneeling between their legs and penetrating them) the person on top also lies down, so that you have even more skin on skin contact.

Added benefit of being able to kiss, have connective eye contact, and also are able to grind up against each others bodies for extra external clitoris stimulation for those with vulvas. Very intimate, pleasurable, and low energy!

An illustration of missionary sex
Via MensHealth

🌟On your front:

A great low energy position for the person lying down, and very orgasmic! Lie down on your belly and simply enjoy the feeling of surrender. If you enjoy vibration on your genitals, you can place a vibrator underneath you and rock/grind against it. This is highly orgasmic, as the friction against the bed and added weight gives deep clitoris stimulation.

The second person straddles you and can rub your back/bum/ legs/anus/genitals in a lovely massage. Penetration (anally and vaginally) also feels amazing in this position when you feel ready, but you may need to put a cushion under your hips to help with accessibility. The person on top can also lie down on top of you to increase skin to skin contact and intimacy.

🌟Head in lap:

Give oral sex the lazy way by snuggling up in your partners lap, resting your head on their thigh. From this position you have great access to explore their genitals with your mouth and hands, and it works really for all genitals. It can be done with both of you lying down in bed, or with them sitting up on the sofa (for example) and you lying across their lap.

🌟Mutual masturbation:

Watching your partner self pleasure can be so so sexy, plus you learn so much about how they like to be touched.

Mutual masturbation is such a great sex option if you want physical intimacy but can’t, don’t want to or don’t have the energy to get each other off physically. Let’s face it, It can be much easier and lower effort to get yourself off!

This can also be done with just one person self touching and the other person simply watching if they are not in the mood to self pleasure. The watcher can still be very intimate and connected to the experience - for example lie on their chest, stroke their body, and whisper in their ear how sexy they look.

🌟Yab yum or lotus position

An amazing tantric pose where one person sits upright with their legs out in front of them, and the other person sits on their lap facing them with their legs on top of their legs.

This can be penetrative, or it can just be really intense and connective by adapting it with things such as eye gazing, synchronised breathing, placing your hands on each others hearts, placing your foreheads together, rubbing each others bodies or rocking/swaying together.

The important thing is presence, connection, and feeling in tune with earth others bodies . Slowness is encouraged!

Alice Child - Somatic Sexologist, Sex Therapy & Sex Counsellor - helps people achieve happier and healthier sex lives through 1:1 sex coaching, couples sex counselling, hens parties, and workshops. Book a session here.


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