What a sex therapist wants you to know about the 'Love Island' contestants' favourite sex positions

After eight weeks and 51 episodes, Love Island might be over – but we are still reminiscing on our favourite show of the summer. More specifically, about some of the spicy titbits we learnt from this year's Islanders.

If you follow the show, you'll know that every year at least a couple of the current cohort's favourite weird and wonderful sex positions are revealed. From ‘The Broken Eagle’ to the ‘Viennese Oyster’, over the seasons, contestants of the ITV2 juggernaut reality show have sent the internet into a flurry of searching for what, precisely, these lesser-known sex positions look like.

What you should know, before checking sex positions out

While a peak into other people's sex lives can be fun, it's vital to remember though that thinking about sex as a tick-list of positions and moves to try out is not the healthiest, or most pleasurable, way to go about things.

‘Many people talk about their favourite positions, but it is important to remember that thinking of sex as "best position" reinforces the notion that sex is a performance, which often increases anxiety of "doing it right"’, says Silva Neves, a Psychosexual and Relationship Psychotherapist.

‘As part of the performance mindset, the harder the position the best they might seem because it requires more skills. For example, the "Butter Churner" [one sex position mentioned in 2020's series of Love Island] sounds pretty complicated to do, and it requires such a level of physical strength that it might actually not be the more pleasurable thing to do for most people.’

‘The best way to have good sex is being attuned to your own body and your partner's body and staying in the here-and-now of what is pleasurable in the moment, not performing a particular position.

‘Also, it is important to remember that one person's best position can be another's worst time. We are all different – please don't compare your sex life with someone else's.’ Neves adds that not being enticed by the thought of less usual positions certainly doesn't mean that you have a ‘boring’ sex life, and to always bear in mind that, when speaking to an audience, it's very normal for people to exaggerate how exciting they are, in bed.

How to think about creating a sex life that works for you

Jordan Dixon, an Integrative Psychotherapist and Psycho-sexologist, concurs. ‘As a therapist, it's vital for me to create new narratives that step away from media portrayals of "amazing” sex and advertising certain positions,’ she says.

‘These sexual acts that are orgasm goal-based tell us to suddenly become gymnasts and bend in all sorts of ways. These are so far from the truth about how to create mutually pleasurable sexual experiences.’

If you, like most people, would struggle to contort yourself into super athletic positions, as mentioned by some of the Love Island casts through the years, then you could wind up feeling bad about yourself – something that is certainly not conducive to bedroom fun. ‘Many of us who couldn’t achieve these can be left feeling unsuccessful,’ Dixon adds.

‘My advice is that it's about coming to know ourselves and our chosen mate(s) in intimate ways which can become erotic. Through listening to our bodies, looking and touching, being seen, being heard and being touched, people can allow themselves to become emotionally naked. When we do this with ourselves, together we are more likely to adventure towards orgasmic sexual bliss.’

All that said, below are some of the positions mentioned on Love Island through the seasons. If they spark something for you – and, crucially, look fun and achievable – then perhaps you'll be inspired to try something similar yourself. If they don't, as Neves and Dixon note, sashay away.

And, as ever, listen to your body, stay attuned to the desires of yourself and your partner, and be guided by what organically turns you on.

Love Island's favourite sex positions

1. The Broken Eagle

Loved by: Paige Thorne, 2022

In this relatively simple move, the receiving partner lies front down, with one leg bent, and the other straight. The other person then penetrates them.

‘It’s like, when the girl lies on the bottom, lying on my front, you know how girls sleep half bent, the other half straight, the guy doing his thing…’ as Paige explained to fellow Islander Luca Bish in the latest season's opening episode.

2. The Viennese Oyster

Loved by: Luca Bish, 2022

When discussing his favourite position, Luca in turn revealed that it is the 'something oyster.' WH can only assume that the fishmonger was referring to the incredibly appropriate Viennese Oyster position. Here, one person lies on their back, and spreads their legs up high in the air, while the other person holds their ankles, pushing their legs towards their head, before penetrating.

‘My one, my favourite sex position is the oyster? Your legs are like, up in the air… My head’s poking through your legs, sort of thing,’ as Luca detailed. As ever, if you want to try this position but feel any sort of pain, or simply are not comfortable, switch it up immediately.

This position is also known as 'The Seashell,' and you can find an illustrated guide to how it's done, here.

3. The Butter Churner

Loved by: Callum Jones, 2020

Okay, this one is essentially a gymnastic move, and will be possible for a super small percentage of the population, and likely enjoyable for an even tinier amount. Here, the receiving partner lies on their back, legs raised above and behind their head (similar to a 'Plough' pose, if you're familiar with yoga asana.) The other partner then squats and penetrates from above.

It's thought that the position mimics making butter in an old fashioned butter churner, hence its name.

You can find an illustrated guide as to to how the Butter Churner is done, here.

4. The Eagle

Loved by: Curtis Pritchard, 2019

For 'The Eagle,' or 'The Spread Eagle', as it's also known, involves the receiving partner lying on their back, legs spread super wide, with the penetrating partner free to hang over. Simply get into missionary position, then raise your legs and extend them straight out (forming a 'V').

You can find an illustrated guide as to to how The Spread Eagle is done, here.

5. The Anvil

Loved by: Siânnise Fudge, 2020

Similar to the Spread Eagle, The Anvil is missionary, with a slight twist. Here, the receiving partner lies flat on their back, with their legs up on the penetrating partner's shoulders. It means that penetration can be deeper, and as such is a firm favourite of many women.

You can find an illustrated guide as to to how The Anvil is done, here.

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