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  • The missionary position or man-on-top position is generally a sex position in which a woman lies on her back and a man lies on top of her while they face each other and engage in sexual intercourse or other sexual activity. Though commonly associated with aspects of heterosexual sexual activity, the sex position is also used by gay and lesbian couples. The missionary position may involve sexual penetration or non-penetrative sex, and its penile-vaginal aspect is an example of ventro-ventral reproductive activity. Variations of the position allow varying degrees of vaginal tightness, clitoral stimulation, depth of penetration, participation on the part of the woman, and the likelihood and speed of orgasm. It is commonly believed that the term missionary position arose in connection to Christian missionaries, who supposedly taught that the position was the only proper way to engage in sexual intercourse. However, the term probably originated from Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male through a confluence of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of historical documents.

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