Not only can exploring different sex positions help you to connect with your sexuality, but experimenting with oral sex can also be very useful for people who want to engage in sexual activity but for whom penetrative sex is not an option, due to personal preference, pain, trauma, or other reasons, says Casey Tanner, a certified sex therapist and expert for LELO.
69, otherwise referred to as "34+35" by one Ariana Grande, is one of the most popular, classic oral sex positions for a reason. "This position, in which two partners perform oral sex on each other, often simultaneously, can be very fun and intimate," says Tanner.
While the classic positioning involves one partner lying on their back while the other lies on top of them, there are many variations. One of the most popular: lying on your sides, facing one another, while performing oral sex. "A benefit of this variation is it allows you to look at your partner more easily," says Tanner. She points out that finding the best version of this position for you and your partner will be an individual experience, as the body types and body sizes of each partner are unique.
It's also easy to add toys — think dildos, wands, ticklers — to your 69 experience to switch things up, offering you a break from using your mouth, and boost pleasure.
Kristine D'Angelo, clinical sexologist and certified sex coach, adds more words of wisdom: "People either love or hate doing 69 because it's a position that doesn't allow for one receiver to really enjoy the experience without putting effort in themselves. So, my suggestion is to figure out which partner loves the vantage point of their partner's butt in their face and which partner wants to offer that view to their partner."
2. Edge of the Bed
While oral sex positions that involve both you and your partner lying down put you on an equal playing field, you might want to experiment with this position, in which one partner is standing while the other is lying down, creating a sexy new power dynamic.
"While there are many ways to involve standing, one way to get creative with oral is to have one partner lie on the edge of a bed — or any other stable surface — with their head positioned at the edge of the bed, face towards the ceiling," explains Tanner.
Then, the other partner stands over their mouth, so they can perform oral sex on them. "One of the reasons this position is enjoyable for some partners is that it provides a different shape for the tongue, mouth and/or throat to be used in oral sex," explains Tanner.
Getting down on one knee — or both — isn't just for proposing. And it doesn't have to be uncomfortable crouching in front of your partner either. D'Angelo recommends that the receiving partner sit on the edge of the bed, sink, or a countertop, ideally on top of pillows or something else to cushion the surface, while the giver puts pillows down on the floor to pad their knees.
The giver can then wrap their hands around their partner's hips as they give oral pleasure. "In this position, you can pull their hips toward your face," says D'Angelo.
This position can be comfortable for both partners — and provide ample access to both the genitals and anal areas.
4. Standing Oral
In this position, either partner can stand, perhaps with their back up against a wall or counter, while the giver is on their knees in front of them. If you're a vulva owner, you can stand with one leg up on your partner's shoulder, creating space for them to pleasure you orally, advises D'Angelo.
The benefit: Being able to see your partner from this vantage point can be empowering for both parties — and offer a different sensation than when you're lying down.
Another position that puts one partner in the "driver's seat" of the experience involves "sitting" over your partner's face. "It's not exactly literal," points out D'Angelo. "Your partner needs air, so it's more of a light bouncing or grinding that happens on the face."
Nonetheless, Tanner says that many partners enjoy face-sitting because of the power exchange and intensity of the position.
The flip side of that intensity is that you'll want to be thoughtful when initiating face-sitting. "Like any sexual activity, the first and most important step in having a great sexual experience is getting enthusiastic consent from your partner," notes Tanner. "If you and/or your partner are interested in face-sitting, which is the act of sitting on your partner's face while they perform oral on you — or vice versa — sometimes fantasizing or imagining yourself in that position can help you determine if you want to try it."
Once you've made the decision to try it, talk it through with your partner. D'Angelo recommends tackling the following questions:
What will it feel like?
How do you want me to position myself?
When will I know you want me to stop?
Tanner adds that it can be helpful to create a "safe gesture" — like a hand squeeze or three taps on the knee — to employ when one partner wants to stop.
In this position, one partner gets on their hands and knees while the other partner performs oral from behind, explains Tanner.
This can be a helpful position for any giving partner who has jaw or neck pain since you can control the height of the receiving partner's bottom half giving extended access, explains D'Angelo.
Tanner adds that doggystyle oral is a fantastic opportunity to stimulate the vulva as well as the perineum — the area of skin that connects the genitals (regardless of if the genitals are a penis, vulva, or otherwise) to the anus — and anus. "Not surprisingly, the perineum and anus can be quite pleasurable to stimulate because of the pelvic floor muscles and nerve endings that exist there," she notes. "In fact, for people who have vulvas/vaginas, the perineum and anus contain the lower parts of the clitoral system!"
The first step to trying this with your partner: Start out with gentle touching or massaging of the area with fingers or mouths, advises Tanner.
The Bottom Line On Trying New Oral Sex Positions
When experimenting with new oral sex positions, it's important to remember that every individual is different and responds to oral sex positions differently, notes Tanner. Ultimately, you'll want to discuss your own and your partner's likes, dislikes, and curiosities around oral sex — all of which can be valuable intel for determining the best position for you.