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Ultimate guide to sex positions: 69

By Maya Khamala

Let’s talk about sex positions.

Whether you’re starting out with a new partner or looking to spice things up with an old flame, this series of guides is for you. 

Next up, we have the timelessly naughty 69 position.


The 69 sex position—which is old enough to have been featured in the Kamasutra—is indeed a timeless classic. In, a, um, nutshell, it involves two people giving and receiving oral sex simultaneously. 

The 69 is so named because each person is curved against the other, face to groin, and they sort of resemble the numbers 6 and 9. For this reason, 69 has a reputation as being the funniest number ever to a certain type of person—while also maintaining its status as a love-it-or-hate-it sex position. 

Successfully 69ing, if you will, requires the mindset and the coordination to give what you hope is quality oral while simultaneously experiencing your partner do the same for you. It’s easier when both people are similar heights, of course. While it doesn't always work, when it does, 69ing can be very intimate—the feeling of giving and receiving at the same time can be a next-level sublime experience of profound connection between two people.

A note on terms:

When discussing penetration, we use the terms “thrusting partner” for the person with the penis (biological or synthetic), and “receiving partner” for the person accepting the act of penetration (vaginal or anal).

It is important to note that being a receiver is not a passive, subservient role. It is an active, enthusiastic role. There is power in choice, and by choosing to invite their partner inside them, the receiver is exercising that power.

Furthermore, the thrusting partner is not just a giver. Of course, they also receive pleasure during the act. But for the sake of clarity and consistency, we have selected these terms for the two sides of the dynamic.

How to do it:

Both partners align themselves so that their mouth is near the other person’s genitals. This is accomplished by having one partner lie down on their back while the other lies on top of them with their knees straddling their partner's head. Ta-da: the pair can then perform oral sex on one another! In opposite-sex partners, the woman is typically on top, while the man is on his back. Woman on the bottom is known colloquially as “inverted 69.”

While doing two things at once isn’t the simplest feat, many have tread the path before you and wanted to repeat the experience again afterwards. The key is to find a style that works, where both of you can find a position or a variation that is physically comfortable, fun, and hot. It just takes enthusiasm, curiosity, strong mouth muscles, and a resistance to getting too distracted by how incredible it feels, even if your partner is ridiculously skilled.

Reasons we love it:

-Can be a fantastically arousing form of foreplay before intercourse

-Enhances intimacy due to how hopelessly close the two partners are to one other

-Both partners receive pleasure simultaneously, which is highly erotic

-Inverted 69 (woman on bottom, in a hetero coupling) is hawt if "deepthroating" turns you on

Variations to try out:

Side-by-side 69

Simply put, rather than positioning themselves on top of each other, both partners lay on their sides facing one another’s family jewels.

Particularly with height differences, this can be a lot more comfortable. It’s also less labor-intensive for the partner who's traditionally on top, because they would otherwise be placing weight on their knees and at least one elbow, which can be a lot after a while.

The 68

This variation shifts things in such a way that only one partner receives pleasure: the receiving partner lays face up on top of the thrusting or giving partner. Their knees are bent, legs open, and their butt rests on the giving partner's chest.

This variation is for you if you wish to avoid multitasking at all costs. It focuses attention on the receiving partner’s perineum—that hyper sensitive, wildness-inducing bit of skin between the genitals and anus that often goes (so sadly) neglected.

The Power 69

The thrusting partner is on top, and straddles the receiving partner, dominating the situation and controlling what they get by pressing their genitals into the receiving partner’s mouth—in a hetero coupling, this might be known as facesitting, or a face fuck.

This one's for those who like a little power play. If you’re part of a male-female couple where the male is a lot taller, it works better if the guy is on top, but in this case the receiving partner has to be comfortable with (and indeed, aroused by) a fairly deep and possibly rough blow job.

Squatting 69

Rather than one partner laying on top of the other, they squat over top instead. Really though, in order to reach their partner’s genitals, it may look less like a squat and more like standing up with knees bent, and bending forward at the waist until their mouth aligns with their partner’s genitals. Meanwhile, the other partner sits up, getting their face lined up just right behind the standing partner.

This variation requires lower back, glute, and quad strength as well as flexibility, but if it works, it's a super fun variation of the classic 69. The squat variation also allows for some beautiful ass slapping opportunities.

Upright 69

Rather than lying on a flat surface, one partner actually holds the other partner upside-down while they're standing up.

Unless the upright partner is super strong, odds are high that they won't have the strength to pick up their partner safely. If, however, one partner is particularly strong, and the other particularly petite, this variation can be insanely hot—you might just feel like porn stars.

The Triangle

First things first: this threesome 69 variation requires bringing, yup, you guessed it: a third person into the mix. While lying on your side with your two partners in a triangle formation, each partner performs oral on the next person. In other words, you perform oral on one partner and receive oral from the other. At. The. Same. Time.

If you and your partner have discussed it thoroughly and are both ready and willing to take on all that group sex entails, it can be super hot to have a third person involved. The Triangle is a particularly great threesome position because it's equally inclusive of all parties.

Other tips and tricks:

-Achieving orgasm does not have to be the purpose of trying 69—it can be purely explorative, or an appetizer for the main course.

-For added comfort, the bottom partner can use a neck pillow for support or a sex wedge to lift their butt for better access.

-Boost the stimulation factor by using toys! Your partner might press a vibrator against you, or you against them. If it’s a penis you’re facing, try a vibrating cock ring alongside your mouth.

-If someone has a sensitive gag reflex, they can use their hands to take the pressure off their throat by cuffing the base of the penis.

-If your partner has a vagina, you might lick/suck their clit while adding penetration to the equation with your fingers. If your partner is into it, you might finger their anus instead.

-If you're particularly into anal and/or prostate play, consider eating out your partner's booty exclusively. They can do the same to you if the vibe is right, before graduating to deeper anal exploration.

-Don’t take 69ing too seriously—it’s supposed to be fun…and hot. Remember: laughing is 100% allowed!

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