How to 69, According to Sex Experts

Allow me to introduce you to an oral-sex position perfect for all of those who love multitasking: the 69 sex position. Whether you are in a rush and want to get each other off quickly or you're just looking for a fun way to mix up standard cunnilingus and blowjobs, the 69 position is designed for ultimate efficiency.

"Sixty-nine is the name given to oral sex when both partners are giving and receiving at the same time," psychologist Lori Beth Bisbey, PhD, says. In this intimate position, you're able to provide a partner with pleasure while getting some of your own (it's a real win-win). And unlike some other sex positions, it doesn't require too much flexibility.

Yet, despite its popularity, there are many people who shy away from 69ing. Some don't know how to 69, others find it too distracting or tiring, and a lot of people don't want their genitals all up in someone's face. But for those of you looking to incorporate 69 into your sexual routine — or for ways to make it better — look no further.

According to Dr. Bisbey and other experts, here's how to 69 the right way so that it doesn't suck. There's no better day than today to step up your dual-stimulation game.

Experts Featured in This Article

Lori Beth Bisbey, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and intimacy coach.

Courtney Padjen, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

What Is 69?

As described by Dr. Bisbey, the 69 sex position is when both partners are giving and receiving oral sex at the same time. Typically, one person lies flat on their back and their partner lies on top of them, straddling their face. Once they're comfortable, the partner on top leans down with their head toward the other person's feet. Each partner's mouth connects at the other partner's genitals for simultaneous oral pleasure (hence why it's called "69" — that's sort of what you look like while in this position).

If sitting on your partner's face (or being under someone's genitals) sounds daunting, there are tons of variations you can try. In fact, both Dr. Bisbey and sex therapist Courtney Padjen, PhD, recommend a 69 position while lying on your sides. It works the same way as the traditional 69 position, except instead of physically lying on top of your partner (or being under them), you're both lying on your sides facing each other, with one partner's head toward the other partner's feet and vice versa.

"This is more comfortable, as no one has to worry about the other person's weight on their face, breathing is easier, and it is easier to pace yourself," Dr. Bisbey says.

In whatever variation of 69 you find yourself, it's handy if you're in a time crunch, since both partners can give and receive pleasure simultaneously. It can also be a great choice for foreplay since both partners get warmed up at the same time.

How to 69

If you're the person on top, start by lowering yourself onto your partner's face while facing their feet. (You should be essentially straddling their mouth.) Once you're on your partner's face and they're in a good position to perform oral sex, bend forward at your waist so that you're now able to simultaneously perform oral sex on them.

Use your tongue, hand, mouth, or a sex toy to stimulate your partner's genitals by sucking, kissing, penetrating, or using any other sensation your partner enjoys.

If you're the person on the bottom, lie down flat as your partner adjusts on top of you. Then, use your mouth, tongue, hand, or a sex toy to equally reciprocate oral sex. Because you're on the bottom, you may feel a strain in your neck stimulating your partner's genitals. If that's the case, it may be helpful for you to put a pillow underneath your neck beforehand or both switch to lying on your sides.

If the sex position feels off, though, don't force it. Dr. Padjen says this particular sex position isn't great for everyone — especially those who have a "significant height difference," since you may have trouble reaching each other's genitals. If this is the case or you find 69 to be more work than it is pleasure, feel free to stick with other oral-sex positions.

69 Sex Position Tips

Communicate, communicate, communicate. "Despite the fun that can be had with 69, this can be an especially vulnerable position to be in because nose holes are very close to bums," says Dr. Padjen. For this reason, talk with your partner if anything begins to feel uncomfortable. "Do your knees feel like they're going to give out from straddling your partner's face? Talk to your partner. Your arm feeling tingly from being propped up for so long on top? Talk to your partner. Feel like you're going to squirt and have the irrational fear that you will drown your partner? Let them know. If you're feeling unsure about the experience of 69 prior to trying, talk to your partner," she says.

Don't feel like you have to go manual. Sex toys are a great way to add a little bit of spice to your 69, says Dr. Bisbey. If your partner has a vagina, "use a vibrator for penetration — vaginal or anal — while using your mouth, lips, and tongue on the external bits," she says.

Have fun. The 69 sex position can be a little awkward at first, so don't be afraid to laugh, Dr. Bisbey says. "Laughter is a release of tension, and the logistics of 69 can cause you to feel tense or overwhelmed. Laughter brings people closer, increases intimacy, and laughter during sex is common." And don't worry about orgasming. Enjoyment is the goal here, whether it comes with a climax or not.

Ultimately, the 69 sex position is great for those who want a little spice in their sex life — if not because it's efficient, but because it brings you closer to your partner than ever. Like, literally.

Taylor Andrews is a Balance editor at POPSUGAR who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more. In her six years working in editorial, she's written about how semen is digested, why sex aftercare is the move, and how the overturn of Roe killed situationships.