Do You Know How to 69 Properly? Here’s How to Do It Like a Pro
Do You Know How to 69 Properly? Here’s How to Do It Like a Pro
It’s never been explicitly stated, but it’s pretty obvious that most sex acts are more pleasurable for one partner than the other. It goes like this: Manual? More pleasurable for the receiver. Oral? More pleasurable for the receiver. Penetration? More pleasurable for the penetrator. But there is one sex act that (at least in theory) is exactly as pleasurable for both parties. And that’s the good ‘ol 69 position.
The infamous dual-oral position has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity — at least, online — in recent years, as it’s become a meme of sorts. Any mention of the number “69” on Twitter is sure to elicit a chorus of replies simply stating, “Nice.” See for yourself.
Whatever the pervy affect that one-word reply conveys, it’s a fair point that 69ing is nice. It’s not amazing, it’s not spectacular or life-changing, but it is, well, quite pleasant. Sure, it can be hard for either one to actually climax as both partners are simultaneously pleasuring and being pleasured, making it nearly impossible to fully relax and enjoy yourself, but it’s hard not to enjoy yourself at all.
That’s the maddening magic of the 69 — you’re constantly caught in the middle. For some, that means 69ing is similar to shower sex in that it’s drastically overrated. But if you’re willing to accept for a moment that it’s a position that’s not designed to make anyone orgasm, you can appreciate it for what it is: a position that is designed to tease and tantalize both parties simultaneously.
Want to know how to do it right? Read on to discover the secrets of proper 69 etiquette.
1. What Is a 69?
Theories abound on the origin of the term, but regardless of whether you think it was invented in 1969 or not, the fact that the numbers visually approximate what’s actually going on is pretty apt.
As Jess O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, puts it, “[a] 69 refers to an oral sex position in which both partners can give one another oral pleasure. Your bodies are inverted with your heads in one another’s crotches — like a 6 and a 9.”
Though it’s theoretically possible for three or more people to engage in simultaneous oral, adding partners past the first two renders the whole operation significantly more complicated; at its core, 69 is really just a two-person sex position.
2. Tips for Properly 69ing
“There is no proper way to 69 — just do what feels good for you and your partner,” says O’Reilly. “You may find that using both your hands and your mouth will allow you to come up for air and more thoroughly enjoy the experience.”
She’s right — if there’s something that works for you and your partner, then that’s the proper way to 69! But if you’re a beginner looking for specific tips, there are a few things to consider. For starters, as with any oral sex, it’s not a bad idea to shower beforehand so your partner’s playing with clean genitalia (unless they specifically prefer it when you’re sweaty … no judgment here). As well, if you’re not sure of each other’s STI status, using protection (condoms and/or dental dams) is a smart move that can drastically reduce the likelihood of catching an infection.
One important tip is for whichever partner is bigger and heavier to go on the bottom. Unless you’re doing a sideways 69, the bottom partner will likely bear the brunt of the top partner’s weight, so a top-light, bottom-heavy setup will likely feel more comfortable for both of you.
“You might also want to consider taking turns in the 69 position,” adds O’Reilly. Meaning, one partner orally pleasures the other for a little bit, and then takes a break and receives rather than giving, all while staying in the 69 position the whole time.
3. The Benefits of 69ing
Beyond just the cool points you get for engaging in an infamous sex position with an outsize reputation, what are the actual benefits of 69ing?
First, well, it does involve oral sex — a lot of it. So unless you specifically hate oral, you’re likely to enjoy yourself at least a little bit. But O’Reilly notes that, in its two-for-the-price-of-one ethos, it actually benefits people in a hurry, too.
“It’s efficient,” she says. “You give and receive simultaneously, so if you’re short on time or looking for a quickie, it may be your best bet. It can be hot to give pleasure while you’re receiving it, too. You might experience feelings of empowerment in getting your partner off while they do the same for you.”
So if you’re someone who feels uncomfortable with traditional oral sex — either giving or receiving — because it feels like too much pressure, 69ing, which is less orgasm-focused and more reciprocal, might be just what you need. As well, since your torsos are aligned, it can feel more intimate than traditional oral sex positions, where partners are often less physically connected.
4. The Drawbacks of 69ing
With all those positives, what’s there to dislike about the 69? Well, a few things. For starters, let’s circle back to it being hard for two people to make each other orgasm from oral pleasure simultaneously.
“Many of us have trouble concentrating when we’re highly aroused,” notes O’Reilly. “You might find that you’re so distracted by your own pleasure, that you stop touching or kissing your partner altogether.”
Alternately, you might find that your partner stops pleasuring you because they’re too aroused. Regardless, two people orally pleasuring each other simultaneously is something that’s hard to keep up indefinitely. O’Reilly’s solution for that is to build turn-taking into the equation.
“This can work out just fine,” she says, “if you assume the 69 position, but take turns licking, sucking, touching, stroking and kissing (e.g. you give your partner oral pleasure for a few minutes and then you take a break and they give you pleasure; continue taking turns until you’ve both had your fill).”
However, critics might conclude that that doesn’t exactly ‘count’ as a 69. Regardless, it is one way to approach the dilemma.
Another drawback to 69ing is that, because of the way your bodies are arranged, it sort of requires a bed, or another flat, comfortable surface at least a few feet wide to be able to accommodate your aligned torsos and limbs. If you’re looking for a quickie but can’t exactly lie down, it’s probably not a 69-friendly opportunity.
5. Anal 69ing
As anilingus and butt play have gained mainstream acceptance and become more popular in recent years, it’s worth considering adding a little anal action to the mix when you’re 69ing.
Of course, not everyone is comfortable having their anus stimulated — particularly without warning — so don’t just try it at random without getting their consent. Instead, ask your partner if that’s something they’d be open to beforehand, and then ask again in the heat of the moment to confirm that they’re OK with it.
Depending on your height match-up, you might be able to reach your partner’s anus with your tongue while they’re still going down on you; if not, you could use your fingers (or a sex toy) to stimulate it instead.
“Just use lots of lube if you’ll be going inside,” says O’Reilly. She adds that you can “pulse your thumb gently against the pucker on the outside, use a vibrating toy against the perineum, [or] slide your head through and lick around on the outside.”
6. 69 Variations
Here, the bigger and heavier partner lies on their back, while the smaller and lighter partner is on top, either lying on their partner’s chest or propping themselves up on their knees and/or elbows. The bottom partner can grasp the top partner’s buttocks for stability and/or if it arouses their partner; spanking is also an easy option in this scenario.
A less common but still fairly straightforward variant of the 69 is to do it sideways. This is a good option if neither partner can take the other’s weight, if you’re dealing with a slimmer surface where a top partner couldn’t full extend their knees, or simply if you want to experiment with a different mode of 69ing. It functions essentially just like a traditional 69, except both partners are lying on their sides facing each other.
The Upside-Down 69
Finally, for truly courageous couples, there’s the upside-down 69. This variant requires either a very strong bottom partner capable of holding the other one up in the air for extended periods, or a bar or other secure contraption from which the top partner can dangle. Unless you’re gymnasts, you probably shouldn’t try this at home, since it requires a fair amount of physical coordination, some comfort being upside down, and a decent amount of risk of injury for the top partner. Still … it is nice to think about.
Whatever type of 69 you decide to get up to, congrats on getting to enjoy one of the most famous sex acts around!
All illustrations by Carlee Ranger.
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