What Are Oral Sex Positions?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 28, 2021

Oral sex is an intimate practice where people use their mouth, tongue, or lips to stimulate specific areas on their partner. Oral sex performed on a woman's vagina is called cunnilingus, while oral sex performed on a man is referred to as fellatio. Some people also practice anilingus, which involves stimulating the anus. 

Oral sex may also be performed on the areas around an individual's vaginal area, penis, testicles, or the genital area. Oral sex positions involve people finding different ways to arrange themselves during an encounter. 

How Oral Sex Positions Work

The feelings generated by different oral sex positions can vary from person to person. Below are descriptions of some oral sex positions. 

Lying on Your Back

Your partner lies on their back while you lie in front of them on the supporting structure. You then use your mouth to stimulate their organs. The oral sex position can be performed with a male or female partner. Some people prefer placing their legs around a partner's head to allow more access to the genital area. For example, you may find it easier to access your partner's clitoris or testicles from this oral sex position.  

An alternative to this position involves your partner sliding forward until their buttocks are on the edge of the bed, couch, or other support. You position yourself in front of them by kneeling or standing, whichever is your preference. Your partner might find it more comfortable to place their feet on your shoulders or let them hang over. 

On All Fours

For this oral sex position, your partner balances themselves on their hands and knees. They can choose to spread their legs or keep them close together. You move behind them so you can use your mouth on their genital area. The position makes it possible for you to adjust the pressure applied with your mouth, lips, and tongue. 

Sitting Forward on the Face

Your partner lies on their back while you kneel over their face. The person who will be the receiver in this oral sex position faces their partner’s head with their knees on each side of their head. Some people prefer resting their arms on a headboard or other nearby support. The oral sex position puts more control in the hands of the person who is receiving oral sex.  

You can also perform an alternative version of this oral sex position by reversing your position and sitting on your partner while facing their lower body. Some people prefer balancing themselves by resting their hands on the bed or their partner’s chest or hips. 

Simultaneous Stimulation

You lay on your back while your partner positions themself on top of you with their genitals by your face. They should also have their face near your genitals. Both of you apply your lips, mouth, and tongue to that area at the same time.   

An alternative to having one person lying on their back is to have both of you lie on your side. The oral sex position should allow you both to apply your mouths to each other’s genital area at the same time.

Myths and Misconceptions About the Oral Sex Position

Some people believe that participating in oral sex positions is not thought of as “real” sex. However, many doctors believe that it does. Oral sex carries many of the risks as intercourse, especially if you do not take precautions.

One common myth that persists about oral sex is that eating particular food changes the taste of your body fluids. However, there are currently no published studies in existence that show this to be a fact. Most of the information around this topic comes from anecdotal descriptions. 

It is also possible to injure yourself in an oral sex position. Some complications that might arise during an encounter include causing trauma to your partner’s genital area. Women may experience changes in the pH of their vagina after an oral sex encounter, which might cause some irritation. 

How to Explore Oral Sex Positions with Your Partner

When talking with your partner, go beyond wanting to take part in specific oral sex positions. You should understand what it is you wish to experience when it comes to oral sex. That way, you can make it clear to your partner why you want to engage with them in that way. The key is to communicate your needs and what you hope to provide to them via oral sex. 

Safety and Special Considerations

One of the biggest risks of oral sex is the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) via oral sex. You could end up with an infection like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or HPV after taking part in an oral sex position. 

Before trying a new oral sex position, think about the health of yourself and your partner. Try to determine the amount of physical stress you might place on various parts of each other’s body when trying different oral sex positions. You want to avoid doing anything that could leave one or both of you with a serious injury. 

Show Sources


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “STD Risk and Oral Sex.”

Health: “5 Oral Sex Positions That Make it Easy for You to Have an Orgasm.”

Science Direct: “8. Physical and Chemical Injuries.”

Self: "Yes, It’s Okay to Want More Oral Sex. Here’s How to Ask for It."

Shape: “The Best Oral Sex Positions for Women.”

Woman’s Day: “The Best Oral Sex Positions.”

Women’s Health: “Best Oral Sex Positions.”

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