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What Is the 69 Position?

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

The 69 position, also known as sixty-nine, is a series of sex positions where two people perform oral sex on each other at the same time.

It gets its name because the body positions of the two people involved look like the numbers 6 and 9. People of any gender or sexual orientation can use this position.

How Does It Work?

The 69 position requires coordination. You should be in sync, focusing on pleasure for yourself and your partner.

To begin, one partner lies down on their back. In opposite-sex couples, this is often the partner with a penis. Next, the other person climbs on top and turns around, straddling their partner’s head with genitals above their face. The partner on top then leans forward and starts oral sex on the other person.

What Is the Difference between Classic 69 Position, Inverted 69, and Other Variations?

There are several variations to the 69 sex position. Each brings a slightly different style, angle, and level of difficulty.

Classic 69

For opposite-sex partners, the female is usually on top.

Inverted 69

For opposite-sex partners, the male is on top.

Sideways 69

Both partners lie on their side.

Squatting 69

Both partners face the same direction, one standing and one sitting. With buttocks in front of the sitting person’s face, the standing partner bends over at the waist and lowers their head down to their partner’s genitals.

Standing 69 

One partner stands. (For safety concerns, it should be the strongest of the two people.) Facing their partner, they pick them up and flip them upside down. Each partner positions their body so their genitals are near the other person’s face.

Penetrative 69

One or both partners inserts a sex toy like a dildo, vibrator, or butt plug into their partner while in the 69 position.

Analingus 69

One or both partners focus their efforts on their partner’s anus. This one can be combined with any of the other variations.

Threesome 69

A third partner joins the encounter. Participants make a triangle formation and then proceed like in the original 69 position. One person brings their mouth to the second person’s genitals, the second person does the same to the third person, and the third person follows suit on the first person.

Myths About the 69 Position

Not Taking Turns is Too Tiring

Many sex positions allow one partner to be in charge or doing more of the work. The 69 position requires enthusiastic participation from both partners the whole time, and the angles can get tiring. But partners can give their mouths a break and use their hands instead. If the genitals become too sensitive, a partner can use their mouth on other body parts.

Neither Partner Will Achieve Orgasm

Everyone’s different, but timing can be difficult when both partners are focused on each other. Still, reaching orgasm doesn’t need to be the main goal of the 69 position. Some people use it during foreplay before they move into other sexual positions.

How to Try the 69 Position Safely

If you want to try the 69 position with your partner, first have a discussion about how you’d like to position yourselves and what activities you’re comfortable with.

Talking to Your Partner About Trying the 69 Position

Communication is key when experimenting with new sexual positions. Make sure you speak openly and honestly to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Talk through some of the different variations, particularly those that expand the 69 position beyond oral-only sex, such as the penetrative or anal-play versions. Be sure you have your partner’s enthusiastic consent before you proceed if you’re interested in adding them in.

It’s a good idea to talk through your plan before you start having sex, and outline how you’ll let your partner know if you’d like them to stop or if you want to do something different.

Possible Risks

Height and weight variations between partners can be a significant factor in the 69 position.  The bigger or taller partner can be on the bottom for safety and comfort. 

Because of the opposite body positioning in 69, one partner’s legs and knees will be near the other’s face. Take care not to accidentally kick or knee your partner. You can try varying the position to find a bit more control.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Cosmopolitan: “14 Reasons to Never 69.”

Cosmopolitan: “Sixty-Nine (69).”

Men’s Health: “8 Variations of the 69 Sex Position, Because We Should All Suck More.”

Shape: “Everything You Need to Know About the 69 Position.”

Women’s Health Magazine: “All the Best Ways to Make the 69 Sex Position Hot (Not Awkward).”

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