When it comes to receiving oral sex, many women’s default position is to get on their backs. And there’s a lot to be said for that: You can relax and let your partner worry about what to do. But there’s also a lot to be said for receiving oral on top, AKA face-sitting.
For one thing, it puts you in complete control, and some women find that it also provides a better angle. “It gives your partner full access to what is the most erogenous zone and most essential area to be stimulated for orgasm to occur: your external vulva, including your clitoris,” explains Laurie Mintz, sex therapist and author of Becoming Cliterate. “Many find this a totally empowering position, since the focus is all, 100 percent on your pleasure.”
If straddling your partner’s face sounds intimidating, we get it. If you’ve never tried face-sitting, it can feel incredibly vulnerable. Here’s how to try it without feeling totally out of your comfort zone.
Ask your partner
If the idea of receiving oral sex on top intrigues you, Mintz recommends telling your partner something straightforward like, “I love when you go down on me and I’d like to try this in a new position—with me sitting on your face. Are you game for trying?” If your partner hasn’t gone down on you before, you could tell them that you’d like to try both positions, says Mintz.
Put your weight on your knees
Now that you’re both in, time for the logistics. The first hurdle is figuring out how to get into position. Mintz recommends the following process: First, straddle your partner’s chest with your knees on the bed, scooting forward until their head is between your thighs, and spreading them until your partner’s mouth can reach you.
“It’s called face ‘sitting,’ but you’re really kneeling,” says sex therapist Vanessa Marin, creator of the online orgasm course Finishing School. It’s actually pretty comfortable once you get the hang of it. “You want to hold your weight in your knees rather than resting your weight on your partner’s face,” Marin says.
To make balancing easier, Marin recommends having your partner lay down near the head of the bed and putting your hands on the headboard or wall for more support. That way, you won’t be worrying about keeping your balance and can instead focus all of your attention on your pleasure.
Change up the pressure
The nice thing about receiving oral sex on top is that, much like any position that puts you on top, you can control the pressure by moving closer or further away from your partner, says Marin. Lower or raise your body when you want to experience more or less sensation.
Try having your partner hold still
If you want complete control, you can ask your partner to stay still with their tongue out while you experiment with different motions. Marin recommends slowly grinding your hips back and forth or around in circles over their face.
Try holding still yourself
Alternatively, if you want the feeling of being in control while still having your partner do all the work, you can just sit there and relax, says Jess O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sexologist. “The seated partner can stay still and allow the supine partner to use their lips, tongue, face, fingertips, and hands to kiss, fondle, lick, slide, and rub,” she says.
Consider a partially seated position
If full-on face-sitting freaks you out, you can try one of these intermediate positions, says O’Reilly: Have your partner lie down near the edge of the bed and put one foot on the bed and one on the ground, or get on all fours with your crotch near their mouth and face away from them. “You can slowly lower yourself into their face and enjoy the sensation without fully sitting,” she says.
Create a signal
One worry some people have about face-sitting is that they could squish their partner’s face, says Mintz. This is pretty unlikely to happen, since you can hold yourself up with your thighs. But if you’re concerned about it, you can create a signal for your partner to communicate when they need a break, like tapping your thigh or butt. A signal like this can be useful to communicate in general since your partner’s mouth may be, er, busy.
Experiment with different positions
Just as there is more than one way to receive oral sex, there’s more than one way to face-sit. Mintz recommends experimenting with facing away from your partner as well as facing toward them and seeing which you like best.
Know your partner is loving it too
The idea of being on display in this way might make some people uneasy, but chances are your partner is enjoying it. “Know that this is an extremely sexy position that your partner is bound to love,” says Marin. “But you can ease into it by dimming the lights or lighting candles. Or try blindfolding your partner and moving your body closer to or away from their mouth.” But, as with any sexual encounter, don’t assume—communicate with your partner regularly and openly to ensure you’re both enjoying yourselves.
All that said, if getting oral sex on top does not appeal to you—or you try it and aren’t a fan—no need to do it. “Most sex therapists recommend that one try new things and stretch one’s sexual boundaries—but never do anything that is aversive,” says Mintz. “If the idea sounds completely aversive, then don’t do it. If it sounds a bit scary but doable, give it a try. You might love it.”