The 69 position might not currently be in your sex repertoire, and we get why. Positioning yourself comfortably when you’re going at it head-to-crotch is challenging. Finding a rhythm and getting in sync sexually with your partner can feel like a losing game of Twister. And can we talk about the fear of being smothered? Death by suffocation is a definite mood killer.
But maybe the biggest drawback is the body consciousness 69 can cause. Many women say they feel on display and vulnerable in this position. And when you’re worried about how your butt looks or how sweaty your vagina feels, it’s hard to get your mind back on the action. “How women feel about their bodies is fundamental to their pleasure in the sexual encounter,” Deborah Fox, a certified sex therapist in Washington, DC, tells Health.
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Okay, so 69 has its minuses. But we’re here to remind you of the awesome positives. This position allows you and your partner to indulge in simultaneous sensations and experience your bodies up close and personal. It’s oral sex at the same time, and as many women can attest, oral tends to be a way more orgasmic position than any type of intercourse.
Mastering 69 may require some coordination and patience, as well as confidence and a willingness to let go—both of which can help you have better sex overall. Here’s how to lose that self-consciousness, get more comfortable, and make the most of this super erotic and intimate position.
Think of 69 as foreplay
Rather than making 69 the main event, view it as foreplay and use it to build arousal and anticipation. This way, there’s less pressure to orgasm, and you can have fun figuring out how to make your bodies fit together. You can also enjoy 69 for as long or as short a time as you want—it’s foreplay, after all. Make it your go-to position for easing into a sexual encounter, becoming more aroused and lubricated, and then transitioning to intercourse. Body insecurity won’t have a chance to creep in and spoil the excitement.
Focus on your pleasure
Rachel Needle, PsyD, a psychologist in West Palm Beach, Florida and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, recommends getting lost in how good your partner is making you feel in the moment. “If you are caught up in the internal dialogue and anxiety, you will miss all the great sensations and pleasure that come with the position,” Needle tells Health.
Obsessing over how you look during 69 is a form of “spectatoring,” a term coined to describe the way many people imagine how they appear and might be perceived during sex from a third-party viewpoint. But how you feel and the way it draws you closer to your partner is what makes sex great—not what you think you look like.
But don’t forget your partner
One of the great things about 69 is how close you and your partner are physically. You get a sense of their breathing and heart rate; you hear every moan. Take advantage of that closeness and get out of your own head by focusing on building their desire. Notice every sensation, suggests New York-based sex therapist Sari Cooper, founder and director of the Center for Love and Sex. Not only will you learn more about the exact strokes your partner craves, but watching someone you’re intimate with experience pleasure is a turn-on for you, too.
Try a modified version of 69
Instead of 69 with you spread out on top of your partner feeling exposed, try it on your sides: Prop up your elbow to support your body weight, open your legs enough for your partner to have access to your vagina, and use your other hand to steady yourself as you pleasure your partner. Your butt won’t feel like it’s on display, and you’ll be more comfortable. That helps you enjoy it more and please each other for a longer amount of time. This configuration “allows for mutual pleasure-giving without the gymnastics,” says Fox.
Sometimes crotches get so hot and sweaty during 69, and your partner can get so into it they start closing their legs or changing their leg positioning—and that can make it a little hard to breathe, which will certainly subtract from the pleasure you should be feeling. Avoid it by getting into the 69 position but using only your hands, not your mouths. Tease each other with different kinds of strokes, from light brushes of your fingertips to rougher, more intense touches. With your mouths free, you can giggle, groan, and laugh off any awkwardness while getting lost in pleasure.
Part of the appeal of 69 is that you please each other simultaneously. But sometimes that requires more coordination than you’re capable of, and both partners don’t always get the pleasure they need to reach orgasm. With this twist, you still maneuver your bodies in the traditional 69 position, with your heads in each other’s private parts. Each partner is treated to an intense session of oral sex—just one at a time.