Ask Emily: How Do I Make 69 More Fun?

man kissing woman's leg
Dear Dr. Emily, 

I was hoping you could talk more about the “69” position. Everyone seems to love it, but it just doesn’t feel good for me.

My partner, however, is really interested in it and I feel like I should give 69 a few more tries. Are there any tricks to making this position more enjoyable?

Thanks so much,


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Dear Laura,

The 69 struggle is real. In my opinion, 69 is one of those positions that are sometimes better in theory than reality. Plus, porn has made it look like one of those totally effortless, “always orgasmic” positions… but that’s just not the case. It can be hard to focus on receiving and giving at the same time. We weren’t necessarily wired to multi-task—especially when it comes to oral sex. 

That said, there are some hacks for making 69 accessible, pleasurable, and more likely to lead to some highly memorable sensations. The key is to look at the reasons why 69 isn’t working for you and start there.

Is it because you’re physically uncomfortable with the whole “propped up on your elbows” position? Is it because your mouth gets tired, or you have trouble multitasking? Maybe a combination of all three? I’ve got ideas. 

Lay Side by Side

One of the things that make 69 feel difficult is the physical mobility of the position itself. Being backward and on top of your partner (or vice versa) sometimes feels more like a game of Twister than a good sex sesh. 

Try lying next to one another on your sides. This allows you and your partner to access one another with a bit more ease, meaning you can spend more energy making each other feel ah-mazing. To get things started, lie next to your partner on the bed so that you’re both on your sides and facing one another’s genitals. Start with some gentle teasing, and then increase the intensity. 

Another bonus: Lying in a side-by-side position allows you to relax a bit more, which can also make you more open and receptive to feeling pleasure. Do what you need to do to inspire a sense of play.

Use Your Hands

Who says you have to solely use your mouth for 69? If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the oral aspects of it all, remember that there’s no shame in switching it up.

Storytime: A previous partner and I once did something we called “the handy-dandy,” which was essentially me giving my partner a handjob instead of using my mouth during 69. He loved how it felt and I loved that I got to mix up the delivery! It’s a win-win for both partners. 

You can also experiment with toys, like tiny bullet vibrators or strokers. Not only does this give your hands and mouth a break, but it also creates space for all sorts of fun, new sensations. 

Have Fun Taking Turns

Just because you’re both working at the same time doesn’t mean you need to be giving or receiving with the same amount of effort continuously. 69 is a give-and-take…you can take turns “going all out.” 

Allow your partner to take a break pleasuring you so that you can focus on their body, and then switch. This might result in some exciting “edging” play, allowing you both to experience the tease, build-up, and release.

Remember: you get to define what your sex life looks like, and that includes 69. Hopefully, these hacks inspire you to do things that feel good, rather than what looks good. Who knows? Maybe next time, you’ll be the one asking your partner to 69…