When a position has been around as long as 69 has, it’s bound to inspire a slew of iterations — some of which resemble the original, and others of which no longer look like it at all. We humans are a pretty inventive bunch, and one of the things we’re best at is coming up with new ways to get it on and celebrating the spirit of reciprocity. So it should come as no surprise that we’ve collectively dreamt up enough 69 spinoffs to comprise an entire genre of 69 sex positions. (It should also come as no surprise that about 115,000 people type “69 sex positions” into their search engines of choice each month.)
In its original form, 69 was equal parts lazy and hot. It didn’t require balance, strength, or flexibility. All it really asked was for you to sprawl out on top of your partner — or for your partner to sprawl out on top of you. While many of 69’s spinoffs emulated this equilibrium of sloth and sex appeal, some of them took things in a decidedly different direction. Thanks to generations of innovation, we now have 69 sex positions that range from easy to acrobatic to downright unfathomable. Some have you bent over backwards, others have you upside down, and others have you suspended in mid-air—with only your partner’s arms and legs to support you.
There are enough exciting takes on the classic that you could go a full two weeks without doing 69 the same way twice. But of course, if you’d prefer something a little more traditional, your more standard 69 will always be there for you in its original, tried-and-true form.
(And what better way to celebrate this position — and one another — than to learn about these positions on 6/9!)
The Hucklebuck is different enough to feel fresh, but not so out-of-the-ordinary that it feels overwhelming. Ask your partner to lie down on their back. Stand over them, with your legs straddling their shoulders and your toes pointed toward their feet. Then, crouch down as far as you can — until your genitals meet their mouth. Then, place your arms on their chest to steady yourself and lean forward until their genitals meet your mouth. From there, you can engage in all kinds of classic 69 fun (while seriously engaging your quad muscles).
If you want to level up really quickly, try the Pisces — one of the boldest takes on 69 around. Ask your partner to sit down on the edge of your bed, with their feet touching the ground. Then, climb on top of them, so that you’re upside-down and facing them. If you can, wrap your legs around their neck, and wrap your arms around their butt. Their mouth should be able to meet your genitals, and your mouth should be able to meet theirs. Ask them to stand up, and once they have, you’ve successfully assumed the Pisces position. If you’ve managed it, you should be upside down hugging their torso, and both of you should have easy access to each others’ nether parts.
Looking for something way more accessible? The Shining may be the 69 variant for you. The position is really just 69 turned sideways, which effectively maximizes comfort for everyone involved. No one has to worry about balancing delicately on top or being squished on bottom. All you have to do is lie side-by-side (and face-to-genitals).
The most ambitious 69ers among us will surely appreciate the Amphibian, a 69 variant that calls for core strength, balance, and flexibility all at once. Ask your partner to sit down with their legs in front of them. Then, do a headstand, facing them, with your head in their crotch. You can wrap your arms around their legs to further stabilize both of you. And once you’re feeling steady, slide your legs into a split to offer your partner easier access to all the 69 fun that awaits.
(To be clear, this position does expect you to be able to go down on your partner while you’re in a headstand. And if you can manage that, props to you.)
Consider the Zombie a variation on the Amphibian that doesn’t require you to be good at yoga. Ask your partner to sit down with their legs in front of them. Then, stand over them, with your legs on either side of their body and your toes pointed toward their feet. From there, bend over until your mouth can reach their genitals and their mouth can reach yours. You can bend your knees generously and place your hands on the ground to steady yourself. The Zombie still offers plenty of room for upside-down fun — without asking you to do the splits or perform oral sex while balancing in a headstand.
Inventive 69 (yes, that’s genuinely its name) offers a simpler alternative who prefer their foreplay without a side of exercise. Ask your partner to lie down on their back. Then, lie on your back, but in the opposite direction of your partner. (So instead of both being face-to-face and toe-to-toe, both of you should be face-to-toe.) Pull yourself forward until your genitals meet their mouth, and straddle their face to offer them easy access. Pull your torso close enough to theirs that you can reach their genitals, as well. And let the fun go from there.
Those looking for a challenge will be delighted to learn of the Snake, a 69 position that requires immense strength and stamina from both you and your partner. Ask your partner to stand up. You should be standing up, facing them, several paces away. Then, do a handstand, and ask your partner to come close enough to help you balance. At this point, you should both be facing in the same direction (though they’ll be right-side-up, and you’ll be upside-down). From there, ask your partner to lift you until you can drape your legs over their shoulders. You should be high enough up that their mouth can meet your genitals and so that your mouth can meet theirs (if you turn around to face them). From there, both of you can use your arms to steady yourselves as you embark on one of the wildest 69 experiences you’ve ever had.
Exotic Foreplay offers a change of pace that isn’t particularly demanding. Start by getting on your hands and knees, and ask your partner to stand over you, straddling you, with their toes pointed toward your feet. From there, ask your partner to bend over until their mouth can reach your genitals. And be sure they’re squatting low enough that when you’re turned around, your mouth can meet theirs. This 69 variant requires a little effort from both parties, to be sure. But it still doesn’t call for immense strength or flexibility.
The American Pie is an excellent choice for those craving a challenge—but not an incredibly daunting one. Start by asking your partner to kneel, and then to lean back as far as they can — until their hands comfortably reach the floor. You should stand behind them, facing the same direction they are. Then, bend over them as far as you can, until your hands touch the floor and your mouth reaches their genitals. If you can, lift your feet off the ground and wrap your legs around your partner’s neck. (But if you can’t, you can assume some sort of American Pie/Zombie hybrid that doesn’t require you to balance on your arms while performing oral sex.)
Both effortful and impressive, the Golden Gate is a perfect choice for those looking for something a little demanding. Ask your partner to lie on their back. Then, kneel, facing away from them, with your legs straddling their shoulders. From there, lean back into a backbend, so that your arms are straddling their upper thighs and your mouth can reach their genitals. If you can, engage in 69 fun from there. Even if you can manage it for just a moment, you’ll have accomplished something most of us haven’t dared to attempt.
The Yin-Yang offers fun without asking too much of you—a surprisingly hard combination to find in the 69 sex position space. Lie on your back with your legs straddled, and pull your thighs in toward your chest as far as they’ll go (bend your knees as generously as you need to). Then, ask your partner to kneel over you, straddling your head, facing toward you. From there, they can lean forward until their hands touch the ground. At that point, they should be comfortably resting on their hands and knees, and you should still be lying down with your legs pulled toward your chest. Both of you should have all the access you need to engage in a little oral play from there.
The Pointer is a lot like the Pisces, except it doesn’t require your partner to stand (and it therefore doesn’t require you to be suspended in mid-air so far off the ground). Ask your partner to kneel. Then, climb on top of them so that your thighs can wrap around their neck, your arms can wrap around their butt, and your mouth can reach their genitals. The position is still incredibly demanding, but it doesn’t require quite as much strength and balance.
A version of this story was published March 2020.
Here’s 69 more (nice) sex positions for your bucket list: