Face Sitting (AKA ‘Queening’) Is the Empowering Oral Sex Position Your Sex Life Is Missing

Photo: W+G Creative
TikTok has a way of shedding mainstream light on sexual interests and practices that might otherwise be deemed niche. Just take spit play, for starters, which involves embracing spitting as an erotic act; or, having a breeding kink, which entails feeling turned on or aroused by sex acts that could result in pregnancy. Another kinky sexual practice to gain notoriety on the app as of late? Face sitting, or "queening," which is an oral sex position that is… just what it sounds like.

While the practice used to be engaged in mostly by lovers of fem-dom/sub relationships within the BDSM community, social media points to its far broader appeal. The hashtag #facesitting has over a million views on TikTok with videos on the topic racking up hundreds of thousands of likes. Below, you’ll find expert insights on face sitting including the origins of the practice, why you might want to incorporate it into your sex life, and exactly how to try it.

Experts In This Article

What is face sitting?

"Face sitting, or queening, refers to a sexual position where one partner positions themselves so that their genitals or anus are above their partner's face," says sexologist Lilith Foxx. It can be incorporated as part of foreplay or be the main sexual activity.

Because face sitting involves one partner being positioned physically on top of the other, it can also be used in BDSM play, where the person on top plays the dominant role, says sex educator Niki Davis-Fainbloom, MA. And in the BDSM community, that person has traditionally been one with a vulva, hence the gendered term of “queening.”

But, anyone of any gender identity or biological sex can be on top and be the more dominant partner. Or, face sitting doesn’t have to include the power play component at all, says Davis-Fainbloom. “Sometimes, it can just function as a different oral sex position to try.”

What are the origins of this sexual act?

As noted above, face sitting originated within a BDSM context and “highlights the eroticism of the 'throne' metaphor, with the sitter embodying the figure of power,” says Foxx.

Though it’s rising in popularity now, face sitting is a centuries-old practice. “Its roots are in cis-gendered female dominance and male submission dynamics dating back to at least Victorian times when the term ‘queening stool’ was used for a specially designed piece of furniture facilitating this act,” says Foxx. (Think of a stool with a hole in the seat.)

“It’s more about embodiment and empowerment and has nothing to do with genitalia.” —Niki Davis-Fainbloom, MA, sex educator

But again, despite its fem-dom roots, queening is no longer restricted to any particular gendered set-up. “It’s more about embodiment and empowerment and has nothing to do with genitalia,” says Davis-Fainbloom.

Over the years, face sitting has also found a following among those who have kinks that don’t involve power play. “Some people enjoy the breath play or the degradation play that can come with the physical act of being smothered [during face sitting],” says Foxx.

Why you may want to sit on your partner's face for oral sex

There are a handful of psychological and physical reasons why the practice of face sitting can be a pleasure-enhancing addition to your sex life, as it caters to a variety of sexual interests and relationship dynamics.

From a psychological standpoint, there’s the potential for sexy power play noted above, which can be exciting for many, says Foxx. Both the receiving and the giving partner can be in a position of power, depending on how they want to frame their experience. “There's a very distinct difference in play between the receiving partner saying, ‘Get beneath your queen's throne and service her, slave!’ and the giving partner saying, ‘Sit down on this seat, and let your Master use you to his desire,’” says Foxx.

On the physical side of things, face sitting can also allow the receiving partner to control the pace, pressure, and area of stimulation, which can enhance pleasure, says Foxx. That can be especially beneficial for people with vulvas, given that stimulation of the clitoris, in particular, often facilitates the easiest, fastest route to orgasm. “Because of the potential for pressure [on the clitoris] with face sitting, the position can help activate the nerve endings and provide more pleasure,” says Davis-Fainbloom.

Also, face sitting is a wonderful oral sex position for people with disabilities or who have difficulty moving into certain positions. “All that the [giving partner] needs to do is lie down and use their tongue,” says Davis-Fainbloom.

One more reason why you may want to add face sitting into your sexual repertoire? It's a great way to switch things up and try something new, adds Foxx. Research shows that people in long-term relationships who make an effort to engage in novel sexual activities together have higher relationship satisfaction levels than those who don’t.

How to try face sitting for the first time, according to sex experts

If you’re curious about trying queening with a partner, the first step is to talk about it. “Open communication about comfort, boundaries, and interests is vital,” says Foxx. Have a conversation at a time when you’re not about to have sex (or in the midst of having sex), so that there is no pressure for your partner to try something new in the moment, and you can both freely give consent.

Language and terminology is also important to consider during this conversation. While face sitting is often called “queening” in the context of BDSM, you and your partner certainly don’t need to use this term explicitly or at all (whether or not you're planning to include power play). If the term doesn't appeal, it’s a good idea to discuss in advance what gender-neutral terms you might use instead; this guide to non-binary names for doms and subs by sexologist Sunny Megatron is a great place to start.

Another thing to consider is safety. Safewords—which denote when a partner would like to pause or stop a sexual scene or act—are essential in the BDSM world, and they can be just as useful during any sexual activity, especially one that’s new to you and/or a partner. Because the giving partner might not be able to speak during face sitting, you may also want to decide on a non-verbal option. “Non-verbal signals, like a tap or squeeze on the leg, can be agreed upon to communicate when the underneath partner needs a break or a change,” says Foxx.

As for the face sitting itself, you can also experiment with different angles and positions to figure out what works best for you and your partner. “Depending on the physical stimulation desired, the partner on top may want to hover slightly, or if they have a penis, they might choose to lift one knee up to balance,” says Foxx. You might even try the Kivin Method, which involves the giver licking the vulva and clitoris from a sideways angle.

Also, if the receiving partner (who will be positioned on top) has a disability, it might be useful to consider a piece of sex furniture like a queening chair; there are many different options available that can help make face sitting easier on the knees and hips. “If partners are playing on a bed, the person receiving oral stimulation [who can kneel atop the giving partner] can also utilize pillows and cushions to alleviate pressure on the knees and shins, and elevate themselves if the partner giving the oral stimulation needs more space or airflow,” says Foxx.

How to make sitting on your partner's face more comfortable and pleasurable

If you feel hesitant to try face sitting (as the person on top) because of the body positioning and the perspective it will grant your partner, know that you’re not alone. Foxx says this is a common and valid insecurity, especially among those who have poor body image—but it certainly doesn’t mean you should keep yourself from experiencing the potential pleasures of this sex position.

One way to make the experience more comfortable is to suggest that your partner be verbally encouraging as they engage. “It can be helpful for the partner giving oral stimulation to affirm and praise the partner [on top] who is to receive,” says Foxx.

Another idea? You can work your way up to the full face sitting experience (rather than diving right in) by experimenting with other similar sex positions first. “The 69 position [where one partner lies on top of the other, facing the opposite direction, and both partners give and receive oral] can provide similar sensations and power play and can be a good way for the person on top to get their mind off of being the focus of attention by stimulating their partner simultaneously,” says Foxx, adding that a variation of 69 where both partners lie on their sides can also be a good one to try.

“Face sitting is for everyone—regardless of gender, size, anatomy, or sexuality,” says Foxx. As long as you and your partner establish clear consent and non-verbal ways to communicate throughout the experience to ensure comfort, you can relax and enjoy the pleasure that queening offers, whether you’re giving or receiving.

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