If you find yourself with a vulva in front of you and aren’t quite sure what to do, here are some tips for the orally challenged. (If you’re not the one who’s orally challenged, feel free to ping this to someone who needs it. In a nice way. If you can figure that one out...) If it’s a penis that’s in your vicinity, here are some solid blow job tips (and if you’re not into swallowing, totally okay. Try these ideas for semen redirection.) If you two are already masters of oral, here are some ways to up your skills even more. And if you want take a deep dive (um...), here’s a huge-ass mix tape of all things oral sex.
1. The seated 7 and 1
Make a penis happy by using your mouth and hand together, seven strokes up and then one glorious one down. For a vulva, switch between an intense move (deep sucking, shaking your head back and forth, rapid tongue flicks) then a few long languorous licks up their entire vulva. When incoherent moaning occurs, you’re hit the right ratio.
2. The house bound
Restraints are great for people who have trouble getting out of their heads. Try having one person lying back with their wrists bound behind their knees. The position and the binding kind of forces vulnerability and really focuses attention on the sensations happening.
3. Oral sex for one, please
If you don’t have a partner around, you can mimic the sensations of oral sex by your own damn self. Try a toy like a Womanizer—the toy we never knew we absolutely needed—for gentle clit suckery. Or get down with an Ora, which has a vibrator and a little round ball that rolls around your clit in a kind of infuriatingly delightful way. Choose a pattern, lie back, and allow the ravishment.
4. The shark fin
Since oral is impossible to pull off underwater, lie back on a towel with your hips at the edge of the tub. Spread your legs, letting your feet dangle in the water, and appreciate what your partner can do with their mouth. If they’re happy soaking among the warm jets, they can stay down below for a bit longer. Win-win for everyone.
5. The butterball
This is a great position not only for cunnilingus but for a rim job as well. Get yourselves showered up, then the receiver lies back with their knees bent up toward their chest. “This position still gives the giving partner easy access to the receiver’s breasts and clitoris—or with a male butt, access to the penis and testicles—for stimulation fun,” says Kenneth Play, sex coach and genius of sex hacks. “If you want to use a barrier for your rimming but don’t have a dental dam handy, a quick sex hack is to grab some plastic wrap to use instead.”
6. The deep sea diver
Another A+ rim job pose, “it can be a really hot introduction to take a shower together and start practicing some rimming while you’re in there,” says Erika Lust, feminist erotic filmmaker and all-around badass. “For beginners, I recommend doing a simple standing position. The receiver can stand up, holding on to the wall if they need to, and the other person can crouch down behind them. I recommend this for people who feel self-conscious or worry that it’s not hygienic or clean.”
7. The live show
If your partner is all into Mistress of the Dungeon stuff, you could have a “take charge” session where you sit them in a chair, blindfold them, and tell them you’re in control for the night, not letting them orgasm till you say it’s okay. Next time, it’s your fantasy.
8. The saddle straddle
If you’ve got a dominant partner, they will looooove straddling you as you stroke and suck their beloved penis that is jutting out right there in front of your face. Try using both hands, twisting your way up and down their shaft and licking the area around their head.
9. The constellation
If oral sex is uncomfortable, try rolling over onto your side. “This position is awesome for people with spasticity in their hips, which can make it hard to spread your legs apart for oral sex. It still gives your partner good access without you having to be in a position that hurts you,” says Eva Sweeney, who teaches about sex and disability at Cripping Up Sex With Eva.
10. The dam, girl
Let’s talk safety for a sec! Dental dams—rectangles of protective plastic placed over your vulva during oral sex to protect mouth from genitals and vice versa—have a side benefit that lets you go a little dirtier. The receiver gets on all fours, giver gets behind, drapes the dam over the vulva and bum hole and commences licking. It’s good, close access without the whole butt-in-the-face aspect. And if you want to experiment with a little rimming, well, the dental dam is like a disposable toilet-seat cover, letting you make some contact without full-on touching.
11. The supersize me
When they’re close to having an orgasm (signs: ragged breathing, balls tightening toward their body, or the traditional “Oh god, I’m gonna come”), stop briefly and/or gently tug downward on their balls to cool them down. Repeat your torturous edging till they beg. Press a finger or vibrator firmly against their taint as they’re about to come and behold the results.
12. The swiper
Have your partner create a little suction with their mouth over your clit and labia, then shake their head side to side, in circles, fast or slow. This mimics the way a lot of us touch ourselves and will get you there quite well. Elevate your bum on some pillows to give them easy access.
13. The peace out
Take a seat while your partner places two fingers on either side of your clit and makes a little scissor motion while gently licking or sucking the tip of your clitoris. “It kind of isolates the clitoris from the rest of the body and really pinpoints that pleasure,” says sex therapist Susan Block.
14. The faux deep throat
Go for the feel of deep throating without the gagging part by lubing up your hand to take that part of his shaft you can’t handle. Stroke in harmony with your mouth or work them in opposite directions. Look up into your partner’s eyes and moan if you’re feeling it to cause further wreckage.
15. The corkscrew
Have your partner stand while you kneel in front of them. Hold the base of their penis with both hands, take them in your mouth, and tilt your head slowly from side to side as you work your way up and down their shaft.
16. All hail the queen
The key to face-sitting is not actually sitting on their face unless you want to literally have a killer vagina. Straddle their head and give yourself a light thigh workout, holding yourself a couple inches above their face while they go down on you. They can reach up and hold on to your butt and hips, because who doesn’t like grabbing a butt?
17. Doggy goes oral
Not only is this a totally hot oral position that puts you in control of the angle and pressure, it’s also a good segue into the world of anilingus if that’s something you’re into.
18. So-fa so good
Have your partner lie upside down on the couch, with their back and head on the seat and their legs draped over the back. Kneel over their face, facing the back of the couch. Then bend over and 69 away. Much more relaxing than an awkward, limb-flailing 69 in bed, isn’t it?
19. The cliff-hanger
Sit on the edge of the bed and lie back with your legs draped over the edge. When they kneel between your legs, their head will be angled down toward your vagina, giving them direct access to your clitoris. This one also leaves their hands free to play with your nipples or finger you for double pleasure.
10. The deep v
Try this position if you have trouble staying in the mindset to come. Lie back on the edge of the bed and grab your thighs, holding your legs out in a V shape. (Not-so-flexible version: Bend them at the knee.) Have your partner go down on you, using their hands to lightly massage your inner thighs, bringing more blood to your ~*~VuLvA~*~. The massage also helps keep you in the moment so your orgasm is scream-inducing.
21. The leg up
Women may have one side of their vulva that’s more sensitive than the other, so choose which leg you’ll hold up wisely, letting the other one dangle over the edge of the bed. They can lick figure eights up and down the exposed side of your vulva until you spontaneously bust out in Mariah Carey’s “Hero.”
22. The sidecar
Lie on your sides facing each other, then slide down until their penis is, well, in your face. Call it the lazy blow job. Because no one is worth killing your knees or getting a major neck cramp.
23. The spiderman
Blow jobs don’t normally provide much of a view, but this position gives your partner a full, stunning vista of your hot body. Lie on your back on the bed with your head hanging off the edge. Have them stand behind you and lean forward so you can take their penis in your hands and mouth while upside down. Bonus: They’re also in prime position to finger your nipples or clit while you go down (up?) on them.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan US.