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Face-Sitting: What It Is, Why It’s Hot

Alexandra Fine, Credentialed Sexologist, M. Psych | Written by Dame

As you move through high school (and college), you’re likely to hear lots of sex-related terms for the first time. Some may sound intriguing, some may sound disgusting. And some can sound a bit baffling.

Face-sitting, a sexual position some in the BDSM community call queening, is a great example.

When you’re not familiar with the concept, you may have trouble understanding why so many people find face-sitting so hot. You may even wonder how the partner on the bottom could pull it off; how can you give someone oral sex if they’re smothering you?

In truth, the “face-sitter” usually isn’t usually putting their full weight on their partner’s face. They’re kneeling or squatting – giving the bottom partner has plenty of room to work in. As for why so many people think the position is exciting, that takes a little more time to explain.

Let’s learn about face-sitting.

Exactly What is Face-Sitting?

Face-sitting, in simple terms, is the sex act that occurs when one partner dangles their genitals over a second partner’s mouth, in order to receive oral sex. (In less “clinical” language it’s sometimes referred to as a mustache ride, with a woman hovering over a man’s face.)

While it’s physically possible for a penis-haver to be on top, it would be awkward and difficult for the bottom partner to perform fellatio in this position. That’s why it’s commonly accepted that face-sitting involves a bottom partner who is performing cunnilingus (or at times, analingus) on the person who’s “sitting on their face.”

The concept of face-sitting is nothing new. The position was used in many ancient cultures from Egypt and India, to China and Japan; there’s some evidence that, in Persia, chairs known as “man face-stools” were designed for women to sit in as they were pleasured. In medieval days, face-sitting was apparently favored by upper-class women as a way to receive sexual satisfaction without the risk of becoming pregnant, and in Japan, some brothels specialized in providing women with males trained in the art.

It’s said that even queens in those cultures enjoyed being “serviced” in that manner – although that’s not necessarily where the term “queening” comes from. More about the origin of that term shortly.

Despite its long history, many people are only slightly familiar with the concept of face-sitting. And those who do know about it sometimes find it somewhat scandalous.

The term actually caused a big stir in the late 20th century, when a California radio station played a Monty Python parody song called “Sit on My Face.” The FCC ruled that the song was “actionably indecent,” and fined the station nearly $10,000 for playing it. And in 2014, the British government added face-sitting to its list of sexual activities that were too extreme to be shown in porn videos in the U.K.

Those who are intimately familiar with face-sitting? People in BDSM and other fetish/kink communities.

Face-Sitting and BDSM

Face-sitting is particularly popular in the female domination, or femdom, world. In fact, that’s where it’s believed the term “queening” originated, calling to mind a dominant queen sitting on her throne (represented by the bottom, or submissive, partner).

The concept has a number of dominant/submissive themes which can apply to partners of any gender, even though they’ve traditionally been described in female/male terms. Key among them, of course, are power fantasies; the top partner holds all of the power and the bottom one is virtually being held prisoner, the “object” of sexual pleasure.

Some who are into femdom activity prefer a clothed version of queening. They’re less concerned with physical satisfaction, and more focused on the power of the top and the helplessness and frustration of the bottom. It is sometimes combined with other aspects of fetish play like panty worship, crushing, smothering and breath play. And a large variety of modern variations on “man face stools,” now called queening chairs, is available for purchase.

Face-sitting may inherently be a dominant and submissive activity, but it isn’t solely the province of doms and subs.

That’s because it happens to be a terrific way for one partner to be satisfied by the other.

The Joys of Face-Sitting

Aside from the femdom and fetish aspects of face-sitting, why has the activity become widely accepted in the vanilla world?

From a Top’s Point of View

It’s Psychologically Empowering

Even for those who aren’t interested in traditional BDSM power games, a sense of control is still powerful and empowering. That’s particularly true for vulva-havers, who may be accustomed to playing a secondary or supporting role in sexual activity that takes place in other positions.

It’s Physically Empowering

In many positions, the person receiving oral sex is subject to the whims of their partner. In face-sitting, they’re the one in control. They can position themselves to receive pleasure exactly where and how they want it, and they can pull back or thrust forward as necessary to create just the right amount of pressure on their genitals (or anus). The top is the primary actor, not the one being acted upon.

It Provides Better Access

This can be true in several contexts.

The “legs wide open” position ensures that there are no obstacles to direct clitoral stimulation, and some vulva-havers say that they’re more likely to climax from oral sex in this position than any other.

The position gives easy and immediate access to the clitoris and other areas of the vulva, as well as the anus, for those who enjoy both cunnilingus and rimming.

Finally, the person on top has full access to tease or play with the bottom’s hair, face and breasts – and if they reverse their position, access to the bottom’s genitals.

It Ensures Complete Focus

In most sexual positions, the partners are concerned with pleasuring each other. During face-sitting, however, the sole goal is maximum satisfaction for the top partner, with no distractions. There’s no “you do this for me, now I’ll do that for you” aspect of queening; the sitter can relax and fully enjoy the activity, the sensations, and – if they desire – the orgasm(s).

From a Bottom’s Point of View

It Relieves Performance Anxiety

There’s no pressure to “perform” sexually, particularly if a penis-haver is on the bottom. The person on top is in complete control of the sex act, so all the bottom has to do is satisfy them with their mouth and tongue with no worries about erections, angles or speed.

It Allows Appreciation of Sensuality and Sexuality

In the midst of a steamy bedroom session, most people are too busy to admire the beauty of their partner’s body, or the smells and sounds of great sex. Face-sitting allows the bottom partner to lie back and take in everything that’s going on above (and around) them, in a way that’s usually not possible during more traditional sexual activity. It also allows them to actually watch the sex that they’re involved in.

Body Image Isn’t Important

Those who may be sensitive about their appearance can take “comfort” in the fact that their body isn’t even an issue when their partner is sitting on their face. The only external parts of their body that matter during the act are their tongue and mouth.

Contrary to First Impressions, It’s Empowering

Yes, the bottom may be in a submissive position (and role, during BDSM/fetish play). But being able to fully pleasure a partner with abandon – once allowed to do so, of course – can also provide an unusual sense of power of a different sort.

A Possible Bonus

Pleasuring a penis-haver orally can lead to a big payoff, at least in many people’s view: ejaculation on their face or in their mouth. If a vulva-haver happens to squirt when they climax, it’s unlikely that the ejaculate will reach their partner’s body or mouth. Because of their position during face-sitting, though, it can actually be the vulva owner who cums on their partner’s face.

For Both Partners

Any sex therapist will tell you that different is good; that’s why they often suggest sex toys to couples who need to liven up their bedroom play. And you see it as erotic, kinky or just plain fun, face-sitting can add an extra layer of excitement to a sex life that may need a little extra juice.

How to Do It

Before giving face-sitting a try, a couple of preliminaries are very important.

First and foremost is consent. Discuss the possibility with your partner, and be sure that they’re comfortable with what will probably be a new type of sexual activity for them. If they’re curious but still a bit reluctant, try starting slowly. Have the would-be top partner set up on all fours above the bottom’s mouth, facing away – and gradually lower their crotch down to accept oral stimulation. If it’s all good, face-sitting is a natural next step.

The other must-have ingredient is a safe word or physical signal to stop, even if the face-sitting isn’t intended to be a form of BDSM play. One partner will be hovering over the other in a potentially dangerous position, so there should always be a “break glass” option to stop the play if need be.

On to the fun.

  • One partner should lie back on the bed (or wherever else they can lie flat), with the other on their knees, straddling the bottom’s chest.
  • The top then should “scoot” forward, until their knees are placed on either side of the bottom’s head, spread far enough apart to provide good access. They can grab the headboard or rest their palms on the wall behind the bed, for balance.
  • The top’s genitals (or behind) should now be above the bottom’s face. Slowly lowering down until there’s contact between the top’s genitals and bottom’s mouth will get the party started!

Once the position feels comfortable, the top partner can move further away or closer to the bottom partner’s face to control the amount of pressure on their clitoris, and lower or raise their position to intensify or ease the sensations. If you’re on top, try staying still and letting your partner do all the work; then have your partner stay still (with their tongue out) and maneuver your body to explore all the different types of pleasure you can generate.

Face-Sitting Variations

There are other types of face-sitting you can try if things go well. Instead of facing forward, the top partner can try facing the bottom’s feet and legs (sort of like switching from cowgirl to reverse cowgirl). Some couples also enjoy the side sit, with the top facing sideways.

If both partners find that they love face-sitting, there’s always the option to step up the BDSM/femdom elements to include breath play or smothering. Just remember to have that safe word ready; it can be even more important as the play gets more intense.