For anyone who's interested in more oh-so-needed quality time with their partner but looking for a way to shake things up, we have two words for you: Sideways. Oral. Curious? Here's how the oral position otherwise known as the Kivin method works.
What is the Kivin method?
The Kivin method is a style of cunnilingus in which a person with a vagina receives oral from the side, allowing for a different type of clitoral stimulation that can feel more intense for some people.
The giver's body is perpendicular to the receiver's body (so their bodies form a T shape), as opposed to parallel (where their bodies are aligned in one straight line). (Here's a helpful diagram.)
What makes it different?
Instead of the giver going between the receiver's legs, the giver approaches the vulva from either side. Usually the receiver has one or both legs raised to allow the giver access: "One of the receiving partner's legs, for example, might be draped over the giver's neck or back. Or the receiver might have their legs up, with their knees against their chest," Weiss explains.
Side-to-side clitoral stimulation
The clitoris gets stimulated in a direction that's a little different from usual oral. Because of the positioning, you are automatically giving the clitoris attention in a side-to-side motion, instead of up and down. Depending on the receiver's anatomy, the whole clitoral hood and shaft can also get stimulation at once from the full width of the tongue.
More of the vulva gets stimulation
Giving oral at an angle allows for more of the vulva to be stimulated with each swipe of the tongue. In traditional oral, givers tend to focus on the clitoris only. With the Kivin method, it can be easier to give the labia some well-deserved attention as well.
Access to other sensitive parts
The Kivin method also allows easier access to other sensitive parts of the body, such as the anus, the vaginal opening, and the perineum (that soft spot between the vaginal opening and the anus). All of these areas can feel good when orally stimulated.
Potentially faster orgasms
Some sex educators claim that the Kivin method can make you reach orgasm faster than traditional oral because of all the additional stimulation to more of the clitoris and vulva. There isn't science to back this up, but some report that the method can make a person reach orgasm in just three to five minutes.
How to try the Kivin method:
Get in position
Once both parties have consented to try something new, the receiver can lie back on the bed and raise one or both legs. The giver can then get into position by bringing their face to the receiver's vulva underneath the raised leg, with the giver usually lying with their stomach against the bed. The giver can also be propped up on their knees if that's more comfortable.
The positioning can be tricky, so Weiss suggests trial and error. "Find a variation of the position that's comfortable for both of you," she says.
Slowly start using the tongue to stimulate the vulva
For those that are giving, use your tongue to stimulate all parts of the vulva, especially the hood. "This motion is pleasurable for many people because it can stimulate the entire width of the clitoris and potentially parts of the internal clitoris that extend outward from the shaft, especially if you're focusing on the bottom, where the labia meet the clitoris," Weiss says.
Moon emphasizes starting slowly to start off. "Offer positive affirmation to help your partner relax. Start slowly," she says.
Experiment with different tongue motions
"Experiment with different mouth and tongue motions (up and down, circular motions, etc.) and different placements of the tongue (some like to be licked over the clitoral hood, while others like stimulation directly on the clitoris)," Weiss says. "Stay consistent once you find a technique the receiver likes."
Moon reminds us, "Take cues from your partner—everyone likes different things when it comes to cunnilingus."
Use your hands
Communicate with your partner about if they'd like other areas stimulated. If your partner is into it, you can slide a finger into either the vaginal opening or the anus while using your tongue.
"Not everyone likes penetration, or penetration coupled with cunnilingus," Moon notes, though. "So ask your partner if they want to be fingered while you eat them out. Don't just assume it's always on the menu."
Using one of your free hands, you can also gently stimulate the perineum. For many, this is one of the best parts of the Kivin Method, and some say you may be able to feel this area pulsating when the receiver is close to climax. This isn't proved to be definite, but it's worth a try! (Here's how to have a blended orgasm, aka a clitoral and vaginal orgasm combined.)
Receivers: Communicate! Let your partner know which directions feel best, and how much pressure you like. "Give feedback throughout the act about what feels best for you," says Weiss.
How it feels
Some say that this sideways method allows for much easier accessibility and serves as a fast track to the Big O.
"People who are fans of the Kivin method are generally those who like their clitoris stroked from left to right. So, if you masturbate by moving your finger from side to side over your clit, it might be for you," Weiss says.
For those who may have more sensitive clitorises, this alternate approach might make your knees buckle.
"This position might allow for a more indirect approach to the clitoris, where the performer licks the clit over the hood, rather than lifting up the hood, which can be too intense for some folks," Moon explains.
Origin of the Kivin method
It's not clear where the Kivin method got its name or who "Kivin" is. Sexuality experts have been using the term since at least 2001, but it's very likely folks were doing sideways oral in the comfort of their homes long before there was a name for it. If Kivin is a real person, it's likely just someone who decided to speak about this common oral position and name it.
There are tons of ways to engage sexually with your partner, including within oral sex. If everyone involved is interested in trying something a little different, the Kivin Method is a great place to start.
Be patient with each other and be willing to try a couple of positions until you find what's comfy for you both.
Some folks swear by this method when gunning for an orgasm, but it's important to remember that each vulva and their owner are different. All in all, have fun experimenting!
Taneasha White is a Black queer writer and editor. She has a degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her work has been published at Rewire News, Next City, them, Pulp Mag, The Black Youth Project, Gay RVA, and more.
White is the founder and editor of UnSung Literary Magazine, a flash fiction and poetry publication focused on offering artistic space for marginalized voices. She is also a guest editor with Quail Bell Magazine and the co-host of Critiques for The Culture, a podcast where media is dissected through humor and a sociopolitical lens. She is a lover of words, inquisition, and community and has used her role within both literary and organizational spaces to make room for folks who are often cast aside.