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Attention cunnilingus givers and receivers: We’ve got an oral sex technique to add to your rotation.
Behold: the Kivin method.
We believe pleasure is a fundamental aspect of a safe and healthy sex life. That’s why we rely on experienced writers, educators, and other experts to share their suggestions on everything from the technique you use to the sex toy you buy.
We only recommend something that we genuinely love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched — if you know what we mean. Wink.
At its most basic: sideways cunnilingus.
Marla Renee Stewart, sexologist with Velvet Lips Sex Down South and co-author of “The Ultimate Guide to Seduction and Foreplay,” explains that when it comes to performing oral sex, most of what we see in porn and experience IRL is a lover positioned straight between the other’s legs.
“Most people go straight down,” Stewart says.
The Kivin method has the giving partner situate their body so that it’s perpendicular — not parallel — to the receiver’s. Oh, and it also makes sure that the oh-so-sensitive perineum gets some sweet, sweet loving.
Not a geometrist? Check out this 3-D rendition.
After testing the method, you might want to send a bouquet of “thank you for the orgasm” flowers. But unfortunately, there isn’t one official sex master to give kudos for inventing the method.
In all likelihood, it’s been around for decades. As Stewart says, “It’s an oral sex method I, and other sex educators, have been teaching for years and years and years as ‘sideways cunnilingus.’”
But the name is thought to have gained traction from Reddit.
So, sure, the name seems random AF. But as Stewart says, “If the name makes it easier to talk aboutand ask for side-lying cunnilingus, it’s a win.” Fair.
There are three main benefits of the Kivin method that ~regular ol’ oral~ doesn’t provide.
First, perineum (aka taint) stimulation.
It might sound like two tiny tweaks, but consider this:
The perineum — that’s the blip of skin between the vagina and anal entrances — “is incredibly nerve-dense and yet often ignored during oral,” Stewart says. (And sadly, it’s ignored during most sexual activities.)
Second, better access to the entire vulva.
While straight-on oral provides the giver pinpointed stimulation to the clitoris, it doesn’t put the giver’s mouth in the optimal position to stimulate the receiver’s labia, clitoris, and pubic mound.
Plus, many vulva owners actually find direct clitoral stimulation too intense, to the point of being unpleasant.
Finally, Stewart adds, most clitoris owners have one side of their gem that they like licked more than the other.
“This method gives you the opportunity to discover what that side is, if you don’t already know,” she says.
Orgasm gap, begone!
First, make sure the receiver wants to try it. Because not all vulva owners will!
One Redditor says: “I loathe [the Kivin method]. In fact, it makes me rage out when someone tries it, I tell them it’s no bueno but they think it’s a hidden secret path to the greatest orgasms ever known so they keep going.”
Please don’t be like these lovers!!
But if your boo enthusiastically consents, here’s how it works:
- The receiver lies on their back with one leg lifted.
- The giver slides underneath the lifted leg, lying sideways, mouth facing the receiver’s bits.
- The giver uses a finger (or two) to apply consistent pressure to the receiver’s perineum while swiping their tongue back and forth or up and down along the receiver’s vulva at whatever rhythm and angle the receiver enjoys.
Trust, it sounds more complicated than it actually is.
Babes, nothing is a guaranteed orgasm. Not even the Kivin method.
No two vulva owners have the exact same vulvas, hot spots, and preferences in bed. So whether or not a vulva owner climaxes comes (heh) down to what the receiver needs to climax.
That said, the Kivin method is known as having a high success rate.
Stewart says this is because this method — unlike, say, P-in-V intercourse — prioritizes clitoral stimulation, which
Compliment the receiver!
*Side-eyes vaginal wash commercials.* Many vulva owners were taught that their vulvas and vaginas are dirty, smelly, or unclean (which to be very clear, they’re not!).
Still, unlearning this misogynistic rubbish is a lifelong process.
Telling your partner how good they taste and smell can do worlds for easing any lingering anxieties that interfere with pleasure.
- “I’ve been thinking about how you taste all damn day.”
- “I could lie down here and breathe in forever.”
- “I love having your juices line my mouth.”
Oh, and be enthusiastic
Most vulva owners have also been socialized to put their pleasure, needs, and wants second, which can make them feel guilty about being the center of attention during sex.
Don’t be shy about throwing your boo a compliment. Or seven.
Bring in a sex pillow or wedge
For bigger-bodied folks, something like the Liberator Wedge or Dame Pillo — which can be positioned under the receiver’s hips to lift their bum up — can create more space between the receiver’s leg and the bed.
This means the giver doesn’t have to bear the weight of the receiver’s leg.
Add in a vibrator
“Likely, the giver will be using their tongue along the receiver’s clit, so a clitoral vibrator will just get in the way,” Stewart says.
But if the giver needs internal stimulation to get over the edge, she says, “You might have the giver use an internal vibrator on the receiver.”
A few internal vibrators that might work:
Or just use a finger
So long as your nails are trimmed and fingers are clean, using your finger to penetrate your partner (with consent) will be a much appreciated move for the
Pop in a butt plug
Because TBH, what sex acts aren’t made better by the addition of a booty plug?
And as Stewart says, “It all comes down to layering erogenous zones.”
So, if your booty is one of your hot spots, go ahead and slide one in.
But even if you aren’t using a barrier method, you may opt to use the wet stuff.
For instance, if the receiver is self-conscious about their taste, you may opt for a glycerin-free, flavored lubricant, like Sliquid Swirl Green Apple.
And if the giver has dry mouth, you might try a lube with aloe (which helps the body produce more saliva), like Good Clean Love.
Oh, and obviously you N-E-E-D to use lube if there’s backdoor action.
- Did the receiver experience pleasure?
- Did I learn more about what I do and do not enjoy?
- Did we have fun trying something new?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, it “worked”!
Once more for the pleasure seekers in the back: Orgasm isn’t the only measure of success in bed. K?
The Kivin method is certainly worth trying. But there’s no one-size-comes-all move.
So, if it makes you or your boo experience out-of-this-universe pleasure? Fab!
But if not? Enjoy exploring until you learn what does!
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.