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Position Guide

What is the Kivin Method for Cunnilingus and How to Do It

by Cassandra Corrado
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2021

What is the Kivin Method? What are the benefits of this cunnilingus technique? How do you perform it? Sex educator Cassandra Corrado gives the ultimate 101 on this unfamiliar oral sex position.

Calling all cunnilingus champions, sexual explorers, and pleasure-seekers!

Whether you're looking for a simple way to refresh your cunnilingus routine or just want to try out a new thing, please allow me to introduce you to the Kivin Method for cunnilingus. (Oh, and if you're still getting caught up on your sexual vocabulary, cunnilingus = oral sex performed on a vulva, otherwise known as eating someone out.)

What is the Kivin Method?

Put simply, the Kivin Method is cunnilingus repositioned sideways.

Rather than the giver and receiver being in one straight(ish) line together, their bodies form a right(ish) angle, with the giver lying perpendicular to the receiver. Make an L shape with your thumb and index finger, and you'll see the basic positioning. Who knew you would use geometry for your sex life?

Kivin Method Diagram and How to Perform It During Cunnilingus

If you're feeling a little turned around, don't worry—we'll explain the how-to of it all in-depth in a bit.

Who Invented the Kivin Method?

We'd love to give credit where it's due, but TBH—no one knows for sure who "invented" the Kivin Method.

In Naked at Our Age (published in 2011), Joan Price says that the Kivin Method was "originally presented by Dr. Patti Britton in Paris", but doesn't share any more context about the event or year.

In a 2003 issue of The Atlantic, the author mentions reading about it in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tantric Sex, published by Dr. Judy Kuriansky in 2001.

Regardless, I'm confident that people were doing the Kivin Method before it was ever called that. So, when you're trying to give thanks, maybe just say "thanks, Universe."

Benefits of the Kivin Method

In a 2018 study, 63.7% of self-identified women said they preferred up-and-down vulvar stimulation over other patterns, like circular and sideways (the respondents could choose more than one option, FYI). Up-and-down stimulation of the vulva and clitoris can feel pretty natural when you're using your hand, but when it comes to your tongue... well, your jaw, neck, and tongue can get tired out pretty quickly.

Enter the Kivin Method.

With the person performing cunnilingus laying perpendicular to the recipient, the whole vulva becomes more accessible, and neck strain is alleviated. Also, because you've rotated your body, you can make a side-to-side motion (which is easier on the neck), but your recipient feels an up and down motion. Nifty, right?

Below are some reasons why you might want to try out the Kivin Method:

1. Less neck strain for the giver

In the "conventional" position for cunnilingus, the performer may find that their neck starts to feel strained after a bit. If you're sitting up right now, drop your head back and look up to the sky or ceiling. That's basically the position your head is in during conventional cunnilingus—and it can be uncomfortable to hold for a while.

With the Kivin Method, you're able to keep your upper body more completely engaged and can even use pillows like the Liberator Ramp, your arm, or your partner's leg to help support your head and neck alignment. In addition, the reduction in neck strain means that you may be able to last longer (or at least not be cramping up as your partner approached orgasm).

2. More access to the whole vulva = more pleasure

Look, the clit is amazing — but there's so much more to it than the clitoral glans. The clitoral glans is the "nub" that can be seen and felt at the top of the vulva, and it quite literally is just the tip of the iceberg (but in a good, not scary way).

Diagram of Female Genitalia

The rest of the clitoris is a double-wishbone structure; the outer legs (crura) extend behind the labia major. The inner bulbs (vestibular bulbs) are basically behind the labia minora and hug either side of the vaginal opening.

Clitoris Diagram

All parts of the clitoris are highly sensitive, and stimulating some of the non-glans areas can feel extremely pleasurable! The Kivin Method gives the performer greater access to the vulva, which allows them to stimulate the labia, vaginal opening, and perineum more easily.

RELATED: 7 Creative Ways to Orgasm from Clit Stimulation

3. Relieves pressure on the receiver's hips and pelvis

The conventional cunnilingus position often requires the receiver to have their knees dropped wide to either side as much as possible. As people with vulvas approach orgasm, the muscles around the buttocks, hips, and pelvis tense and release — but in the lotus-style position, that tension can quickly lead to cramping, especially for folks with arthritis or other joint issues.

The Kivin Method has the recipient wrapping one of their legs over the giver's back (or onto a pillow, like the Liberator Wedge). That slight adjustment can help take a lot of pressure off of the hips and can reduce some of those mid-sex "hold on, I have a hip cramp!" pauses.

4. Easier booty access

Between the lifted leg and the sideways positioning, accessing the booty during cunnilingus is easier than ever. The perineum (that small area of tissue between the vulva and the anus) is sensitive and delicate, making it a powerhouse for stimulation.

Accessing it is easier using the Kivin Method, but remember: If you're going to add backdoor oral (AKA analingus) into your cunnilingus experience, you should use a dental dam to reduce the unintentional transmission of fecal matter. Even if you aren't using your tongue to stimulate the perineum, you can use your fingers or a toy to add a new layer of sensation. People of all genders and genital configurations can find anal play pleasurable, so talk with your partner and see if this is something they'd be into!

5. Potentially faster orgasms

Because of the complete vulvar access and the possibility of adding in other types of stimulation, the Kivin Method might lend itself to easier, quicker orgasms. That being said, everyone's body is different, and you haven't failed sexually if it still takes you just as long, longer, or if you don't cum at all.

While some people report that the Kivin Method of cunnilingus has allowed them to have faster orgasms, that may not be true for you—instead, focus on your overall experience of physical pleasure rather than trying out a new personal record.

How to Perform the Kivin Method

Trying out something new for the first time can be overwhelming to many of us, but remember that you don't have to be (and won't be) perfect at it your first time around.

You'll have a more pleasurable sexual experience if you focus on playing, being curious, and engaging with your partner rather than focusing on following one specific roadmap. Consider these instructions to be a guide, then adapt them however works best for you!

Learn how to perform the Kivin Method with these 6 simple steps

1. Be playful

Many of us struggle to really play in the bedroom. We get so tied up in performance anxiety and achieving a certain goal; we forget that the whole point is pleasure—not earning top marks in technique (unless you're role-playing, in which case, you do you).

Any time you're trying a new technique, position, roleplay, or dirty talk, remember to play with it. You don't have to perfect right off the bat, and you might feel a little awkward at first. That's okay! It's part of the process. Be curious about the things that excite you and your partners, and keep moving forward little by little from there.

2. Communicate about it

I'll be honest with you: There is no one sex technique that is universally loved by everyone. Our bodies, desires, and pleasures are all different, and that's totally okay! You also don't have to be perfect at everything (see point #1 above) right off the bat.

Instead of assuming that everything will be immediately amazing or focusing on getting it perfect, check in with your partner about what they're enjoying and what they want more or less of.

If you're the receiving partner, tell the giver what they're doing well, and ask for (or guide) adjustments when you need them. The best way to create a pleasurable sexual experience is to communicate about it, so keep coming back to this one—it's really foundational.

3. Get into basic position for the Kivin Method

Before you stress about it too much, remember that the Kivin Method is fundamentally a sex position to help increase everyone's pleasure. The receiving partner will lay down on their back somewhere comfortable, while the giver lays down perpendicular to them, at the vulva's level.

Then, have the recipient raise the leg closest to their partner and wrap it over their back. Don't worry about specific placement; just find the spot that feels most comfortable to you both! If you want even more support, you can try using a sex pillow underneath the receiver's hips to elevate them some more or try putting a pillow underneath your partner's head and neck. You could even use bondage ties, spreader bars, and positioning straps to help hold the receiver's legs in a comfortable position.

Remember, you're not stuck with the accessories you start with, so you can always add or take things away as you want!

From here, the giver's head should be just about at the level of the vulva. Check-in with your partner to see how the position feels for their body, make adjustments, and then get started!

4. Use your mouth

In the Kivin Method position, the giver's tongue can more easily cover the vulva's vast territory. Instead of focusing just on the clit, let your tongue move side-to-side and up-and-down, finding a rhythm that works for you and your partner.

The Kivin Method Illustrated

I recommend starting off with lighter, slower pressure and slowly building up speed and pressure from there, based on your partner's feedback. You aren't tied to one specific motion with the Kivin Method, so try out a few different patterns, shapes, and speeds to see what feels best.

With the relaxed, open hip position, the giver could also use their tongue to more easily stimulate the introitus (vaginal opening). Use a wide, flat tongue to massage the opening and a firmer, pointed tongue to explore inside. The vaginal opening is densely packed with nerve endings (and is being hugged by those vestibular bulbs we mentioned earlier), so this light stimulation can feel really nice.

The beauty of the Kivin Method is that it gives you wider access to the whole vulva, so rather than focusing exclusively on the clitoral glans, take the opportunity to get to know your partner's body a little better! Use your tongue to stimulate the labia major, labia minora, vaginal opening, inner thighs, perineum, and anywhere your pleasure journey takes you both. (And BTW, that tip applies to regular ole cunnilingus, too).

5. Use your hands

Hands are extremely under-utilized in oral sex. You might be like, "Okay, but it's oral sex" and I know that, but hear me out. Using your hands during oral allows you to add in an additional layer of stimulation and can help give your tongue and jaw a rest.

You can use one hand to put light pressure on the pubic mound and to slightly draw back the clitoral hood. Or, try varying it up by using one or two fingers to put pressure down on the labia major on either side of the clitoral glans (that pressure can help intensify orgasms and can help draw the glans out a bit more).

How to use hands when performing the Kivin Method

You can also use your fingers and lube for internal stimulation of the vagina while you stimulate the clit and vulva with your tongue. If your tongue or jaw needs a break, let your fingers take over. Want to massage a part of your partner's body? Hands!

You can also use your fingertips and some lube for a perineal massage. In fact, many folks consider perineal stimulation to be essential to the Kivin Method. I'm on Team "Do What Feels Best for You" so if perineal stimulation feels great for you and your partner, yay! And if it's more of a "meh" experience, then go ahead and focus elsewhere.

You truly have infinite possibilities here, so consider your hands as an extra tool and use them to help you out.

6. Add in a toy

Oral doesn't need to be all about your mouth; just as you can use your hands to support your efforts, you can use toys as tools, too! You might, for example, hold a bullet vibe onto your partner's clit (or have them hold it in place) while you orally explore the rest of their vulva.

How to use sex toys when performing the Kivin Method

You could use a vibrator with a g-zone attachment (like the Le Wand Squirting Set) to incorporate hands-free vaginal play while also stimulating the clitoral glans.

Toys are also a great way to bring the booty into play without the worry of unintentionally bringing trace fecal matter or bacteria from the anus to the vagina. Adding in a small, lubricated plug like the Novice Plug can create a sensation of fullness, which can lead to powerful orgasms. If you're more experienced with anal play, you could try adding in a larger plug with a few more bells and whistles, like the Rimming Plug 2.

Remember, toys are tools. There's no shame in using them to add to a sexual experience, and it doesn't say anything bad about your partner's level of sexual skill!

How Does the Kivin Method Feel?

There are countless articles out there that will tell you that the Kivin Method is the absolute best-ever cunnilingus! You'll be begging for more! And, yeah. You might really enjoy it!

But, everybody is different. Some folks may find the position uncomfortable, or may not like the wider vulvar stimulation that comes with the Kivin Method. Listen to your partner if they tell you they just weren't feeling it. There isn't anything wrong with not liking a technique, position, or toy that seemingly everyone else loves. Everyone's pleasures are different!

Still, many folks find the Kivin Method to be especially pleasurable and to feel like a more natural, comfortable position compared to conventional cunnilingus. And for folks who want their partners to pay attention to their whole vulva, not just the clit, the Kivin Method opens up a world of possibilities that may have felt hidden away before.

The important thing is to approach the Kivin Method with curiosity and an open mind. Don't be afraid to play around, be a little clumsy, and reposition yourself until you find an angle that works for you. Talk about trying out the Kivin Method ahead of time, and then debrief again afterward. You're trying something new for the first time! That's pretty cool and brave of you!

Remember, the only person who can tell you how the Kivin Method feels for you is you. So put your scientist hat on and experiment away!

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