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Queening

Updated: APRIL 12, 2024
Reviewed by Lauren Katulka
on March 5, 2024

Queening is a femme-on-top oral sex position. It gets its name because the female-identifying person sits on a partner’s face, like a queen on a throne. Originating in the BDSM community, queening allows the female-identifying partner to receive cunnilingus or analingus.

Origins of the Term Queening

People have practiced queening throughout history and the world. Ancient Egyptian drawings depict upper-class women queening. The practice was also well known in ancient Japan, China, and India, along with Medieval and Victorian Europe. Queening was a way for aristocratic women in these cultures, including queens, to satisfy their sexual needs without becoming pregnant. Some married women also practiced queening to remain technically faithful to absent husbands. Male slaves and servants usually performed oral sex on these women. However, in Japan, women commonly visited brothels where men trained in queening provided this service.

Although queening is an ancient practice, this term is relatively new. It came from the fem-dom BDSM community, who celebrated the dominance that women enjoyed during this sex act.

“As with any kind of sex act which has been around since two people got together and found that any sex act felt good, I find it humorous that it seems like this has just been ‘discovered.’ Basically, performing oral sex strictly for a woman’s pleasure has been around forever – it’s just that people are talking now about it using this term,” said sexuality specialist Kim Airs. “Call it women’s empowerment, call it the popularization of using the name ‘Queen,’ call it whatever but it’s nice that it’s being acknowledged as a form of women’s sexual pleasure.”

Why People Love Queening

People love queening for many different reasons. Queening calls for a female-identifying person to dominate their partner, who must submit and give pleasure. It can reinforce dominant and submissive roles in a BDSM relationship or let people new to power exchange discover what this kind of dynamic feels like. Many people feel physically and psychologically empowered in a dominant role or enjoy feeling vulnerable in a submissive one.

“It places the person on top in control of how much, where, and how long stimulation occurs,” explained Auntie Vice, a BDSM and kink writer and performer. “It is also a big role reversal for what most AFAB (assigned female at birth) folks are taught about sex. Many of us AFAB people were taught our genitals smell, people don't like to perform oral sex on us, and controlling our own pleasure is bad/unlady-like. Queening challenges all of these and can make us feel powerful.”

There can also be a sense of power for the submissive person as they know their partner’s pleasure is dependent on them.

A queening position provides easy access to the clitorisvulvaperineum, and anus. According to Dame, some people say they’re more likely to orgasm receiving oral sex in this position than any other. This position also encourages the queen to focus on the sensations on their body and the submissive partner to pleasure their queen. There is no need for the queen to reciprocate or the submissive partner to become distracted by their own pleasure or anxious about maintaining an erection. They can concentrate on giving oral pleasure and their partner’s body. The focus that queening encourages can be incredibly arousing for both parties.

“This position for receiving oral sex can feel a bit less vulnerable for some folks than laying down,” Vice added. “For people who have challenges being vulnerable with others, lying back for oral sex can be mentally challenging. By queening, some people feel they take back a bit of control and are less vulnerable while enjoy oral sex.” Some people with body issues also feel less exposed queening, as they can give pleasure without being seen.

How Common is Queening?

It’s difficult to determine how common queening is, although articles from publications including Giddy and Essence claim it’s now mainstream and growing in popularity.

“Most surveys about sex and sexuality focus on cis heterosexuals. When it comes to AFAB bodies receiving oral sex, positioning for the act isn't generally included at all. There is increased discussion on TikTok and Instagram from sex influencers. Using this as a measure of interest, it looks like it is increasing in the number of people who are aware of this kink and want to find out more,” Vice added.

“If you look at the trends of Google search terms, there have been big spikes in the number of searches for 'queening' and 'meaning of queening' in 2023 when compared to searches for the past five years. This would indicate more people are familiarizing themselves with the term. People generally search terms like this when they appear in the media and then a subset of those who search will try it. So ... interest is on the rise but from what baseline is unclear.”

Bad Girls Bible surveyed more than 1,000 women about oral sex and found 10.7 percent of them preferred receiving cunnilingus while sitting on their partner’s face. Nearly 49 percent also stated they enjoy receiving analingus, although the publication didn’t ask which positions they preferred.

Overlapping Fetishes and Interests

Queening originated in the BDSM community, so it’s common for an interest in this act to overlap with an interest in other BDSM activities. For example, queening can be part of humiliation play or body worship. It can also be a part of any play involving dominant and submissive dynamics.

People with an ass fetish may enjoy receiving a queen, as it puts their partner’s backside in their face. It’s the perfect position for them to appreciate the taste, smell, and feel of this body part. When the bodily smells associated with queening get the submissive partner aroused, they may be an osmophile.

Read more: Humiliation Play: Things to Say If Your Partner's Into Sexual Denigration

Queening is different from smothering, as it doesn’t aim to completely obstruct the submissive partner’s airways. Smothering also doesn’t always involve oral sex. However, people who enjoy feeling the weight of their partner’s body against their face may enjoy both activities. If the physical sensations associated with queening and smothering are more appealing than a loss of breath, the submissive partner may have a squashing fetish.

As the submissive partner cannot see a great deal during queening, there can be some overlap with amaurophilia. Amaurophiles get turned on by partners who cannot see.

People who enjoy queening may also be interested in queening chairs. This padded sex furniture makes queening safer and more comfortable. That makes them ideal for extended play sessions.

Synonyms for Queening

Facesitting is a gender-neutral synonym for queening. People of any gender can take the dominant role in facesitting, although only people who identify as women can take the dominant role in queening. When couples use a queening chair, they have oral sex in the seated royalty sex position.

How to Queen

To receive a queen, the submissive partner lies on their back, either on the floor or a bed or beneath a queening chair. From this position, they can receive their queen, who takes a seated position on their partner’s face or a queening chair. Without a queening chair, the queen usually kneels or squats on their partner’s face to support some of their weight. The submissive partner can then lick and kiss their queen’s genitals and anus, depending on their preference.

Normally the queen faces away from their partner. However, they can also face towards their partner’s feet. This is sometimes called reverse queening.

Alternatively, a queen might sit on the edge of a regular chair. Their partner can then crawl on all fours and position themselves under the queen for cunnilingus. This position is not ideal for analingus.

Safety Tips for Queening

Consent is crucial before queening. Open communication before trying queening can ensure all parties are comfortable with the idea. If they don’t already have one, couples should also agree on a safe word and safe signal. A safe signal, such as tapping thighs or snapping fingers, is vital for maintaining consent during queening, as the submissive may be unable to speak and use their safe word. When the queen notices the safe signal, they can pause and ask their partner whether they want to stop, take a break, or try another position. This conversation also provides the opportunity for the queen to discuss any concerns about body image.

“Some people, especially those of us bigger-bodied folks, can be overly worried about ‘squishing’ or ‘suffocating’ our partners,” Vice said. “These fears can distract us during queening and make it hard to enjoy the act. Let your partner know if you would like reassurance they are enjoying the act and do not feel squished. Additionally, if you are the partner on the bottom, consider reaffirming the joy of having your partner sit on your face at the end of it. This will make the queen feel more queenly!”

There is a risk of suffocation if the queen does not support their weight. “Keep in mind that your service provider, as they could be called, needs to breathe so spreading thighs and hips a little can sure keep them breathing and alive!” Airs explained. “For example, if I’m kneeling on the floor, I like to have a pillow under my knees which is also used by their head to add a level of comfort for them. I like to add pressure by squatting down harder and grinding on their face while I’m being careful about doing so. If I prefer lighter contact or tongue action, I just lift my hips a little so I’m not smothering their face.”

Queening can also place stress on a queen’s body. “Depending on your joints and overall physicality, you should experiment with positions which don't overstress your knees and ankles,” Vice explained. “One foot on the bed or floor and the knee of the other leg on the floor/bed can provide more support than the ‘Asian squat’ position. Both knees on the bed/floor is the next level up for increased support. You may want to add dancer kneepads for additional knee support.”

Using a queening chair, rather than sitting on the submissive partner’s face, can make queening more comfortable and safer for both parties. “Any sex swing can easily be used for hands-free, vulva-licking pleasure, too!” Airs added. Queens might also steady themselves by holding onto a headboard or the wall, to improve endurance and partner safety.

While queening is less risky than vaginal or anal sex, there is a small risk of transmitting STIs including chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and HPV. Dental dams can minimize the risk of contracting or passing on these infections. The anus can also contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Bathing before queening can reduce the risk of the queen passing infections onto their submissive partner. It’s also a good idea to avoid performing cunnilingus after analingus, as this can introduce bacteria into the vagina and cause infections.

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