What is the face off sex position? How to try this seated move and all the benefits it has to offer

Here, a certified sex educator explains the face off sex position and how to make it work for you

Woman and a man kissing in the kitchen facing each other in the face off sex position
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The face off sex position is one of the best moves if you're looking to take your intimacy out of the bedroom. Ideal for a couch, the dining room table, or even the bathroom, don't underestimate the spark that could come from trying out this bold seated move.

The face off sex position takes a classic cowgirl and dials up the intimacy (who knew that was possible?) with direct eye contact and even more body-to-body closeness. It's great for those who want to stay in a simple position and there's plenty of support for both partners, depending on where you find yourselves in the house. 

To give you the lowdown on the face off sex position, all the benefits it has, and how to get the most out of it, we've spoken to a sex educator. So whether you're looking to explore more of the best sex positions with your partner or you've tried the butterfly sex position and want something similar, here's what you need to know before trying the move. 

What is the face off sex position?

The face off sex position is a seated position, explains certified sex educator Javay Frye-Nekrasova (opens in new tab). "The penetrating partner is sat down and the other partner is on top of them, facing them," she explains. "The important component of this position is the closeness and holding aspect. The partners should have their arms wrapped around each other, bringing them closer to one another."

The bottom partner, for instance, could hold onto the top partner's lower back or buttocks to help support the movement while they hold onto the seated partner's shoulders, or clasp their hands behind their neck or upper back. If you've tried the clasp sex position before, this one's very similar but takes a more relaxed approach to the movement. 

Illustration of the face off sex position with man and a woman

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

Anyone can try the face off sex position and you could even go solo with your pick of the best sex toys (we suggest a suction cup dildo for this one), it's best suited for partnered sex. And it's especially good for partnered sex where the person on top may need a little extra support, says Frye-Nekrasova, who has recently partnered with sexual wellness brand Lovehoney (opens in new tab). "This is one for folks who want something more low-impact on the body," she suggests. "Using a chair takes a lot of the weight off of one's joints and muscles that would be used if you were in a different position and on a bed." 

What are the benefits of the face off sex position? 

1. The face off allows more intimacy with your partner

Sitting astride your partner, looking at them face-on as the position requires immediately makes this one of the most intimate moves you can do. This has numerous benefits for the short-term, in that research from MacEwan University (opens in new tab) shows that arousal significantly increases when we make eye contact with a partner during sex. In the long term, you can work to build more trust through a deeper, more intimate connection and transcendental sex might even be on the cards. 

"When was the last time you really looked deeply into your partner's eyes during sex?" asks the educator. "This position offers more intimacy from having very direct contact with your partner during sex."

2. More control for the receiving partner

The face off sex position is ideal for those who tend to experience minor discomfort in standard positions, like the closed missionary sex position for instance, or otherwise like to be in control of the thrusting, explains Frye-Nekrasova. Because of the positioning with the receiving partner on top, they have "more control in terms of hip movement and depth of penetration."

3. It's a very versatile position

"There's so much versatility in where you can do this move," she says. "This position works on the edge of the bed, in a chair with no arms, in a chair with arms, on the edge of a hard surface like a tall bathtub, the toilet with the lid down, and so on. You can really do this position all over the house."

It'll work best if you're both seated on a surface low enough for the person on top to touch the floor with their feet though, as they'll be using their legs to spring off from while in motion. If you do decide to do it on a bed, they can also rest on their knees for support.  

How you can make the face off sex position better 

Take advantage of the face off's versatility and make the position work even better for you and your partner by incorporating additional stimulation into the scenario. One of the best bullet vibrators will fit snugly between the two of you if the receiving partner on top leans back slightly, a real winner for anyone who needs additional clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. 

You can also move from the throne, one of the best oral sex positions for foreplay, into the face off very easily. Start with the receiving partner sitting down on the chair, for instance, with the partner who'd otherwise be penetrating on their knees on the floor. If you want to switch up for penetrative sex afterward, just swap places. 

And finally, don't forget to have fun. Just because you can gaze into each other's eyes doesn't mean you have to be locked in the entire time - relax and look away for a moment if you need to. It doesn't have to be super serious either, so smile and laugh together if something goes a bit wrong and take the time to experiment with what works for you and your partner. 

Grace Walsh
Health Editor

A digital health journalist with over five years experience writing and editing for UK publications, Grace has covered the world of health and wellbeing extensively for Cosmopolitan, The i Paper and more.


She started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness. Everything from the best protein powder to sleep technology, the latest health trend to nutrition essentials, Grace has a huge spectrum of interests in the wellness sphere. Having reported on the coronavirus pandemic since the very first swab, she now also counts public health among them.