How To Do The Coital Alignment Technique For A Next-Level Clitoral Orgasm

by | May 10, 2024 | Sex

Newsflash: Most people with vaginas report that they can’t have an orgasm from penetrative sex alone. Nearly 37 percent say they need some form of clitoral stimulation to get there—and another 36 percent say that clitoral stimulation makes their orgasms feel better, according to one 2018 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. While you can always use a toy or a hand to give your clit some love during penetrative sex, there is another option. Meet the coital alignment technique, or CAT, also known as “grinding the corn.”

Psychotherapist Edward Eichel first developed the technique in the 1980s, with the specific goal of closing the orgasm gap during penetrative sex. But there are all kinds of other benefits, too. Because there’s less deep thrusting, the technique can help sex last even longer (wink, wink) and some people with vaginas might prefer the shift in angle, says Jess O’Reilly, PhD, a sexologist and host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. (Not to mention, it’s always fun to find new ways to spice up missionary!)

Ahead, here’s everything to know about the coital alignment technique, its benefits and some expert-approved tips for making it even hotter.

Meet the Experts: Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, is a certified couples and sex therapist and author of She Comes First. Jess O’Reilly, PhD, is a sexologist and the host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. Gigi Engle is a COSRT-certified sex therapist, psychotherapist and sex expert with the LGBTQIA+ dating app Taimi.

What is the coital alignment technique?

“CAT is basically a variation on the missionary position that aims to provide clitoral stimulation,” says Ian Kerner. Essentially, from the missionary position, the person with a penis or strap-on moves up and down vertically to stimulate the bottom partner’s clitoris—as opposed to just thrusting in and out.

Though it’s not a brand-new sex position, per se, the CAT is a “twist” on missionary sex. The position begins the same, with the receiving partner lying on their back, facing the top partner, but rather than thrusting in and out, the top partner focuses on rocking and grinding. “As an alternative to thrusting, CAT focuses on the pressing grinding of the base of the penis or pelvis against the clitoris, which creates both pressure and friction,” Kerner explains.

It’s also possible to try the CAT without incorporating penetration at all. “If we’re talking about queer sex between two vulva owners, often [the top partner] will put a thigh between the legs of the person receiving the coital alignment technique, so they can rub their clitoris against a thigh or a pubic bone in that position,” says Gigi Engle.

READ MORE: 3 Women Tried Different Vagina Pumps — This Is What They Thought

What are some of the benefits of CAT?

There are many reasons people love classic missionary—it’s often comfortable, easy and provides a lot of intimate “face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact,” says Kerner. But it’s not always the most conducive to clitoral orgasms.

“There is a distance between the clitoral glans and the vaginal entrance and so many intercourse positions, including missionary, do not generally provide enough clitoral stimulation to generate arousal [and lead to] orgasm,” Kerner says. By closing that literal gap, the CAT can close the orgasm gap and help people with clitorises climax during missionary sex.

Furthermore, “the shift in angle can also be pleasurable depending on the angle of the inserted penis or strap-on and the angle of the vaginal canal,” says O’Reilly. “Some people also find that the CAT provides more pressure around the sensitive shallow area and less pressure on the cervix, which can be highly pleasurable.”

Because the penetration can be more shallow from this position, some people also believe that the CAT is a good option for people with penises who want to prolong their orgasms, she adds. But it’s worth noting that the CAT can still lead to deep penetration, if that’s your thing. “[The top partner] is still moving in and out. But instead of moving the penis or dildo all the way out and then all the way in, it’s moving at a smaller angle,” Engle explains.

Okay, I’m in. How do I try the coital alignment technique?

First, the bottom partner lays down so that they’re face-to-face with the top partner. Then, “the partner on top raises themself in what’s usually referred to as the ‘riding high’ position,” says Kerner. Once in position, the top partner rests their body weight on the bottom partner, both to maximise clitoral stimulation and help both bodies stay in place. From there, he explains, “sometimes both partners are able to create a rocking back and forth motion together.”

Then, the top partner can enter the bottom partner. “There is no hard and fast rule for getting into an ideal CAT position,” Kerner says. “Sometimes, the person with the penis or strap-on will insert just the tip and ride high enough to create a close-to 90-degree angle of shaft to clitoris, or the position can also be achieved with deeper penetration. The main thing to remember is that the position is not about thrusting in and out, it’s about pressure-against.”

What is the reverse CAT?

Just like the CAT is a variation on missionary, the reverse coital alignment technique is a variation on cowgirl. The receiving partner gets on top and then, “instead of bouncing, you’re rocking back and forth or sliding back and forth so you’re getting that external clitoral stimulation,” Engle says.

This can be a prime position for people who want or need some more clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex, and also like to be in control of the speed, rhythm and depth, Engle adds. “When you’re on top, you’re not depending on the other person to set the pace,” she explains. “You can move your body and hips in a way that’s feeling really good for you, so there can be more control.”

READ MORE: 10 Sex Positions That Will Hit Your G-Spot Every. Single. Time.

How can I make the CAT even hotter?

Turn the intimacy and intensity up a notch with these pro tips.

1. Increase the pressure.

“Many people like to squeeze their legs together during the CAT to increase pressure and intensity,” O’Reilly says. But the bottom partner can also wrap their legs around the top partner’s waist, if they’re struggling to sync up.

2. Add toys.

Nipple clamps, cock rings and more can amp up any and every sensation during sex. While trying the CAT, some people “like to reach down with their hands or a toy for additional stimulation,” says O’Reilly.

Engle recommends the Dame Eva, a small, hands-free vibrator designed to tuck between the labia and stay in place during sex. During the CAT, the penetrating partner presses their weight against the toy, which can feel extra-pleasurable. You might also want to use a wand, because these types of toys have “a really long base,” so it can easily reach the clit even if you’re holding it closer to your stomach, she adds.

3. Take charge.

Or let your partner take control, if you’d like. “Some prefer to let one partner take control of the moment, pressure and rhythm,” O’Reilly says. “Oftentimes, the partner with the clitoris can direct their lover to show them exactly how they like it.”

4. And finally, communicate.

During any kind of new sexual experience—or sexual experience, period—communicating with your partner is the best way to make sure you’re having the best time possible. “As always, keep communication ongoing,” O’Reilly says. “If you know something feels good or doesn’t feel good ahead of time, let your partner know.”

And if you try the CAT and find that you’re still not getting the kind of clit stimulation you need, don’t worry. “Some people really do require a vibrator to have an orgasm, which is really fine. And some people’s clitoris just doesn’t respond to that level of stimulation—you need more stimulation, or different stimulation,” says Engle. In that case, there’s nothing wrong to sticking with a tried-and-true toy.

This article written by Lydia Wang was originally published on Women’s Health US.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This