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A step-by-step guide to the Coital Alignment Technique (C.A.T.)


Image from Em & Lo’s sex manual, SEX: How to Do Everything

You’ve probably heard of the Coital Alignment Technique. It was all the rage a decade or so ago. But have you ever actually tried it? Have you tried it again recently? It takes patience. It takes practice. And it goes against everything you’ve seen in porn. But since when did porn cater to what women want? Beyond just following the specific steps below, mastering the C.A.T. requires a philosophical readjustment. Abandon your assumptions that intercourse automatically means a piston-like motion, lots of flailing about and a rush to climax. For the C.A.T., you’ve got to take what some might call a more “feminine” approach to sex: think small subtle movement, full-body contact with a focus on the clitoris and the pelvic mounds and a Buddhist-like repetition of steps that may very well get her closer to Zen (i.e. orgasm) better than any other hands-free intercourse position out there.

Step #1
Start off in the basic missionary: She’s lying on her back with her legs just outside his; he’s inside her with his legs very close together. In order to initiate penetration most easily, you’ll notice his upper body is raised a bit and his pelvis may be a bit lower than hers (i.e. a bit further down her body) and between her legs. This is a great position for the typical in-out, but once penetration has occurred, you must kiss this stance goodbye if you want to successfully achieve the C.A.T.

Step #2
Here’s where the crucial alignment takes place: He cups her shoulders with his arms under her armpits so that he’s resting on her (some of his weight can be on his forearms, but he should maintain as much body contact and pressure as is comfortable). While keeping his penis inside her, he pulls his body up along hers, toward her head, so that their pelvises are aligned (his directly on top of hers). His legs are straight and together, and her ankles are resting on his calves (her legs should be as straight and elongated as possible while wrapped around his lower legs; if it feels better you can try laying them straight on the bed right up against his legs). In this position, his head (the one on his shoulders) is beside her head (to one side of her face). His penile head should still be inserted, though much of the shaft will now be outside of the vaginal canal, pressing up against the top half of her external genitalia. Both spines should be as straight as possible. His upper body should be relaxed.

Step #3
While in position #2, as he’s pushing up along her body, she tips her pelvis away from him (down into the bed) so his penis comes almost all the way out and she can feel its base pressing against her clitoris. It’s a very small, subtle movement — you don’t want the penis to fully withdraw from the vagina.

Step #4
Next, he pushes down with his pelvis so his whole body moves lower down her body and his penis enters her fully, while she tilts her hips up to help envelop him. He’s still lying on her (some of his weight on his forearms, but he should maintain full body contact). Their legs are still as straight as possible, hers still wrapped around his lower legs (or as low as possible in this position) –- her aim is to keep her upper thighs and knees close together rather than bent and opened like a flower (as in more traditional positions). The difference in his pelvis position between position #3 and #4 is only about 4 inches (so in #3, his pelvis is directly above hers; in #4 it’s about 4 inches lower down her body and his pelvis is closer to the bed, tipped at an angle and between her legs). Still with us?

Step #5
Now, you simply repeat this hip-rocking movement over and over again: He moves up as she tips down, he moves down as she tilts up, and so on. Do not speed up. The goal is to maintain a constant pressure and rubbing against the area from her pubic bone down to her vaginal opening (with the clitoris in between, of course) with his penile shaft, his own pubic bone, and the weight of his body. If you get it right and get into a groove, you might not be able to tell where one of you ends and the other begins. To put it bluntly, you’ll feel like you’re fucking and being fucked at the same time.

And if want to flip things around, here are instructions on the Reverse Coital Alignment Technique (Reverse C.A.T.), with the woman on top.

Step #1
He’s on his back, she lies on top of him face down. His legs are together, hers are just outside of his on the bed, but as close together and straight as possible (she could also try balancing her legs on his). Their pelvises are aligned (hers on top of his), and her arms are under his, cupping his shoulders like he does to her in the basic C.A.T. above. The difference here is that fuller penetration occurs when their pelvises are aligned; she gets the shallow penetration and genital stimulation from the base of his penis when she shifts downward in step #2.

Step #2
She shifts down his body a few inches by pressing her pelvis down, so his penis shifts out of her a bit and its base stimulates her clitoris.

Step #3
Repeat A and B, over and over. In this position, she may feel like she has more control over the speed and range of motion to better suit her physical needs. But if she’s light as a feather, he may need to help add some downward pelvic pressure by pushing down on her bum with his hands –- not necessarily a drawback.

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