Intercourse

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

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.

New research shows we still have no f-ing clue about the female orgasm

New research shows we still have no f-ing clue about the female orgasm

The female orgasm is a mystery, and not just in that how-the-hell-can-I-make-my-girlfriend-climax kind of way. Scientists just can’t seem to figure out what it’s there for. The most recent theory – popularized in the 2005 book The Case of the Female Orgasm – was that it was just an accidental evolutionary by-product of the male orgasm. Meaning, the orgasm is important for men (no shit) and women share biology with them in the same way that men have non-functioning (unless you count orgasm via nipple clamps) nipples. But anyway, a recent study of thousands of twins and how they do or don’t orgasm, failed to prove this theory.

Top 10 most overrated sex acts

Top 10 most overrated sex acts

After more than a decade in the sex writing biz, we have seen our share of sexual gimmicks come and go, many of them vastly overrated. Below are the top ten sexual acts that, while they may be more substantial than gimmicks, continue to get more accolades than they deserve. Also, check out the Top 10 Most Underrated Sexual Acts — a.k.a. under-doggie-style — that we’ll feature tomorrow.

Threeways. Too many elbows, too few orgasms. Also, there’s the jealousy, the insecurity, and the awkward post-coital cuddling and/or brunch. ‘Nuff said?
The 69 position. Kind of like communism: great in theory, not in practice.
Simultaneous orgasms. What is that saying, the great is the enemy of the good? Sure, the simultaneous O is awesome when it happens, but individual orgasms are pretty dandy, too. And sometimes, an alternating spotlight is a good idea — especially if that thing that pushes your partner over the edge requires a certain degree of concentration and/or skill.

Love hurts…but sometimes sex hurts more

Love hurts…but sometimes sex hurts more

For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about sex that hurts — and not in a heartache kind of way. Two weeks ago we published an excerpt from When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain. Then last week we published a basic overview of the causes of painful sex. So many women still don’t admit to having this problem — they may write in to an anonymous advice column like ours, but they won’t necessarily admit it to their gynecologist. Today we present a Q&A with Dr. Caroline Pukall and Dr. Andrew Goldstein, coauthors of When Sex Hurts, addressing some of the most common questions they hear about painful sex.

What is the most common cause of sexual pain?

There are many causes of sexual pain, the most common being vestibulodynia, the most common type of vulvodynia, which is chronic vulvar pain which has no known cause. Vestibulodynia is characterized by a severe burning pain at the entrance of the vagina during activities that involve vaginal penetration; the most common complaint of women with this condition is dyspareunia — pain during sexual intercourse. Women with vestibulodynia may also have pain during nonsexual activities, such as gynecological examinations.

Why sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

Why sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

Last week we talked about when sex hurts, and why so many women still don’t admit to having this problem. It’s something that we, as sex writers, hear about constantly — it’s a sad but true fact that many women are more open with sex advice columnists than their own gynecologists — so we thought that focusing on this topic for a few weeks would, at the very least, prove that there’s a certain comfort to knowing you’re not alone. And knowing you’re not alone may give you the courage to speak up — to your partner and to your doctor. This week, the authors of the new book When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain, give a basic overview of the causes of painful sex. For more information about any of the below, you can check out their book or talk to your doctor. Actually, whether you buy the book or not, please, for the love of sex, do talk to your gynecologist if sex hurts. It’s their freakin’ job to fix it, okay? No matter what you may have been taught.

When sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

When sex hurts…and we don't mean heartbreak

We’ve been writing about sex for more than ten years, and when we started out, the topic that our female readers wanted to hear about most was orgasms — how to have them (either solo or with a partner), how to have them more often, how to have different kinds, how to have them simultaneously with a partner, how to stop faking them, and so on. Well, the Big O is still a favorite topic, but these days it practically ties with another topic: painful sex. (And we’re not talking about the attending heartbreak, though consistent physical pain during intercourse can itself be heartbreaking, of course.) We don’t necessarily think that sex is suddenly more painful for women, but rather that it’s becoming more acceptable to talk about the fact that, for women especially, sometimes sex can hurt like a motherfucker…not to put too fine a point on it. But too many women still fail to speak up. So we were thrilled to hear about a new book that focuses on this topic: When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain, by Andrew Goldstein, MD, Caroline Pukall, PhD, and Irwin Goldstein, MD. We definitely don’t have nearly enough letters after our names to adequately address the issues involved here! The authors were kind enough to allow us to publish an excerpt from the first chapter of their book, which you can read below. Check back in next week for their summary of the various causes of painful sex, and the week after that for a Q&A with the authors, in which they address some of the most common question they hear about painful sex.