The Coital Alignment Technique is a sex position that stimulates the clitoris and vulva during intercourse, rathering than focusing solely on the vagina. As a slight variation to missionary, the CAT position combines vaginal penetration with grinding against the vulva.
Whether you’re already across it, or you have no idea what we’re talking about, VUSH’s sexpert, Steph, is going to teach you the ins and the outs of the The Coital Alignment Technique (pun intended).
What is the Coital Alignment Technique?
The Coital Alignment Technique (CAT) is a technique that is used to hit the clit during intercourse. It’s a slight modification to the classic sex position we know and love — the missionary position. The name comes from the idea behind the technique — aligning the genitals during coitus. The ultimate goal is to include clitoral stimulation in penetration, which is done with close pelvis-to-pelvis contact and a rocking motion during intercourse (we’ll get into the specifics later).
Known on Tik Tok as “scooting”, or “grinding the corn” according to Wikipedia (yes, there’s a whole page dedicated to it) — the CAT position was brought into the mainstream when Billie raved about it in Sex/Life: Season 1, Episode 5. However, the original definition of the Coital Alignment Technique came from psychotherapist Edward Eichel in 1988, who developed a study to test the relationship between the CAT position and orgasm for vulva owners.
What’s so good about the Coital Alignment Technique?
There are five main reasons to try the CAT position:
1. Clitoral stimulation
The best part about the CAT position is that it focuses on clitoral stimulation. Often the clitoris gets left behind during intercourse because penetration is centred around the vagina — but the clitoris is actually the main sex organ for vulva owners, not the vagina. The clit is the place with the most pleasure potential since it has the most sensitive nerve endings! At VUSH, we often suggest adding an external vibrator to stimulate the clit during partnered sex, but with the Coital Alignment Technique, all you have to do is modify your current sex moves to include clitoral stimulation.
2. Vulva grinding
Not only does the CAT position include clitoral stimulation, it provides an opportunity for greater contact with the rest of the vulva. The Coital Alignment Technique creates friction against the vulva through the grinding and rocking sensation. Grinding or gyrating is a really common way for people with vulvas to get off — many vulva owners explored their sexuality by grinding on sofa arms and teddy noses or humping pillows (we’ve all been there). This is yet another form of pleasurable touch that is often neglected during partnered sex.
3. Vaginal opening
Penetration can feel quite shallow when using the Coital Alignment Technique because of the focus on the external genitalia, but the good news is, the vagina opening and first internal third of the vagina is actually the most sensitive part! Remember, one of the main functions of the vagina is that it's the birth canal — if the area was highly sensitive this would impact the person’s ability to give birth to a baby vaginally. While deep penetration can feel really nice, the vagina responds better to friction around the walls and focused stimulation at the opening, which is what the CAT position provides.
4. Pleasure for both partners
We often think of clitoral stimulation in terms of hands, tongues, and toys, but the CAT position includes the penis! Instead of having one giver and one receiver, the Coital Alignment Technique is a win-win for both partners — the penis of the penetrating partner is stimulated by the vagina and the clitoris becomes stimulated by the partner’s pelvis or base of the penis.
5. Higher chance of orgasm
Vulva owners are much more likely to orgasm through clitoral stimulation than vaginal penetration. If you are someone who struggles to cross the finish line during intercourse, the Coital Alignment Technique could be the missing piece of your puzzle. Did you know that vulva owners who orgasm from penetration alone are actually orgasming due to contact with the back of the clitoris against the vaginal walls? G-Spot orgasms still come back to the clit because it’s all part of one big pleasure network! To learn more about this, read our blog on the clitoris.
How do you do the Coital Alignment Technique?
There are four steps to getting the CAT position right:
1. Pre-sex prep
Obviously, the first step to any steamy sex position is always getting consent, grabbing a condom, and engaging in plenty of foreplay. (We can’t stress the importance of foreplay enough.) Ensure you have everything you need — most importantly, one person with a vulva and one penetrative partner using either their penis or a strap-on dildo. Lube is also essential for the CAT position since it revolves around friction and contact to the entire vulva.
2. Get in position
Get into the missionary position, with the vulva owner on their back and the penetrating partner on top. The partner on top needs to be free to move their hips up and down parallel to the bottom partner’s body, so they should distribute most of their weight towards their upper body. Shift the weight up until the pelvises align. The partner on the bottom might benefit from putting a pillow underneath their hips to prop them up to meet the other person’s pelvis. The Coital Alignment Technique is an intimate position, so make sure your bodies are nice and close — pelvis and genital contact is key.
3. Get your grind on
Once you’re in the right position, you can start the fun part. The penetrating partner is in control of getting the technique down pat here — the goal of the CAT position is to use the pelvis and base of the penis or toy to grind against the clitoris while penetrating. Penetration will most likely be shallow as this move is more about rocking than thrusting. The vulva owner on the bottom can grind their hips up with each stroke to gain better contact with their partner. We recommend adding a pleasure ring designed for mutual pleasure to really get the grind on.
4. Take it slow
The beauty of the CAT position is that it’s slow and intimate. The penetrating partner mustn't go too fast — the key is to find a steady pace that works and stick with it (especially since the vulva needs consistent stimulation to reach orgasm). Let go of any ideas of powerful thrusting or banging and instead go for gentle rocking and grinding. Bonus tip: Combine the Coital Alignment Technique with eye contact, neck kissing, and steamy make outs to take it up a notch.
Read more from VUSH Stimulation
For more information on the clitoris and how to really pleasure a vulva owner, read our blog on vulvas or our breakdown of the orgasm gap. You can find tips on how to communicate in the bedroom or schedule sex on our VUSH Stimulation Blog. If you’ve nailed the partnered sex and want to start focusing on yourself, try our guide to getting your first sex toy.
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