We Asked A Sexologist to Breakdown Sex/Life's 'Coital Alignment' Technique

Doctor KIZ June 10, 2021
If you’ve been watching the new Netflix series Sex/Life, you’ll understand why it has everyone talking. (My best friend has been raving about it for weeks!)

Billie’s quest to add spice to her bedroom and life provides plenty of inspiration for us all. While we might not all be able to enjoy rooftop pool sex overlooking New York or want to try the more public escapades Billie encounters, there are some pointers that we can take from the top rated show.

Most notably perhaps is the technique mentioned in episode 5, The Coital Alignment Technique (CAT), which, it’s claimed in the show’s narration “when done right, it provides the ultimate connection - both physical and emotional”.

Despite the relatively unsexy name, there are some benefit to this tried and tested therapeutic technique.

What is The Coital Alignment Technique?

The technique was first detailed by psychotherapist Edward Eichel back in 1988. He later wrote about it in a book called ‘The Perfect Fit: How to Achieve Mutual Fulfillment and Monogamous Passion Through the New Intercourse’ (a somewhat ironic title to those who’ve been following Billie’s struggles on the show).

Nonetheless, Eichel believes that making love should be an expression of emotional and physical satisfaction. And why not? 

The CAT, is part sex position, part love-making technique. It aims to “enhance male-female sexual compatibility” by aligning partners’ physical bodies in a way that places pressure on the clitoris and increases a woman’s chance of reaching orgasm. 

How do you do it?

The CAT is a variation on missionary position, although you’ll need to make some slight adjustments.

After entering you, your partner moves his body upwards, in the direction of your head. (Make sure you’re not too close to your bed head when trying this - you might need to scoot down a bit.) This ‘riding high’ position changes the angle of penis penetration and aims to allow the base of the penis to stimulate your clit. 

The full technique also involves coordinated counter-pressure and movement to increase stimulation. Essentially, what that means is rather than an ‘in and out’ approach, you’re going for more of an in sync rocking motion, with sustained pressure on your pubic bone and clit.

So does it work?

You might be surprised to know that there is plenty of actual research behind this technique. It’s been proven in scientific studies to favourably impact “orgasm, simultaneous orgasm, and orgasm experienced as ‘complete and satisfying’”.

One of the most common reasons women struggle to reach orgasm during sex with a partner is a lack of clitoral stimulation (the other major reason is inadequate foreplay, but more on that later). 

It’s estimated that 30-50% of women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to reach the big O. In fact, many women reach orgasm while masturbating without any penetration at all. Unlike many positions, the CAT uses the base of the penis to add pressure and stimulation to the clitoris.

Another important aspect is the way it encourages couples to work together. In the studies done on this position, couples were actually taught the technique together, ensuring they both understood what needed to happen. Being able to talk about sex openly and honestly together is one of the most important aspects of having great sex. When trying this technique together, you’ll need to do exactly that. 

A final hot aspect of this technique is the addition of eye contact, which can enhance intimacy and connection. 

Of course, Billie and Brad (the show’s real life couple, Sarah Shahi and Adam Demos) make it look incredibly easy (and hot), but Billie’s husband Cooper (Mike Vogel) struggles to get it just right. When trying anything new sexually, it won’t always go smoothly or be mind-blowing the first time. 

Take an open-mind and your sense of humour. And don’t forget foreplay. Inadequate foreplay is the most common reason women don't reach orgasm. Foreplay is also a great way to build intimacy and connection  between you.
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