The Best Sex Position For Clitoral Stimulation (You’re Probably Already Doing It)

Photographed by Lula Hyers.

Every now and then, a new, fancy term enters the lexicon to describe something people have been doing forever, and suddenly what's old is trendy again. For example, "seltzer" is boring, but "La Croix" is amazing. Iced coffee is fine, but "cold brew" is better. Having visible roots is tacky, but "balayage" is chic. And pink is blech, but "millennial pink" is viral. You get the picture.

That's sort of the case with, "the coital alignment technique" aka CAT. According to sex experts, the coital alignment technique is the best sex position to try for clitoral stimulation — and it can possibly lead to having multiple, simultaneous orgasms. The term was coined back in 1988 by a researcher named Edward Eichel, who discovered that women who have difficulty achieving orgasm may have success if they tweak their positioning slightly. And while this sex position has an intense-sounding name, there's a pretty good chance that you've already done it.

As the name doesn't really suggest, CAT is just a modified version of the missionary position. See, bodies are already very close together in the missionary position, so it makes sense that this would allow for more clitoral stimulation. For CAT, you're supposed to stay in contact with your partner, and the person on top is supposed to "ride high," and place their entire bodyweight on the receiver, according to the original study. This simple tweak allows the receiver to experience clitoral stimulation, without having to use their hands or extra toys.

In truth, CAT is slightly more nuanced than regular missionary sex, according to Sadie Allison, PhD, AASECT-certified sexologist and author of Ride ‘Em Cowgirl! Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking. To do it, Dr. Allison says the receiver should lie on their back, and place a small pillow or object underneath their hips to elevate them slightly. The giver enters from on top, so that both partners are pelvis to pelvis. Instead of thrusting in and out, the giver stays inserted and moves their hips in small, rhythmic circles. The giver should imagine their partner's clitoris, and think about "grinding their pubic mound" into their partner, Dr. Allison says.

While this might sound like a reinvention of a sex position that already exists, it's important to pay attention to clitoral stimulation, because plenty of people who have clitorises need direct contact in order to orgasm, Laurie Mintz, PhD, author of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters — And How To Get It, told Refinery29 in October. Unfortunately, there's an "orgasm hierarchy" that suggests that people who can orgasm through penetration alone are some how superior to those who can only orgasm through clitoral stimulation, she said. Of course that's not the case, and there are tons of ways you can achieve orgasm with clitoral stimulation alone.

If you're someone who needs clitoral stimulation to orgasm, then you might be surprised how effective CAT can be to get you there with penetrative sex — even if it is just a fancy name that makes something old seem new.