Sex Question Friday: Is Simultaneous Orgasm Possible For Straight Couples?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

“Is it really possible for a guy and girl to reach orgasm at the same time during sex, or is that just a pipe dream?”

It is certainly possible, and sex researchers have actually found that there are certain things you can do during sex to increase the odds of simultaneous orgasm. However, before we get into that, let me first say that simultaneous orgasm isn’t incredibly common during heterosexual sex and just because you and your partner reach orgasm at different times does not mean that you're doing something wrong or that you’re having bad sex.

A lot of people view simultaneous orgasm as the ideal, but there’s a certain danger in that. Thanks to the orgasmic imperative (i.e., the idea that sex isn’t really sex unless orgasm happens), people already feel enough pressure as it is to orgasm during sex and to ensure that their partner does too. When you add in pressure to orgasm at the exact same time, the resulting distraction and performance anxiety may end up taking a lot of the enjoyment and pleasure out of the experience. So, instead of thinking about simultaneous orgasm as something that “should” happen during sex, think of it as just a potential bonus. If it happens, great—but if not, no problem.

That said, if you want to increase the odds of simultaneous orgasm, there is at least one sexual position that has been shown to do so for heterosexual couples, and that is the coital alignment technique (or CAT for short). Sexologists have studied the CAT since the 1980s and found that it increases the likelihood of female orgasm and simultaneous orgasm during vaginal intercourse [1].

So how does the CAT work? Here’s a scientific description:

“The positioning for coital alignment requires a shift forward by the male partner from the standard missionary position to the male ‘pelvic-override’ position, in which the base of the penis makes direct contact with the woman’s clitoris. This makes vaginal penetration with constant clitoral contact possible in coitus, completing a fundamental genital ‘circuitry.’ The genital contact is maintained by a coordinated form of sexual movement in which the woman leads the upward stroke and the man the downward stroke. The partner moving his or her pelvis backward exerts a slight but firm counterpressure. The penile-clitoral connection is held together by pressure and counterpressure simultaneously exerted genitally by both partners in a rocking motion rather than the familiar ‘in and out’ pattern of coital thrusting.” [1]

To put it more simply, think of the CAT as a modified missionary (i.e., man-on-top) position whereby he leans his body forward until the base of his penis touches her clitoris. The partners then “grind” or rock their pelvises back and forth while maintaining a constant penile-clitoral connection. This is definitely not the kind of sex you typically see in porn, where there’s a lot of in-and-out thrusting.

Mastering the CAT is something that takes practice and it requires that the partners rethink the way they have sex. The partners also need to work together, because this involves a very coordinated set of movements. Nobody can be lazy with this one!

While there’s no harm in giving the CAT a try, again, the key is to avoid putting pressure on each other to reach orgasm at the same time. Above all else, relax, communicate, and enjoy yourselves.

For previous editions of Sex Question Friday, click here. To send in a question for a future edition, click here.

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[1] Pierce, A. P. (2000). The coital alignment technique (CAT): An overview of studies. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 26, 257-268.

Image Source: 123RF.com

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