How to Boost a Woman's Chance of Orgasm During Intercourse

Only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during intercourse.

Posted Jul 16, 2010

Vaginal intercourse can feel wonderful: the physical closeness, the emotional intimacy, and for many, the belief that intercourse epitomizes sex. But for women's orgasms, normal intercourse can be problematic. The best evidence suggests that only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during intercourse no matter how vigorous or prolonged it is, no matter how loving the relationship, no matter what position the lovers use, and no matter the size of the man's penis.

The reason? During intercourse (missionary, woman-on-top, whatever), the penis does not directly stimulate the clitoris, the organ responsible for women's orgasms. Sexuality experts reassure couples that the woman's inability to experience orgasm during intercourse is

  1. Very common
  2. No reflection on her sexual responsiveness
  3. No reflection on the man's sexual technique
  4. No reflection the woman's feelings about the relationship.

I agree.

Sexuality authorities also encourage couples to let go of the idea that women "should" have orgasms during intercourse. They encourage men to help women to orgasm using their fingers, hand, tongue, or a vibrator or other sex toys.

But many couples wish the woman could come during intercourse. The good news is that there are easy, loving ways to boost women's chance of orgasm during intercourse. The easiest ways involve the woman-on-top and other positions. Orgasm is more challenging in the man-on-top (missionary) position, but a minor adjustment makes it considerably more likely.

The "coital alignment technique" (CAT) can help. The CAT was first suggested in 1988 by sex researcher Edward Eichel. Instead of the man lying on top of the woman chest-to-chest with his penis moving more or less horizontally, the man shifts so that his chest is closer to one of the woman's shoulders. As a result, his penis moves in a more up-and-down direction. The man rides higher on the woman's pelvis, and the bone at the base of his penis (pelvic bone) makes more contact with the clitoris. This increases direct clitoral stimulation and may provide enough to trigger the woman's orgasm.

Back in the late ‘80s, the CAT made headlines, but it proved to be just a blip on America's sexual radar. By the 1990s, it was largely forgotten. But quietly, research has continued, and most results affirm the CAT's benefit.

In one study, researchers worked with 36 women who could not have orgasms in the missionary position. Half the women were encouraged to masturbate to become more comfortable with their genitals and their sexual responsiveness, a standard approach in sex therapy. The others were taught the CAT. Based on diaries kept during the 21-day period after this training, the masturbation group reported a 27 percent increase in orgasms during missionary-position intercourse, while the CAT group reported twice the increase, 56 percent.

Now, many women say their best orgasms happen courtesy of the man's tongue or hand or a vibrator. But for women desiring orgasms during intercourse, these simple variations just might allow a woman to enjoy a new erotic pleasure. Happy experimentation. Please comment on your results.