This page contains two related articles:

Simultaneous Orgasms

Simultaneous Orgasms

Making the Ideal a Reality

Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., Sexologist & Adult Sexuality Educator
Simultaneous Orgasms

"The feverish pace of the thrusting quickened, and within seconds their bodies exploded in simultaneous ecstasy."

Such is the ideal so often portrayed in film or print. The reality is that very few couples ever experience simultaneous orgasms during intercourse. There are a number of reasons for this. Although statistics vary from study to study, and change over time, it is generally thought that at 65 percent of all sexually active women in the Western World have never experienced an orgasm during vaginal intercourse, simultaneous or otherwise.

Although vaginal stimulation might be pleasurable, the walls of the vagina have few nerve endings. The old controversy surrounding vaginal versus clitoral orgasms was settled in the late '70s and early '80s. The vast majority of orgasmic women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to climax. The majority of positions of intercourse, however, do not afford women with sufficient stimulation of this small, but very sensitive, organ.

To further complicate matters, approximately 10 percent of all sexually active women have yet to experience even their first orgasm, irrespective of the site of stimulation.

Orgasms come much easier for most men than for most women, and that means that the male sexual response is also responsible, in part, for the difficulty in reaching simultaneous orgasms. Women typically need steady clitoral stimulation for a longer period of time than men need steady penile stimulation. Despite the desire of many men to be able to trust rapidly and steadily for 30 minutes, the average young male, with unbroken thrusting, will ejaculate in from 2 to 3 minutes! This is hardly enough time for most women to make it!

As mentioned, there is also a problem with the usual coital positions couple use. In the male superior position, a man is likely to make long rapid thrusts. If he is low between his partner's legs, every time he pulls back he will lose contact with her clitoris. On the return stroke, he makes a straight shot into her vaginal canal, the opening of which is an inch or more below the desired target. Putting the woman's ankles on his shoulders will roll her hips up and back and move her clitoris ever further away from the thrusting male member. Thrusting in the rear entry position ("doggie style") misses the clitoris completely.

One of the obvious things about the male sexual response is that the more active he is, the quicker he is likely to ejaculate. If a couple assumes that his hard fast trusting is the key to her reaching orgasm during intercourse, they will frustrate each other. The harder he tries to please her, the faster he will orgasm. She is likely to accuse him of coming to fast and he is probably going to blame her for being too slow!

Just as soon as someone writes about the "majority" or men or women, there will be readers who will disagree. OK then, if you are a woman who reliably reaches orgasms in every conceivable coital position, this article is not for you. If you are a man who can thrust rapidly and nonstop for 30 minutes, you might not want to read this. However, the majority of men are too fast and the majority of women would probably not make it even if their partner could thrust for an hour.

Issues of coital positions are dealt with in detail in two of the books by Dr. Birch. In Male Sexual Endurance Dr. Birch suggests positions in which men tend to last longer. Along with coauthor and sex therapist Cynthia Ruberg, Dr. Birch looks at each position in Pathways to Pleasure and critiques them in terms of clitoral stimulation. The bad news is that men ejaculate most rapidly and women are least likely to orgasm in the most commonly used position... "missionary style." Ways to fine tune the typically used positions are recommended in these books and goes beyond the scope of this article.

The question at hand is, who can a couple increase the likelihood of experiencing simultaneous orgasms?

Let's review:

Here is my proposal... and my rationale. Many women who have difficulty reaching orgasm can do so with the stimulation of a vibrator. In fact, many women did not experience their first orgasm until the tried a vibrator. Indeed, many women have discovered they can have multiple orgasms with vibrator stimulation. My point: Vibrators are effective!

One of the nicest positions of intercourse in which a man can relax (and last longer) is the "scissors position." A photograph of this position reveals that it is also a nice position in which a woman can hold a vibrator on her clitoris! Thus, the scissors position wins the grand prize in my book when it comes to increasing the likelihood of realizing that ideal... simultaneous orgasm.

In this position the man can lie there and watch his partner's face and body. He can reach over and caress her breasts. More importantly, however, he can thrust a little, relax a little, move a little, and just soak a little... delaying his orgasm as his partner builds toward hers. He will quickly learn the physical signs of his partner reaching her peak, at which time he can being thrusting rapidly. Most men can easily catch up, and they can orgasm together.

Simultaneous orgasms during intercourse are not everyone's goal, for it is also fun to take turns. Other couples express the need for simultaneous orgasms though mutual oral stimulation. There will also be female readers who do not want to use a vibrator and male readers who feel threatened by a toy. However, if simultaneous orgasms during intercourse are your goal, the use of the scissors position and the employment of an electric vibrator might just be your pathway to synchronized ecstasy.

©Robert W. Birch, Ph.D.

E-mail Dr. Birch with your comments or questions

Positions of Intercourse

What is Perfect Intercourse?

Coital Alignment

Most couples would respond that perfect intercourse would involve orgasms for both the man and the woman. However, only about 35% of women climax with the stimulation of penile thrusting. Sher Hite, in her classic book "The Hite Report" has stated that intercourse is the least effective way of bringing a woman to orgasm! There is a way, however, to increase the likelihood of a woman reaching orgasm during the act of coitus (intercourse).

The following is the step-by-step advice of Edward W. Eichel, M.A., a psychotherapist in private practice who first identified and described the CAT technique.

The CAT Position or Coital Alignment Technique
The Coital Alignment Technique was described in 1993 by Edward W. Eichel, M.A., a psychotherapist and coauthor of "The Perfect Fit." The following is the step-by-step advice of Ed Eichel, explained in much greater detail in his book.

1: Assume the missionary position. After a sufficient period of loving foreplay to build high arousal, the man enters in the male superior position. He will be lying on top of his partner, resting his weight on his elbows. The woman's knees should be slightly bent and raised, and definitely not wrapped around the man's hips. After making penetration, the man should not begin immediate thrusting.

2: Repositioning of the male. Typically in the missionary position the man is low between his partner's thighs. His penetration is directly into her vagina, missing her sensitive clitoris. In the coital alignment technique, however, the man slides his entire body forward so that he is riding higher on the woman and his pelvis is slightly above hers. The base of his penis should also be pushing against her mons veneris, the bony mound where her pubic hair grows. "The base of the penis is an erogenous zone in its own right," says Eichel; "constant pressure on it will provide a wonderful prostatic sensation, a soft melting feeling." In this position, the shaft of the man's penis is pressing against his partner's clitoris.

3: Male relaxation. The man takes his weight off his elbows and lowers his chest onto his partner's torso. He might initially feel heavy to her, but most women adjust. (If the man is much heavier than his partner, the technique might work better with him on the bottom.) If the man's head and shoulders veer to either his partner's left or her right, she will be spared from having to bear his full weight. The man should be certain to keep all weight off his elbows and release any tension he might be holding in his shoulders and neck. Such tension will impair the pelvic mobility that he's going to need. Her legs should wrap around his thighs, her ankles resting on your calves. Her knees need to be as low as possible to maintain the pelvic mobility that she is about to need.

4: The woman leads. The woman should tip her pelvis gently (a short rolling thrust), but firmly enough so she and her partner feel definite clitoral contact. The man should move upward only slightly, just as a response to her movement, being sure not to move further or faster than he's being pushed. The woman should control the coital rhythm.

5: The man responds. Now it is the man's turn to thrust, apply only enough force to tip down her pelvis very slightly. She should exert a moderate resistance, allowing her pelvis to move backward only until the small of her back is flat on the bed. This is not a long massive male thrust. He should remain firmly pressed against her clitoris, but the movement is subtle.

6: Swing low. Think of those swings in which a couple sits facing each other. As one swings up, the other swings down, and then the reverse. That's what should happen now: a gentle back and forth, back and forth (up and down). The man should remain aware of and direct his movement around the pleasure he feels at the base of his penis. As the man pushes down, he should feel a warm, sensuous feeling radiating from that point. The woman should stay aware of and focus on directing her swing so that she feels pleasurable pressure on her clitoris.

7: Let it be. Here's an important part of the technique, but Eichel warns that for many men it might be difficult. The man should not push or rush for his orgasm. As he feels himself approaching climax, he should focus and maintain his rhythm. "Let it come to you rather than chasing it," writes Eichel.

8: The results. With pubic bones tight and with the synchronized rocking motion, the woman responds to the direct clitoral stimulation and moves steadily toward her orgasm. The man, with only minimal trusting, builds more slowly. Often with the CAT the woman reaches orgasm first and in response to her signal, the man begins to thrust more rapidly and reaches his climax as his partner wallows in the warmth of her afterglow.

Buy it at amazon.com... The Perfect Fit, Edward Eichel & Philip Nobile, 1993.


Sexologist Dr. Robert Birch adds that the technique is equally effective when the woman is on top. She should lie flat on her partner's body and, with his penis contained, slide down. She should feel some resistance from his erection as she bends it upward. The shaft of his penis will then be pressing against her clitoris, and their short powerful rocking movement will provide her with clitoral stimulation, while at the same time allowing the man to delay his ejaculation.

Coital Alignment Technique

E-mail Dr. Birch with your comments or questions

Positions of intercourse are discussed in "Pathways to Pleasure: A Woman's Guide to Orgasm" and in "Male Sexual Endurance: A Man's Book About Ejaculatory Control."

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