This column was originally published in the Apr. 19, 2011 issue of The Daily Californian
It’s strange how the words, “But … I can’t orgasm off of sex. I’ve never been able to,” always come out in a faint whisper. The tone of “shameful confession” is adopted frequently. Sitting by your side in the confessional box, I reply in a steady voice, “There is a way.”
But, there is a dichotomy here. Though sex with and without an orgasm seem to be interchangeable, I assure you they are not. While sex without an orgasm can be enjoyed, the pleasure is dull, and can lead to a sense of disappointment that will fall onto your partner. An orgasm is a vital part of the sexual experience, not just a far-off possibility. In fact, an orgasm is the only difference between a workout and a night of furious passion.
There may be a multitude of factors inhibiting people from achieving their happy ending — dissatisfaction with their significant other, stress or other psychological factors — and while I wish the best to them all, I am in no way fit to assist them in this regard.
But what I can do is look at it from a physiological point of view, analyzing the strictly physical component of sex and finding the best way to utilize positions. My hope is that, if you are in a state of sound body and mind, you can follow these suggestions and lead yourself to a happier place.
For starters, we take a look at foreplay, in which the same, complacent techniques are used day after day. If you have been unsatisfied in your sexual endeavors thus far, why continue your time-honored traditions?
Invigorate your style and put a spin on an age-old classic. One such variation I came across is called “the tunnel of love,” a hand job position in which you interlace the fingers of both your hands and overlap your thumbs, creating the “tunnel.” Though be carefully advised: Do not begin getting adventurous without lube — the consequences will be severe.
We now move on to examine the ancient art of fellatio. One key component to oral sex that is tragically overlooked is rhythm. In the world of sexual literature, you will see this word crop up again and again. It is the development of a good sense of rhythm that distinguishes experienced lovers from the naive, and it is rhythm that allows someone to hit the brink of the edge and come like that!
With this knowledge in mind, conquering fellatio is considerably less daunting. For blow jobs, I suggest that you focus on the area of the penis that connects the shaft to the head, otherwise known as the frenulum. This area has abundant nerve endings and responds keenly to even the most gentle of touches. Use the tip of your tongue to glide up and down it, and just watch what happens.
As for cunnilingus, my advice is: Know your anatomy. It never fails to amaze me that there are still people out there who haven’t the faintest idea about where the clitoris is. Google it, check out an instructional booklet — there is no excuse for someone who is sexually active not to know this basic information.
And once you do, go back to the original mantra. Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm. Go slow; take your time and experiment with various paces. Gauge your partner’s reaction to each technique and adopt the ones that yield the most applause, so to speak. Everyone likes a considerate lover.
And now, to the main event. In trying to comfort my girlfriends about their problems with orgasms, I would find myself at a loss for words trying to describe something that had always come so easily to me – but fortunately, I’ve become a bit more articulate. Which leads us to CAT, the Coital Alignment Technique.
Imagine my surprise when the technique I’d previously sworn by appeared in the most recent issue of Cosmopolitan. Though some of you may scoff, Cosmo has done its homework on this one: It’s been proven to increase chance of female orgasm by 56 percent. Take that.
The position itself is surprisingly simple. The premise is having the male pubic bone, or the base of the shaft, come together with the clitoris in a rhythmic fashion. (What a mantra.)
There are several ways this can be achieved, but the simplest is in missionary position, during which the man (on top) shifts forward after entering, minimizing the distance between his chest and your shoulders. While in this position, the guy uses short, rhythmic thrusts while his partner moves in tandem to find a sort of harmonious rocking. Orgasm? Check.
There are other variations on this too. One very simple way to achieve it is by propping a few pillows beneath the woman in missionary, allowing her pelvis to tilt at a more upward angle, facilitating clitoral contact. A girl-on-top version of CAT is possible too (and my all-time favorite): just get on top, slide in real close and let the fireworks begin.
Janelle Albukhari was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and is a former Daily Cal columnist.