Exercise triggers orgasm, women admit in new study
Ladies, do you find it hard to get out of bed to hit the gym or pavement? If so, here’s the motivation you’ve been looking for. A new study suggests that up to 15 percent of women have orgasms when they exercise.
“It sounds like a pornographic fitness flick: women, sweaty from physical exertion, climaxing at the gym,” quips TIME Magazine. But researchers at Indiana University have confirmed through a study that women can have orgasms while they exercise.
The researchers have even dubbed the phenomenon “coregasm” because it often happens while doing core abdominal muscle exercises. Their findings were published on March 19 in the special issue of the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy.
What’s more, orgasms while exercising may be more common than you think — the researchers report that it took them only five weeks to recruit 370 women who said they experience “coregasm.”
Researchers led by Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, sent emails to various web sites geared to fitness and health.
Right now, there’s no scientific literature about orgasm while exercising, so researchers prompted survey respondents to provide as much detail as possible. The investigators also asked the women about the types of exercises they were doing when they experienced orgasm, if the phenomenon happened repeatedly, and whether they could control it.
“We didn’t know how many women we would find and it turns out, it wasn’t that difficult,” says Herbenick. “In five weeks, we found 100 women who had experienced orgasm and a couple of hundred others who didn’t have orgasm but felt highly aroused and close to orgasm.”
Together with her co-author Dr. J. Dennis Fortenberry, professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Herbenick analyzed the responses of 370 women, ages 18 to 63, who responded to their online query.
Here’s what they found:
• Of the respondents, 124 said they had experienced exercise-induced orgasm (EIO)
• 246 reported exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP)
• Most were married or in a relationship
• 69 percent identified themselves as heterosexual
• More than 40 percent of those who’d experienced so-called EISP and EIO reported it had happened more than 10 times
• Most said they were self-conscious when it happened in public places, but about 10 percent could not control their experience.
• 52 percent of orgasms occurred during abdominal exercises — particularly the “captain’s chair”
• 26 percent occurred during weight lifting
• 20 percent happened during yoga
• 16 percent transpired while bicycling
• 13 percent took place while running
• 10 percent happened while walking or hiking
• The catalyst seems to be the exertion itself — most respondents said they weren’t daydreaming about sex at all.
“The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting,” Herbenick says.
The infamous orgasm-trigger — “captain’s chair” — is a contraption that allows a user to support her arms and back against a frame while letting her legs dangle. The exercise involves repeatedly raises her legs into a sitting position.
Some women surveyed said they felt self-consciousness when they climaxed during exercise, saying they couldn’t help but make sounds during orgasm.
One woman wrote about biking strenuously uphill when she felt an orgasm coming on; embarrassed, she tried to hide it from her biking partner. “I had to really grind into the pedals. This must have caused me to rub on the seat in just the right away. I thought I was starting to cramp, but soon realized it felt great. (I) thought I should stop, but chose not to!”