Orgasm While Exercising, A Female Experience
Until now, reports of females experiencing orgasm while exercising have been anecdotal, largely limited to comments in locker rooms, at health clubs, and on blog postings. Now Indiana University researchers say they can confirm those unverified reports of women who experience orgasm while exercising.
Coregasm mostly associated with abdominal exercise
The experience of orgasm while exercising, which has been termed “coregasm” because it is typically associated with activity that involves the core abdominal muscles, has been an unexplored phenomenon for years. A search on the Internet for information turns up anecdotal stories, people asking how they can experience coregasm, and a splattering of blog postings from women who have experienced it.
Investigators at Indiana University decided to apply a scientific approach to coregasm and initiated an online survey that included 124 women who reported they had experienced exercise-induced orgasms (EIO) and 246 women who experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP). Participants ranged in age from 18 to 63 and about 69% reported they were heterosexual.
According to Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, the exercises most often associated with coregasm were abdominal exercises (e.g., leg lifts from a seated position, climbing ropes), which accounted for 51.4% of reports. Other activities included weight lifting (26.5%), yoga (20%), cycling (15.8%), running (13.2%), and walking/hiking (9.6%).
In most cases, the women said they were not fantasizing about anyone when they experienced exercise-induced orgasms. About 40% of women who experienced coregasm or sexual pleasure from exercise had had the experience more than ten times.
How the female orgasm works
Findings from this study may help researchers better understand the female orgasm. What experts know thus far can largely be credited to William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson and their famous work, Human Sexual Response.
During foreplay, blood rushes to the vagina and clitoris. At about the same time, the vagina secretes fluids for lubrication, breathing and heart rate increase, and the nipples become erect.
As the shape of the vagina changes to accommodate the penis, tension builds up in the genitals, pelvic area, buttocks and thighs. Orgasm occurs as the uterus, vagina, and anus all contract together at 0.8 second intervals. Other muscles, from your face to your toes, may also contract involuntarily.
Herbenick noted that their findings suggest the female orgasm does not have to be a sexual experience, although researchers do not yet understand the mechanisms behind female orgasm. However, these data and more gathered from future research may lead not only to a better understanding of orgasm during exercise, but the female experience of orgasm itself.
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, The pleasures of sex. How the science of sex can lead to more pleasurable sex. Psychology Today 2012 Mar 19
Masters WH, Johnson VE. Human Sexual Response. Boston: Little, Brown, 1966.