All about the 'coregasm' or exercise orgasm
Sometimes performing particular exercises can have a pleasant side-effect.
For some women a workout can have an enjoyable side-effect -- it gives them an orgasm.
In fact, exercise orgasms might not be as rare as you'd think, a recent US study found. 'Coregasms' are most common during ab workouts, but anything from weight lifting to yoga can be orgasmic for some women.
Almost one-quarter of women have had an orgasm while exercising, according to a US survey of 530 women aged 18-63. And we're not talking about the exercise-obsessed, or about women with a fetish for working out.
Average women responded to an e-mail asking if they'd like to be part of a study on orgasms and sexual pleasure while exercising. They were divided into two groups based on how they answered the question: "Have you ever -- at any time in your life -- experienced an orgasm while you were exercising?''
About 23 percent had actually climaxed while working out, the survey revealed. What's more, a further 46 percent had experienced sexual pleasure.
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Photographs: lulemon athletica on Flickr, Wikimedia Commons
Getting off while working out wasn't a one-time deal for most women. Eighty-two percent repeated their coregasm at least three times, and over 40 percent had had more than 10 orgasms while doing some form of physical activity.
For 18 percent of women, having an orgasm while they were working out was uncontrollable. But about 30 percent could control their coregasms almost every time. Some women could even predict that they'd orgasm after they'd done a certain number of exercise reps, reached an intensity in their workout, or after they'd been exercising for a period of time.
Photographs: Milla M, edited by Trev M/Wikimedia Commons
Unlike sex-related orgasms, coregasms don't have anything to do with sexual arousal or stimulation. Almost 90 percent of women who had them weren't masturbating in any way with their hands or fingers. And the majority weren't fantasising about the hunk working out next to them -- or thinking about anything to do with sex, for that matter. Having a coregasm was an entirely non-sexual experience.
Still, it was a pleasurable one -- the majority of women were happy about their workout orgasms often or almost every time they had one. And most got at least a little wet some of the times they came. A few women even said the prospect of a coregasm was motivation for their next workout.
Thirty-six percent couldn't keep their orgasms private and found themselves making sounds when they came. That might be why most felt at least a little self-conscious about having a coregasm and worried about someone noticing.
Photographs: Slyngebehandling/Wikimedia Commons
The exercise orgasm has picked up the nickname 'coregasm' because women are most likely to experience it when working out core abdominal muscles. Ab exercises -- sit-ups, crunches, and the like -- were by far those most often said to be orgasmic.
But exercise orgasms aren't limited to core workouts. Lifting weights, yoga, biking or spinning, and running all featured on the list of exercises that had lead to orgasms during the last three months of exercise.
Photographs: Loveobx23/Wikimedia Commons
'How can working out cause some women to orgasm?' the researchers wondered. Some exercises involving abs and the pelvis could put pressure on the clitoris, leading to clitoral orgasms, they reckon. Another possibility is that heavy breathing during exercise could trigger parts of the nervous system involved in orgasms.
But as yet they don't fully understand what causes exercise orgasms and how they're experienced by the women who have them. More research is needed, the researchers say.