Oo’er missus - some women have orgasms during exercise!

There’s long been an urban myth recounting women climaxing in the gym. Now it seems that it’s not a myth after all according to a new study on  exercise-induced orgasms and sexual pleasure

Some women reach orgasm during exercise, especially those that involve the core abdominal muscles, researchers Debby Herbenick, and J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., both from Indiana University, wrote in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy. Exercises most likely to be associated with female orgasms are abdominal exercises, weight lifting, spinning/biking, and climbing poles or ropes, the authors added

The researchers explain that so calld “coregasms” - reaching an orgasm from exercising the core abdominal muscles - has been mentioned in the media for some time. However, they add that the findings in this latest study are new

Herbenick said: “The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting. These data are interesting because they suggest that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event, and they may also teach us more about the bodily processes underlying women’s experiences of orgasm.”

The survey

Herbenick and Fortenberry carried out online surveys which included 124 adult females who said they had had an orgasm while exercising, known as EIO (exercise-induced orgasm), and another 246 who reported having experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP). They were aged from 18 to 63 years, the majority of whom were either married or in a relationship. Approximately 69% of them said they were heterosexual

The researchers found that about 40  percent of both groups of women had experienced exercise-induced pleasure or  orgasm on more than 11 occasions in their lives. Most of the women in the  ‘orgasm’ group said they felt some level of embarrassment when exercising in  public places. The ‘orgasm’ group mostly said during the  experiences they weren’t having a sexual fantasy or thinking about someone they  were attracted to

Of the women who had orgasms during exercise, about 45 percent said their first experience was linked to abdominal exercises; 19 percent  linked to biking/spinning; 9.3 percent linked to climbing poles or ropes; 7  percent reported a connection with weight lifting; 7 percent running;  the rest  of the first-time experiences included various exercises, such as yoga, swimming,  elliptical machines, aerobics and others. Exercise-induced sexual pleasure was  linked with more types of exercises than the orgasm phenomenon

Why does it happen?

The most likely abdominal exercise to produce a female orgasm was the “captain’s chair”. The exerciser rests her elbows on padded arm rests with her back against a support - her legs hang free - she raises her knees upwards towards her chest several times

Victoria Zdrok, Ph.D., a  sex therapist and author of  The Anatomy of Pleasure, provides some more scientific  insight: “A lot of women require a buildup of tension in their legs  before they can achieve the release of orgasm,” she said. “So, when a woman  exercises, the release of endorphins and dopamine, which are necessary for  orgasm, combined with the tension in the abs and lower extremities, can cause  the clitoral stimulation” that is needed

Joy Davidson, Ph.D., author of Fearless Sex, offera a fitness angle: “When that happens, usually it’s women who already have very strong pelvic  muscles,” she said. “And when they’re doing certain exercises that are tapping  into the deep core or into the quads and inner thighs, what they wind up doing  is almost automatically squeezing pelvic muscles in addition, triggering the nerve  impulses in the pelvic area. It’s a little unusual to get that much response  from one squeeze, but if you’re doing multiple reps, you’re squeezing your  pelvic muscles over and over again”

Herbenick says that nobody is sure what mechanisms are involved during exercise to induce an orgasm or sexual pleasure. Future studies, hopefully, will be able to determine that

The authors hope that women who experience either orgasm or sexual pleasure during exercise may feel, after reading about this study, that their responses are normal experiences

Whether or not specific exercises may help improve a female’s sexual experiences was not an aim of this study. The authors caution readers to make no assumptions until other more specific studies have been carried out

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April 19, 2012

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