• Mon, Mar 19 2012

“Corgasms” Are Real: Study Confirms That Women Do Get Off While Working Out

coregasm

About every two years or so, the internet is awash with anecdotes and articles about the illusive, unfortunately-named unicorn known colloquially as the “coregasm,” which is what it is called when a woman reaches orgasm during exercise. It seems to have started in 2007 with Men’s Health Magazine (of all places), but has since been revisited by MSNBC, and, a few years later, Women’s Health. Also, lots of blogs. Personal trainers have sworn it exists, curmudgeonly doctors have scratched their heads (what? There’s a female orgasm? That can’t be right…)–but now, finally, someone has studied it. And it’s real, according to actual researchers at Indiana State University.

See, the whole “climaxing during a workout” rumor has always floated around, like a beautiful, nebulous siren that lures women onto treadmills and incline boards with its ecstatic wail of unbridled, fitness-based pleasure. Women swap stories about it in locker rooms–usually, someone has a cousin who swears it happens if she even looks at a medicine ball–and it even made its way into the Vagina Monologues.

But, prior to this study, it was pretty much purely speculative and anecdotal. Ostensibly, it could happen (due to a release of endorphines during exercise, coupled with the strategic placement of the pubic wall and bone) during mat workouts, spinning, or anything else that stimulates you, but does it happen? The answer, it seems, is yes.

Researcher Debby Herbenick,  co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, co-authored the study with Dr. J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., who is a professor at the IU School of Medicine. Together, the two rounded up a diverse group of close to 400 women who had experienced either “EIO” (exercise-induced orgasm) or “EISP” (experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure). And the findings. Are. Fascinating.

From the study (emphasis are mine):

  • About 40 percent of women who had experienced EIO and EISP had done so on more than 10 occasions.
  • Most of the women in the EIO group reported feeling some degree of self-consciousness when exercising in public places, with about 20 percent reporting they could not control their experience.
  • Most women reporting EIO said they were not fantasizing sexually or thinking about anyone they were attracted to during their experiences.
  • Diverse types of physical exercise were associated with EIO and EISP. Of the EIO group, 51.4 percent reported experiencing an orgasm in connection with abdominal exercises within the previous 90 days. Others reported experiencing orgasm in connection to such exercises as weight lifting (26.5 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (15.8), running (13.2 percent) and walking/hiking (9.6 percent).
  • In open-ended responses, ab exercises were particularly associated with the “captain’s chair,” which consists of a rack with padded arm rests and back support that allows the legs to hang free. The goal is to repeatedly lift the knees toward the chest or toward a 90-degree angle with the body.

Unfortunately, the study doesn’t help us determine what percent of women experience this phenomenon, but, if what we know about kegels is even close to true (which it is), the odds are actually in your favor that, with the right set of pelvic floor exercises (and the right mindset), you, too, could join the ranks of the women who experience this amazing wonder.

I am suddenly overwhelmed with the desire to go to the gym.

Image: Andresr via Shutterstock

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  • dandelion

    On a similar note, I can’t orgasm *unless* I’m seriously engaging my abs or some other muscle. It’s bizarre, but apparently that’s how my body works. If I just lie there and don’t actively work to tire myself out, nothing’s gonna happen. I have to clench those abs until I’m shaking and then BAM best orgasm ever. Never happened just when I’m working out though… Although sometimes when I do a plank I can feel a little some’n some’n down there

    • Fabel

      Same here! I always thought I was weird until I’ve read a few similiar personal accounts around the internet. So apparently it’s a thing.

  • http://www.TempleRepair.com Charles Runels, MD

    There are women who can’t reach orgasm. A new procedure called o-shot can treat this condition. This has been very effective with my patients. You can watch the procedure at http://oshot.info

    Hope this helps someone.

    Charles Runels, MD