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Women are experiencing an orgasmic phenomenon as they strive to tone up their core muscles. It’s called a coregasm, a spontaneous orgasm that some women experience whilst performing certain exercises that target the deep core abdominal muscles. This phenomenon is not new but many women have been reluctant to talk about what is happening to them during exercise, despite it feeling good.
Published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy, a study conducted at Indiana University, USA, found that over 50% of 530 women aged between 18 to 63 claimed to have experienced an exercised induced orgasm (EIO) or exercised induced sexual pleasure (EISP) during a workout. Many were in a relationship or married and about 69% identified themselves as being heterosexual. The majority of women admitted that they were not having any sexual thoughts or thinking of anyone they were attracted to during the workout when the orgasm occurred.
Some women reported being unsure as to what was happening to them at the time and were concerned that other gym users may have noticed them. About 20% women felt that the experience was involuntary and they had no control over it.
Over 50% of the women reported experiencing their coregasm whilst doing deep abdominal work such as single leg plank, hanging side crunches, hanging straight leg raises and lifting medicine balls.
Experts believe that this core inducing climax may be due to a number of factors including the tightening of the pelvic muscles, the build up of tension within the muscles and even nerve impulses. It usually happens to women who already have strong pelvic muscles. Certain exercises which involve tightening of the core and leg muscles trigger the nerve impulses in the pelvic area.It is unusual to get much of a response from just one squeeze but multiple repetitions can trigger a coregasm.
The study revealed that the top three exercises for EIO were abdominal exercises, climbing ropes or poles and weightlifting. The most common exercise for EISP were biking, weightlifting and abdominal workouts. Some women also reported experiencing orgasms during aerobics, yoga, running and walking/hiking.
Sex therapist and author of The Anatomy of Pleasure, Victoria Zdrok, PhD, noted that when a woman exercises, the release of endorphins and dopamine, which are necessary for orgasm, combined with the tension in the abdominal and leg muscles, can cause the clitoral stimulation required to achieve an orgasm.
It is hoped that the findings of this study will help women who do experience EIO or EISP during exercise feel more normal about their experiences or explain what is actually happening to their bodies and why.
It is not yet known if such exercises improve women’s sexual experiences but it is well known that exercise has significant benefits to health and well being and has the potential to enhance women’s sexual lives too.
The study did not conclude how common it is for women to have EIO or EISP but the authors noted that it only took 5 weeks to recruit 370 women who experienced the phenomenon, suggesting that it is more common than women think.