|Exercise Can Lead to Sexual Pleasure|
In the past, women exercising their core abdominal muscles have reported experiencing orgasm, a phenomenon informally dubbed "coregasm."
According to the study, non abdominal exercises can also induce sexual pleasure.
"The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting," says Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
"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," Herbenick adds.
The findings are published in a special issue of Sexual and Relationship Therapy, a leading peer-reviewed journal in the area of sex therapy and sexual health.
The results are based on online surveys of 124 women who reported experiencing exercise-induced orgasms (EIO) and 246 women who experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP). The women ranged in age from 18 to 63. Most were in a relationship or married, and about 69 percent identified themselves as heterosexual.
About 40 percent of women who had experienced EIO and EISP had done so on more than 10 occasions.
Most women reporting EIO said they were not fantasizing sexually or thinking about anyone they were attracted to during their experiences. They also reported feeling some degree of self-consciousness when exercising in public places, with about 20 percent reporting they could not control their experience.
Abdominal exercises using the "captain's chair" were particularly associated with the sexual experience.
The mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasm and exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear.
Debby says, the study findings may help women who experience EIO/EISP feel more normal about their experiences, but cautions that it is not yet known whether such exercises can improve women's sexual experiences.
"It may be that exercise -- which is already known to have significant benefits to health and well-being -- has the potential to enhance women's sexual lives as well."
The study did not determine how common it is for women to experience exercise-induced orgasm or exercise-induced sexual pleasure.