Findings from a first-of-its-kind study by Indiana University researchers confirm anecdotal evidence that exercise -- [in the absence of sex or fantasies] -- can lead to female orgasm.
While the findings are new, reports of this phenomenon, sometimes
called "coregasm" because of its association with exercises for core
abdominal muscles, have circulated in the media for years, said Debby
Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health
Promotion in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
In addition to being a researcher, Herbenick is a widely read advice
columnist and book author.
"The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm
were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and
weight lifting," Herbenick said. "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 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. Co-author is J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., professor at the IU School of Medicine and Center for Sexual Health Promotion affiliate.
The results are based on surveys administered online to 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.
Herbenick said that the mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasm and
exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear and, in future
research, they hope to learn more about triggers for both. She also said
that study findings may help women who experience EIO/EISP feel more
normal about their experiences or put them into context.
Herbenick cautioned 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. But the
authors note that it took only five weeks to recruit the 370 women who
experienced the phenomenon, suggesting it is not rare.
"Magazines and blogs have long highlighted cases of what they
sometimes call 'coregasms,'" Herbenick said. "But aside from early
reports by Kinsey and colleagues, this is an area of women's sexual health research that has been largely ignored over the past six decades."
Source: Medical News Today, 19 March 2012