Women don't need sexual contact to reach orgasm, say Indiana University scientists who have been researching the phenomenon of exercise induced climax in hundreds of women. The new findings, published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy, give credence to previous anecdotal reports of exercise induced orgasm.
An exercise induced climax is sometimes called a "coregasm" as it is mostly associated with exercises for core abdominal muscles, explained lead researcher Debby Herbenick. "The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking, spinning and weight lifting," she added. "These data... suggest that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event."
The findings are based on online survey responses from 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.
Some of the key findings include:
- Most of the women in the EIO group reported feeling some degree of self-consciousness when exercising in public places. About 20 percent reported they could not control their experience.
- Most of the women said they were not fantasizing sexually or thinking about anyone they were attracted to during their experiences.
- Many types of physical exercise were associated with EIO and EISP. Of the EIO group, 51 percent reported experiencing an orgasm in connection with abdominal exercises. Others reported experiencing orgasm in connection to such exercises as weight lifting (26 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (16 percent), running (13 percent) and walking (10 percent).
Herbenick said EIO was particularly associated with the "captain's chair," a piece of exercise equipment which consists of a rack with padded arm rests and back support that allows the legs to hang free. The exercise routine is to repeatedly lift the knees toward the chest or toward a 90-degree angle with the body.
Herbenick said that the study did not determine how common it is for women to experience exercise-induced orgasm, but she noted that it took only five weeks to recruit the 370 women who experienced the phenomenon, suggesting it is not rare.
The exact mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasm and exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear, but Herbenick hopes to learn more about the triggers for both. "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," she concluded.
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Source: Indiana University