Ladies, you know the feeling. That slow, delicious buildup of warmth and comfort that shortens your breath and explodes like a million tiny fireworks all over your body, nearly paralyzing you with pleasure. Now, imagine that during your afternoon Pilates.
About 51 percent of women have experienced an orgasm in connection with abdominal exercises, according to a study conducted by researchers at Indiana University and published in a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal “Sexual and Relationship Therapy” in March.
It’s a phenomenon known as the coregasm.
Keep in mind that an orgasm is a series of muscle contractions in the genitals that leads to the release of endorphins; the coregasm is that in a different part of the body.
The study, based on results of surveys administered online to nearly 400 women aged 18 to 63, has advanced Alfred Kinsey’s research explored in his 1953 book “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female” on exercise-induced orgasms.
Matthew Lee, SF State kinesiology professor who specializes in exercise physiology, thinks the connection might be between abdominal and pelvic muscle contractions; but since people respond differently to exercise, not all women could be so lucky.
“I think there are just going to be a lot of individual differences between people. Some people, yeah, I think it definitely can happen. Other people, probably not,” he said. Lee said this is probably because of the different ways people respond to exercise and what turns them on.
“When they’re doing abdominal exercises it’s possible that those (pelvic floor muscles) are being activated, too, and that’s the link that I could see,” he said.
Roughly 40 percent of the women surveyed experienced a coregasm on 10 or more individual occasions, usually when exercising in a public place. Embarrassingly, 20 percent couldn’t control themselves.
Participants reported various occasions that they’d experienced the coregasm, but about 26 percent had one while lifting weights, 20 percent during yoga, nearly 16 percent while bicycling, just more than 13 percent while running and almost 20 percent during walking or hiking – any of which might work for you in your local gym.
Or not. The study didn’t delve into how common it is to experience a coregasm, or the mechanisms behind the mind-blowing pleasure the exercises produced.
But the research could pave the way for even more work to be done on the nature and experiences of the female orgasm since evidence points to the fact that the pleasure may be more related to physical processes than sexual arousal, said Debby Herbenick, co-author of the study and co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University.
Unfortunately, Lee doesn’t think it would be possible for men to experience a coregasm.
“My guess is no. One reason why I’m saying that is because I’ve never heard of a situation where that’s happened,” Lee said. “I would assume the anatomical differences and just the mechanism of what’s occurring (during an orgasm) would be different enough where that wouldn’t happen.”
If you find yourself struggling to try to get that coregasm during your morning crunches, you might just not be one of the lucky ones. In that case, just go for an old-fashioned routine of vigorous sex or an intense masturbation session and you should be more than cured.