Sorry to disappoint, men. This one is predominantly for the ladies.
Growing up in the 90s when the living room aerobics era was still fresh in people’s minds, a friend of mine who was 16 at the time remembers experiencing her first orgasm in her living room—as she put herself through a big set of crunches.
As I dug a little deeper, I discovered exercise-induced orgasms (EIOs) are surprisingly quite common. It sure didn’t take me long to find some EIO recipients.
The list of movements women admitted bring them to orgasm are generally abdominal-centric ones, hence the nickname “core-gasms.” Movements, such as:
- Rope climbs
One woman even admitted to me that she has experienced 2 or 3 orgasms during one max L-sit attempt! For her, the orgasm became a liability to her max L-sit, as after the third one, she grew too weak to hold the L-sit any longer.
Before you sit there and accuse these women of being the biggest fakers on the planet, there’s science to back it up!
Check it out: This article—Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women—was published in the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14681994.2011.647902_) and confirms that many women can, in fact, reach climax during strenuous exercise. The article even suggests that swimming and biking, and even weightlifting, can sometimes be enough to reach an orgasm.
Interestingly enough, orgasms more likely to come along when your core is already tired. Perhaps this is why my friend had done 100 crunches before she got there. And considering an L-sit is more difficult and can bring you to fatigue quicker than crunches, it might also explain why my other friend can get there two or three times in one gruelling L-sit attempt.
Before you get overly excited, I have some less good news to share, as well. It seems as though many of these orgasms are somewhat asexual in nature, meaning they’re purely physiological and aren’t necessarily as pleasurable as orgasms associated with purely sexual thoughts, fantasies or experiences. (But as these women tell me, especially my friend who got there at the top of a 15-foot rope climb, they’re still pretty damn welcome).
What is thought to be happening is that exercise increases sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, which is associated with heightened sexual arousal, and for those who orgasm easily, this increase is sometimes just enough to take them over the top.
If you’re not one of those women, don’t feel bad. I can't ever say I've had this experience but according to the 2014 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (a poll of 2,000 Americans), only 10 percent of people reported having experienced an orgasm, and feel turned on, while working out.
Perhaps better news is, though, for the masses is that a higher percentage of people say they experience arousal during exercise, even if they don’t ever reach climax. So there’s hope for everyone!
Yet another incentive to get fit.