Researchers noted that the phenomenon, sometimes called the 'coregasm' or 'gymgasm', affected women aged between 18 and 63, regardless of their sexuality. In addition to orgasm, some women experience sexual pleasure while exercising, and in both instances there is no fantasizing or sexual thoughts or feelings.
The Indiana researchers published an advert recruiting women for the online study, and within five weeks, 370 women had responded. That is a large response in a relatively short space of time. Around a third (124) of the women said they experience exercise induced orgasms (EIO), while the remaining 246 stated that exercise induced sexual pleasure (EISP) was common. More than 40 percent of all of the respondents had EIO and EISP at least ten times.
What brings on the orgasms?
Just over 50% of the 124 EIO respondents reported orgasming while doing abdominal exercises, whereas other activities produced the experience less often: weight lifting (25.6%), yoga (20%), bicycling (15.8%), running (13.2%), and walking/hiking (9.6%).
The women respondants told researchers that performing the hanging leg raise activity was particularly associated with EIO, although this activity may produce pain for people with lower back problems associated with disk degeneration, bone spurs, stenosis and insufficient lumbar curvature.
What this research means
Some women can experience sexual pleasure in ways unrelated to procreation, even if the mechanism is unknown to science. The experience of EIO and EISP is more common than previously realized, and despite some women feeling self-conscious about it, orgasming or experiencing sexual pleasure while exercising is natural.