If you’ve been lacking gym motivation lately, here’s some news that might boost your drive: It’s possible to have an orgasm during exercise.
Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, that’s exactly what happened to Sports Illustrated model Jessica White during an especially sweaty sesh: “I was doing these squats one time, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is orgasmic,’” she said in an interview with Bikini.com last week. “Maybe I was squeezing and doing my kegels, I don’t know what it was, but I had to go to the bathroom.”
White then confirmed that she did, actually, know what it was: a full-blown orgasm.
While White’s pleasure-fueled workout may seem too wild to be true, orgasms during exercise, often referred to as “coregasms,” are totally a thing. A study published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy back in 2011 explored the phenomenon.
The researchers surveyed 530 adult women. Among the participants, 124 reported they’d had an exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) and 246 said they’d experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP).
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What we wanted to know: Which moves were most orgasmic?
Among the EIO group, 51.4 percent of the women said they climaxed during ab exercises(!), while others cited weight lifting (26.5 percent), yoga (20 percent), biking (15.8 percent) and hiking or running (13.2 percent).
In the free-response section of the survey, many women credited the the captain’s chair—a piece of gym equipment on which you grip handles to support your arms and back against a frame, while you repeatedly lift your your legs.
While you might guess the study participants’ stimulating workouts were sparked by sexy thoughts, the women reported that they were not fantasizing prior to the big O.
“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,” said lead author Debby Hebernick, PhD, a sexual health educator from The Kinsey Institute in a press statement. It’s still unclear what causes these extra-satisfying workouts, but Hebernick hopes her research will help normalize the concept of so-called coregasms. (She published a book last year called “The Coregasm Workout.”)
For now, the takeaway is that if you’ve had an orgasm during a gym sesh, you’re not alone (also: lucky you!). And even if you haven’t, research suggests that exercise can make you feel more desirable and increase your arousal. Talk about fitspiration.