Six-pack abs are a lie, but I just learned about something that's making me double down on my core regimen in a way I haven't in years. And no, it's not J. Lo's age-defying turn in Hustlers.
Thanks, Reddit, for awakening my awareness of the "coregasm."
According to Kinsey Institute fellow Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH—who literally wrote the book on the topic with The Coregasm Workout—not only are coregasms (or exercise-induced orgasms) real, they're also not all that uncommon. "In a U.S. nationally representative probability survey, we found that nearly 10 percent of Americans had experienced an exercise-induced orgasm at least once in their lives," she tells me. "A smaller percentage experience them with regularity."
Dr. Herbenick also tells me coregasms are an equal opportunity exercise perk. Her first study on the topic was performed on women, and after she published it, men "came out of the woodwork," emailing her from all over the world to tell her about their own exercise-induced orgasms.
So you want to coregasm—which exercises are your best bet?
There's a reason this type of climax is known as a "coregasm" and not an "exergasm," aside from the cute rhyme: Not just any type of workout will turn your gym into the diner from When Harry Met Sally. "Exercises most commonly associated with coregasm include those that are what I call 'core-demanding,' that ask a lot of core abdominal musculature," Dr. Herbenick tells me.
Crunches are one way to get to the, ahem, finish line—if you're down with doing a lot of them. "People who have [coregasms] from crunches often say it takes 100 or 200 crunches before it happens," Dr. Herbenick says. Shortcut exercises include pull-ups and chin-ups; because these full-body moves are more difficult for most people, it takes fewer to get the job done. Dr. Herbenick says leg raises (using a captain's chair), seated leg presses, running, and swimming can also provoke coregasms in some (lucky) individuals.
Looking for a core workout to get you going? Look no further...
What if you're not so excited about your coregasms?
Of course, not everyone may feel #blessed to experience exercise-induced orgasms—particularly if you're working out with a trainer or at a public gym. Dr. Herbenick says that while researchers don't know how to prevent coregasms for those who wish to do so, generally people can learn what triggers it in their body and then back off or avoid that exercise.
Sexologist Jess O'Reilly, PhD, adds that you may be able to stave off an unwanted coregasm by releasing your pelvic floor muscles, because contracting them can lead to orgasmic sensations. "I’m certain that seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist would also help you to better understand and exercise greater control over your pelvic floor muscles," Dr. Jess says. "This might allow you to delay—or hasten—orgasm with greater ease."
Core work isn't the only way to get off while getting fit
"Because so many folks with vulvas reach orgasm from rubbing and grinding on the outside, it makes sense that certain exercises might lead to physical arousal and potentially orgasm," Dr. Jess says. "I met a woman who has had orgasms while doing Pilates...Another woman tells me that she has felt an orgasm-like tingle in Cobra position during yoga. And others report that riding the stationary bike or taking an intense spin class has led to orgasm."
Dr. Jess also reminds me that even if you don’t have an orgasm at the gym, you may reap a range of sexual benefits from working out. "Eighty percent of men and 60 percent of women who exercise two to three times per week feel sexier, and those who work out four to five times per week rate their sex lives as higher than average," she says.
Research suggests that even short-term exercise can change the way you feel about your body. "In one study, both men and women reported feeling fitter, healthier and more satisfied with their bodies after just six 40-minute workout sessions," Dr. Jess says. "This shift in attitude occurred regardless of the fact that neither their weight nor shape had changed over the course of the study." It doesn't matter how intense your workout is, either, says Dr. Jess: "My clients report that simply moving—dancing, walking, stretching, hiking—is key to increasing their desire for sex as well as likelihood of reaching orgasm; the latter outcome may be tied to the fact that exercise can help you to clear you mind and feel more relaxed once the body cools down."
That's all great news, but frankly I still want to be one of the lucky few for whom core work is pleasure rather than torture. (And if a six-pack follows, well, then yes, yes, yes!)
Flow your way to bliss with this yoga core workout.
Maybe don't make any decisions after your coregasm—here's why. And if you're not among those lucky enough to climax from core work, fret not because this $44 vibrator should do the trick.
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