MONDAY, March 19, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Sex may not always be essential for orgasm: A new survey finds that some women can also experience the sensation while exercising.
This type of orgasm is sometimes referred to as a "coregasm" because of its association with exercises that involve core abdominal muscles, said study author Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
"The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting," Herbenick said in a university news release. "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."
The findings are based on the results of online surveys completed by 124 women who reported experiencing exercise-induced orgasms and 246 women who experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure.
The women ranged in age from 18 to 63, most were married or in a relationship and about 69 percent were heterosexual, according to the study, which was published in a special issue of the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy.
About 40 percent of the women who had experienced exercise-induced orgasms and exercise-induced sexual pleasure had done so on more than 10 occasions. Most of the women who reported exercise-induced orgasms said they were not fantasizing sexually during their experiences, and about 20 percent said they could not control the orgasm.
Abdominal exercises accounted for 51 percent of exercise-induced orgasms, followed by weight lifting (27 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (16 percent), running (13 percent) and walking/hiking (10 percent).
The mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasms and exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear, but the researchers hope to learn more about the triggers for both experiences.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health has more about physical activity.