Health Advice



'Coregasms' are one way to practice sexual self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Christen A. Johnson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Health & Fitness

What the heck is a "coregasm?" Well, it's when you have an orgasm while working out, also known as an exercise-induced orgasm. Does that all of a sudden make you want to go for a run?

A recent survey asked nearly 4,200 men and women about their knowledge of a "coregasm" and if they've ever had one. Only 3% of women said they had, and 6% of men. Most didn't even know it was possible to have an orgasm while working out (97% of women, and 91% of men).

More than 2,100 women and more than 2,000 men between the ages of 18 and 35 participated in the survey, which was commissioned by sports equipment site Sportarly. All of the participants had an active gym membership within the past 12 months.

While orgasm induced by exercise has been studied for decades, Men's Health magazine coined the term "coregasm" in 2007. Yet, the knowledge of having an exercise-induced orgasm is still new to many people.

As the seasons change, and we're still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, various forms of pleasure can keep moods high and healthy. The many feel-good hormones associated with sexual arousal and orgasm, combined with the benefits of working out, make coregasms a real possibility of keeping your spirits lifted.

People can experience coregasms from a range of different exercises, like running and biking. But the most common exercises are the ones that work the core, such as crunches, situps or hanging leg raises.


Men and women tend to experience coregasms in similar proportions - even though early studies focused on women - but the sensation of the experience varies for each sex, said Debby Herbenick, author of "The Coregasm Workout: The Revolutionary Method for Better Sex Through Exercise."

"(Women) often will say that the coregasm orgasms will feel very similar to them as orgasms that they experienced during intercourse, and a little bit different than ones that they would experience by clitoral stimulation," she said. "Some men will actually liken it to more of a prostate stimulation, which makes some sense because you're talking about muscular movements. So it's more internal stimulation than external penile stimulation."

Coregasms can be intentional and spontaneous, but they are more likely to come after fatiguing a specific muscle group. And just like with sex, the intensity of the exercise-induced orgasm can vary between powerful and mild, explained Herbenick.

"We never found anybody that said (in a study), 'Oh, this happens on the fifth crunch,' it was always 100 crunches," said Herbenick. "Or it was never in the first pullup, it would be after eight pullups."


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