Findings from a first-of-its-kind study by Indiana University researchers confirm anecdotal evidence that exercise — absent sex or fantasies — can lead to female orgasm.
“The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting,” said Debby Herbenick Ph.D., M.P.H., co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in IU’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
“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 published in a special issue of Sexual and Relationship Therapy, a leading peer-reviewed journal in the area of sex therapy and sexual health. Co-author is J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., professor at the IU School of Medicine.
The results are based on surveys administered online to 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.
Herbenick said that the mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasm and exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear and, in future research, they hope to learn more about triggers for both.
“It may be that exercise — which is already known to have significant benefits to health and well-being — has the potential to enhance women’s sexual lives as well.”