Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women

Debby Herbenick, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Orgasm is typically considered to be a sexual experience. However, orgasms occurring during physical exercise have been occasionally documented. The primary objective of the current study was to understand more about women's experience with exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) including the types of exercise that women have noted have led to EIO and associations with self-reported sexual experiences. A secondary purpose was to understand and assess women's experiences of exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP) among a convenience sample of women who had never experienced EIO but who had experienced sexual pleasure during exercise. A total of 530 women completed a cross-sectional, anonymous, Internet-based survey. The average age of first EIO was 18.9 years old. Among the most common exercises reported to induce orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing and lifting weights. Women reporting EISP, but not orgasm, frequently identified biking/spinning, abdominal exercise and lifting weights as associated with their experiences. Self-consciousness during exercise was commonly reported by women in the EIO group. However, sexual thoughts or fantasy related to EIO were only rarely reported. Findings challenge the idea that women's orgasm is an intrinsically sexual experience. Implications related to the scientific understanding of orgasm processes and clinical recommendations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-388
Number of pages16
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

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Keywords

  • anorgasmia
  • female
  • orgasmic disorder
  • sexual physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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