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Sexual Wellness

Can You Have an Orgasm From Working Out?

| 05/25/2021

a woman stretching while naked Illustration by Sophi Gullbrants

So…can you really have orgasms from working out? Thankfully, the answer is yes.

Activating the core and leg muscles while running, biking, rowing, weight-lifting, gardening — pretty much any repetitive physical activity — can induce an orgasm. Exercise-induced orgasms, known as coregasms, come from engaging the lower abdomen and/or thigh muscles repetitively. Repetitive use of the abs and thighs can lead to increased blood flow in the pelvic area, triggering an orgasmic pleasure wave throughout the body. The orgasm is related to a runner’s high, or an intense pleasure rush when completing a workout. Anyone can have one, though vulva-havers have them more commonly.

An exercise-induced orgasm contains lots of valuable information about how the body experiences pleasure. According to sex researcher Debby Herbenick, in her book The Coregasm Workout, “[a] full two-thirds of coregasmic women said they were never sexually fantasizing when they were aroused or orgasmed during exercise.” 

Here’s some prime motivation to get your daily dose of exercise: Studying your own coregasms can help you find which muscles to activate during sex to intensify sexual pleasure. Working out before sex can also prolong the arousal stage of the sexual response cycle, leading to more intense orgasms. Bonus points: You’ll finally achieve what Samantha Jones tried to do for six seasons (and three movies) of Sex and The City — separate orgasmic pleasure from emotions.

So What Does a Coregasm Feel Like?

A coregasm can feel physically similar to a sex-induced orgasm: warm, tingly, explosive, breathtaking, calming and satisfying. Dr. Herbenick writes, “Of course, emotionally, exercise and sex orgasms are quite different, since sex orgasms have layers of feelings like love, lust, attraction, memories or relationship issues associated with them.”

Many people share that their first exercise-induced orgasm happened while climbing the rope during gym class. Ah, the good old days. The friction between the thighs and the rope, plus the additional activation of core and thigh muscles made for a tingly sensation that the pubescent mind couldn’t quite explain.

The next time you’re squatting over your garden, hacking away at some weeds, and a warm wave of pleasure emanates from your thighs, just keep going. Involuntary vaginal muscle contractions during downward-facing dog? Breathe into it, and thank your lucky stars that we’re still in the era of at-home workout classes during the pandemic.

They can pretty much happen to anybody at any time or place, as long as repetitive exertion is involved.

You Get a Coregasm, and you Get a Coregasm, and YOU Get a Coregasm!

In Dr. Herbenick’s book, most research subjects report that engaging the lower abdominal muscles is key, while others say it’s all about the thighs. Exercise-induced orgasms can occur from aerobic exercises like running, swimming, or cycling—and anaerobic exercises like weightlifting, burpees or sprints. They can pretty much happen to anybody at any time or place, as long as repetitive exertion is involved.

Even if you’re unable to have a full orgasm from exercising, working out can still increase your arousal levels. “Exercise-induced arousal can make for an excellent precursor to sex-induced arousal,” Dr. Herbenick says. Additionally, a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences shows that regular physical exercise often leads to higher self-esteem, and therefore a more robust sex life.

Try something new by adding a minute of core exercises, such as leg lifts, to your foreplay:

First, lay out a yoga mat. Light some candles and put on some Sade, if you’re really trying to set the mood. Lay flat on your back and tuck your hands behind your butt for stability. Extend the legs, softly straightening the bend in the knees. Take a big inhale, then using your core muscles, pull your legs up to the ceiling, keeping your legs straight. Exhale while releasing the legs back down slowly, making sure that your legs don’t touch the ground. Repeat this five, ten, or fifteen times and focus on the sensation of your ab muscles crunching, controlling the weight of your legs.

If foreplay doesn’t always get you to the arousal that you need, engaging your core muscles might do the trick. Increased blood flow to the pelvic area after this exercise can radically change your sexual experience. Plus, it’s a quick and easy way to give your body a little pep talk before sex.

Take this as a sign from the universe to get back to your workout routine.

Can I Have a Coregasm and a Sex Orgasm at the Same Time?

For people who don’t like direct genital stimulation, coregasms are old news. Exercise-induced pleasure can be felt through dry-humping or repetitive thrusting while wearing a strap-on. For those who do like direct genital stimulation, you can combine both of these orgasmic superpowers in partnered or solo sex to elevate your sexual pleasure. 

Here are a few ways to activate your core and maximize your sexual pleasure:

For private workouts

Use a hands-free vibe like Eva on your clit while doing core workouts, like leg lifts. Focus on the sensation of your abs crunching, while letting the genital vibrations fall into the background. Breathe deeply into your body, letting each movement get slower and slower while the sensation builds. Notice how your body trembles when genital stimulation meets coregasmic pleasure.

For partnered sex

 The good ole missionary position gets an upgrade when paired with Pillo. The bottom partner can use their core to thrust their hips up with ease when receiving penetration, while the top partner engages both their upper and lower ab muscles to thrust.

For solo sex

Lay on your back with your feet planted on the bed, keeping Alu Lube and Arc at arm’s length. You’ll notice that your lower back will arch naturally. Use your lower abs to lift your pelvis up, straightening the arch in your back so that it’s flush with the bed. Besides engaging the core, this exercise should also release lower back tension from sitting at a desk all day. Repeat this motion a few times while visualizing your hottest sexual fantasies. Your lower core and thighs should feel hot, and you might even start to sweat.



If you aren’t wet yet, go ahead and prime yourself with Alu Lube. Start by using Arc to stimulate your clit, then work your way into penetration. Place the toy deep inside your vagina, then let go. Use the pelvic thrusts to deepen the toy’s penetration. Core activation, plus all the work your vaginal walls are putting in to keep Arc in place, will take you to a new pleasure zip code.

Take this as a sign from the universe to get back to your workout routine, or to swap casual sex with a more sustainable source of casual sexual pleasure: your very own body. Break a little sweat and see just how much pleasure your body is willing to give.

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