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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If a recent study is any indication, going to the gym might be more fun for some women than you’d think.
Though an article in Popular Science says that exercise-induced orgasms, or EIO’s (yes, there’s an acronym for it), have been confirmed by scientists as far back as a study done by Alfred Kinsey in 1953, scientists still aren’t sure just how common they are. But the newest study on the phenomenon has some insight into what’s happening.
In the study, which was published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy earlier this year, 124 women who had reported experiencing exercise-induced orgasms and 246 women who experienced exercise-induced sexual pleasure (EISP) responded to a survey administered by researchers. Most of the women were in a relationship or married, and about 69 percent said they were heterosexual. Their ages ranged 18 to 63.
About 40 percent of the women who said they had experienced EIO or EISP also said they had done so on more than 10 occasions, and most of the women were not fantasizing or thinking about anyone sexually before the incident.
The study also found that EIO was associated with a wide range of exercises–including weight lifting (26.5 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (15.8), running (13.2 percent) and walking/hiking (9.6 percent)—but was most common during ab exercises. In fact, a total of 51 percent of the women surveyed said they had experienced an orgasm when performing abdominal exercises, commonly called a “coregasm” in the exercise world.
The data is somewhat startling, even to fitness professionals. Even one Philadelphia-area trainer hadn’t heard of it.
“Wow! There are not many times in my life that I can actually admit to being speechless. However, this is one of those rare times,” admits Lori Sarne, a personal trainer and wellness coach. “I have come across many women and men of all races and ages and neither [sic] have ever admitted to having an EIO. I honestly have never heard of an EIO.”
Perhaps that’s unsurprising, given that some of the study respondents admitted to feeling self-conscious about exercising in public. Twenty percent also said they were unable to control the experience.
The reasons for EIO’s and EISP remain unknown, but what also remains to be seen is whether or not more women will be heading to the gym after reading about the phenomenon.