Given the relative frequency with which the internet discusses exercise-induced orgasms, it probably seems like ladies are cumming at the gym all the damn time. Unfortunately, that's not exactly the case, though some women can and do have "coregasms" while working out — including Sports Illustrated model Jessica White.
In a recent interview with Bikini.com, White claimed she once had such a pleasurable experience doing squats that she had to excuse herself from her workout to, uh, be alone for a minute.
"I was doing squats one time and I was like, 'Oh my god, this is orgasmic,'" White said. "Maybe I was squeezing and doing my Kegels, I don't know what it was but I had to go to the bathroom. ... I did [have an orgasm working out] and that's when I realized my body was bigger than me."
White's gym experience isn't super common, but it's also not exactly rare. According to Dr. Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., associate professor at Indiana University and author of The Coregasm Workout, about 10% of women and men have had at least one orgasm from exercise.
"Coregasmic exercises can include squats, crunches, hanging leg lifts, pull-ups, and other exercises that engage the core in intense or challenging ways," Herbenick told Mic. "It's not about genital friction; it feels like it comes from the core and usually feels closer to a deep vaginal intercourse orgasm than an external clitoral stimulation orgasm."
Herbenick says her team, which she says is the only known group of researchers to study coregasms, is currently working on a lab study to better understand what goes on in the body when people have them. It's still unclear what exactly causes an exercise-induced orgasm altogether. To a large degree, the coregasm remains a mystery — which is sort of how people see female orgasms in general.
For too many women, orgasms are mysterious and infrequent experiences, which could explain the recurring infatuation with coregasms. Stories about models' exercise-induced orgasms inevitably go viral because people want to know if they, too, can crunch their way to climax. Some might be able to, but as is the case with most orgasms, being able to get off from exercise depends on many different factors.
"There doesn't seem to be a concrete pattern of muscle activation that causes [coregasms]," kinesiologist and personal trainer Dean Somerset, CSCS, told Refinery29. "It's highly individual, but it could also come down to biomechanical alignment, individual anatomical differences, muscle strength, and emotional state at the time."
The ongoing fascination with coregasms, however, tells us something about people's apparent desire to have more orgasms, and maybe even about their lack of sexual satisfaction.
Or maybe it just tells us that people could really use more motivation to exercise.