The Sisterhood of the Exercise-Induced Orgasm

Illustration for article titled The Sisterhood of the Exercise-Induced Orgasm

This old story — some women have orgasms…at the gym!!! — seems to make the rounds every couple of years, almost always with a headline like, "Hey Ladies, Finally Some Motivation to Work Out?!!!!!!!" Hyuk! But a new study from Indiana University has managed to gather some quantifiable information about women who experience "exercise-induced sexual pleasure," and the results are actually interesting. Via The Body Odd:

Herbenick and her colleagues used online surveys to gather their data, which included answers from 124 women who had experienced exercise-induced orgasms and 246 women who reported exercise-induced sexual pleasure. Most of the women, ages 18 to 63 and an average age of 30, were in a relationship or married and 69 percent said they were heterosexual.


Wait, what??? Only 69% (yes, proceed with your giggling IF YOU MUST) of clandestine gymnasium-pleasure-havers are heterosexual? Does that seem weirdly low to anyone else? That means, if we go with the rough standard that 10% of the population is non-heterosexual, that lesbian and bisexual women are four times likelier to experience exercise-induced sexual pleasure. What? Why? Why in the world are non-hetero ladies squat-thrusting and clean-jerking themselves to orgasm four times more often than heteros? Am I missing something? Either lesbians (and bis — I do not forget you, bis) are just really into online questionnaires, or acoustic jock-jamz are the best aphrodisiac ever.

The study also breaks down what types of exercise are most likely to give ladies dirty downtown tingles (I regret typing that already) — 1st place goes to abdominal exercises (45%), with biking/spinning (19%) and pole-climbing (seriously, 9.3%) coming in 2nd and 3rd. And if you really want to get specific:

the abdominal exercises tied to orgasms seemed to be particularly associated with the exercise in which a person supports their weight on their forearms on a so-called captain's chair with padded arm rests and then lifts their knees toward their chest.


Researchers are hesitant to speculate on what bearing this phenomenon might have on women's sexual function at large-for the inorgasmic, for instance. But two things are certain: One, let's all thank god that men don't have exercise-induced orgasms (isn't the gym sticky and gross enough already?). And two, exercised-induced orgasms are very, very real:

"I think from having talked with colleagues, while some people have heard of these [exercise-induced orgasms], many of our colleagues haven't either," Herbenick told LiveScience. "So I think that's going to be interesting," seeing the reaction. She added that some might question, "'Is this a tooth fairy type of thing or does it really happen?' I have no doubt that it happens."

No word yet on the percentage of women who experience tooth fairy-induced orgasms.

Image via Yellowj/Shutterstock.



It could simply be that lesbian/bisexual women may be more comfortable with sex in general than straight women overall (yes, I'm sure there are prude lesbians and know that there are sex positive straight girls, but lesbian and bisexual women are probably more in tune with their sexuality - since they had to go through a coming out process and don't have to live with societal expectations that if they have orgasms not provided by a man that they are somehow "slutty.")

I would guess that among young women, lesbian and bisexual women are also more likely to have had partners who understand how their bodies work and are therefore much more likely to have experienced orgasms during sex - which, I would think, would increase the likelihood of them having orgasms elsewhere.

(P.S. How did we not manage to insert a joke in here about how much, much more likely it is for a gay men to have an orgasm at a gym than a straight dude?")