The Intriguing Truth About 'Coregasms'
Exercise is exhilarating and can sometimes take your breath away. Orgasms could be described similarly, though most people don't imagine the two are connected.
"Coregasms" are a type of orgasm you can experience while working out. As the name suggests, they are primarily experienced while you do exercises that activate your core, but you can experience a coregasm through other physical activities, too.
Yes, both men and women can have coregasms. However, not everyone gets the opportunity to experience them.
"Only about 1 in 10 people have experienced a coregasm at some point in their life," said Joshua Gonzalez, M.D., the resident sexual health advisor for lubricant manufacturer Astroglide and a Los Angeles-based, board-certified urologist who specializes in the management of male and female sexual dysfunctions. "That doesn't mean that it happens all the time to these people, just that it has happened at some point. It is unknown why some people can coregasm while others cannot."
Are coregasms common?
Coregasms are more common than previously thought, according to a 2012 study in the Sexual and Relationship Therapy journal. Data indicated 10 percent of women and 8 percent of men have experienced a coregasm sometime in their life, while a small percentage of those people have them regularly. A 2013 survey in the CrossFit Journal revealed this occurrence is relatively common among athletes. Indiana-based researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., followed up her 2012 study by publishing the book "The Coregasm Workout: The Revolutionary Method for Better Sex Through Exercise."
Why do coregasms happen?
Even though researchers and fitness enthusiasts have been familiar with coregasms for quite some time, there's no definitive explanation for why and how they happen.
The prevalent theory so far suggests coregasms primarily occur with exercises that directly target the core muscles or at least indirectly engage them with a heavy load.
Exercises that have your legs apart and your core significantly engaged tend to put a lot of pressure on your abdominals and pelvic area. The repeated contractions lead to fatigue, which can translate to sexual arousal.
According to California-based intimacy expert Susan Bratton, many systems in our body contribute to our orgasmic response.
"Your blood flows to your pelvic bowl, giving you a penile or clitoral erection, your nervous system sends pleasure signals to your brain, and your abdominal muscles contract," she explained. "The coregasm or bellygasm is triggered from stimulation to the abdomen and, specifically, the rectus abdominis muscle group. You can pleasure this muscle through sensual massage to generate orgasmic pleasure."
What does it feel like?
Many people report coregasms are a physiological type of orgasm rather than psychological. This means people were most likely not thinking of anything sexual, but instead, the core exercises triggered specific points in their body that brought the arousal.
"Some people who coregasm report they feel different than 'traditional' orgasms," Gonzalez said. "Coregasms can sometimes feel like they occur deeper inside the body than orgasms that occur through external stimulation of the penis or clitori. Some have reported they feel a more intense muscle contraction with coregasms. And some have said they can control coregasms more than traditional orgasms."
When it comes to specific exercises, anything that has your legs apart and engages the core works to achieve a coregasm. Some effective exercises include:
- Leg raises
- Hanging leg raises
- Hip thrusts
- Plank variations
How powerful a coregasm is depends on the intensity of the workout and how consistently you apply pressure in a short period. The orgasm you may experience is likely stronger if you fatigue your core and consistently apply pressure to the abdominal muscles and the pelvic area.
According to Herbenick, women are more likely to feel that coregasms give a similar experience to the one they feel during sexual intercourse, and they feel it a bit differently from stimulation of the clitoris. Coregasms also feel a little different to men, she said.
"Some men will actually liken it to more of a prostate stimulation, which makes some sense because you're talking about muscular movements," Herbenick said. "So it's more internal stimulation than external penile stimulation."
Coregasms are a way for you to connect with your body, which is an effective way to practice sexual self-help. You may be experiencing the damage done by months or even years of the social isolation that the COVID-19 pandemic brought. Coregasms can be a cathartic way to experience pleasure and connect with your body even more while working out.