Skip to main content

Exercise-Induced Orgasm and Its Association with Sleep Orgasms and Orgasms During Partnered Sex: Findings From a U.S. Probability Survey

Abstract

Prior research has described women’s experiences with exercise-induced orgasm (EIO). However, little is known about men’s experiences with EIO, the population prevalence of EIO, or the association of EIO with other kinds of orgasm. Using U.S. probability survey data, the objectives of the present research were to: (1) describe the lifetime prevalence of exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) and sleep orgasm; (2) assess respondents’ age at first experience of EIO as well as the type of exercise connected with their first EIO; (3) examine associations between lifetime EIO experience and orgasm at respondents’ most recent partnered sexual event; and (4) examine associations between lifetime EIO experience and sleep orgasms. Data were from the 2014 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (1012 men and 1083 women, ages 14 years and older). About 9% of respondents reported having ever experienced exercise-induced orgasm. More men than women reported having experienced orgasm during sleep at least once in their lifetime (66.3% men, 41.8% women). The mean age for women’s first EIO was significantly older than men (22.8 years women, 16.8 years men). Respondents described a wide range of exercises as associated with their first EIO (i.e., climbing ropes, abdominal exercise, yoga). Lifetime EIO experience was associated with lifetime sleep orgasms but not with event-level orgasm during partnered sex. Implications related to understanding orgasm and recommendations for clinicians and sex educators are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Data Availability

If accepted for publication, a limited data set may be archived at Indiana University.

References

  1. Burkill, S., Copas, A., Couper, M. P., Clifton, S., Prah, P., Datta, J., Conrad, F., Wellings, K., Johnson, A. M., & Erens, B. (2016). Using the web to collect data on sensitive behaviours: A study looking at mode effects on the British National Survey Sexual Attitudes Lifestyles. PLoS ONE, 11(2), e0147983. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147983.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Canguven, O., Talib, R. A., El-Ansari, W., Shamsoddini, A., Salman, M., & Al-Ansari, A. (2016). RigiScan data under long-term testosterone therapy: Improving long-term blood circulation of penile arteries, penile length and girth, erectile function, and nocturnal penile tumescence and duration. The Aging Male, 19, 215–220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Castillo, M. (2012). Study confirms some women orgasm during exercise.. Retrieved from https://www.jodivine.com/articles/orgasm/have-you-ever-had-a-coregasm

  4. Chadwick, S. B., Francisco, M., & van Anders, S. M. (2019). When orgasms do not equal pleasure: Accounts of “bad” orgasm experiences during consensual sexual encounters. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(8), 2435–2459.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chang, L., & Krosnick, J. A. (2009). National surveys via RDD telephone interviewing vs. the internet: Comparing sample representativeness and response quality. Public Opinion Quarterly, 73, 641–678.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Chuang, Y., Lin, T., Lui, C., Chen, S., & Chang, C. (2004). Tooth-brushing epilepsy with ictal orgasms. Seizure, 13, 179–182.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Eacott, M. J., & Crawley, R. A. (1998). The offset of childhood amnesia: Memory for events that occurred before age 3. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 127(1), 22–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Eisenberg, D., Freed, G. L., Davis, M. M., Singer, D., & Prosser, L. A. (2011). Valuing health at different ages: Evidence from a nationally representative survey in the U.S. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 9, 149–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Ellis, H. (1905). Studies in the psychology of sex (Vol. 1). William Heinemann Books.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Evans, S. (n.d.). Have you ever had a coregasm? Retrieved on November 10, 2020 from https://www.jodivine.com/articles/orgasm/have-you-ever-had-a-coregasm

  11. Fisher, C., Cohen, H. D., Schiavi, R. C., Davis, D., Furman, B., Ward, K., Edwards, A., & Cunningham, J. (1983). Patterns of female sexual arousal during sleep and waking: Vaginal thermo-conductance studies. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 97–122. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01541556.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gul, A., Yuruk, E., & Serefoglu, E. C. (2018). Frequency of nocturnal emissions and masturbation habits among virgin male religious teenagers. Revista Internacial de Andrologia, 18, 21–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Harris, K. M., Schonlau, M., & Lurie, N. (2009). Surveying a nationally representative internet-based panel to obtain timely estimates of influenza vaccination rates. Vaccine, 27, 815–818.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Heiman, J. R., Long, J. S., Smith, S. N., Fisher, W. A., Sand, M. S., & Rosen, R. C. (2011). Sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in midlife and older couples in five countries. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(4), 741–753.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Henton, C. L. (1976). Nocturnal orgasm in college women: Its relation to dreams and anxiety associated with sexual factors. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 129, 245–251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Herbenick, D., Barnhart, K., Beavers, K., & Fortenberry, D. (2018). Orgasm range and variability in humans: A content analysis. International Journal of Sexual Health, 30, 195–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Herbenick, D., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2011). Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26, 373–388.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Herbenick, D., Fu, T. C., Wright, P., Paul, B., Gradus, R., Bauer, J., & Jones, R. (2020). Pornography use and diverse sexual behaviors: Findings from a nationally representative survey of Americans ages 14 to 60. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 17, 623–633. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.01.013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Schick, V., Sanders, S. A., Dodge, B., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2010). An event-level analysis of the sexual characteristics and composition among adults ages 18 to 59: Results from a national probability sample in the United States. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7(suppl 5), 346–361.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Hewit, J. K., Jaffe, D. A., & Crowder, T. (2018). A comparison of muscle activation during the pull-upand three alternative pulling exercises. Journal of Physical Fitness, Medicine & Treatment in Sports, 5(4), 1–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Hughes, W. L. (1926). Sex experiences of boyhood. Journal of Social Hygiene, 12, 262–273.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Ilano, J. (2018). Exercise-induced coregasms: Why they happen & what you can do about it. Retrieved on November 10, 2020 from https://gmb.io/coregasm/

  23. Irfan, M., & Schenck, C. H. (2018). Sleep-related orgasms in a 57-year-old woman: A case report. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 14(01), 141–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Saunders.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female. Saunders.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Komisaruk, B. R., & Whipple, B. (1998). Love as sensory stimulation: Physiological consequences of its deprivation and expression. Pyschoneuroendocrinology, 23, 927–944.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Komisaruk, B. R., & Whipple, B. (2011). Non-genital orgasms. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26, 356–372.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Laumann, E. O., Nicolosi, A., Glassner, D. B., Paik, A., Gingell, C., Moreira, E., & Wang, T. (2005). Sexual problems among women and men aged 40–80 years old: Prevalence and correlates identified in the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors. International Journal of Impotence Research, 17(1), 39–57.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Lee, M., Yang, G., Chueh, H. W., Park, J. H., & Yoo, J. (2016). The effect of first nocturnal ejaculation timing on risk and sexual behaviors of Korean male adolescents. Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, 22, 43–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Levin, R. J. (2018). Prostate-induced orgasms: A concise review illustrated with a highly relevant case study. Clinical Anatomy, 31, 81–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Men’s Health. (2007). Orgasm at the gym? It’s the female coregasm! Retrieved on February 27, 2021 from https://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/a19540877/female-sexuality-the-workout-induced-orgasm/

  32. Mitchell, K. R., & Wellings, K. (2013). Measuring sexual function in community surveys: Development of a conceptual framework. Journal of Sex Research, 50(1), 17–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Muehlenhard, C. L., & Shippee, S. K. (2010). Men’s and women’s reports of pretending orgasm. Journal of Sex Research, 47(6), 552–567.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Oliva-Lozano, J. M., & Muyor, J. M. (2020). Core muscle activity during physical fitness exercises: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(12), 4306.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Opperman, E., Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Rogers, C. (2014). “It feels so good it almost hurts”: Young adults’ experiences of orgasm and sexual pleasure. Journal of Sex Research, 51(5), 503–515.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Pirzada, A., Almeneessier, A. S., & BaHammam, A. S. (2019). Abnormal sexual behavior during sleep: Sexsomnia and more. Sleep and Vigilance, 3(1), 81–89.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Pouillet, T. (1880). L’Onanisme chez La Femme. V. Adrien Delahave.

  38. Ramsey, G. V. (1943). The sexual development of boys. American Journal of Psychology, 56, 217–233.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Richters, J., de Visser, R., Rissel, C., & Smith, A. (2006). Sexual practices at last heterosexual encounter and occurrence of orgasm in a national survey. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 217–226.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Rosen, R., Brown, C., Heiman, J., Leiblum, S., Meston, C., Shabish, R., Ferguson, D., & D’Agostino, R. (2000). The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI): A multidimensional self-report instrument for theassessment of female sexual function. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 26(2), 191–208.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Rowen, T. S., Gaither, T. W., Awad, M. A., Osterberg, E. C., Shindel, A. W., & Breyer, B. N. (2016). Pubic hair grooming prevalence and motivation among women in the United States. JAMA Dermatology, 152, 1106–1113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Schenck, C.H. (2015). Update on sexsomnia, sleep related sexual seizures, and forensic implications. NeuroQuantology 13(4), 518–541. https://doi.org/10.14704/nq.2015.13.4.873

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Stein, J. H., & Reiser, L. W. (1994). A study of white middle-class adolescent boys’ responses to “semenarche” (the first ejaculation). Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 23, 373–384.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Tapia, F., Werboff, J., & Winokur, G. (1958). Recall of some phenomena of sleep. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 127, 119–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Tilt, E. J. (1881). A handbook of uterine therapeutics and of diseases of women (Vol. 581). William Wood & Company.

  46. Tolman, D. L., & McClelland, S. I. (2011). Normative sexuality development in adolescence: A decade in review, 2000–2009. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 242–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Waldinger, M. D., de Lint, G. J., van Gils, A. P., Masir, F., Lakke, E., van Coevorden, R. S., & Schweitzer, D. H. (2013). Foot orgasm syndrome: A case report in a woman. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10, 1926–1934.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Wells, B. L. (1983). Nocturnal orgasms: Females’ perception of a “normal” sexual experience. Journal of Sex Research, 9, 32–437.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Wells, B. L. (1986). Predictors of female nocturnal orgasms: A multivariate analysis. Journal of Sex Research, 22, 421–437. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224498609551324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Winokur, G., Guze, S. B., & Pfeiffer, E. (1959). Nocturnal orgasm in women: Its relation to psychiatric illness, dreams, and developmental and sexual factors. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1, 180–184. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590020076006.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  51. Youdas, J. W., Amundson, C. L., Cicero, K. S., Hahn, J. J., Harezlak, D. T., & Hollman, J. H. (2010). Surface electromyographic activation patterns and elbow joint motion during a pull-up, chin-up, or perfect-pullupTM rotational exercise. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(12), 3404–3414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Yu, C. K.-C. (2012). Pornography consumption and sexual behaviors as correlates of erotic dreams and nocturnal emissions. Dreaming, 22, 230–239.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Stephanie Dickinson and Greyson Foote for their analytic support. The authors also appreciate Church and Dwight Co., Inc., maker of Trojan sexual health products, for their generous support of the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. The sponsor provided feedback on the survey questionnaire (which was developed by the researchers); however, they did not participate in data collection, had no contact with participants, were not involved in data analysis, and did not participate in manuscript writing or editing.

Funding

The authors are grateful to Church and Dwight Co., Inc., maker of Trojan sexual health products, for their generous support of the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Herbenick and Fortenberry developed the survey. Fu and Herbenick analyzed data. All authors contributed to manuscript preparation, review, and approval.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Debby Herbenick.

Ethics declarations

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The research involved human subjects and, as noted in the manuscript, the institutional review board at Indiana University reviewed and approved study protocols and measures (Protocol 1207009071).

Informed Consent

Participants reviewed an IRB-approved Study Information Sheet and indicated consent to participate prior to completing the survey.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Herbenick, D., Fu, Tc., Patterson, C. et al. Exercise-Induced Orgasm and Its Association with Sleep Orgasms and Orgasms During Partnered Sex: Findings From a U.S. Probability Survey. Arch Sex Behav 50, 2631–2640 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-021-01996-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Exercise-induced orgasm
  • Orgasm
  • Sleep orgasm
  • Nocturnal emission
  • Probability sample