Surprising benefits of physical exercise on sex and orgasms

Understanding exercise-induced orgasms, “coregasms” and sexercises.

By Chris Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D.

Most people know that physical exercise is good for general health but very few know how important physical exercise can be for sex and orgasms.

Did you know that for some women physical exercise can induce orgasms?

A study done by Herbenick and colleagues at Indiana University and published in the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy on 370 women (age 18 to 63) showed that not infrequently (it took only 5 weeks to recruit those 370 women), women experienced orgasms (124 women) or sexual pleasure (246 women) while exercising.  Exercise-induced orgasms were triggered by  abdominal muscle exercises (51.4%), weightlifting (26.5%), yoga (20%), bicycling (15.8%), running (13.2%), walking or hiking (9.6%) and climbing poles or ropes.  In an interview, Herbenick called “Coregasm” the orgasm associated with doing core exercises.

Herbenick mentions that about 40% of women had experienced exercise-induced orgasm or exercise-induced sexual pleasure more than 10 times.  Also, sexual thoughts or fantasy were only rarely associated with the exercised-induced orgasms.

This means that physical exercise by itself induced sexual pleasure.

This can be easily understood thanks to Daniele Mollaioli and colleagues from the University of Rome, Italy (Reproductive Biology and Endocrinogy February 2020) who describe that physical exercise increases Nitric Oxide production in blood vessels which helps those blood vessels dilate.

Researchers aren’t yet certain why exercise can directly bring on orgasms in women, but one possibility is that the dilation of blood vessels during exercise improves circulation in the sexual organs, bringing more blood to the ovaries (stimulating the secretion of estrogens), the vagina and clitoris, therefore bringing sexual arousal and pleasure.

Mollaioli mentions that physical exercise also increases self-esteem which is important for a healthy sexual life.

In addition to self-esteem, research shows that physical exercise has a neurogenic effect on the brain, creating more connections between neurons (leading to better cognition and motor performance) and also has an antidepression effect which will make women more easily sexually aroused.

Exercise appears to have sexual benefits for both young women and perimenopausal women.

Research done on 214 perimenopausal women aged 40 to 55 years shows that women who are physically active have significantly less irritability, forgetfulness, headaches, vaginal dryness and have more sexual desire than inactive women.

Women are not the only ones who can enjoy the sexual benefits of physical exercise.

Harvard research shows that among over 22,000 American men aged 40 to 75 years, men that exercise on a regular basis have less erectile dysfunction than men who don’t exercise: Men who did 3 hours of rigorous physical activity per week were 20% less likely to develop erectile dysfunction than men who didn’t exercise at all (Journal of Urology).

It may be that since physical exercise has been shown to create widening of artery lumens (process called vasodilation) and creation of new blood vessels (process called angiogenesis), arteries may widen with exercise in the penis, creating some kind of Viagra effect, therefore creating better erections.

Several studies have also shown that regular physical exercise decrease anxiety which can also be one of the causes of erectile dysfunction.

Not only can regular physical exercise help with erections, it can also help with premature ejaculation.

A Finnish study suggests that men who exercise more have less premature ejaculation than men who don’t exercise (Journal of Sexual Medicine).

And then, there are sexercises… what are sexercises? They are physical exercises like pelvic floor exercises and flexibility exercises that can increase sexual arousal and quality of sexual orgasms.

Researchers at the Zurich institute for clinical sexology write that women who move their body with back and forth swinging movements of the pelvis and trunk during vaginal intercourse have a higher frequency of orgasm.

We could hypothesize that perhaps the back and forth swinging movements of the pelvis increase blood flow to the genitals.

But even walking will have a benefit on increasing blood flow to the genitals.  Researchers at the University of Texas describe that 20 minutes of walking or running on a treadmill increases neurotransmitters’ secretion like epinephrine and norepinephrine which in turn increase heart rate and blood flow in all organs including the genitals.

So, let’s start exercising every day and if the recommended 30 to 45 minutes of physical exercise per day is too difficult to achieve, start with one minute per day, and yes, if you’re a woman, do some abdominal muscle core exercises so that life can be more enjoyable.

About Author

Chris Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D.

Chris Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D. is an Integrative and Holistic Medicine physician, focusing mostly on public speaking. For 15 years she was in private practice in California, specializing in the combination of Western and Eastern Medicine and dedicating her life to treating and curing symptoms and illnesses that other physicians haven’t been able to address. She is known for her exceptional success in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, depression, recurrent infections, lower back pain, sexual problems, unexplained abdominal pain, and arthritis through methods she pioneered.

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