A recent study has promised scientific evidence that exercise -- yoga, crunches, cardio, etc. -- can bring a woman to orgasm without any digital (i.e. finger) or fantastical assistance.
The findings, published in peer-reviewed sexual health journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, came from a survey of 124 women who reported having had exercise-induced orgasms and 246 who said they've felt exercise-induced sexual pleasure.
But while the physical activities known to cause these intimate reactions were outlined concisely -- leading me to make an immediate appointment with my big, strong trainer -- the mechanics behind why they occur were left unexplained.
Researchers Debby Herbenick and J. Dennis Fortenberry found that abdominal work was the most common activity to induce orgasm -- 51.4 percent -- especially when using the "captain's chair" rack. Other women reported orgasms from weight lifting (26.5 percent), yoga (20 percent), bicycling (15.8 percent), running (13.2 percent) and walking/hiking (9.6 percent).
"These data are interesting because they suggest that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event, and they may also teach us more about the bodily processes underlying women's experiences of orgasm," Herbenick said.
Well duh, says sex educator and author Jamye Waxman, who apparently also is an avid cycler and yogi.
"Most of the women surveyed had orgasms while working on their abdominal muscles, which involves holding and tightening the core muscles that are closely connected to the pelvic floor," Waxman said. "Engagement of the pelvic floor -- especially repeated tightening and releasing of the pubococcygeus muscle -- is something the body naturally does leading up to and during orgasm. Women with the ability to experience deep vaginal orgasms might end up inducing the same act of 'enlightenment' at the gym that they have in the bedroom simply by replicating the muscular contractions."
The pubococcygeus (aka PC) muscle is found in both men and women, extends from the tail bone to the pubic bone, and is the muscle we clench when we have to pee and the bathroom line is a mile long.
Among other benefits, strong PC muscles enable more powerful orgasms, which is why some of you might hear sex educators and gaggles of women during happy hour gushing about how easy and essential it is to keep them strong.
So I asked my above-mentioned big-and-strong trainer to explain what we can add to our daily activity routine to keep our sex muscles tone and taut.
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"All muscles are surrounded by a layer of tissue called fascia," said Yancy Berry, an American College of Sports Medicine trainer who's also certified in pre- and post-natal fitness -- a time when strengthening the PC muscles is most essential for rejuvenating the vaginal walls.
"All fascia throughout the body is actually connected, so it could make sense that core and ab exercises would stimulate the muscles of nearby sex organs, perennial muscles and PC muscles specifically. As I brace my core right now, I can feel my sex organs contracting, too. I'm surprised that [researchers] didn't mention that this occurs during kegel exercises, in which the perineum alone is purposefully contracted. I've done over 1,000 sessions with female clients and, unless I'm oblivious, 'coregasms' haven't happened yet -- I can't wait, though! (Just kidding.)"
Kegel exercises are the PC muscle strengtheners you probably remember the character Samantha on HBO hit "Sex and the City" practicing at brunch -- "I'm doing them right now!"
Squeeze and clench the same muscles you use when you feel the urge to pee. Now let go. Now clench again. Rinse and repeat and you'll be well on your way to a strong vag.
And in the meantime, should you find yourself at the gym and approaching an O-face, don't be embarrassed. You're not the only one!