Picture this: you’re at the gym, stuck in a hardcore workout, when all of a sudden… you feel a hot sweat break over you. Not because you’re exerting your body, but because you’re… coming.
For some people, getting their fitness in is the equivalent of getting their freak on. For some people with vulvas, engaging their pelvic floor and stomach muscles can lead to an orgasm.
Over on TikTok, people have been sharing their experiences of arse-clenching and overwhelming orgasms at the gym. Known as a coregasm or a gymgasm, these are exercise-induced climaxes — and they aren’t sexual.
“They can be experienced without direct stimulation to the genitals, without any sexual arousal or even any sexual desire, thoughts or fantasies,” Georgia Grace, Normal’s sex coach, tells Refinery29 Australia.
The elusive O just got more mysterious. Grace shares that there isn’t any conclusive research about why coregasms happen, though research from 2021 found that 9% of surveyed participants admitted to experiencing this phenomenon.
“The best way to explain what it is, [is that] what you're doing [is] so physically demanding that you'd need to engage every muscle, including the pelvic floor muscles,” says TikToker Carolyn Silva.
Grace agrees and adds that people may also be experiencing physiological arousal that builds during exercise, like increased blood flow and a quickening heart rate. “High-intensity core exercises like planks, sit-ups, push-ups, leg raises, hip thrusts [can lead to a coregasm],” she says.
Silva points to spinning, weightlifting, gymnastic rope climbs and chin-ups as other exercises that can bring on a climax. While another TikToker, Annika Marleen, also swears by hanging leg raises, hanging knee tucks, crunches and flutter kicks.
“This is really the only thing that got me into the gym when I first started going,” Marleen shares on TikTok. “The key to having one is going very slow during your reps. Always remember, quality over quantity.”
According to her clients, Grace has been told that it feels more like an internal orgasm for those with a vulva, and those with a penis have touted that it feels similar to a prostate-stimulated orgasm (such as one from anal penetration).
About one in 10 people experience coregasms and within that group, there’s a variation in how people respond to it.
“It is important to remember that this is a physiological response — it doesn't mean you want to have sex with the gym! Some people love the sensation, others find it annoying as they just want to work out,” Grace says.
For those who do want to put a stop to their gym orgasms, Grace recommends bringing more awareness to your body when working out, honing into the feeling of arousal. “Often, when people are surprised by their orgasms it's because they don't have an awareness of what it feels like and they don't know how to down-regulate — and before they know it — they're climaxing at the gym.”
“When you notice the sensation, try to slow down or pause the exercise before you get to the point of no return. Some people may also choose not to do specific exercises in public — and save them for when they're at home…”