Accidental Orgasms Are Real — Here’s How They Happen

A lot of us spend a lot of time trying to have an orgasm — but what about orgasms that happen accidentally? It's true: Sometimes orgasms happen in decidedly non-sexual situations. In one Reddit thread, people shared times they’d come accidentally: in the midst of a laughing fit, during physical therapy, while working out, and even while getting up after sitting in a hard chair. In fact, so many people have accidentally orgasmed while exercising that there’s even a nickname for it: a “coregasm.”
Accidental orgasms “can happen for many reasons, but mostly have to do with some type of unexpected friction on your clitoris or pressure on your pelvic floor,” explains SKYN Condoms Sex & Intimacy Expert Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality and host of the SiriusXM Radio show and podcast Sex With Emily. “Perhaps it’s the way you’re sitting while riding a bike or any sudden activity that causes you to flex your Kegel muscles. You also might be really turned on and think yourself there without realising it!”
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Think of accidental orgasms as “an unexpected, but intense sneeze,” Dr. Morse says. “In fact, a lot of women had their first orgasms accidentally and unexpectedly. It can happen in many ways — from horseback riding to exercising to having a sexy dream with a really happy ending (if you catch my drift).”
As for “coregasms,” there’s a long history there. Back in 1953, sexologist Alfred Kinsey (you know, of the Kinsey scale) found that 5% of women reported experiencing an accidental orgasm during exercise. A 2011 study of 124 women who had experienced exercise-induced orgasms found that 40% of them had experienced this type of orgasm on more than 10 occasions. Abdominal exercises were the most likely to cause an accidental orgasm, followed by weight-lifting, yoga, bicycling, running, and walking or hiking.
“When you’re exercising, you could be tensing and releasing your pelvic floor muscles, which are directly responsible for your orgasm. Not to mention, you are typically breathing deeper when you’re working out, which is also helpful in the orgasm department,” Dr. Morse explains. “You could be lifting weights, or doing crunches, and start to feel a very unexpected, but familiar wave of pleasure – so hopefully you have a good poker ‘O’ face.”
Aside from exercising, people experienced accidental orgasms when the bass gets turned up, while pooping, while trying not to poop, while riding a roller coaster, while using a weed whacker, and even while skydiving.
If you do experience an accidental orgasm, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. “With that many nerve endings, pressure, and friction down there, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often,” Dr. Morse says. “I say, appreciate whatever kind of orgasms come your way.”
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