Are Coregasms Real? The Workout-Induced Orgasm, Explained

The phenomenon is all over TikTok.

by Hannah Jackson
Originally Published: 
Lindsay Hattrick/Elite Daily; Stocksy; Shutterstock

When Bell Popa went to the gym one evening for her regular post-shift workout, everything felt pretty routine. But in the midst of her ab exercises, Popa, 23, began to notice a familiar, tingling sensation deep in her core, below her belly button. It wasn’t a feeling she associated with the gym, but rather, something more common in the bedroom: an orgasm. “At first I was like, ‘What's wrong with me? What's this feeling?’” she recalls. “So I looked it up, and then I realized it’s a coregasm.”

Popa, a personal trainer and content creator in Florida, began to ask around, polling friends on whether they had ever experienced something like this. After getting mixed responses, she shared her experience on TikTok in December 2022, encouraging people to “save this video for the next time a man disappoints you.” And that they did — the video exploded in popularity, raking in over 8.2 million views, 1.4 million likes, and 200,000 saves. Popa wasn’t the first to look into this, either — back in 2020, fitness trainer Bec Donlan asked her Instagram followers if they had ever climaxed during a workout. Many responded with a resounding “yes.”

Popa’s TikTok has inspired countless other users to share their coregasm experiences and even tutorials — something she hopes will dispel any negative stigma. “I made the video because I wanted to make the girls who have these know that they're not alone, and that it's not something weird and something to be ashamed about,” she says. While coregasms are completely normal, per experts, there’s still a lot of myth-busting to do.

What’s A Coregasm, Exactly?

Coregasms are pretty much what they sound like. “When people are talking about coregasms, they're talking about an orgasm that has its onset from doing some sort of core exercise,” says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, founder of Femina Physical Therapy and author of Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide To The Sex Life You Deserve. Orgasming from a workout has long been acknowledged: Alfred Kinsey’s 1953 book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female claimed that 5% of women experienced orgasm during exercise, although more recent stats are much higher. In a 2012 study published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy, over 23% of the 530 respondents reported having exercise-induced orgasms.

There are multiple different factors that can contribute to this. According to Jeffcoat, coregasms can be a response to overactive pelvic floor dysfunction (also called hypertonic pelvic floor), which can stimulate a major nerve in the pelvic region that branches into the clitoris. Another possibility is the overstimulation of the transverse abdominal muscles — the deepest layer of ab muscles. When these muscle groups are overworked, this can cause contractions that may lead to an orgasm.

Jeffcoat notes that orgasms are unique to each person, so people may experience coregasms differently, too. While some may feel clitoral stimulation from exercise, others may come to find out they have vaginal coregasms. “Anybody that has experienced an orgasm has their own preferred stimulus,” she says.

How To Have A Coregasm

The most likely way to achieve a coregasm is through activities that engage the abdominal muscles, like crunches and planks. Popa says she usually gets them while doing leg lifts in ab straps, as seen in her TikTok. The comments section on her video is overflowing with other methods, including gymnastics, rope climbing, and hamstring curls. Tara Laferrara, 33, a personal trainer from Austin, Texas, gets them from “a lot of hanging exercises: leg raises, tucks, toes to bar, and some floor core work and pull-ups.” The 2012 Sexual and Relationship Therapy study also cites climbing and weightlifting as exercises that can induce a coregasm.

Coregasms won’t necessarily happen every time you work out — Laferrara only gets them when she does certain moves. “It doesn't happen all the time either, so it doesn’t mess with my workout routine much,” she says.

For Popa, coregasms are “not sexual at all,” and she doesn’t feel turned on by them. The 2012 study also found that the majority of respondents did not link exercise-induced orgasms and sexual feelings or behavior. However, some people, like Laferrara, do report increased sexual arousal from coregasms, which the study also recognizes as perfectly normal. Laferrara feels turned on after experiencing coregasms during a workout. “Honestly [it] just makes me a little horny, and then I have to pretend to the world I’m not horny at the gym,” she says.

Can Anyone Have A Coregasm?

While commonly associated with women and people who were assigned female at birth, coregasms are for everybody. People who don’t have vaginas still have pelvic floor muscles, as well as the pudendal nerve, two of the factors that can cause a coregasm. “Through the same muscle activation patterns, it could absolutely happen to men,” Jeffcoat says. “They also have a nerve that stimulates their analog to the clitoris, which would be the penis.”

Popa’s TikTok got attention from both sexes. “I got a lot of comments from guys who said they had had one before,” she says. For those hoping to experience a coregasm, that’s great news — but are there any downsides?

What If I’m Self-Conscious About It?

Coregasms aren’t usually something you need to worry about. “It's not a problem unless you think it's a problem,” Jeffcoat says. Your personal feelings on coregasms dictate how you should proceed. But if you find yourself uncomfortable or distressed, know that you aren’t alone. The 2012 study also found that many people who experienced exercise-induced orgasms reported feeling self-conscious about it.

There are plenty of techniques for managing an overactive pelvic floor (and reducing your likelihood of having a coregasm), including breathing, yoga, and physical therapy. “When I see people, it's when they are distressed about it, because it's embarrassing, and they can't control it,” Jeffcoat says. But if you’re happy with your coregasms, there’s no need to make a doctor’s appointment about an overactive pelvic floor.

For some, the feeling is a positive and even motivating factor in their workout. “When I first started getting into the gym, I wanted rock-hard abs, and then when I discovered this, I was like, ‘Wait, like, I don't even mind training abs now,’” Popa says. So if you’re also unbothered by — or enjoy — the sensation, then exercise away.

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