No Sex Required: Women Have Orgasms at the Gym
Despite attention in the popular media, little is known scientifically about exercise-induced orgasms.
Time to make up for December's bad habits by doing better in 2012. Here are the best tech tools to help you shape up and keep healthy. Who knows? You might actually keep your new year's resolution this time around. Sure, Basis can tell you time, but if you want to know your blood flow, motion, temperature, heart rate, sweat level and blood oxygen level, it'll tell you those too. With a plethora of sensors, the monitoring watch keeps an eye on your vitals, giving you an overview of health, sleep and exercise habits. Basis is an honoree for the upcoming CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Awards in the health and wellness category. Available for pre-order for $199. This article is part of a series about getting fit in the new year. Check out the entire Man up! feature here.
MotoActv Heart-rate Monitor
The MotoActv wants to be your personal trainer. This tiny device tells when you reach or leave your target pace, heart rate or PowerZone based on your programmed profile and goals. And to keep you going, it creates a performance playlist, pulling songs that you burned the most calories to. It also takes on a few personal assistant duties, including fetching your incoming calls and displaying on-screen text messages. Begins at $249.99.
Withings WiFi scale
For better or worse, scales don't lie. In fact, the Withings WiFi scale tells you the cold hard truth: weight, body fat percentage, and BMI. Each time you step on, it registers these stats and sends them over your home wireless network to a private Web interface. The dashboard keeps tabs on your progress with static and interactive charts. You can share this information with your doctors, personal trainers, friends and family. If you feel so inclined, you can even tweet your progress to the entire world. Available from ThinkGeek for $164.99.
BitGym Fitness Games
The average American household has 1.15 cardio machines according to the San Francisco-based health startup BitGym. But overwhelmingly, they're left to collect dust. Get ready to use the treadmill again because BitGym's iOS games are designed to keep you going. One of them, Trail Runner, shows inspiring landscapes as you're on an exercise machine, speeding up or slowing down based on your real-life workout performance. Game prices vary, but lite versions are available for free.
If you prefer to run outdoors, Runtastic is an app that tracks your location, distance, time, pace and calorie consumption. It has charts that show your speed, altitude, pulse and training history. The pro version includes voice feedback, live tracking, cheering, pulse-reading, geotagging, workouts, competitions, and an integrated music player. Its iOS and Android apps have the most functionality, but Runtastic is also available on BlackBerry, Windows, and bada phones. Prices vary by device.
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JayBird Freedom Earphones
The JayBird Freedom was designed for the gym rat. It uses Bluetooth connectivity, so there aren't long cords to trip over. The sound is big -- great motivation when your power track comes on. Plus, it's got enough variety of ear cushions, tips, and hooks to make sure you find the right fit; one that stays on when you're on the go.
Fitness Technologies Underwater MP3 Player
Music can motivate runners to go longer distances, why not apply the same principle to swimmers? Generally electronics and water don't mix very well, but Fitness Technologies' UWaterK7 was built for just that. The compact waterproof MP3 player debuted in the fall and will be making an appearance at CES in January. Also expected to make an appearance: the company's line of HD waterproof action cameras and waterproof stereo Bluetooth headsets. Available for $100.
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Mophie Outdoor Battery Extender and Maps
Grab your iPhone. You're going for a hike. Not only does the mophie juice pack plus outdoor give you extended battery life (about 2,000 mAh, or eight hours of talk time on 3G), a corresponding app gives you access to 5 million square miles of high-resolution maps covering the continental U.S. and Hawaii. Once you download them, you no longer have to worry about losing reception. Plus the app records your progress, speed, distance, elevation, and geo-tagged photos. Available for $119.95.
Drift HD Video Camera
A good workout doesn't always mean hitting the gym. Head somewhere beautiful and find a fun activity, like biking or snowboarding. Action cams such as the Drift HD can be a good motivator to go outside. They capture amazing moments in 1080p HD video, which, upon watching, will make you want to go right back outside again. The small, light camera can be mounted to helmets or strapped on wrists and can also be controlled remotely. A night mode also means you can record in dusty or dark conditions. Feeling motivated to get your workout on? Visit our Man up! feature, chock full of info that will get your heart pumping.
- Orgasms tended to occur after multiple sets of crunches or some other abdominal exercise rather than after just a couple repetitions.
- Exercise-induced orgasms may be one way for scientists, and women themselves, to learn about the process of orgasm.
Women may not need a guy, a vibrator, or any other direct sexual stimulation to have an orgasm, finds a new study on exercise-induced orgasms and sexual pleasure.
The findings add qualitative and quantitative data to a field that has been largely unstudied, according to researcher Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University. For instance, Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues first reported the phenomenon in 1953, saying that about 5 percent of women they had interviewed mentioned orgasm linked to physical exercise. However, they couldn't know the actual prevalence because most of these women volunteered the information without being directly asked.
Since then, reports of so-called "coregasms," named because of their seeming link to exercises for core abdominal muscles, have circulated in the media for years, according to the researchers.
"Despite attention in the popular media, little is known scientifically about exercise-induced orgasms," the researchers write in a special issue of the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy released in print this month. [5 Myths About Women's Bodies]
Pleasure at the gym
Herbenick and her colleagues used online surveys to gather their data, which included answers from 124 women who had experienced exercise-induced orgasms and 246 women who reported exercise-induced sexual pleasure. Most of the women, ages 18 to 63 and an average age of 30, were in a relationship or married and 69 percent said they were heterosexual.
The researchers found that about 40 percent of both groups of women had experienced exercise-induced pleasure or orgasm on more than 11 occasions in their lives. Most of the women in the "orgasm" group said they felt some level of embarrassment when exercising in public places.
The "orgasm" group mostly said during the experiences they weren't having a sexual fantasy or thinking about someone they were attracted to.
Of the women who had orgasms during exercise, about 45 percent said their first experience was linked to abdominal exercises; 19 percent linked to biking/spinning; 9.3 percent linked to climbing poles or ropes; 7 percent reported a connection with weight lifting; 7 percent running; the rest of the experiences included various exercises, such as yoga, swimming, elliptical machines, aerobics and others. Exercise-induced sexual pleasure was linked with more types of exercises than the orgasm phenomenon.
Despite attention in the popular media, little is known scientifically about exercise-induced orgasms.Corbis
Answers to open-ended questions in the survey revealed some interesting details, the researchers found. For instance, the abdominal exercises tied to orgasms seemed to be particularly associated with the exercise in which a person supports their weight on their forearms on a so-called captain's chair with padded arm rests and then lifts their knees toward their chest.
The open-ended questions also revealed the orgasms tended to occur after multiple sets of crunches or some other abdominal exercise rather than after just a couple repetitions; they also seemed to happen after the woman had really exerted herself.
"Many of these women talked about it happening even as children," Herbenick said during a telephone interview, adding that some indicated an experience at age 7 or 8.
"We had at least one woman in the study who was a virgin, and she really loved that she could have these experiences at the gym," Herbenick said. [10 Surprising Sex Statistics]
The researchers aren't sure why certain exercises lead to orgasm or sexual pleasure, though Herbenick hopes to tease out the trigger in ongoing research.
"It may be that exercise, which is already known to have significant benefits to health and well-being, has the potential to enhance women's sexual lives as well," Herbenick said, adding that it isn't clear whether these exercises could actually enhance women's sexual experiences.
The research has various implications regarding women's sexuality. For one, orgasm and sexual desire have topped women's list of sex concerns, with around one out of four women not reaching orgasm during sex. The researchers suggest "it may be that physical exercise has been overlooked in clinical approaches to women's orgasm."
Second, scientists have long debated the evolutionary context of the female orgasm and its link to sexuality and reproduction. However, if many women are experiencing orgasm during exercises not related to sex, then exercise-induced orgasm may reveal what orgasm does and does not have to do with sex or reproduction, the researchers note. [G-Spot: Science Can't Find It]
In addition, exercise-induced orgasms may be one way for scientists, and women themselves, to learn about the process of orgasm. "It may be one way for women to learn more about how their bodies work in that regard," Herbenick said.
As for how other scientists may react to the finding: "I think from having talked with colleagues, while some people have heard of these [exercise-induced orgasms], many of our colleagues haven't either," Herbenick told LiveScience. "So I think that's going to be interesting," seeing the reaction. She added that some might question, "'Is this a tooth fairy type of thing or does it really happen?' I have no doubt that it happens."
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