How Many Calories Does Having Sex Really Burn?

Science: answering the important questions in life. Kletr/Shutterstock

Biological Fireworks

Orgasms require a fair bit of energy to take place, and we’re not just talking about the stimulation required to initiate them. Clearly, though, the longer it takes to bring someone to orgasm using a variety of somewhat repetitive actions, the more calories the stimulator will burn – but what about the lucky orgasming person themselves?

Orgasms involve a rush of hormones, a spike in blood flow, the generation and the ejaculation of a variety of sexual fluids, all of which expend energy. On average, the process of attaining an orgasm can burn off between 60 to 100 calories, according to one source. Another claims just 3 calories are used.

In any case, most men post-orgasm have a rest or “refractory” period of time wherein they cannot achieve another until their wilted soldier has recovered. On average, this lasts 30 minutes. Certain women can have orgasms almost indefinitely during the same time period – so in terms of calories burned through orgasms during an amorous session, they definitely win this round.

Awkward Position

The science of sex is decidedly complicated. SOMKKU/Shutterstock

The more positions you attempt during sex, the more calories you’ll burn, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume the same position is held throughout. So what position flames away the most calories – doggy style, cowgirl, classic missionary or something risky sounding called the “passion propeller?”

As it turns out, there aren’t too many studies on the subject. Arming a passionate couple with high-tech cardiovascular monitoring equipment is difficult for a fair few reasons, so most publications have taken to giving rough estimates that, at a glance, appear to vary wildly.

A company named UK Medix, an online pharmacy, has for some reason designed a Sex Calculator. This digital curiosity claims to work out how many calories a bit of bed-based bouncing burns off, depending on position, your weight, and whether the participant in question is male or female.

It doesn’t appear particularly precise – when asked about weight, one option is “curves in all the right places,” which appears to roughly translate as “average weight.” For the duration dropdown box, it ranges from “slow and tender” to “fast and furious.” It is unlikely to be particularly scientific.

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