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How Many Calories Do You Burn During Sex?

How Many Calories Do You Burn During Sex?

You’ve probably all heard that sex is great exercise, but how many calories do you burn during sex? Could you be getting all your cardio from one-on-one sexy time with your partner? We take a look at the facts about “sexercise” and how it could help you. Most studies have been done on heterosexual couples, but it’s fair to assume that similar calorie-burning stats will apply for couples of any sexuality.

How Many Calories Does Sex Burn?

It really depends on a few things, including:

  •         Your own weight and metabolism
  •         How long you’re having sex for
  •         How vigorously you’re having sex

Understanding how many calories are burned during sex is possible, thanks to several studies completed- for science! Possibly some of the most fun research ever done. A 2013 study monitored 21 couples (heterosexual) with fitness trackers while they were having sex. The research team at the University of Montreal then compared that with 30 minutes exercise on a treadmill.

The results were that men burn around 4.2 calories per minute and women 3.1 per minute during the average sex session. So, it’s clear that to get the best benefits from sex.  It’s about finding positions that both participants can enjoy for a good amount of time!

How Many Calories Does an Orgasm Burn?

What about the crucial moment of climax? Does that burn any additional calories? Surely that rush of hormones and extreme pleasure, plus your heart beating wildly and your muscles contracting, must burn an incredible amount of calories?

Sadly, no, not really. Orgasms, by their very nature, don’t last for longer than a few seconds. They only burn around 4 calories, so even multiple orgasms won’t massively boost the calorie-burning qualities of sex. Orgasms do, however, help with:

  • Reducing stress
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Help you sleep
  • May help with pain relief
  • May increase mental focus
  • In men, regular ejaculation could reduce the risk of prostate cancer

So regardless of how many calories you’re burning, having an orgasm is always a good thing!

Sex Positions for Women to Lose Weight

Sex Positions for Women to Lose Weight

Are their specific sex positions that help burn calories? Absolutely, because certain positions call for more muscle work and may help both partners last for longer.

“Woman on top sex” is a position where the woman has to use a lot of muscles, and this is great for both burning calories and toning up. The partner who is laid down seemingly doing much less work also burns more calories than you might expect! This is especially true if they are responding to the woman’s movements with thrusts of their own. With good communication, the woman can respond to her partner and slow the pace if orgasm is imminent, thus prolonging the sex session.

This position is sometimes called “Cowgirl” or “Reverse Cowgirl” if the woman is facing away from her partner (of any gender; calorie burning sex is for everybody!) and engages a range of muscles. Moving into a squatting rather than a sitting or kneeling position can burn up to 172 calories and gives the hips a great workout too.

When it comes to calories burned with sex, the more vigorous is the most effective. For those that enjoy the thrills of BDSM, you’ll be pleased to know that rough sex positions could burn more calories. Think spanking or struggling against bonds when tied up. For example, both dominant and submissive partners could burn around a hundred calories from an intense spanking session- just remember, consent is everything and always have a safe-word.

Sex Positions for Men to Lose Weight

Sex Positions for Men to Lose Weight

Doing it doggy style could burn between 150 and 211 calories per session for the person doing the penetrating, depending on the speed and intensity of the thrusting. Speeding up and slowing down throughout is the equivalent of interval training and an excellent cardio workout.

Of course, it’s not only men that can get the benefits of taking a partner from behind. Any woman can enjoy this position, too, with the aid of a strap on! The partner being penetrated (male or female) also gets a great workout. Being on all fours engages the quadriceps and the glutes, plus the core muscles see some action too.

Sex vs. the Gym: Which Is Better?

The number of calories burned during sex can be seen as an equivalent to going to the gym. But which is most effective? Can you replace a gym membership with regular activity between the sheets? Sex burns calories but only up to about 211 at its most intense. How does this compare with popular exercises?

  • 30 mins swimming (breaststroke) burns approximately 200 calories
  • 30 mins jogging/running burns approximately 300 calories
  • 30 mins walking burns approximately 150 calories

Sex burns about the same number of calories as a half-hour walk. However, this changes depending on your weight. The more you weigh, the more calories you will burn. But sex won’t ever burn as many calories as going for a run unless you’re having a marathon session.

When it comes to calories burned during sex, it might not beat a high-intensity workout or a long swimming session. However,  there are certainly other health and wellbeing benefits of having sex. Sex improves the mood and having sex once a week could boost the immune system and even reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. And, of course, it can increase trust and intimacy between you and your partner.

The calorie-burning effects of sex are a secondary benefit. Don’t give up the gym just yet, and keep enjoying having sex and the benefits it brings.


Many studies have looked at how many calories burned during sex and compared this to normal exercise. When it comes to sex, calories are burned more or less depending on the duration and intensity of the sex. Sex also has other benefits for health and wellbeing.

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