Isn’t it great that amazing sex is also an amazing workout? At least, that’s what people always claim.
You know there’s nothing like a hot and sweaty session filled with acrobatic sex positions. But just how many calories does sex burn when you compare it to other workouts?
To answer your question, I had a good hard look at the connection between sex and weight loss and what all that rolling around really does to your body. So does sex cause weight loss?
You’ll find out below. And to further help you lose weight with sex I also list specific sex positions that help burn calories.
Let’s burn some calories!
What I Will Learn:
- How to Lose Weight by Having Sex
- Why Sex Is Exercise
- Sex Curbs Food Intake
- How Many Calories Does Sex Burn?
- The Sex Positions That Help Burn Calories
Keeping an eye on your weight and fat levels is essential for general health.
It reduces your risk of heart disease, strengthens your bones, and keeps your lungs healthy. Not to mention the effects on your self-esteem and confidence.
No wonder that a study published in the Obesity Reviews journal found that over 40% of adults worldwide tried to lose weight over the last five years!
In the ongoing battle with body fat, people try out all sorts of diets. From keto or intermittent fasting to weird ones like the charcoal cleanse.
Aside from that, the number of people exercising and working out on a regular basis is higher than ever. All to lose weight, look good, and be healthy.
But for some reason – don’t ask me why – people seem to forget about the most pleasant and fun workout of all: sex.
So how does it exactly work when it comes to sex?
In other words, how do you lose weight by having sex? Well, there are actually several ways in which sex can contribute to weight loss.
- Kinky cardio
This is, of course, the most obvious one. Sex is a form of exercise. It’s basically a more enjoyable type of cardiovascular exercise.
I’ll expand more on this point further below.
- Sleep better
As you orgasm, your body releases endorphins and oxytocin.
Endorphins are commonly known as the happiness hormone, while oxytocin is often affectionately called the intimacy or love hormone.
Together, they can act as a sedative, which means they can help you fall asleep better. That’s why you tend to pass out straight after sex; it’s your hormones!
Better sleep, in turn, has been linked to weight loss time and again. In fact, studies show that poor sleep is directly linked to a higher BMI and more weight gain.
- Feel better
Sex and weight loss are mentally connected as well. You see, studies have shown that sexual activity goes hand in hand with mental health.
You feel more in-sync with your mental wellbeing, you’re more in tune with your emotions, and you cope better with stress.
All of these mental health issues, in turn, have been linked to weight gain, partly because overeating is a common response to mental distress.
- And so much more…
These are just some of the ways in which sex and weight loss are connected, but there are many more benefits to getting hot and heavy with your partner.
For example, studies have shown that sex helps support your immune system by causing an increase in salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that helps fight off illnesses.
Other benefits are headache and migraine relief, reduced risk of prostate cancer, and – of course – the sheer pleasure you get from a good shag!
Sex is great, and the fact that sex can help you burn calories makes it even better.
But should you see sex as an exercise, or is that giving it too much credit? Let’s find out.
Before we get to the question of how many calories does sex burn, you need to bear in mind that sex can mean very different things for different couples.
Having a quicky during lunch break is not the same as hours of build-up passion and countless sex positions.
So the number of calories you burn strongly depends on what you do, and how long you do it for. I’ll give you some specific examples of activities and positions further below.
But to get back to the question of why sex is exercise, we just need to look at what science has to say about it.
An often-cited study in this discussion is one from 2013. A bunch of Canadian researchers wanted to get to the bottom of it, so they asked 21 couples (heterosexual, aged 18-35) to get busy once a week for a period of 4 weeks.
They had to wear an activity tracker while having sex. Sex included foreplay, intercourse, and a minimum of one orgasm for both partners.
The results? On average, men burned 101 calories while women burned 69 calories during sex!
On average, the activity had a higher intensity than walking, but it was slightly lower than jogging.
According to the researchers this classified sex as a moderate-intensity exercise.
To put it in perspective, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. So if you have sex for 2.5 hours per week you’ve hit that target!
So to answer your question: Yes, sex is exercise. And it doesn’t stop there…
Here’s an interesting extra fact: sex causes us to eat less.
It sounds counter-intuitive because don’t you normally get more hungry from a workout? I know, it’s weird, but there’s scientific evidence to back it up.
You see, sex releases certain hormones in your body. One of these hormones is the “love hormone” oxytocin.
Oxytocin levels skyrocket during sex, in particular during orgasm. As I mentioned earlier this causes you to feel sleepy after sex, but it does more than that.
This study, published in the Nature Reviews Endocrinology journal, found that oxytocin reduces caloric consumption.
The study found that higher levels of oxytocin caused people to eat fewer calories, particularly less fat, and it curbed post-meal snack cravings.
So sex can effectively curb your appetite, and thus help you lose weight.
By now, I think it’s clear that sex can help you lose weight. But how many calories does what sexual activity burn exactly? And how about different sex positions?
How Many Calories Does Sex Burn?
We already saw in the results of that Canadian study that, on average, men burned 101 calories while women burned 69 calories.
Of course, this is just a small group of people, and it doesn’t explain what specific sexual activities they were doing.
So, to try to get a better idea of what calorific burn to expect, I’ve listed five of the most common sexual activities below and how many calories you can expect to burn.
1 – Kissing (120-180 Calories per Hour)
Of course, you do wonder who manages to kiss for a solid hour… Still, it’s funny that kissing can help you burn calories, albeit quite minimal.
This study found that on average people burn about 2-3 calories per minute, which equates to 120-180 calories per hour.
It’s not much, but hey, every little bit helps. And if locking lips can help you lose weight than I’m all for it!
2 – Making Out (300 Calories per Hour)
This is a bit of a loose term because making out can mean a lot of different things for different people.
In this case, the same study that analyzed the kissing had a look at what some extra petting and touching did to the caloric burn, and it helped quite a bit!
On average, making out helped burn about 5 calories per minute, or 300 calories per hour.
3 – Massaging (80 Calories per Hour)
This definitely helps to turn the heat up, but in terms of calories, it doesn’t do as much.
On average, a hot and sweaty massage only burns 80 calories per hour or 1.3 calories per minute. But that shouldn’t hold you back from getting sensual.
4 – Giving Oral Sex (224 Calories per Hour)
This equates to 3 to 4 calories per minute, which is actually less than making out.
But even though it doesn’t burn as many calories, I would still pick oral sex over making out any day…
5 – Masturbating (300 Calories per Hour)
As with most activities, you can do this slow and gentle or quick and hard. So caloric burn will depend a lot on your wanking style.
However, on average, masturbation is said to burn about 300 calories per hour or 5 calories per minute. Not too bad for a solo workout!
Suggested read: Health effects of masturbation >>
Ok, I showed you how to lose weight by having sex, confirmed that sex is exercise, explained how sex curbs food intake, and gave you the top 5 sexual activities and their caloric burn.
Now, it’s time for the grand finale!
Let’s look at specific sex positions, and how much weight loss you can expect. Below, I’ve listed the top 5 sex positions that help burn calories.
1 – Standing (396 Calories per Hour)
The winner of all sex positions, or at least when looking at the most common positions, is standing up.
Of course, this also really depends on the weight of your sexual partner, as it makes quite a difference whether you lift 110 lbs or 220 lbs…
But overall, the standing sex positions burns about 396 calories per hour for men and 290 calories per hour for women.
2 – Wheelbarrow (334 Calories per Hour)
Always a fun position, and apparently a great sex position for weight loss!
On average, men will lose 334 calories per hour from this activity, while women use up slightly fewer calories with 298 calories per hour.
3 – Legs Akimbo (306 Calories per Hour)
The power here is in the pushup type of motion you’re making. Basically, you need to lift your body weight so you don’t squash your partner, so that’s where the exercise comes in.
On average, it burns a total of 306 calories per hour for men, while for women it’s significantly less with 222 calories per hour.
4 – Doggystyle (298 Calories per Hour)
Ah, the all-time favorite of many guys out there. And luckily for you, it will burn of quite some fat as well!
Doggystyle came in 4th with a total of 298 calories burned per hour. For women, it’s quite a lot lower with 222 calories per hour.
5 – Missionary (296 Calories per Hour)
Last but not least, the most classic position of all: missionary.
Just like with the legs akimbo sex position, you burn most calories because you have to keep your body lifted above hers. It’s basically like holding yourself in a plank position.
Total calories burned? A nice 296 calories per hour for men, but only 102 calories per hour for women.
Conclusion: sex and calories
And there we have it! So how many calories does sex burn?
As we’ve seen, it all depends on the specific sexual activity or sex position. Nevertheless, in general, I wouldn’t say it’s enough to call it an intense workout, so you might not want to stop working out just yet.
But with an average of 101 calories burned per session, it does classify as a moderately-intense workout.
This means that getting it on a few times a week can definitely help you lose weight. So next time your partner suggests going on a diet why not give her this article to read?