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Tímea Krauszová
February 6, 2022, 10:19pm
Reading time: 5:31

Sexual Positions In Which People Usually Burn the Most Calories

Some of them do not bring so much pleasure, especially to women.

Tímea Krauszová
February 6, 2022, 10:19pm
Reading time: 5:31
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Many people get a real sweat on during sex. But is it comparable to more traditional sports activities like running or weight lifting? According to a research by the British manufacturer of erotic aids Lovehoney, up to 45% of respondents consider sex a form of training. Some even monitor their calories and heart rate during sex with a smartwatch.


Sexual activity, of course, is also of interest to scientists who have already calculated the average number of calories we burn per minute of sex. That number is probably lower than people trying to increase their energy output are hoping for.


If you're just trying to lose weight, you'll find out in this article whether you can count sex as a calory-burning exercise at all or if it's better not to rely on it to get your workouts elsewhere. According to experts, sex is the equivalent of light to medium activity. Men tend to burn 4.2 kcal and women a little less, 3.1 kcal, per minute.

3 - 4 calories per minute

These figures are based on a small study from 2013, according to which the average man burns 101 kcal and the average woman 69 kcal during sex. For a better idea, an ordinary McDonald's cheeseburger has 303 calories per serving, so the average man burns it for three rounds of sex. A woman would typically need at least four fucking minutes. These are by no means exceptional numbers. (Although, of course, food isn't only about the calories, but also nutritional value, and they're not all meant to be burnt.)


The measurements in the study compared values ​​in healthy heterosexual couples, which measured energy expenditure first during sex (lasting about 25 minutes) and later on a treadmill (for 30 minutes).


Source: Unsplash/Dainis Graveris


Researchers have defined one round of sex as having to include foreplay, sexual intercourse, and orgasm of at least one of the partners. The intensity was 6.0 MET for men and 5.6 MET for women. (MET is the average metabolic equivalent, values ​​range from 0.9, the value in sleep, to 23, which is running at a speed of 22.5 km / h).


In comparison, on the treadmill, men burned 9.2 kcal per minute, women 7.1, which is twice as much as during sex (three times more for women). They also had higher MET, men 8.5 and women 8.4. Therefore moderate-intensity half-hour cardio burns more calories than moderate-intensity sex.


According to associate professor Milan Sedliak from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports at Charles University, relying purely on sexual activity is inefficient if a person is trying to lose weight. "In my opinion, active sex is associated with calorie expenditure, but it's very unpredictable in terms of frequency, duration, and course," he told us. According to this study, energy expenditure during sex is therefore negligible.


Theoretically, you can improve the intensity in bed, but you can't increase it indefinitely if you also want to enjoy the other person's intimacy, connection, and closeness. According to Professor Debby Herbenick of the University of Indiana Medical School, changing the way people have sex would be challenging so that the energy expenditure is close to what we burn during regular strength training. "There are an infinite number of sexual positions, and I encourage people to choose the ones that bring them and their partners pleasure. Not the ones that burn five or ten extra calories," Business Insider quoted her as saying.

Measuring sex performance is challenging

According to another 2013 study, an average 30-year-old will burn 21 calories during six minutes of sex. At the same time, researchers consider five to six minutes to be an average length of sexual intercourse itself (we are only talking about the penetration of the vagina through the penis, no study has examined other forms of sexual activity). Thus, energy expenditure is comparable to a walk, and even according to the study's authors, sex is not something that people should focus on and rely on in their weight loss journey.


Source: Unsplash/Dainis Graveris


Associate Professor Sedliak says these measurements are inaccurate, and any domestic experiments will only give you reference numbers. "The measurements were made using an accelerometer placed on the arm. If the shoulder doesn't move in a particular position, but the rest of the body does, it underestimates the activity. If only the shoulder moves, but the rest of the body does not, it overestimates a lot. So it's very location-dependent," explains the sports nutrition and exercise expert.


In addition, during strength training or cardio, scientists usually measure the heart rate, which they then compare with the pulse during sex, which can be slightly increased mentally. In that case, the result is overestimated.

The best positions for weight loss

Several websites try to profit from the idea that if you have sex "right", you can burn as many calories as in a gym. For example, the FROM MARS sex calculator calculates how much you will burn during sex in a particular position. According to the website's description, this is a selection of positions where you have the best chance of losing centimeters at the waist.


Favorite is when the woman lies on her back with her legs raised above her head and the man above her, penetrating her from above. If they make it to a full half-hour, according to these calculations, they might burn up to 211 calories (7 kcal per minute).




In second place is sex "on a stand", in which a man stands on his feet and lifts a woman off the ground (see picture below). In 30 minutes of such pleasures, you will burn an average of 198 kcal. However, according to research, this position is the least orgasmic for women: only 17% reach the top of such sex.




The "fitness positions trilogy" is closed by doggy style, one of those that also dominates the rankings of pornography websites. Men typically burn 182 kcal, and FROM MARS indicates that up to 79% of women reach orgasm in this position.


Of course, the biggest disadvantage of this website is that it focuses on the male experience of penetration and doesn't take reversed roles into account (in the case of the woman being more active and dominant) or sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex. However, this is the disadvantage of almost every website with a sexual performance calculator.


Dr. Felix is an exception. Their calculator distinguishes not only by gender but also by the weight of both partners in the calculations. You choose 15 popular positions, which you can freely combine, and enter the length of time you spend doing them. In addition, for some activities, such as oral sex, you can choose whether you perform them on your partner or if you accept them, and your energy expenditure is adjusted accordingly.

As an example, we clicked on an 80-pound man and a 65-pound woman. We "programmed" a sexual experience: 5 minutes of spooning (so a big spoon is a man), 3 minutes of oral sex (received by a man), 3 minutes of missionary position, and 4 minutes the position in which the woman has her legs up in the air.


Men burn 59 calories this way, and women burn 36 calories in 15 minutes of activity. For both, most of the output is associated with spooning and the last position. While men work the shoulders, chest, and middle of the body, women sweat most when activating the buttocks, thighs, and abdomen.

Source: Dr. Felix


If you want to take your performance to the next level, the British retailer Superdrug, which sells cosmetics and health products, has created - allegedly based on scientific knowledge - an almost 23-minute soundtrack to sex. The music with the distinctive name Sexercise has the task of tuning in to lovers and helping them enjoy intimate moments in a rhythm to achieve higher activity, which will also burn more calories.


But don't forget that burning calories may not be your primary goal every time you want to have sex with someone. This can affect the relationship itself in the long run. Not to mention that most creators want to monetize the results of such a calculator in a way.


Virtually every site that offers some way of calculating energy expenditure during sex also offers or links to products to help with sexual dysfunctions (such as erection support).



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Thumbnail: Unsplash/ Majestic Lukas, Womanizer Toys
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