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How Many Calories Does Sex Burn?


Exercise… for some it’s a form of therapy, a way in which to feel happy and confident, a release, or even just an excellent hobby. For others, it’s dreaded. The sweat, making time for it, the activity itself which may be mundane. 

But what about sex? Sex counts as exercise, right? We do burn calories during sex, after all. 

The big question though is, how many calories does having sex burn? Is it possible to have tons of sex in an attempt to get rid of your workout routine? Or is it merely a miniscule amount of calories that get burned during sex? 

Before we explore, it’s good to mention that sex itself is good for your health. It’s linked to reduced stress, improved mental well being, a lower risk of heart attacks, and the release of all kinds of feel-good hormones. Yay for sex!

Recently, a paper was published after a systematic review of 18 studies published between 1956 and 2020. These studies looked at a variety of different topics, only two of which studied the link between sex and calories burned. 

One study looked at a mere eight participants, seven of which were men. Their research found that, on average, 130 calories were burned during sex. 

The second study looked at 21 heterosexual couples. They concluded that men burned around 101 calories during sex, while women burned, on average, 69 calories during sex. 

After looking at these two studies, it’s fair to say that around 100 calories are burned during sex. But evidently, this number can change depending on one’s gender

Why is the amount of calories burned during sex higher for men? It was found that men’s average heart rate was higher than that of women. Again, we can’t focus too much on this, as sex is different for everyone.

The amount of calories burned, of course, also had the capacity to be higher or lower, depending on the position and/or duration.

Speaking of duration, it was said that, on average, heterosexual people spend around 20 minutes on both foreplay and sex. That isn’t a very long duration, is it? Nevertheless, calories lost is calories lost.

Which Sex Position Burns the Most Calories?

The aforementioned paper aside, we decided to dig deeper. We wanted to find out which sex positions accounted for the most calories lost during sex. And guess where we found it? In one of the most unlikely of places… a discounted online golf shop, GolfSupport

In their study, they gave 112 heterosexual couples a FitBit, and asked them to wear it during sex. The requirements were then to try different sex positions for a total of 30 minutes. With these results, they were able to come up with an average loss of calories per sex position.

Women: The Sex Position That Burns the Most Calories

The study found that The Squat sex position burned the most calories at 188 calories for 30 minutes. And for those who really immersed themselves in this position (faster, and at a more intense pace) were able to lose up to 224 calories. The men in this sex position burned, on average, around 50 calories.

squatting sex position

Having said that, there’s no real surprise here that this sex position burns the most calories for women, as it takes a lot of strength to do squats.

How to practice The Squat sex position? The man will lie face up on the bed and the woman will straddle him, squating continuously to achieve penetration.

Men: The Sex Position That Burns the Most Calories

The study found that the Butter Churner sex position burned the most calories at 211 calories for 30 minutes. (If you’re a Love Island fan, you may remember Callum Jones from season six of the U.K. reality show admitting that it was his favourite sex position.)

Interestingly, the Butter Churner sex position prompts a significant loss of calories for women too—179 calories to be exact. This made it the second most calorie burning sex position for women, in fact. That’s fair because, even though this position feels really good, it is an advanced sex position, and not for the fainthearted. It involves quite a bit of effort on both male and the female partners. 

brute sex position

Why does it burn more calories for men than women though? Because it allows the man to be more in control. He is the one that will be doing the thrusting. He can adjust the intensity and depth.

How to practice the Butter Churner sex position? The woman would require a decent amount of flexibility, as she will lie on her back with her legs raised above and behind her head. (We suggest doing a few stretches or a warm up beforehand.) After she’s in position, he will squat and penetrate her from above. In this way, it’ll look as though he is making butter in an old-fashioned butter churn. This is where it got its name, the “Butter Churner”. 

For men, the sex position that came in second according to calories burned, is the Standing sex position. Or, as Men’s Health likes to call it, the Yourself on the Shelf sex position. It entails him picking her up by her booty, her wrapping her legs around him, then him penetrating her. 

This sex position requires a bit of quad and glute strength on his part, which is probably why it burns around 198 calories in 30 minutes for him.

So, what can we essentially take away from this study taken from a random golf store? That the sex positions that involve squatting tends to burn the most calories! 

Is it time to stop the squats at the gym or at home and simply have sex with your partner for 30 minutes or more to burn calories? Possibly! But then again, each to their own!

With this knowledge, are you keen to try these sex positions? Or have you already tried them? We’d love to know your experience… 



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