Charlotte Hannah
January 31, 2013

Sex Burns Calories: The Greatest Lie of Our Generation

Photo credit: SomeECards

Throw out your condoms and burn all your Enya albums. In fact, just go ahead and cultivate an addiction to online poker and late-night TV, because you just freed up your evenings. Or at least six minutes of each evening.


Because the widely held notion that a person can burn up to 300 calories per lovemaking session is false.

That’s right. Getting it on with a lover isn’t doing you any favors when you get on the scale. All that time you spent strengthening your relationship and having a good time with your partner were a huge waste. Your rolls in the hay weren’t doing double duty as a vigorous workout – so what’s the point?

Sex only burns as many calories as walking at a pace of 2.5 mph, says a report in the newest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. That means that during an average romp, which lasts about six minutes (feel free to insert your own joke here), a person might only burn 21 calories – just 14 more calories than they’d burn watching TV for the same amount of time.

But don’t swear off sex just yet. I have a solution.

I’ve got to assume that the six-minute figure only refers to penetration – surely the duration of the entire act, from seduction to post-coital spooning, must last longer than that. So, if you want to raise the amount of calories burned to the 300 you’ve been expecting all these years, you’ve just got to mix things up a little.

How about kicking things off with a jumping jack lap dance? Or a suicide run striptease? Certainly you could throw some squats in there somewhere. The point is, if you’re only doin’ it for the health benefits, you’ve got to employ some creative techniques.

Or you could just do it because it’s fun, not because it might help you lose weight.

Oh, and finally, I’d like to congratulate myself for making it all the way through this article without using the word “sexercise.” That is all.