How Many Calories Do You Burn During Sex? Your Steamiest Question, Answered!


Whether we'd like to admit it or not, we've all wondered how many calories we burn during a heart-racing session in the bedroom. No, I'm not talking about doing crunches on the floor while a motivating YouTube clip plays in the background promising to give us rock-hard abs. I'm talking about sex, baby! If there's sweat, movement, and an increased heart rate, there's no reason doing the dirty shouldn't be considered a workout. And because it is a workout, we should care about the results, right?

Personally, I like to get credit for every single workout I'm taking the time and effort to do. Whether that means lifting weights for 20 minutes after a cycling class or taking an intense group fitness class, you better believe I'm logging it into my Apple Watch. Unfortunately, fitness trackers aren't the best at calculating calories burned during workouts, including sex, but if they were, well, I'd be pausing any and all steamy bedroom activities to click "Other" on the exercise tracker of my watch.

But because we can't accurately track any workout results purely based on a number on our wrists, we're turning to the experts for this one, in search of an answer to the steamiest and, frankly, one of the most important questions we've ever had to ask — just how many calories are we burning during sex?

Before we all sigh in disappointment at the results, let me preface this by saying not all bedroom sessions were created equal, and everyone knows that. Some are longer than others, some are more active than others, so this research is based on "average lovemaking." And while working out can have benefits aside from losing weight, like increased energy, disease prevention, and better sleep, sex also has unique benefits, so, the moral of the story is, you should definitely continue to do both regularly.

Back to the numbers — according to a study conducted at the University of Montreal, on average, men will burn 100 calories during a 30-minute session, which includes foreplay. As for us ladies, we reportedly only burn 69 calories (*insert childish joke here*) during the same amount of time. The discrepancy in calories is completely unfair, but Anthony Karelis, a professor at the University and one of the authors of the study, told TIME, "Men weigh more than women, and because of this, the energy expenditure will be higher in men for the same exercise performed."

The study was conducted based on the results of a portable mini SenseWear armband to observe how "perceived energy expenditure, perception of effort, fatigue, and pleasure" were exerted in comparison to 30 minutes of exercise on the treadmill with moderate intensity. While sexercise can be considered moderate exercise, the 30 minutes on the treadmill burned more than three times as many calories per minute, for women, 213 total.

If you want to determine how many calories you burn during sex, for women, multiply the number of minutes spent by 3.1, and for men, multiply the minutes by 4.2. Check out these expert tips for making your sex life as hot as it used to be, and let the games begin!