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Ever Wonder How Many Calories You Can Burn During Sex?

written by Carrie Borzillo - Feb 7, 2022
medically reviewed by Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - Mar 22, 2022

Photo Credit: by Alex Green,
Photo Credit: by Alex Green,

Ever get frustrated because your calorie counter doesn’t have all the activities you do? Sure, you can easily track walking, running, biking, swimming, and just about every type of specialized workout from spinning to circuit training to P90X. The Noom diet app even has house cleaning, ping-pong, and hula hoop as exercise options to log. (Fun fact: Noom says 30 minutes of high intensity house cleaning can burn 195 calories!)

But sex is not yet listed in the popular fitness and diet tracking apps on the market right now. And let’s face it - sex can be way more aerobic than dusting! That’s where men’s health company, FROM MARS, comes in. The company has created an easy-to-use interactive sex calculator, or as they like to call it a “sexercise” calculator, to help you figure out exactly how many calories you’re burning from sexual activity. The data is divided up by position and duration of each position with how many calories burned for each. The calculator is available for free on their website here:

“Sex is a really great form of exercise. Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,” Joseph J. Pinzone, MD, CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness, told WebMD. On average, sex uses about five calories per minute and not only bumps up your heart rate but gives various muscles a stretch or workout.

According to FROM MARS, the top six sex positions that burn the most calories are…

1. The Butter Churner

The Butter Churner, which is also known as the Squat Thruster, involves the receiver on their back with their legs raised above and slightly behind the giver as the giver penetrates from above. This tricky move burns the most calories — 211 in a 30-minute session which equals seven calories per minute.

2. Standing

The second-best work-out between-the-sheets is not in bed at all. It’s the Standing position, which can burn 198 calories for 30 minutes of activity or 6.6 calories per minute. This position is usually done with the receiver standing facing the wall, or in the shower, and the giver penetrating from behind. While you might get a work-out, the data compiled by FROM MARS says that this position results in one of the lowest rates of orgasms for women.

3. Doggy Style

The third best position for burning calories is one of the most popular positions out there, Doggy Style. With the receiver on all fours and the giver coming in from behind, Doggy Style can burn 182 calories for men for a 30-minute romp, or 6.1 calories per minute. While this might not be the best work out for the ladies, it does have a 79% chance of orgasm, according to research.

4. The Kneeling Wheelbarrow

The Wheelbarrow is when the receiver gets on all fours and the giver picks them up by their pelvis, which takes a lot of core strength as the receiver must grip their waist with their thighs with their knees off the bed or floor. The Kneeling Wheelbarrow is a somewhat easier variation in which you keep your knees down. 30 minutes of this can burn 167 calories.

5. Lotus

Considered one of the more intimate and romantic positions, the Lotus position is where the giver sits cross-legged on the bed or floor while the receiver staddles their lap with their legs wrapped around them while facing each other. It’s also known as the “yab-yum” position in tantra and is used not just for sexual intercourse but for intimate breathing exercises to get closer to your partner. Sex in this position can burn 148 calories for a 30-minute session.

6. Eagle

The Eagle, also known as Spread Eagle, is where the receiver likes on their back with their legs lifted in the air and spread into a V, while the giver enters from in front and above. For those extra flexible, the receiver can grab their ankles while in this position. It’s quite the workout, which is surprising that it only lands at number six on the list of sex positions that burn the most calories. It burns 245 calories for a 30-minute session.

Surprisingly, the position that burns the least number of calories is the Cowgirl (aka, Girl on Top), which will only burn around 1.3 calories per minute or 39 calories for every 30 minutes. FROM MARS’ calculator includes a total of 12 positions where you can enter the exact time spent in each position to get your own calculations. Here is the full list of what each position would burn if you did it for 30 minutes:

The Butter Churner: 211

Standing: 198

Doggy Style: 182

The Kneeling Wheelbarrow: 167

Lotus: 148

The Eagle: 145

Legs Up: 127

Spooning: 101

Sixty-Nine: 78

The Squat: 50

Reverse Cowgirl: 48

Cowgirl: 39

Photo Credit: Sex Calculator,
Photo Credit: Sex Calculator,

But let’s be realistic here. Most people don’t have sexual intercourse in one position for 30 minutes. In fact, most people don’t have intercourse for 30 minutes. One recent study reports that the average sexual intercourse session lasts about 5.5 minutes. Another study showed that the average time a man can have intercourse before ejaculating is seven minutes. That said, further data showed that the desirable amount of time people want to have penetration is between seven and 13 minutes. Furthermore, yet another study by JOYclub reports that 61.9% of people performed an average of three different positions during sex.

So, realistically, if your stamina is up there, you might have actual intercourse for 13 minutes and change positions three times. If we break down the top three positions, according to FROM MARS’ data, that burn the most calories into a 13-minute sex session, it looks like this:

5 minutes of The Butter Churner: 35

4 minutes of Standing: 24

4 minutes of Doggy Style: 17

Total calories burned: 76

Now, let’s look at three of the most favored sex positions in that time frame and see how many calories you can burn with a more typical romp in the sack!

5 minutes of Doggy Style: 30

4 minutes of Legs Up: 17

4 minutes of Cowgirl: 5

Total calories burned: 52

If you’re not impressed by the number of calories burned during sex, sexual activity does have other health benefits to consider. According to research found by WebMD, the top 10 benefits of sex are: strengthens immune health, boosts libido, improves women’s bladder control, lowers blood pleasure, lowers heart attack risk, lessens pain, helps with prostate health, improves sleep, eases stress, and, yes, sex burns calories.


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