Can You Burn Kilojoules While Having An Orgasm?

We did the math.

Jordyn Taylor |

Having an orgasm is a powerful, full-body experience. Your muscles contract, your breath quickens, and you might even break a sweat.

Which is why you may have wondered at one point or another: Do orgasms actually burn kilojoules? Your heart’s pumping like you’re running a marathon and you’re clenching your core like you’re busting out an ab workout, so it’s got to be something, right?

Related: 9 Ways Men Can Make Their Orgasms Even Better

Determined to figure it out, I put on my Sherlock Holmes cap and reached out to Dr. Uchenna Ossai, a pelvic health physical therapist and sex educator for LifeStyles Condoms. Here’s what she had to say.

How many kilojoules does an orgasm burn?

To answer my question, Ossai pointed to a 2013 study on the number of kilojoules men and women burn during a full sex session. Published in the journal PLOS ONE, it found that the average male burns around 16 kilojoules a minute, and the average female burns around 12.

“With the average sexytime session lasting about 6 minutes, that only allows for 75 to 100 kilojoules,” Ossai reasoned. “So if we are looking at a measure of heart rate, and your orgasms are lasting anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds, you can expect a maximum kilojoule burn of 16 kilojoules [during an orgasm].”

Related: Married Women Orgasm Way Less Than Their Husbands, Here’s What You Can Do

Even if you’ve mastered the art of having multiple orgasms, you’re still not exactly on your way to working off that cheat meal. Sorry, pal.

But wait! There’s good news. Even if orgasms don’t burn many kilojoules, they still have plenty of health benefits. They can relieve pain, help you sleep, improve your cognitive function, and boost your mood.

“Orgasms are stellar tools in the never-ending battle with stress and anxiety,” Ossai said.

Related: Orgasm: 8 Strangest Side Effects That Can Happen After One

And here’s something you probably didn’t know: “Even though ejaculation is not necessary for orgasms, research does indicate that regular orgasms and ejaculation can be a protective factor against prostate cancer,” she added. (It’s true: Check out these studies from 2004 and 2006.)

The takeaway? Orgasms are great — just not in the kilojoule-burning department. That’s fine, because sex isn’t about working out, anyway. That’s what the glorious post-sex gym session is for.

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