Does Masturbation Really Burn Calories?

Is it possible?

It’s no secret that masturbation can relieve stress, help you sleep better, and boost your overall mood. But did you know that masturbation can burn calories, too?

Anecdotal reports suggest that one solo session can burn, at a minimum, between five and six calories. It all depends on how long, hard, and fast you’re going at it, and if you climax.

But don’t cancel your gym membership just yet. Even if you ramp up the heat, what you burn won’t be enough to replace your regular workout.

Read on to find out why this sexploration can knock out a few calories and how you can kick things into overdrive.

What’s the theory behind this?

Think of masturbation as a workout. When you indulge in a little solo play, you’re getting your blood pumping and your heart rate up. The longer and more intense the session, the more calories you’re likely to burn. You expend the most energy when you climax, which means you may burn more calories during orgasm.

But — and this is a big but — masturbation isn’t as vigorous an activity as, say, partner sex or running on a treadmill. You’re unlikely to burn the same number of calories as you would by enjoying some foreplay with another person. For comparison, research shows that a 175-pound person can burn up to 200 calories during a 40-minute sex session.

What can you do to burn more calories?

The key to burning more calories while masturbating is to stay an active participant. That means really turning up the heat so you can get your blood pumping.

Duration, intensity, position, activity, and length of orgasm all affect how many calories you burn during masturbation.

Although slowly building up to an orgasm may seem like the way to go, being passive won’t get your heart rate up, no matter how long you take to masturbate.

Instead, focus on what you’re doing. Some techniques likely to burn more calories include:

  • moving your fingers faster and harder
  • vigorously using a toy on your clitoris and in your vagina
  • trying different positions, such as the pretend lover or squatting, while using toys
  • exploring your erogenous zones while you stimulate your clitoris and vagina

Are there other health benefits?

Burning calories isn’t the only potential physical benefit to masturbating. Studies and anecdotal reports suggest that a solo session may help you:

  • strengthen pelvic muscle tone
  • strength muscle tone in your anal area
  • relieve cramps and muscle tension
  • ease lower back pain in pregnancy
  • boost your immune system
  • induce sleep
  • enjoy better sex
  • lower prostate cancer risk

Not only that, but research has also shown that self-pleasure can also benefit your mental health. Masturbating may help you:

  • relieve built-up stress
  • improve your mood
  • calm down and relax
  • feel pleasure
  • release sexual tension
  • understand your wants and needs
  • explore different desires

And don’t forget: Masturbation offers sexual release without the risk of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

The bottom line

Solo play is a fun, natural, and safe way to learn about your body, practice self-love, and get a better sense of what turns you on between the sheets. The fact that masturbation can also burn calories is an added bonus.

Sure, you won’t lose five pounds from indulging in a little “you” time a few nights a week but getting your blood pumping and your heart rate up during a solo romp is good for your health. Plus, there are so many other benefits to self-pleasuring that there’s no reason for you not to enjoy it as often as you’d like.

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