Sex myths vs facts
The truth behind some of the weird and worrisome things we think about sex and our bodies.
Myth: Sex burns major kilojoules
Truth: A 30-minute romp in the hay burns anywhere from 335 to 1255 kilojoules, depending on how long you go and how – ahem – active you make it. That may sound like a decent burn but the problem is the average sex session lasts just six minutes, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. During that short span, the biggest increase in your heart rate and blood pressure only occurs for about 15 seconds during orgasm, and then things quickly return back to normal. So if you’re burning 16 kilojoules per minute then that amounts to 100 kilojoules total – the amount in two peanut M&Ms.
Sex may not burn a lot of kilojoules – but sex can actually help you live longer.
Myth: Oysters and chocolate are turn-ons
Truth: While oysters do contain a lot of zinc, a mineral that sperm need, no study has ever shown any sexually enhancing effect from eating oysters, according to a study published in Sexual Medicine Reviews. Similarly, the researchers found no support for chocolate as an aphrodisiac either. Dark chocolate has been linked to several health benefits, including lower blood pressure and better functioning of blood vessels, which could enhance blood flow to the penis (important for erections) but you’d have to eat an incredible amount to see any noticeable benefit. That said if a food makes a person think about sex – whether because it resembles intimate anatomy, as oysters might, or even because the person believes it might be an aphrodisiac – then that food might become an aphrodisiac, says Fran Walfish, PhD, psychotherapist, and author.