Tickling the pickle, jerking the gherkin, bashing the bishop, polishing the pole…yes, we’re going there: masturbation. It might get your heart rate up but does masturbation help you lose weight?
Don’t deny it – we’ve seen the stats and we know you’ve searched for it on MVF. It’s okay to be curious and we’re not here to judge you. Often we associate exercise with the pain of getting that last rep or running just a little bit further rather than the pleasure of well, whatever you get up to in your own time, but are we all fools, busting our asses at the gym when we could be burning calories in other, more pleasurable, ways?
Does masturbation help you lose weight?
Ramani Durvasula PhD suggests that yes, masturbation can actually help you, but probably not in the way you were expecting. It’s all about triggering your brain’s reward system – you want [insert favourite food here]. You can’t squeeze [favourite food] into your diet today or you know that [favourite food] is bad for you, so you’re trying to build healthy habits by avoiding it. You pick up [favourite food] regardless but instead of mindless munching, you put it back where you found it and you go and treat yourself in another fashion (if you know what I’m saying) as a reward.
Now every time you pass up on [favourite food], you’ll associate it with how much fun you had alone. That’s the theory, anyway. Now Durvasula appreciates that if the snack tempting you are the doughnuts being handed around the office; then it’s probably not the greatest idea to whack it out at work, but set an appropriate time and place to allow yourself to have your reward. She also says your reward could be something else unrelated to food but if you’re gonna reward yourself, reward yourself right. (Find out more in her book)
Does this mean I can skip the gym?
Now if you were hoping we’d tell you to skip the gym and stay in bed, I’m sorry to say that the calorie burn is just incomparable. Apparently, (although I must admit, sources on the topic were few in number) coming to climax burns approximately 3 calories – allowing you to indulge in three-quarters of a gourmet Jelly Belly jelly bean. 30 minutes of vigorous partner play can burn up to 63 calories (half a corn on the cob, not even worth the effort locking the door, surely?) so solo, you’d probably need to get extremely energetic and treat it like a marathon rather than a sprint.
Reaching the big O does also help you release another O – oxytocin, AKA the ‘love hormone’. We get a rush of oxytocin when we have intimate contact, whether it’s kissing and cuddling, doing the deed or going solo, if you will. Multiple studies have shown that oxytocin is linked to reducing cravings for junk-food, reducing binge eating and generally reducing calorie intake (Found here, here and here, amongst many others).
So I suppose the time chosen to jiggle your junk could be imperative here. Are you gonna save that reward for later like the Doctor said? Or perhaps you can preempt those work snacks by topping up that (self-)love hormone before heading out the door.
So in conclusion, the physical act of masturbation is not going to make much of a difference in your weight loss, even if you were planning on a PB for endurance. That being said, if you need a little bit of distraction, an intimate pat on the back for not giving in to those bad foods or you want to go a little bit Pavlov and associate ignoring treats with a bed-load of pleasure, it may just well work for you.
On the flip side, maybe you need to think about why you’ve considered masturbation to be an effective weight loss initiative and maybe look for an alternative (30 minutes of proper cardio exercise is going to trump those 63 calories). If your problem is that exercise is a chore, then spend some time finding something that you enjoy. It’ll be much more productive than getting friction burn from trying to up those 3 measly calories.
Hey, hey – I don’t mean to be a killjoy, if you were hoping that a bit of fun could do double-duty for you, that is absolutely fair enough but keep your expectations realistic…and maybe leave the little guy alone for a little while. Now let’s never talk of this again.