MET for Vigorous Sex

July 14, 2010

Here’s a list of activities with their MET values. MET stands for metabolic equivalent intensity levels, which is a ratio compared to just sitting quietly doing nothing. For example, watering the plants has a score of 2.5, which means it requires 2.5 times more energy than a couch potato. Of course I quickly searched for sexual activity, which has scores for light (1.0) as in kissing & cuddling, moderate (1.3) and vigorous (1.5) sexual activity. It’s interesting to note the huge list of things that consume more energy than vigorous sex: showering & toweling off (2.0), getting dressed (2.0), billiards (2.0), singing in church (1.5), typing on a computer (1.5), watering the lawn (1.5).

We don’t know what they mean by “vigorous sex”, but they are equating it with merely typing this post! I think they are doing it wrong. I can’t imagine anyone would define “vigorous sex” as being less taxing than playing billiards or getting dressed in the morning. As an Internet Casanova, to me moderate sex means we are lying down the whole time. Vigorous sex means the mattress has been pushed off the bed, there’s a fair amount of damage in the room, and my girl is slowly crawling to the bathroom to wash up (sometimes she passes out on the way there). I’m dripping in sweat, out of breath, often with a pulled muscle or strained back. It requires quite a bit of energy to clean and jerk a 120lb woman when she’s crushing your skull with her thighs. For me vigorous sex is equivalent to wrestling, which has a MET score of 6.0. I assume I’m on the more conservative end, so most active people should be scoring closer to judo (10.0). Even a quickie takes more energy than showering. The authors of this report must totally trash the bathroom like drunken rock stars.

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