Three Different Sex Calculators, But Do They Use Fuzzy Math?

Two new sex calculators, two of which tell you how many calories you burn during sex, and one which tells you how many partners you may have been indirectly exposed to in your life, are drawing criticism for their accuracy.

The first asks you to enter your gender, your body type, position, style, and length of time doing the nasty. The calculator then gives you a number of calories the act burned off. Choices for body type are: Skinny Minnie/Slim Jim, Average, Curves in all the right places, and More cushion for the pushin’. Other choices are even more fun, though still safe for work.

The second sex calories calculator, as Huffington Post U.K. reports, requires you to enter gender and weight of both you and your partner, positions, and time. It comes from Superdrug, the United Kingdom’s second-largest beauty and health retailer.

The third calculator, from Lloyds Pharmacy, starts by asking if you’ve had sex with men or women. It then asks you how many partners you’ve had in a variety of age categories. Express reveals the point of the calculator.

“LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor explains that its Sex Degrees of Separation tool is not a diagnostic one, but instead simply highlights the true risk of contracting an STI.”

“The average Briton will be exposed to a staggering 3,917,918 sexual partners during his or her lifetime, the calculator has revealed.”

“Research released this week has also revealed that one in six of those sexual partners will have never had an STI test because ‘they don’t see the point.’”

But RH Reality Check, a site dedicated to reproductive and sexual health and justice news, attacks the calculator as “a harmful gimmick.” In an op-ed piece, Martha Kempner accuses the calculator of having an ulterior motive: “slut shaming.”

“The numbers go up so fast that a person who says they’ve had only one male partner who was between the ages of 16 and 19, is told they’ve actually had sex with 137,548. Such math is clearly irrelevant to calculating that person’s risk of STIs (which is pretty low) and can only serve to make her or him alarmed at how theoretically promiscuous they are. This may compel some people to take testing measures, sure, but it feeds into a narrative that makes people ashamed of their sexual behavior.”

So what do you think about sex calculators? Are they sex positive? Do they encourage you to use protection, assuming you are not in a monogamous relationship, or simply to have less sex? Does even burning calories justify the perceived risk?

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