I have nothing to say about the measurements, but ‘In other words, the total body energy used during orgasm is about 0.002 to 0.013 percent of a 550-calorie Big Mac’ is off by a factor of 100 because of that ‘percent’. Unless the orgasms involve small-c calories, in which case it’s off by a factor of 10 in the other direction.
is this what you’re all worked up about
Cecil has the math wrong. Food Calories are actually kilo-calories when converted to the “real” units. So the quarter of a watt is actually quarter of a kilo-watt or 250W.
Maybe he wrote this post-coitus.
I have merged two threads on the same column.
I want to thank Cecil (and Una) for the article on Orgasm power - it was written in the best tradition of the Straight Dope, replete with the highly accurate cartoon depiction. <wipes eyes> If only all my ignorance could be fought with laughter this way.
There was an unfortunate typo in the article.
Right. I get, at an average of 3.5 kcal per minute, that’s 240W.
If I recall right, a human body resting quietly typically uses about 60W of power (just for breathing, pumping blood, cellular maintenance, etc.). Seems plausible for sex to go about 4 times that. Since we need the first baseline 60W to live, I’d say sex uses 180W or so of power.
Looks like human muscles are about 20% efficient at producing usable mechanical power, so, ignoring inefficiencies in converting mechancial power to electricity, if one person cranked a generator with the same intensity they have sex, they’d get 35 W or so of power, almost enough to run a string of incadescent lights, maybe three lamp-sized LEDs (75 W equivalent), or a pretty dim standard incadescent.
Which also squares with my experience with hand-cranked generators hooked up to an incadescent bulb.
I’m going along with the theory that Una was trying to do some personal experimenting at the same time as the calculations, and was sadly a bit distracted…
[‘Unfortunate typo’? So that’s what the kids are calling it these days!]
Made me laugh. Has there ever been a username pun in a SD article?