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Shaping Up with Sex

Oh my! A few weeks back on Stay Sexy we ran a column on exercise and sex and mentioned Monique Hallowell’s book, Exersexology. We promised to try one of her “sexisodes” and report to you. Here’s the scoop, but first, a little info about the book:

Monique is a fitness expert who started an informal study by sending fitness professionals home with heart rate/calorie monitors to record their activities and the calories burned. As she explains, “within two weeks of the case study, some of the fitness professionals wore the devices while having sex.” What she found was that having sex burns about the same calories as many other forms of exercise.

She was inspired to pour her data into creating her new book, Exersexology, which offers twenty six different sexercises: cycles of sex positions, along with a report of the average calorie burn of participants who completed the cycle and shared their data. There’s one for each letter of the alphabet, from The A Game to The Zodiac.

Here’s what we learned: First off, the fun doesn’t begin when you start one of the sexisodes – it begins when you open the book, look at the diagrams with your partner and start talking about which ones you’d like to try. It’s like browsing through thumbnails of the Kama Sutra – an amazing array of possible sex positions, many familiar, a few we’d never tried, and probably a few that are reserved for a much younger set than us baby-boomers.

Just the planning phase was a heady mix of laughter and arousal – we very nearly derailed our plan to be planful. I’m sure if we hadn’t been so set on gathering specific data about calories burned, just scanning the diagrams would easily have led to a steamy encounter, which is a major reason we’re recommending the book for couples.

But persevere we did – ultimately selecting a sexisode we thought we’d (a) enjoy and (b) be able to complete. “Quintet” filled the bill pretty nicely – but we have to confess, we cheated. We tend to like a little oral play before going for penetration, and the five Quintet positions don’t offer any – so we chose to steal a position from “Famish,” which is all about the eroticism of your oral zone.

That gave us six positions, and we decided to engage in each one for three minutes. We just happen to already own a heart/calorie monitor, a purchase I made a while back after reading another book we’ll be blogging about in the near future. It’s a simple wrist monitor, made by Sportline, that requires occasional finger taps to record heart rate, and will calculate calories burned based on age, gender, elapsed time and average heart rate.

We decided hubs would wear the monitor for this round, since it looked like the positions would offer more exertion for the male than the female (this varies greatly across the sexisodes, so women get their turn, too). This sexisode was definitely aerobic – his heart rate stayed up about where it does when he’s on his stationary bike with his cardio workout, and at one peak moment J actually exceeded his normal workout data. At three minutes a position, we lasted just about eighteen minutes, and the monitor reported a total of sixty calories burned for his effort. This is pretty close to data reported by another source, that six minutes of sex burns twenty-one calories.

Are we going to skip the gym and confine our workouts to just the bedroom? Probably not – even couples much younger than ourselves might find it daunting to have sex often enough and long enough to meet all their workout needs. But was it fun, challenging, and a positive addition to our sex life? Absolutely!

We warmly recommend this book as a resource for amping up the spice in any couple’s sex life. We do have one caveat – the positions and illustrations are geared to a heterosexual couple, thus obviously focused on the sex acts that can be enjoyed by a male and a female together. Many of our friends, our characters, and our readers are part of the LGBTQ community. If this includes you, we encourage you to change it up to fit your needs, and we’re sure Monique would welcome feedback from you.

Monique has agreed to let us interview her for our blog, so we’ll be back with more about this sexy book later this spring. In the meantime – have fun, and stay sexy!


Stay Sexy
Does Sex Burn lots of Calories?
The Sexiest Thing…
Interview with Cassandra Carr
Erotic Fantasies
A Sexy Workout Fave


A Sexy Workout Fave

Here’s one for all you baby boomers out there. I was thrilled in 2012 to shed those final few pounds and reach the weight I enjoyed in my twenties, pre-pregnancy. Did I mention said son is now over thirty? So it’s been a while, and as any baby boomer will tell you, it’s not arranged in quite the same way, even though I’ve never not worked out. I have wonderfully strong abs, snazzy legs – and love handles at my waist, in spite of everything.

But I found the perfect move to whip them into shape, courtesy of Beyonce and Women’s Health Magazine: Side planks with knee tuck twist. Caveat – I am not a trainer, so if you want to do this move, go to the Workout Link and do exactly as they say! Essentially, the move is a side plank, upper arm bent at the elbow with hand on head, in which the lower leg comes forward in a knee tuck while the torso and upper arm bend so the elbow reaches toward the moving knee. Got that? Look it up :)! According to the instructions I read, Beyonce does ten reps on each side, three sets.

I lay on the floor on my side as instructed, bent my lower arm at the elbow and placed that forearm on the floor, raised my torso until my weight was only supported by my forearm and my feet – and promptly rolled forward, falling out of the plank. This, in spite of years of regular cardio workouts and occasional yoga. Definitely some muscles in need of a new workout!

So the first hurdle was strength and balance. Needless to say, once I got the balance thing figured out, adding the knee tuck (never mind the torso bend!) immediately rolled me forward flat on the floor again. Or sometimes, backwards. Three sets of ten reps? Not gonna happen.

Start small is my main motto – and truly, that is what I did. My first day, just getting one rep accomplished on each side was a major miracle. I wisely skipped the next day. Day three – still just one on each side. Day five I was finally able to bump it up to two. And so it went, a little more each day, until I could crank out a full ten reps on each side without falling out of the plank.

Am I there yet? Way improved – and in any case, it’s a process. But when I put on my low-rise jeans, that irritating roll of flab over the belt is missing, so I’m happy, and that’s motivation to keep at it.

One more thing: Did you notice my main motivation for adding this routine to my workout was vanity? Guess what – it doesn’t matter what it takes to get you started on something that’s good for you. Turns out this routine has fabulous payoff in the bedroom! It works your obliques and strengthens your core, so you’ll experience improved stamina, not to mention better Kegel squeeze power. And yes, my husband noticed – he loves it. Try it out – your sex life will be glad you did.

What’s your favorite workout move? We’d love to hear about it.

Have fun – and Stay Sexy!


Stay Sexy: What’s your erotic fantasy?

If you’re an erotic romance reader, we already know you like to fantasize – let’s face it, a major reason any of us read erotic scenes is to identify with one or more characters and ride the fantasy of exquisite, sizzling sex to its inevitable mind-blowing conclusion.

But here’s a thought, stimulated by a blog I happened on yesterday: How about fantasizing yourself as the star of your very own erotic movie, written, cast, directed and experienced in vivid detail by none other than you?

Eva Blake’s post on Liberating Desire got me thinking. What she’s proposing sounds a lot like the kind of bedroom excitement that set my husband and myself on the path towards writing erotic romance. We already enjoyed watching adult films as an extra touch to heighten arousal for our times together, and we started talking about which stars turned us on most, what we’d love to have them do, what story lines we liked, what qualities in the films turned us on or off. It wasn’t long before we were putting ideas on the page about what we’d love to watch or be part of and writing our own stories. Did we fantasize from the start that they’d be published? No – but all dreams start somewhere. Who knows where your fantasies can lead you?

So here’s our Stay Sexy advice for today: Let your fantasies fly. Reap the rewards of filling out the fantasy in all the details you can think of. Give all five of your senses a treat – what do you see, hear, smell, taste and above all touch? What do you feel touching you? How does the scene shift as you direct it? Does someone or something surprise you?

Maybe you won’t end up putting the fantasy on a page, but you will create an erotic experience you can revisit again and again, with or without a partner, and that can definitely help you stay vibrant, healthy, excited and sexy.

Just for fun, we thought we’d keep you guessing whether any or all of the following fantasies we’ve written came true for us:

a) enjoying sensual touch from three pairs of hands, in Shelia’s Pre-nups

b) having a splendid shipboard affair on a cruise, in Meghan’s Playhouse: April Swings

c) making love outdoors under the northern lights, in Colors of the Night

Did we get you thinking? What special ingredient would you include in your fantasy scene? We’d love to hear!

Have fun, and stay sexy!


© 2020 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.
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