This sexy book was an accident! Fitness expert Monique Hallowell sent fitness professionals home with heart-rate/calorie monitors to study calorie burn during everyday activities – but they left them on while having sex, and her creative mind produced a sexy book out of the data!
Today we’re thrilled to welcome Monique Hollowell, author ofExersexology, for an up close interview. We met Monique at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas in January and got excited about the erotic possibilities of her concept, so we bought the book, loved it, and invited her to tell us more:
Adriana: Welcome, Monique! For openers, could you briefly describe the concept of your book, Exersexology?
Monique: Absolutely! Exersexology is an A-Z Guide to calorie burning sex. The book is filled with over 200 sexual positions which are arranged in twenty-six sexisodes (position chapters). Each sexisode ranges between 4-21 positions. The sexisodes are very user friendly and are formatted in a circle from start to finish. Once the circle is complete, the approximate calories are burned. The book caters to all populations with sexisodes ranging from low intensity to high intensity sexual position combinations (45-303 calories).
Adriana: I’m familiar with how this all got started, but could you let our readers in on the story of what inspired you to develop Exersexology?
Monique: Actually Exersexology came about by accident. I was conducting a general calorie burn study with fitness professionals. The information I was collecting was actual calorie burn while exercising, gardening, house chores etc., but to my surprise the participants were leaving the calorie counting devices on all night including the times they were having sex! This spread like wild fire and I began getting more data on sex calorie-burning than the other activites. Years passed and I hosted an internet radio show on fitness and sex, and thirty minutes after the show aired we had thousands of podcast downloads, it was our #1 rated show. At that time, I know there was a huge curiosity, so I did research, conducted my own case study and created Exersexology – The study of calorie burn during sex.
Adriana: I love that it was accidental! Still, it’s quite a leap from “let’s look at how many calories we burn having sex” to creating the fabulous cycles of “sexisodes,” as you call them, and pulling together the marvelous illustrations of each of the twenty-six cycles. Can you let us go behind the scenes? How did you create the book?
Monique: Wow, believe me it was so fun, but it was a lot of work! The concept began early 2011 and the book was launched January 2013. So it took two years to create the sexisodes, conduct the case study, gather the data, and publish the book. I first came up with the A-Z concept because it’s simple and familiar to everyone. Next, I started creatively writing and giving each sexisode a chapter name from the alphabet (for example, I is Infinity) with a small description. Then, the sexual combinations were based on the theme of the alphabet letter. The positions are all live pictures, which were then recreated by a graphic artist into silhouettes. After couples were chosen and the data was collected from the participants (utilizing heart rate monitors while performing the sexisodes), the book was then pieced together detail by detail to create the final project.
Adriana: One of the things we noticed is that the book doesn’t report how long couples spent going through the various sexisodes. Is that data still available to you? Do you have a sense for whether some sexisodes burn more calories per minute than others?
Monique: Yes, the time was not added because the duration was different for each couple, but yes I still collected the data on time. The significant data was the average calorie burn each person had after completing the circle. The foundation of the data was based on research indicating that thirty minutes of sex burns from seventy five to one hundred fifty kcals.
So, for example letter S Straight Shooter is only 5 positions which will last you about 15-18 minutes, thus the calorie burn being lower at Approx. 54 calories. Whereas a sexisode such as B Bootcamp is filled with 15 challenging positions ( which require greater transition time), gives an approximate burn of 303 kcals and takes 45min-1 hour. From my data, the average position takes anywhere from twenty seconds to two minutes to complete, i.e, getting into the position, performing the position and transitioning out of the position.
Adriana: Of course some couples might choose to linger more than two minutes performing a position…As you know, we always try to ensure that whatever we share with readers includes accurate data, and we get concerned when we see others reporting misinformation. That’s what led us to take on the sex doesn’t really burn very many calories news item a couple months ago. Have you run into this? If so, how do you typically respond?
Monique: Fortunately, I have not run into doubters. It’s simple – people can put on their own heart rate/calorie monitor have sex for 30 minutes and get the facts immediately. First, when the information stated above was reported it was reported in combination with effective ways to lose weight for obesity etc. As a fitness professional for over thirteen years, sex is not the first thing I would recommend to burn the most calories and lose weight. Sex is an addition to what you’re currently doing. Next, the study that reported sex hardly burns any calories was done in the 1980’s with ten men in their mid thirties. For whatever reason, their sex episodes only lasted six minutes, and the average calorie burn was 21 calories. The standard data on all exercise is usually noted in thirty minute intervals. Therefore, from the study mentioned above, if the men would have lasted thirty minutes, they would have burned 105 calories.
Adriana: I love that you said sex is an addition to what you’re currently doing :). It wouldn’t be the main tactic for losing weight or getting your heart-rate up, but it’s great to know it makes such a positive contribution to those goals!
When you created the book, how were you hoping it might be used? Who do you hope purchases the book, and what are you hoping they do with it?
Monique: The case study participants in the book were couples between the ages of 35-65, but it’s not limited to those demographics. The book is truly for everyone. The book should be used as an extra tool in your sex tool box. Sex should not be so serious, Exersexology should open up great erotic conversation, provide some creativity to do different things and most important laugh a lot and have fun!
Adriana: That’s exactly why we got so excited about it when we saw your display at the Adult Entertainment Expo. As you know, we’re authors of erotic romance, and we write our weekly Stay Sexy column focused on staying vibrant, healthy, excited and sexy across the life cycle. So we’re especially excited about the erotic pleasure couples might enjoy just from leafing through these pages and trying out the cycles of positions, whether or not they record their calories. Have you received any feedback of this nature from your participating couples?
Monique: I ask for data all the time ( which can be posted on my my blog at www.exersexology.com), but many of us are so secretive about our sex life! I have not received a lot of calorie burning data, but I’ve received very positive feedback of how fun the book has been and how it’s added more creativity to sex lives.
Adriana: As we described in our blog post Shaping up with Sex, we had a fun time with the Quintet sexisode. Are your participants reporting any favorites? May I ask if you have a personal favorite?
Monique: Earth, Joule, Lava and Quintet have been the participants favorites. I am a deep emotional lover so I enjoy forward facing positions (My zodiac sign is Cancer, of course). My personal favorites are Earth and Yin N Yang, but as a fitness professional I often enjoy Crosswalk and Voltage. During the case study, Straight Shooter was the most repeated sexisode, which I believe was because all the positions are the most common (missionary, doggy style etc). Gravity was noted to be the most difficult (this includes upside down positions) and Infinity was the most pleasurable and longest duration (takes about 90 minutes).
Adriana: Ah, a fellow Cancer – no wonder you created the book! From your website and your publicist’s newsletters, it looks like the book is creating quite a stir. What are some of the highlights you’ve experienced as you market the book?
Monique: At the Adult Entertainment Expo we sold out of all our books! I had the exciting opportunity to go down to LA and speak on Playboy radio w/ Tiffany Granath, and I’ve had three TV appearances in addition to many inquiries about translating the book in different languages.
Adriana: Do you plan a follow-up book, or any revisions? Are you still interested in collecting data from couples who try out the sexisodes? And, if so, where would an interested couple go to report their data?
Monique: Yes, I feel like the sky is the limit withExersexology. I do plan on writing a follow-up book, possibly a How-to manual, but nothing immediately since the book just launched. Yes, I am still collecting data and if you have any please go to www.exersexology.com and click on My Blog.
Adriana: And of course we’d like to know, what is next for you? Where do you see this going?
Monique: I’m so excited about this project. It’s not just a book to me. I’m hoping this starts a new wave of abundant possibilities and research in regards to fitness and sex! I’ve been approached to do many articles and more TV, possibly a fun video series! The sky’s the limit.
Adriana: Lots of great opportunities! It’s been such a pleasure having you with us today – thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.
Monique Hollowell has more than 13 years fitness industry experience. She is the author of Bellie Fit Basics and Exersexology. Monique is an internet radio show host, national presenter and CEO of Lafemme Mobile Gym. She has been featured in multiple radio shows, news segments and national publications such as Ebony and Happen Magazine.
Where to find Monique:
Where to find Exersexology
www.exersexology.com (Author signed copy)