Studies: doing the dishes can lead to more sex

picture of man vacuuming

Various researchers have studied the concept of "choreplay," wherein women are likelier to have sex when their male partner assists in household chores. A recent study from the University of Western Ontario found that wives are happier when their husbands lend a hand with domestic duties. And Dutch researchers found that "the key to female arousal seems to be deep relaxation and a lack of anxiety." So getting your hands in the suds can consequently mean more fulfilling time in the sack.

But choreplay isn't exclusively about chores, according to Indiana University research scientist Debby Herbenick:

"It's very important not to get into a 'bartering' system or even to see it as a man 'helping his wife' with chores. Household chores and parenting are shared responsibilities that researchers have generally found women spend more time on than men. When couples have a more equal partnership, they do tend to have more satisfying sex lives," she said.

But Kinsey Confidential writer Kristen Mark warns:

"One of the reasons many women get turned on by these out-of-bedroom acts is because they demonstrate caring in a different way. If it becomes clear that the act is being done as a means to get sex, it can become a turn OFF. So, do these things as a way to help out, not as a way to get sex... and sex just might end up being a bonus!"

So fellas, the next time you go to buy condoms, you might want to throw some vacuum-cleaner bags in the cart as well.

Commentarium (6 Comments)

Feb 07 11 - 3:39pm

"can you help me put some lotion on, my hands are all dried out from washing dishes..."

Feb 09 11 - 12:27pm


Feb 07 11 - 7:09pm

I call bullshit. My first marriage ended for this very reason. I would get home from my 14 hour days, only to find a wife who worked a part-time job in a bad mood sitting on the couch reading, and a sink full of dishes. Exhausted, I would go do the dishes, or vacuum the floors or whatever, and then sit down and listen to her talk about her emotion/gripe du jour. Ironically, after 3 years of this, I told her I wanted a divorce while I was doing the dishes.

Feb 07 11 - 9:30pm

All that means, SR, is that in your first marriage you were experiencing feelings similar to those that many women (and that this article assumes exclusively women) experience. I think it proves the study's validity, actually. The point is that neither spouse wants to feel they're being taken advantage of.

Feb 07 11 - 11:25pm

Now that I'm home and have a few drinks in me, let me explain another reason why I think this study is bullshit. But first, I don't disagree that helping around the house is not a good thing. But I take exception to the statement that helping with the chores creates a feeling of "equal partnership." Really? I could be a total douchebag to my spouse, but hell, if I'm doing the dishes we have an equal partnership. I think their frame of what constitutes an "equal partnership" trivializes what really makes a good partner.

But to the study; the majority of marriage satisfaction surveys given to women frame questions with negative leanings toward the husband/partner. It never fails! If you actually read this study and the survey instrument, the framing of the questions advance a quasi-negative frame of the husband, thus lowering the starting perceptions of the survey taker. If you look at it from an expectancy theory perspective, a good survey instrument ensures a "0" starting point. The taker should be uninfluenced by the intro, the questions, or the flow of the survey. These satisfaction survey questions influence a "-1" cognitive starting point, thus putting husbands/partners in the negative before they actually answer the questions. This particular study was no different.

That's why this survey is bullshit. Just because it was done at a university doesn't mean it's done well.

Anyways. Time to get another drink......

Feb 09 11 - 11:56pm
Ree Verse

Doing the sex can lead to more dishes.