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More housework = more sex

New study produces a surprising result.

By Karen Datko Oct 21, 2009 2:35PM

Forget those financial calculations about whether you'd be better off doing the housework yourself rather than hiring it out.


A new study involving 6,877 couples published in the Journal of Family Issues makes it a moot point in our mind (and pardon us while we go find the duster). The Juggle blog at The Wall Street Journal says the study indicates that "for husbands and wives alike, the more housework you do, the more often you are likely to have sex with your spouse."

Wow. That is stunning. The Juggle notes that it's been documented before that women are more pleased with -- and apparently more willing to please -- husbands who do their fair share to help around the house. "But the more housework = more sex link -- for wives, at least -- is a surprise," blogger Sue Shellenbarger writes.


Fire the housekeeper. It's time for DIY.


Whats going on here? The Juggle presents a theory:

More time in the paid workforce is also linked to higher sexual frequency in marriage, according to the study. The researchers say the results are evidence that some people -- not all -- are high achievers who approach life with a “work hard, play hard” mentality, drawing energy from activity in one realm, such as job or home, to invest in other areas, such as marriage.

In other words, the energy the two of you bring to work is applied to other, more entertaining activities with gusto.


Some couples interviewed by Sue for a Wall Street Journal story about the study said engaging in household tasks demonstrates a commitment to the marriage -- definitely a turn-on for many people. Now that we've mopped the floor and straightened up the bedroom, let's celebrate!


But, hold on, you might think. Maybe the housework-sex link applies only to women who embrace more traditional roles -- that it's their duty to clean the house and keep the husband happy in other ways as well. Not so, Sue reports:

But Dr. (Constance) Gager and her co-author, Scott Yabiku, associate professor of sociology at Arizona State University, Tempe, controlled the results for "gender ideology" and found the housework-sex link remained true, regardless of people's views on roles. Results from the data, taken from the National Survey of Families and Households, were controlled for age, health, duration of couple's relationship, religion, income, education and marital satisfaction.

Still, all is not equal, and you have to wonder how these women find time for sex. The wives in the study spent on average 41.8 hours a week on household chores, compared with 23.4 hours for the men.


And you can surely take the house cleaning too far. Does your man think you're sexy when you're picking his socks and poo-poo undies off the floor or scrubbing the toilet bowl?


Your thoughts?


Related reading:

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