RELATED LINK: The Sassy Housewife: Are you in a sexless marriage?
Brier Jirka, a sex therapist with the Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center, blogs every other Tuesday for livewellnebraska.com.
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Does your husband cook, clean and iron his own shirts? Or is he more of a lawn mowing, car fixing, gutter cleaning kind of guy? And what chores do you ladies tackle around the house? I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Duh, all of them!”
I recently read an article by the American Sociological Association about a study from the 1990s regarding the frequency of sexual intercourse and how it correlates to traditional household chores.
“Sex and housework are still key aspects of sharing a life, and both are related to marital satisfaction and how spouses express their gender identity,” said Julie Brine, co-author of the study. Brine is of the opinion that the relationship between housework and sex hasn’t changed all that much since the study was conducted, and I definitely agree.
Data was collected from 4,500 heterosexual couples. They reported having sex an average of five times a month. Couples in which the woman took on the traditional household chore role had sex 1.6 times more often.
The study found that while more men may be cooking and cleaning, they aren’t necessarily getting more sex. Fellows who smell like fresh cut grass and motor oil – typical male duties – actually have more sex than their laundry-doing counterparts.
The study determined that while society has changed in terms of who does what around the house, the more traditional and historically gender-specific duties are still prevalent in organizing a marriage. In my line of work, we might view this as men trying to seduce their wives. By doing manly things, husbands appear more attractive from a biological standpoint.
But men, don’t stop scrubbing toilets and cooking dinner just yet. The study also found that marital relationships were viewed as more satisfying overall when men helped out with traditional female duties. Refusing to help caused martial conflict and dissatisfaction.
It just goes to show, couples must work cooperatively – whether in a traditional sense or more modern – to maintain household order and keep their sanity. Every couple is unique, so find what works for you. Husbands and wives can benefit from asking themselves, “What about my partner’s willingness to help with chores is attractive?” Now take that and run with it!
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