Equal Marriage = Less Sex?

porn-for-women[1]Does an equal marriage mean less sex?

Maybe you’ve seen studies suggesting this unhappy possibility.

When men do feminine chores like laundry, cooking and vacuuming, couples have sex 1.5 fewer times per month on average, compared with more traditional couples. But when men stick to masculine duties like fixing the car and taking out the trash, women report greater sexual satisfaction, on average, according to University of Washington sociologists.

These findings disappoint progressives and cheer conservatives. And go against feminist expectations that men will get more sex when wives are less worn out. 

Marriages do improve when men do housework. Except in bed. One wife was much happier after her husband took on more household work. But his vacuuming also killed the sexy weightlifting vibe from earlier that day.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Same jobs. Same class. Hot sex.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Same jobs. Same class. Hot sex.

Maybe too much similarity kills sexuality, suggests Dr. Julie Brines, one of the study researchers.

But what about gay couples? They’re similar yet the sex is hot. But Kinsey researcher, Justin Garcia, says gay men seek out sexual dissimilarity — like the magnetic attraction of dominant and submissive.

Or sociologist, Pepper Schwartz, says gay men prioritize hotness over similarity when choosing partners, and may well pair up with guys from different social classes.

But what about two hot “Grey’s Anatomy” doctors? Or two hot LA lawyers, or Good Wife lawyers, Will and Alicia? What about Mr. and Mrs. Smith, aka, Brangelina? Same jobs. Same class. Hot sex.

And my own experience argues against these speculations. I need a really intense emotional connection, and that works best when I’m with someone who feels like my other half, a soulmate. With equality.

Good Wife lawyers, Will and Alicia: Same jobs. Same class. Hot sex.

Good Wife lawyers, Will and Alicia: Same jobs. Same class. Hot sex.

So if the problem isn’t sameness or equality, maybe the problem is men doing housework. If Will or Brad had just finished vacuuming before making sweet love to Alicia or Angelina…?

I admit, I’d be less turned on.

Since women have traditionally done housework, we associate it with femininity. I googled, “stripper costume maid” and got:

French maid, bedroom maid, naughty maid, erotic maid, hot maid, sexy maid and dirty maid.

But no male maids in the pics.

Male strippers are more likely to be outfitted as construction workers, firefighters, police officers, cowboys. No guys vacuuming.

We haven’t gotten to the point where we associate hot men with hot housework. The symbolic bond hasn’t been created in our minds yet.

Are women sentenced to an unequal second shift of housework just to get great sex? As men increasingly take on that task, our collective brains will rewire to stop associating housework with women.

In the meantime, maybe men could vacuum in the morning and show off their sexy bods just before bed. Or hire a housekeeper.

That could lead to happier marriages and more sex.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Is Male or Female Sexuality Better?
Dear Daughter, Have Lots of Great Sex
Wanting “X” from Sex, but Doing “Y”

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 21, 2014, in feminism, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. I don’t think that the problem is that vacuuming man becomes unattractive and less desirable for woman. The problem is that most men want to have sex like in scenario of porn. Doesn’t vacuuming woman remind you a porn where a young housemaid vacuuming the room in a short skirt? Exactly! Moreover, we can see that a woman doing any housework in porn create “animal desire” in man. So, in a real life when a man see his wife doing housework, he instinctively want to act like in porn. Also, I think, unequal marriages have more sex because in such marriages women have to subordinate men, they are seen only like sex objects and no one counts to women’s interests and desire. At the same time in equal marriages partners respect each other, support, want to help each other and their sex is an act of love rather than satisfaction of lust of one partner. That is way I prefer to “have sex 1.5 fewer times per month on average” but still be an individual rather than have more sex but be like a “slave”.

  2. Stephannie Mariscal

    I have been married to my husband for 16 years. This article caught my eye because it talks about men doing housework. We are both Mexican and my husband was raised that all the women in the house do all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. The man is left with the outside chores. This was hard for me to get used to because of the way I was brought up. In my house men and women do equal share of the housework. That meant that my brother learned to do everything that my sister and I did. So I am teaching my son to do the same thing. I would be happier if my husband would help out a little more. He does surprise me sometimes and takes the initiative to do things. He does BBQ a lot so that helps with the cooking. As far as the sex, I’m not sure that him helping me would change anything as far as that goes. We have a decent sex life so there is nothing for me to complain about there. We have been together long enough to know each others needs and wants and know what to do for each other.

  3. I’m mainly with you on this one, but a small part of me doesn’t want to believe it (I’m just lying to believe this isn’t true to make myself feel better). I believe to an extent, we are born into this world to fulfill a certain roll, depending on the gender we are born to be. So it makes sense that the opposing sexes would be attracted to each other in regards to femininity and masculinity. Masculine chores by nature or by beliefs will attract women, and feminine chores will do the deed just fine for men. I can try to lie to myself some more and say equality is the perfect relationship, but it doesn’t change the fact that our bodies were programmed from the get-go, to of course, like what the opposite sex has to offer. My parents have an equal relationship at home, With them both participating in all chores possible. They seem to be having a happy marriage, but what lies behind closed doors is still of the unknown to me.

  4. I found this post to be really interesting and a little bit odd that people would correlate men doing housework with less sex. I would think that having men do house chores would actually increase sex because there is less housework for the woman which would help her relax and not be too stressed to have sex. Personally, I enjoy when my boyfriend helps with the household chores. When he helps me I feel even more connected to him then feeling resentful, since I’m doing all of the housework. Growing up I was always taught that things should be equal and housework is no exception. It feels like my boyfriend and I are on the same team when he helps with chores and that only makes me more sexually attracted to him.

  5. Lenore hamilton

    In reading this blog I couldn’t help but think about my own situation. My life partner and I have been together for several years and he and I have informally claimed our roles in the relationship. I am the neat freak who cleans the house from top to bottom, cook and grocery shop while he’s the truck driver, mechanic who fixes cars and home repairs. Our roles reasonably set us apart but essentially ignite our passion for one another. I believe our identified roles keep us attracted to each other and keep the fire lit in the bedroom. I can appreciate the “manly” obligations he has made the commitment to fulfill such as the upkeep of my car, lifts all heavy items and kills all bugs. On one occasion my partner attempted to surprise me by cleaning up and although I was happy he made the effort, I felt tired and less sexually available to him. Maybe I had psyched myself out into thinking he took “my job” and I didn’t think the sight of him in an apron turned me on. Whatever the reason, if he wanted to continue to turn me on and have sex then he was informed to stay out my kitchen.

  6. I come from a traditional family where the men were breadwinners and women were homemakers but that was the past. Nowadays both men and women work to provide for the family, therefore, household chores should be tackled by sharing the responsibility. Entering in the commitment of a marriage is an equal partnership as in a business investment where both partners have to work hard to run the household smoothly whether it is cooking, cleaning, dishes (dishwasher), doing laundry (washer and dryer), having sex, anything you name it. If you have a good understand in your partnership then everything just flows itself including having a good sex. I do work outside the house too so why he should not do the chores inside the house, and as far as sexiness is concerned, where there is equality and love – it will come naturally. We need to think outside the box. We have stay-at-home dads, gay and lesbians relationships, BDMS, FWB, etc.

  7. Interesting blog. I can see how doing “fem chores” can slightly kill the mood. But, judging from my own experience, observing my parents and other couples, I think there is something else behind it, it’s not just the “type” of chores that trigger this reaction. I think it’s also about timing. For example, my husband is very helpful around the house, and now that we have a toddler, his help is more important then before, leaving more time for me to relax so we can watch a movie later that day or have a better intimate experience (otherwise I would just go to bed early and enjoy these fun activities in my sleep :). We both get excited about making our home clean before guests come. It feels like we are both doing something good and it even brings us closer together. I know that if he has time, he will not mind helping around the house with whatever. But, at times when he is busy with his work and I ask for help(either fem or a typical guy chore), he might still do it, but definitely with a different attitude… And this attitude can be a mood killer for the evening.

  8. I strongly believe this kind of thinking is little bit stereotype because when people make statement about if men does house chores it cut down the sex in couples life. Hence it not true for everybody. Doing chores and helping can bring couples togather and also they can gain some extra time to give each other which can make their relationship more stronger. In addition father is also setting up good example for his son in order to show that doing house work or helping women is not a bad thing instead its a good thing which is important espicially the kind of hectic life we all are leading. Men needs to be open minded .so when men are open minded i believe women wants to make more love to her boyfriend or husband.

    • A lot of people think that social patterns are stereotypes. Actually, social patterns can lead to stereotypes. This research is discussing the social pattern, though.

  9. In this article, I found it to be very interesting. Men and women in an equal relationship may or may not have sex all the time. It really depends on the couple. Maybe their is a marriage where the couple just likes having sex all the time and they both enjoy it, or maybe their is a couple who doesn’t enjoy sex as much because they both work all day so they get tired, or if they have children in their house and they cant have sex until they are gone. To me, it all depends on the couple and the person. When it stated “Marriages do improve when men do housework. Except in bed. One wife was much happier after her husband took on more household work. But his vacuuming also killed the sexy weightlifting vibe from earlier that day”, I feel that could be true at times because you do get tired but also just depends on the guy. Some guys will be tired but will lay down in bed and still want to have sex cause it feels good. Women or girls are also like that. Even though women are the ones who do the household chores, I know girls that will still want to have sex because it feels good. This article really did catch my interest. I do agree with some of the things stated but for most part I did not agree, I feel it really just depends on the person.

    • It always depends on the person. Yet thee are also cultural patterns. And this one seems like one that needs to be addressed and debunked in that equality is not the problem.

  10. I didn’t mean to sound disrespectful to you and for that I’m sorry. I’ve always appreciated your blogs and your insight. But this piece has really fired me up. I just read the study again. It’s very flawed. And the “porn” aspect of it was disappointing at best. They start off with reference to porn, and instead of delving deeper, it left me with that familiar bad taste in my mouth. It basically supported the “boys will be boys” concept where it’s laughed off and women, though “uncomfortable” about it, accept it. It is what it is after all? No. Some women don’t accept that and never will and God forbid, speak out against it. As far as the one or two out of millions that claimed they wanted submission…fine. But what about the many others who have evolved since caveman days? And anyone who actually idolized Shades of Grey are wearing rose colored pathetic glasses. If a woman was truly into submission and bdsm, this book is laughable. Dumbed down simplicity many women seem to be. I’m not close minded. Believe me. But there’s so many components of this “study” that doesn’t even scratch the surface of reality.
    Women who don’t work have less affairs. Women’s husband’s of those who don’t work have more sex. Maybe that’s because she has no life outside her husband and kids? Literally thinks about how to keep her man satisfied and hopefully faithful while she dusts. But porn is acceptable. After all, he is a man and men have needs. So she might not have the resources to want more. She is most likely the type to read and love Mr. Grey. She wants to simply provide for her hardworking man. Good for her. It’s her choice. But guess what? He’s in need for more than the subservient simple wife. Then she’s left with nothing but her fantasy of Mr. Grey. And he’s had his cake and more. Then you have women who “married their peers” straying. Of course the independent ones who actually work. Some need passion. Some want the comfy slippers. Some want submission. Some want dominance. But mostly, women who don’t have time to dote on their husband’s, wind up realizing that although love and contentment might be nice, it’s freaking boring. And most people are not inherently monogamous. Yes the ones who have nothing else to live for are(no resources can stifle a person), but most arent. Chemistry dies. Passion fades. And normalcy sets on. It used to be only men could get away with distance for this. Now women are the same. It might be sad but it’s a reality. Either you stay married for the “business” aspect, or you look for passion. There is no such thing as both. And if my husband wants to look at porn, he can go a lifetime without ever touching me again. And I’ll be fine either way.
    And lastly, maybe men doing 50% of the work makes them not in the mood for sex! Maybe because theyre exhausted as women have been for decades! And you mentioned the woman being more turned on by the sweaty gym look as opposed to her husband vacuuming. Well the end result was the same. No sex. Why? Well they say it’s because she resented him throwing his sweaty shirt on the floor. But it’s simply because they’ve been married so long nothing matters when it comes to lust and sexual desire for a spouse after too many years with the same person. We either stay married for peace and comfort, and possibly love, but bored, or we look for passion. Can not have both. Ever.

  11. I call BS on that “study”. Why don’t they ask real people like me, and my friends who’ve been married forever. This article validates the me Tarzan you Jane simplemindedness. When I’m exhausted and my partner brings me coffee, or surprises me when I come home to dinner made or a clean house, it is way more a turn on than watching him fire up a grill or saw a piece of wood. That’s ridiculous. Mutual consideration for each other is love. Not feminine vs masculine. Ugh.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way.

      People tend to think that others are like themselves and their friends, but they often aren’t. And sometimes most often aren’t. So folks write in all the time telling me that their experience is different from what a study says, so the study is wrong. Most recently a men’s rights activist told me that, despite research which shows that most marriages are still slightly male dominant, he and his friends are all in relationships with women who dominate men; therefore all men are in relationships where women dominate men. Therefore, we live in a female dominant world.

      The purpose of social science is to look at a wide range of people and see what is common. Not see what you and your friends are like.

      The findings won’t always fit everyone’s experience.

      It could be that some women enjoy sex MORE when their partners do housework — and that this wasn’t something that was captured by the study — even as the average response showed something different. And comments like yours can help to make that point. Of course, it can help to make a point without being insulting.

      I disagree that the article validates Tarzan/Jane simplemindedness. I don’t believe in picking and choosing research that fits our ideologies. I believe in creating social change where there is a problem.

      Given the reality that is out there — on average sexual satisfaction decreases as men do housework — how do you interpret and deal with that?

      First, even though this study has been interpreted as “equality is bad for sex” that isn’t a necessary conclusion.

      Equality doesn’t seem to be the problem so much as men doing housework. So how do you deal with that sub-issue and sustain equality?

      You can hire a housekeeper. The guy could do housework in the morning and then you could have sex in the evening — creating a separation between the two (after all, one woman was turned on by her husband’s muscles when he took a shower after going to the gym in the morning, but the housework he did later in the day killed off the sexy vibe she gotten early on, after he’d returned home from the gym). And change society: as men increasingly do housework our minds should re-wire so that it is no longer a turnoff.

      It doesn’t do any good to deny reality. Then nothing changes. I like to focus on how you change reality — make it work.

      • For starters, I’m not a MRA. I care about equality not male for female labels of equality. I do not like the pickup artist elements of the MRA so I do not associate with the movement at all. I’m a free agent. I asked you for “the studies” that showed marriage is male dominated. What are the measures? Marriage and society can differ on who predominates, but the fact is women control the marriage (http://www.livescience.com/1673-study-women-charge-home.html). There are studies that support this. It’s not just “my friends.”

      • Whether or not you label yourself an MRA you are fighting for men’s rights and such are a men’s rights activist. Just as feminists aren’t homogenous, Neither are MRAs. I’ve never thought that all MRAs were into the pick up artist thing. And I suspect that plenty of pickup artists aren’t MRAs.

        But I have never met a guy who was fighting for men’s rights who didn’t think that feminists should be fighting for men’s rights, too — but that the reverse wasn’t necessary: women need to fight for men’s rights; men don’t need to fight for women’s rights.

        Talk about a sense of superiority and entitlement!

        The article you refer to says that until this study every study has indicated that men have more power in the home. Apparently, it depends on what you are looking at these days. In studies that find men have more power, it’s things like Women doing more work around the home while men have more leisure time, Women giving men more power to make “Big decisions” because they feel that the men have made more income, and as such have a right to make those big decisions. Even when women make more money, they are less likely to take more power in these ways because they don’t want to emasculate their husbands. Like I interviewed one woman who made twice as much money as her husband, but every Saturday she did all the housework while he went out and coached A Little League soccer team — and they didn’t even have any kids old enough to play Little League, So it’s not like it was his kid. But she felt like she wasn’t being a good wife and mother to their two-year-old if she wasn’t doing all the housework.

      • Allow me to clarify this who fights for who thing. A lot of MRAs are bitter because they have been either 1) shafted by the family courts which have largely been shaped by feminist policy (Caroline Norton – Tender Years Doctrine) or 2) watched a guy they were close with go through it all. It has nothing to do with entitlement so much as it does anger. We hear all the time from the feminist side that “it’s all about equality” yet men loose disproportionately in the family court system shaped by feminist policy. Even more prevalent is hiring quotas. We hear that men and women are equal but women gets special consideration in the hiring process. I don’t think MRAs really care one way or the other if feminists advocate for men, but they are trying to discredit feminism’s claims about being for equality. Also, the general tone of much of the feminist movement is that men are “the problem.” You can’t expect MRAs to sign up for a movement that indiscriminately labels men as “the problem” and uses a feminine term to describe that effort. Would you sign up for a movement that labels women as “the problem?” No, and you shouldn’t! I would love for a gender neutral term that is focused on equality. Susan Sarandon for instance dropped the term feminist for humanist. I think that’s more inclusive and respects the dignity of both men and women who seek equality.

        “Like I interviewed one woman who made twice as much money as her husband, but every Saturday she did all the housework while he went out and coached A Little League soccer team — and they didn’t even have any kids, So it’s not like it was his kid. But she felt like she wasn’t being a good wife and mother to their two-year-old if she wasn’t doing all the housework.”

        Did they have kids or not? How could she be a mother with a 2-year old and not have kids? I’m confused here. Regardless, how is what a woman feels attributed to power in the hands of men? Do men control how women feel? Do I have some secret power over women I don’t know of? Also, women control 80% of the spending decisions (http://www.trendsight.com/content/view/40/204/) so its not accurate to say men are making the “big decisions.” Unless a man is actually telling his wife to be quiet and do as he says, it is not logical to chalk that up to male power.

      • I was writing quickly and when I reread what I wrote I saw that I’d worded it wrong. They didn’t have any children that were old enough to be in Little League. They did have a two-year-old. I went back and changed it.

        Actually, as women gain equality, so do men. You can’t have male equality without female equality.

        Most courts determine custody according to best interest of the child. Usually, women sacrifice career for children more often than men do. So women are more often granted custody. If men and women sacrifice career equally for children, then custody would be equal.

        And if women are given all the special preferences, then why are only 15% of Fortune 500 companies headed by women? Why is there a glass ceiling? Why are the majority of CEOs and vice presidents men? What you’re describing is a fiction.

      • There is more to being a good parent than sacrificing a career. Someone does need to earn a living after all and support the child. The question is why is sacrificing a career the standard?

        On subject of who gets to be the CEO, women simply don’t want those jobs to the magnitude that men do (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/many-women-dont-want-to-be-ceo-and-thats-ok-2013-12-13). Also, what does it matter? If we’re all equally capable why does it have to be 50/50? Isn’t it about getting the job done?

        Women and men do not gain equality together. Men get harsher prison sentences than women for the same crime. Women got the “right to choose” but men have no way to terminate unwanted fatherhood unless they want to run from the law which can prosecute them for not paying child support on a child they didn’t consent to. Women get special scholarships and business funding consideration in male-dominated fields but men do not receive the same benefits in female-dominated fields (nursing, dental hygienists, and elementary education).

      • I’ve read both of your latest comments and since I have the same basic thoughts on both, I’ll just put my response here.

        Of course sexism hurts both women and men. I write about both in my blog and discuss both in my classes, even as I focus more on how women are harmed — because they are far more harmed.

        The thing is, we are all interrelated. To the extent that men face sexism, on the other side women are facing it.

        For example: Men are less likely to get custody of children because women are more likely to sacrifice careers — and potential income. So studies have shown that children on average are closer to their mothers than to their fathers. When their parents split it’s less disruptive and traumatic for them to go with the parent they are emotionally closer to. Hence, women get custody more often. And then there’s that other point about women sacrificing careers: A lot of men’s rights activist feel like women should sacrifice their careers for their children, and end up worse off economically, and then men should get the children, too. If that happened then men would win twice (higher income plus child custody) and women would lose twice (sacrifice more $ for children and then lose the kids, too).

        If men want equality than they need to make the same sacrifices that women make.

        You will find the same circumstance with any gender inequity toward men that you point out. If men are being treated unequally, it’s because women are also being treated unequally.

        That means greater gender equality is the answer to any problem you bring up. Because you can’t have equality on one side without equality on the other.

        You say that men get harsher prison sentences for the same crime. That depends on the crime. That can be the case with statutory rape. If there were gender equality that wouldn’t be the case. But when it comes to domestic violence women often get a harsher sentence. A man had raped his girlfriend soon after she bore his child, ripping her stitches. She threw a bottle at his truck as he drove away. She was charged with using a weapon and he wasn’t. She got a harsher sentence. That’s because of the sex (biological) difference. Women are on average smaller and have less muscular strength, so they are more likely to use a weapon.

        If men don’t want to have a child, they should use some contraception, or not have sex. By choosing to have sex they risk having a child. Women do have more rights to have an abortion. But that’s because mother nature gave them more physical responsibility to have a child. That’s a sex difference, not a gender equality difference. If men want the same rights they will have to find a way to become the ones who get pregnant. If a woman impregnated a man then he should have more rights over his body then she should.

        The reason women get special gender privileges in some areas is because they have historically been discriminated against. On average, male nurses make more money than female nurses and are promoted more often. They don’t need any more special privileges than they already have.

        Also, you need to notice the distinction between a few women you know who bullied a man — joining other men who were bullying that man, I might add!! — and systematic efforts to put women down in order to create a sense of male superiority. It’s a strong pattern, and a pattern that often ends up in the newspaper, whether it’s the fraternities degrading women in the way I wrote about, or whether it’s young men gang raping a young woman in order to create a sense of power, dominance, and supremacy over her — and symbolically, over all women.

        Those examples are also evidence of how men look to other men for proof of their status of manhood, rather than to women. The women in these scenarios are constantly being hurt, whether by being gang raped or insulted for having sex with fraternity brothers. If men got their status of manhood via women’s approval, they would behave in ways that got them women’s approval, instead of harming them and getting their disapproval.

        Another thing I notice about men who are focused on men’s rights is that they tend to have a lot of anger toward women, people of color, gay people and the poor. They are very selfish and seem to think that white, straight, rich or middle-class males are the only ones whose rights matter.

        Feminists, on the other hand, tend to care about people who don’t fit their own demographic group, and are willing to sacrifice some of their own privileges to create a level playing field of equal opportunity. So while I am a woman, and part of an underprivileged class that way, I am also a member of privileged groups in terms of being white, straight and part of the 1% economically. Yet I don’t feel like I should have extra privileges and so I fight for the rights of the lower classes, LGBTQ, and people of color.

        I have very little respect for people who are only interested in fighting for their own rights. And as I said before, whenever I fight for women’s rights I’m also fighting for men’s rights to equality. You cannot have equality for one side without equality on the other side.

        The thing that surprises me the most are people who are poor, yet fight in the interests of the rich — people who don’t need anyone fighting for them because they are already so privileged. Like poorer people who fight against Obamacare. And I know a lot of them.

        Actually, I’m not that surprised. Some very rich people advocate in Congress for their own interests — like deregulation of Wall Street. They give huge campaign contributions and then Congress does what the rich want. And then when the economy comes crashing down as a result, as it did in 2008, many of these same rich people fund think tanks to blame the problems on the more powerless parts of society. Here are some articles on that:

        No Longer Blinded by the Right
        Vote to Help the Rich, Hurt Yourself
        The Crimes of Hoodies, Short Skirts and Fannie Mae
        Men Mustn’t Pay For Pregnancies They Cause

        Which part of society will be used to distract from problems created by the powerful varies, but it’s typically women, people of color, the poor, or LGBT people. The powerless have typically been used as scapegoats, historically. It’s easy to blame them because people are used to looking down on them.

        Finally, your comments sound like you have not educated yourself on feminism or how women are harmed by patriarchy. I point out that women are harmed and you say, “Well it’s that way because that’s how women want it.” And you point to one article that points to one very small part of the problem. It doesn’t get into all the discrimination that exist on top of these choices. And it doesn’t get into the socialization/internalization that leads women — more often than men — to make choices that harm than economically.

        I don’t have the time to provide your education for you. You’re going to have to do that yourself. If I get comments where it sounds like you haven’t made any effort to understand an issue, I’ll just delete it. Or if it seems like you aren’t actually considering anything I say, and that you just want to see things from a particular self-serving perspective, then I’m just wasting my time and I won’t respond to those comments.

        PS. It was a right wing think tank that developed Obamacare. The Heritage Foundation. Do your homework. But I’m more than happy to claim it as feminist. When people have equal opportunity to have healthcare, you level the playing field and create real equal opportunities for people. Why should some people have the right to live and others to die or live in extremely poor health just because their companies don’t offer insurance?

  12. The short answer for the title is “no it doen’t need to be” – but I believe it sometimes go that way because both are buzy doing something “important” – like John Lennon once said “Life is something that happens while you are busy with something else”… 😉

    We get for what we give and we get sex from our partners if we take the time to “pick up” the
    feeling and the mood… 😉

  13. This article is really interesting to me. Actually, I got a thought after I read this article. For gay couples, they can have the hot sex even though one of them does the feminine chore. However, for the couple which men do the feminine chore, they have 1.5 fewer the activity on the bed. I think this is because they have more mutual moments at the same place, so they can share the same longer periods because of the feminine chore. In my opinion, the longer period they share, the less sex they have because they feel less loneliness and less solitude. Therefore, they are reluctant to seek each other’s bodies to feel love because they can feel it during the feminine chore.

    • Interesting theory. Who knows?

      I’m not sure that with gay men one does the feminine chores. The scholars were talking more in terms of sexual things they do, or getting together with men of a different class.

  14. I guess this also means I can’t take up sewing and/or knitting…

  15. I guess now I have an excuse not to help with household chores…

  16. As you highlighted in your article i think it’s true that being stuck with all the chores rarely tends to make wives desire their husbands, that’s the feminist view and i guess there is a causality with their libido because if there are the only ones to take care of all the chores at home they’re likely to get too tired for sex when their husbands come back from work. So, that’s logic to think that by sharing the chores and having a partner that help with loading the dishwasher, vacuuming and everything else, women would be more sexually active but as your research shows it doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on their libido. I think the main reason to that as you pointed out is that women don’t find men sexually exciting when they do the chores because there is no erotic connotation that is implied to it, not like men have this kind of fantasies about women being sexy maids or this kind of sexual stereotypes. A man vacuuming is simply not sexy and it kills the masculinity of a man, in my perspective having an equal marriage brings to less gender differentiation which brings to less sexual desire.

    • But what about the list I provided of equal partners who do have sexy sex lives?

      • How do you know they have sexy sex lives?

      • If you’re talking about the fictional characters I discussed, I’m talking about what’s sexy. Like I said, if Mr. Smith had been vacuuming just before having sex with Mrs. Smith, that would’ve diminish the mood. I probably wouldn’t have found that sexy. The fact is, the couples are equal and the sexual heat is high.

  17. In my opinion, I think this article point out good side of marriage and It actually make a lot of sense for me. We all know about gender rank. some women wanna act like tomboy while men can’t act like sissy because they feel less status when they act as feminine or they have to do women’s chores such as laundry, cooking, vacuuming or taking care children. Same when they’re in the bed. Men feel more confidence when they can show their power and make women satisfy. They might think they have less power when they have to do house work which they think women should to it

  18. I really think this is a great topic. I believe it’s hard to decide whether there is a standard man and women should follow. But as I been raised is very difficult to see my father or a man do or try to do that second shift. I am not married but I would probably appreciate help from my husband at home. But I would certainly dislike if he were to do the job every day. Just because I think is not manly. Is hard to not follow the second shift that after so many generations we have followed.

  19. Very interesting topic! I’m still not yet the age to think about marriage seriously and haven’t imagine about married life. I think it’s wonderful if men can help do housework instead of women, not always but sometimes. But I’ve never thought of this has something to do with the night activity. Perhaps, both men and women have a certain kind of instinctive perspective towards the opposite sex and thus we tend to be sexually attracted by the feminine or masculine chores. But in my opinion, since our duty as women and men are changing over times these days so as the perspective we have towards opposite sex, this finding may became no longer make any sense.

  20. Hayley Epstein

    I found this very interesting, because it really is not what I would have expected. I would think that if a man helped with housework, and the marriage was more “equal”, the chances of having sex would go up. This is simply because a healthy and happy relationship would likely mean sex. What I found most interesting about this is the fact that whether or not housework is sexy makes such a difference in how often a couple has sex. There are so many opportunities to have sex for a married couple, I am surprised that a simple change ,such as a man helping with housework, would influence how often the two had sex. I understand the reasoning, as housework is not associated with masculinity; but I wonder if this study would be true if it were done on men who did not originally contribute to housework, and then decided to. If men who did not prefer it, but experimented and tried doing it a bit more, began to contribute around the house; would he and his wife then have less sex than they did before? Would seeing him do housework turn her OFF, or would it just take time away from the possibility that he might be doing something “masculine”, or even just taking time away from having sex..?

  21. I’ve washed dishes and vacuumed and actually don’t mind it. I like mowing as well. But I don’t see that stuff as really that feminine. I see dusting more so and I hate dusting because it’s so tedious and I’m not a patient person. I mean if you look at things in a traditional way, cooking could be seen as “feminie”, since the traditional household in the 50s, 60, 70s I think it was the wife that usually cooked meals. Yes, a lot of women like it and find it enduring when a man cooks and is a good cook and cooks for her.

  22. Or maybe the myth that men doing less house work drains women and causes women to not want sex. And it’s simply women aren’t as horny overally as men, supression or not and, have all these clauses and ticks that have to be checked or just more fickle as far as when they want it, why they want it, how they want it and with whom they want it with. More work and equal work, yet it doesn’t mean a wife wants sex more. Yes, women can have it wrapped on in their mind about man work, but it still seems fickle for a man to do work associate with women like vacuuming as something to deter or make her now want sex with him just because of that. A man isn’t going to want sex less with his wife if she’s chopping wood outside and doing “masculine” work, unless she starts growing a mustache, growing out under arm hair and leg hair and started literally talking and looking less feminine. (Visual) reason as we know how much visuals factors in men’s lust and desire.

  23. I don’t think I agree.

    And maybe that’s because I love my sex, but honestly? It has never fazed me and I’m all for a guy cleaning.

    I don’t think cleaning is associated with gender, at least not in my mind. Cleaning is something unpleasant that we all have to do. So splitting the load makes it a bit easier to handle.

  24. Broadblogs,
    I apologize for using Siri to try and give a response earlier. Siri is illiterate!
    What i was trying to convey is that we operate out of unconscious archetypes. Those are not thinks we think about but things that are someone put it above, “ingrained,” in us.
    While I agree that you can analogize Brangelina as a clear exception, I think that is such an isolated example as not sufficient enough to make the leap to there is equality and hot sex available for equals.
    I appreciate your perspective and it is not that I disagree with you, it is that I think our culture is not ready, for whatever reason, for it.

    • I think it is more a matter of socialization than archetypes.

      But it’s not just Brangelina. Watching a lot of other women and men with equal jobs and class get sexy is pretty sexy, too: the doctors in grey’s anatomy, the Good wife,LA Law, Chicago Hope, not to mention my own personal experience.

      But thanks for your input. I appreciate it. We are probably seeing this pretty similarly, really.

  25. Maybe it has something to do with being an asperger/autist but I get turned on by my husband irrespective of what my husband does or does not do of gender-typical activities.

  26. There have been studies that show the opposite as well http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-528682/Men-housework-sex-wives.html

    I think what you said is probably right, the more men help out the more normal is will seem and housework won’t be women’s work.

    I hate cleaning the bathroom but it’s got to be done. If I ever move in with a man we are having a serious talk beforehand about dividing the bathroom cleaning 50:50!

  27. I really think this is a great topic. I believe it’s hard to decide whether there is a standard man and women should follow. But as I been raised is very difficult to see my father or a man do or try to do that second shift. I am not married but I would probably appreciate help from my husband at home. But I would certainly dislike if he were to do the job every day. Just because I think is not manly. Is hard to not follow the second shift that after so many generations we have followed.

  28. Fun research. I have to admit, before reading this, I had never thought that the more a man does house works, the less sexy he gets. Normally I’d think this can bring peaceful to marriage, but it seems like that the peacefulness can be a real sex-killer.

    People tend to think masculinity is better than feminine. so I’d understand when house works has been considered “women’s works” for years, when man start doing it, the “masculinity” of his tend to go down, and the “sexiness” goes down with it. It’s truly a fun research after all.

  29. I have a theory that this has more to do with the gender label of certain activities. Perhaps to a hetero woman, it isn’t stimulating to see a man do ‘girly’ work like the dishes. However, if doing the dishes was not viewed by that woman as a ‘girly’ activity, she might have a different reaction.

    I mean, why do we have to label household chores anyway. Can’t two people just work together doing non-gendered human things and be attracted to each other?

    • I agree. We can. But we seem to be wired up right now to see housework as a turn off right now. Things could change. And it likely varies from person to person.

  30. Housekeeper would help, I guess!But If a male helps you out in the household chores then it would be good.! Equality not only comes in office work but also in the household work too.!But regarding sex thing dint knew.! Thanks for the info.

  31. As you mentioned above, think as women it is up to us to “re-wire” the conditioning that propagates gender stereotypes and keeps both sexes stuck in roles that some of us are tired of. This isn’t to put the blame or burden on us for something that has been culturally and socially ingrained but this part of it is really an inside job.

  32. Men doing housework

  33. What a wonderful post. I thought that comes up for me is if we are honoring a collective unconscious which we all carry then I think for us to try to move away from those archetypal roles and expect there not to be in the struggle to live through those roles is nearsighted

    Like it or not men were the protectors,the hunters, the aggressors

    • 1) Division of labor does not equal inequality. And without technology: refrigerators for bottles, breast pumps, birth-control the division of labor was practical. Since men are bigger and stronger due to testosterone, makes more sense for them to be the Warriors and hunters. And like I said, without the technology women couldn’t do that– The babies they need to breast-feed would be endangered in the cry and alert the enemy or game. Men we’re also more expendable. You kill a woman and you kill her potential children.
      And, you don’t get inequality until agriculture in most areas. Another cause of inequality in some places was buying/exchanging women to avoid inbreeding. I’ll write more on this later.

      Also, it’s obvious that you can have equality and hot sex.

      Brad and Angelina: Same jobs. Same class. Hot sex.

  34. noellekeshmiri@gmail.com

    This is very interesting to me and I can see where a man and a women is coming from. You would actually think if a man did help around the house doing those things they would get more sex. So doing a lil feminine cleaning is actually less sex? I feel like this article is kind of saying that yes men and women are different and women should be doing the womanly chores and men stick to their daily manly tasks! what if men saw us under the car, changing the oil, taking out the trash , mowing the lawn? If we did these manly task would that be less sex to or does it just work that way towards men doing the girly tasks? This is an awesome topic, but i wish i could hear it more from a mans point of view.

    • Hmmm, actually, I gave a lot of examples of equality and hot sex.

    • Well, Sarah Palin looked mighty fine holding that gun and shooting dear. Nothing unattractive about that at all. In fact it would be easier for a guy to connect with a woman with such interests. The problem, I think, is that men are guilted into doing the housework by a frustrated or angry wife. It may not be the housework that’s the turn off, but the spirit in which it is “assigned.”

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