Share housework, have more sex

New research shows that couples who share the load around the house have more sex.

The study, A Reversal in Predictors of Sexual Frequency and Satisfaction in Marriage, found that couples who share housework equally have sex, on average, 6.8 times per month. This is compared to about five times per month for couples where one partner does much more housework than the other.

The study’s author, Cornell University Professor Sharon Sassler, suggests that couples who don’t abide by sexist stereotypes share a ‘deepened desire’.

“Contemporary couples who adhere to a more egalitarian division of labour are the only couples who have experienced an increase in sexual frequency compared to their counterparts of the past,” said Professor Sassler. “Other groups – including those where the woman does the bulk of the housework – have experienced declines in sexual frequency. This finding is particularly notable given reports indicating that sexual frequency has generally declined worldwide over the past few decades.”

Routine housework, according to Prof. Sassler, is defined as preparing and cooking meals, washing dishes and grocery shopping. Sex increased not only when the load was shared equally, but also if the chores were divided into non-gender stereotypes, such as the man cooking and the woman doing handyman chores.

“Love used to be seen as the attraction of opposites, and each partner in a marriage specialised in a unique set of skills, resources, and emotions that, it was believed, the other gender lacked. Today, love is based on shared interests, activities, and emotions. Where difference was once the basis of desire, equality is increasingly becoming erotic,” said historian Stephanie Coontz. “In marriages of the 1950s and 1960s, wives often reported having sex more often than they wanted because they were dependent on their husbands. Now that women feel free to say no, they are more likely to say yes when they feel the relationship is fair.”

According to another study, The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (Hilda) survey, even when men participate in routine household duties, there is still an unequal distribution of chores, with the female partner always bearing the heavier load.

In Australian households where the man is the main breadwinner, women undertake 27.6 hours of housework each week, with men doing 14.5 hours. In households where both partners earn equal amounts, women do 20.3 hours’ worth of chores while men do 15 hours. In households where the woman is the main earner, men do 17.6 hours while the woman still bears the heavier burden at 21.5 hours per week.

So, the next time you’re asked to do something around the house, don’t get stroppy. Just think about the reward …

Read about the study at

Related articles:
Sex secrets of long-term couples
Six sex tips to get you in the mood
Do sexless marriages survive?

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