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How housework affects sex

Men who help their partners at home may get more happy hours in bed

Housework is a tedious thing, and looking for a connection between it and sexual pleasure sounds quite absurd. But a number of scientists around the world do not think so and devote a lot of their work to this question. The reason they are excited about it is the fact that more and more married couples are complaining about sexual problems. Especially after the appearance of children, fun in bed sharply decreases or loses its charm.

Stress is the most common culprit for this happening. In the uncertain times in which we live, many partners have to work excessively, and if they have any little time for sexual fun, they feel so tired that they cannot use it rationally. And since their main job brings much-needed income, housework becomes a burden that everyone tries to get rid of. And this usually leads to additional tension in the family, scandals and reluctance to have sexual contact for a long time. So it is not by chance that scientists have focused on housework as an essential factor in sexual pleasure.

The latest study on the matter is by an Australian team. Researchers from the University of Technology in Melbourne surveyed 300 women aged 18 to 39. They had to answer questions about housework, financial responsibilities in the family, organizing social activities and sexual satisfaction. The aim of the scientists was to find out how the phenomenon known as mental or invisible load affects the intimate relationships of heterosexual couples. By it, psychologists summarize all the tasks in everyday household maintenance that are never explicitly mentioned, but are nevertheless identified, considered, planned and then carried out simultaneously with a number of others. There is usually a single person in the family who has full responsibility for the processes and results. In most cases, these are women, regardless of the level of their own employment. And it has been getting bigger in recent years, as the fair sex has long been more than just housewives. They also pursue a career and need the mental peace to pursue it. And if they don’t share the mental load with their husband, at some point they slide into burnout, one of the first signs of which is precisely a decrease in libido.

According to the Australian researchers, this trend was exacerbated during the pandemic, as women were also burdened with the additional tasks of teaching children online, which left them feeling exhausted and anxious. Analyzing the results of the surveys, they found that the more evenly the housework was distributed between partners, the greater the women’s sense of relationship satisfaction and their desire for sex. They believe that this is due to the expectation of fairness and equality that modern ladies have for family relationships. Therefore, they suggest that improving sex life may come from men taking more responsibility for household tasks.

Which can be quite a challenge as earlier research shows that women still do 70 minutes more housework per day than men. They spend an average of two hours and 49 minutes each on cooking, cleaning, washing dishes and looking after the children, while their partners only spend an hour and 39 minutes. And it’s not because they’re lazy, it’s because they see their partner as a manager or assigner of all household chores, meaning that it’s up to her to decide what needs to be done and when.

An American study 6 years ago found that men and women who shared housework equally had sex an average of 6.8 times a month, compared to about 5 times for families in which one partner took on more tasks, typically that is the wife. “Modern couples who adhere to a more egalitarian division of labor are the only ones who experience an increase in sexual intercourse compared to those of the past. For the rest, there is a decrease, and it is most serious in those where the woman does most of the housework. “This finding is particularly remarkable given reports that overall sexual frequency has declined globally over the past few decades,” commented Professor Sharon Sassler of Cornell University.

The new studies reject the conclusions of Spanish researchers from 2014 that men who do a lot of housework get less sex. Sabino Kornrich’s team surveyed 4,561 American couples married for over 20 years. From their answers, they found that gentlemen who do not care about what is happening at home enjoy 1.5 times more sexual caresses per month. Madrid scientists believe this is due to stereotypes that women find domestic men less sexually attractive than purebred macho men. But the opposite trend was observed in younger couples. Men who help more with housework enjoy more sex.

“Love today is based on shared interests, activities and emotions. Where difference was once the basis of desire, equality has increasingly become erotic,” explains historian Stephanie Kunz.

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