Charlotte Hannah
March 28, 2013

Men Who Do Housework Get Less Sex, But That’s Not the Point

It’s long been held as a sort of colloquial truth that men who do more housework reap the rewards in the bedroom. The idea behind this is simple: when men take on more household chores, women have more time and aren’t as tired at the end of the day – and therefore, they’re more likely to be up for sex. As Christina Sommers of Slate points out in an article on the subject, this type of thinking was best exemplified by the 2007 book Porn for Women. Rather than the obvious (actual porn, which – believe it or not – many women enjoy), the book featured full-color spreads of hunky men vacuuming and folding clothes.

Unfortunately, this bubble was burst earlier this year when the American Sociological Review published a study that suggests men who do more traditionally “feminine” household chores like laundry, grocery shopping and dishes tend to have less sex overall. In heterosexual partnerships in which each member stuck to more traditionally gendered tasks (women do the laundry, men mow the lawn), sex was more frequent.

But dudes shouldn’t be taking the lack of sex as a get-out-of-the-dishes-free card. Why? Because in an equal partnership, chores should be getting done because they need to get done, and getting them done (even when you don’t want to) is just part of being an adult.

See, the same study came up with some even more interesting evidence that had nothing to do with housework in relation to the frequency of sex. The research also suggested that, in an average week, wives do almost as many of those “manly” chores as their husbands, and about 80 percent of the “womanly” ones. Translation: wives are doing way more housework overall.

Granted, the data the researchers used was from the ‘90s and things have likely changed since then – but more recent studies do suggest that a significant disparity in the amount of housework done by married men and women still exists.

The point is that sex and housework, while both very important factors in a relationship, shouldn’t have anything to do with one another (unless you’re playing out some kind of sexy roleplay scenario). Dudes have gotta step up and pull their weight – not for the carnal benefits, but because it’s the right thing to do.