Research has unearthed a new seduction technique for live-in boyfriends and husbands fed up with the ‘Not tonight, dear, I have a headache’ line from their partners: offer to do the dishes. Washing dishes, dusting, vacuuming and even taking out the rubbish are the best ways to spark off female arousal, according to a recent study of family life.
“Equitable sharing of housework is associated with higher levels of marital satisfaction – and sometimes more sex too,” said Joshua Coleman, a psychologist at the Council on Contemporary Families, which commissioned the study. “Wives report greater feelings of sexual interest and affection for husbands who participate in housework.”
Added Scott Coltrane, a sociologist at the University of California and a co-author of the report, “By and large, the more men do around the house the happier women are. We sociologists generally don’t go into this subject much, but therapists say there’s a correlation.”
The revelation will not come as a surprise to women, who have long fantasised about lovers who do the housework as well. A group called the Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative recently published a book titled Porn for Women, which features pictures of hunky apron-clad men engaged in household tasks.
In fact men have already begun to realise this. Time-use studies in the United States suggest that men’s contribution to housework has doubled since the 1960s from about 15 per cent to more than 30 per cent. Over the same period, the average working mother has cut her weekly housework by two hours, according to another survey.
“There has been a growing convergence in the hours that women and men spend in the broad categories of paid work, family work and leisure…Women’s paid work time has significantly increased, while that of men has decreased," said the study.