Men can improve their sex life by by doing more chores, study suggests

Men who want to spice up their sex lives should try doing some CHORES: Women whose partners take on an equal share of housework have higher libidos, study shows

  • Women were surveyed about their sex lives and their share of household chores
  • Equally sharing chores led to more satisfied relationships and more sexual desire
  • Researchers call for men to take their share of the physical and mental loads

Whether it’s washing the dishes or doing the laundry, men are generally perceived to have a greater aversion to domestic chores than women. 

But a new study suggests blokes can improve their sex life by taking more of a responsibility for the tasks that need doing around the home. 

Researchers in Australia surveyed nearly 300 women in heterosexual relationships about their sex lives and who did the most household jobs. 

The more equally chores were shared, the greater the women’s feelings of relationship satisfaction and, in turn, sexual desire. 

The study authors say ‘sexual sparks fly’ when male partners take on a fair share of physical and mental loads. 

Men can improve their sex life by taking a greater responsibility for jobs that need doing around the home, the study suggests (file photo)

The new study was conducted by researchers at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. 

WOMEN DO 70 MINUTES MORE HOUSEWORK EACH DAY THAN MEN 

Women are still doing 70 minutes more household chores a day than men, recent research shows.

Women in the UK spend an average of two hours and 49 minutes cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes and laundry.

But men spend only an hour and 39 minutes on similar jobs.

Scientists analysed more than 200,000 people across ten countries in Europe, Asia and North America for the study in the journal PLOS One.

Read more 

‘Our research acknowledged the nuances of women’s desire and its strong connection to relationship quality by exploring how fairness in relationships might affect desire,’ two of the authors wrote for The Conversation. 

‘Findings suggest one response to low desire in women could be to address the amount of work women have to take on in relationships.’

Previous studies have already shown that women do more housework and childcare than their male partners. 

This trend has been exacerbated during the Covid pandemic, leaving women feeling ‘exhausted, anxious and resentful’, the authors say.

For their study, the team explored how a phenomenon known as ‘the mental load’ affects intimate relationships between heterosexual couples. 

The mental load, also known as the invisible load, refers to the overall responsibility of planning and organising the chores that need to be done to run a household. 

According to a 2017 comic, the mental load is created when a man views his female partner as the manager or delegator of all household chores, meaning ‘it’s up to her to know what needs to be done and when’.  

Even when men do contribute to the physical load (completing some of the household chores), the mental load (planning and organising the completion of these chores) can lie entirely with the woman. 

According to the comic, authored by French cartoonist and feminist Emma Clit, the mental load is almost completely borne by women.  

For the study, 299 Australian women aged 18 to 39 years responded to an online questionnaire measuring relationship equity and sexual desire. 

The questions included assessments of housework, mental load – such as who organised social activities and made financial arrangements – and who had more leisure time. 

Researchers then explored how the differences in relationship equity impacted female sexual desire. 

Overall, women in equal relationships (in terms of housework and the mental load) were more satisfied with their relationships and, in turn, felt more sexual desire than those in unequal relationships. 

Previous studies have already shown that women do more housework and childcare than their male partners. This trend has been exacerbated during the Covid pandemic (file photo) 

Other relationship factors also played a part – for example, having children increased the workload for women, leading to lower relationship equity and consequently lower sexual desire. 

They also found that the longer some relationships continue, the more unfair they become, in turn lowering the woman’s sexual desire.

This suggests it’s not too late for men to kickstart things in the bedroom by doing more chores, even if they’ve been with their partner for decades.  

The research team point out that homosexual couples tend to have more equitable relationships than heterosexual couples, although they only looked at the latter for this study. 

These results could provide a springboard for future research that goes beyond questionnaires and surveys. 

Heterosexual couples may be able to enjoy a better sex life if they share the workload – not only the physical load, but the mental load too (file photo)

‘To translate our results into clinical practice, we could run trials to confirm if lowering women’s mental load results in greater sexual desire, the authors write for The Conversation. 

‘We could have a “housework and mental load ban” for a sample of women reporting low sexual desire and record if there are changes in their reported levels of desire.

‘Or perhaps women’s sexual partners could do the dishes tonight and see what happens.’  

The study has been published in the Journal of Sex Research.    

WHAT IS THE MENTAL LOAD? 

The mental load, also known as the invisible load, refers to the overall responsibility of planning and organizing the chores that need to be done to run a household. 

According to a 2017 comic, the mental load is created when a man views his female partner as the manager or delegator of all household chores, meaning ‘it’s up to her to know what needs to be done and when’. 

When a man says ‘let me know if you need any help’, they’re ‘refusing to take on their share of the mental load’, the comic says.

Even when men do contribute to the physical load (completing some of the household chores), it’s likely the mental load (planning and organizing the completion of these chores) lies with the woman. 

‘The mental load is almost completely borne by women,’ says the comic, authored by French cartoonist and feminist Emma Clit. 

‘It’s permanent and exhausting work. And it’s invisible.’ 

According to a 2019 study, bearing the mental load can negatively impact well-being in mothers. 

‘Even though women may be physically doing fewer loads of laundry, they continue to hold the responsibility for making sure the detergent does not run out, all the dirty clothes make it into the wash and that there are always clean towels available,’ said study author Dr Lucia Ciciolla, assistant professor of psychology at Oklahoma State University.

‘Women are beginning to recognize they still hold the mental burden of the household even if others share in the physical work, and that this mental burden can take a toll.’ 

Source: Read Full Article