Choreplay 1

Maybe you’ve heard of “choreplay”, but is it real? Can a wife really get more sex by doing more chores around the house? Yes, I can confirm choreplay is a real thing — watching Sexy Corte do chores in lingerie always turns me on. Well, that was a short post.

Oh wait, you want to know if choreplay works in the other direction? Does the sight of a husband doing chores get his wife all hot for him? According to Keelie, yes.

As far as fun turn ons…yeah…any guy that is standing at the sink doing dishes is gonna get it later. It doesn’t just have to be dishes, but a guy can do any chore that their wives don’t like.

To frame our discussion, I want to distinguish between two different phenomena.

  • Type 1: Implicit trading of chores for sex, wherein one spouse does more chores with the unspoken expectation that doing so will increase the other spouse’s sex drive.
  • Type 2: Explicit trading of chores for sex, wherein both spouses agree that the person doing some chore will receive sex in exchange.

Let’s talk about Type 1 first. Research shows that doing more chores can increase sexual frequency, as long as you’re doing the right chores.

Does the sight of men doing traditional female chores turn women off? A new study suggests that the more time men spend on household tasks, the less sex they have.

“Our findings suggest the importance of socialized gender roles for sexual frequency in heterosexual marriage,” lead author Sabino Kornrich, junior researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, said in a press release. “Couples in which men participate more in housework typically done by women report having sex less frequently. Similarly, couples in which men participate more in traditionally masculine tasks — such as yard work, paying bills, and auto maintenance — report higher sexual frequency.”

Each individual husband, wife, and marriage are different of course, but if you want to increase sexual frequency by doing more chores then your best bet is do to chores that match your gender role. Husbands should do things like taking out the trash, fixing stuff, paying bills, and manual labor. Women should do the housework and take care of the kids.

So, Keelie appears to be wrong on average. In fact, a husband who does a lot of dishes is probably getting laid less then a husband who doesn’t. These kinds of effects are largely subconscious, and I doubt that many wives would know or admit that they’d want more sex if their husbands did less housework.

Couples in which women did all of the traditional female chores had sex 1.6 times more each month than couples in which men did all of those jobs. The more cooking and cleaning a husband did, the less sex the couple had; women’s cooking and cleaning was linked with more sex. Couples in which men did more traditional male chores also had more sex; it did not seem to matter if women did more or less of those chores.

If you want more sex, do more chores that match your gender role and fewer that don’t. If you increase the chores you do that don’t match your gender, you’ll end up having less sex than before.

So let’s talk about Type 2: explicit trading of chores for sex. For example, “if you clean up the kitchen tonight, I’ll give you a blowjob”. On some level, this kind of exchange probably makes some people uncomfortable, including me. Why?

  • It looks like prostitution.
  • Why should I have to earn sex?
  • Why should I have to give sex to get some help with chores?

I get all that, and I feel similarly. The sexual relationship between a husband and wife should be mutually edifying, loving, gracious, and sacrificial.

But, let’s be real for a second. If you ask your best friend to mow your lawn once, he’ll gladly say yes. If you ask him to do it every week, it’s only polite to offer something in return. If you need your lawn mowed right now, then you’re going to owe him a favor. These trades don’t negate your best-friendship, they strengthen it. They show your best friend that you value him, that you don’t want to take advantage of him, and that you’re grateful for his help.

Spouses are different than best friends, but I think the principles of maintaining a relationship still apply. You value your spouse. You don’t want to take advantage of your spouse. You’re grateful when your spouse helps you out. An explicit exchange demonstrates all this, and it greases the wheels of cooperation and affection. Aside from just more sex, you could also trade for some sex act that your spouse just doesn’t enjoy as much as you do.

Of course, not every chore or every sex act should be a negotiated exchange. However, if you’re laboring at an implicit exchange and it just isn’t working, why not be more explicit? Your spouse can’t read your mind; maybe she doesn’t know what you want. If you want something you’re not getting, offering a trade can open up lines of communication and possibly help the two of you to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement. Just remember to keep the relationship first!

And if your spouse asks you to do a chore that doesn’t match your gender, don’t expect to get extra sex unless it’s agreed to in advance.

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  1. I’ve always been an advocate of choreplay and have read those studies. it looks like my marriage’s circumstance is ‘outside of the norms’ and aligns with Keelie’s. My hubby’s willingness to help me out, doing non-gender chores, greatly increased my receptiveness to sexual interludes. His helping out showed his general love and respect of me and my schedule. By helping out, he was relieving me of some stress. Less stress is definitely a libido booster. But, I don’t think less stress was the complete reason behind how much it touched me. His willingness to help said to me that he valued me and valued our investment in the house. I think, too, it said that he was doing life with me as a partner. Some marriages that are having trouble have husband and wife living in different worlds that seldom intersect.

    Now, in regards to bartering sex acts with chores, that really doesn’t sit well with me, in spite of your explanation. However, I could see it happening as a frisky, light-hearted kind of thing. But, as I see a husband and wife as one flesh and truly doing life together, there are no favors to be done for each other. If I need something done, it’s the same as he needs something done. If he wants something specific in the marriage bed, I’d rather be asked straight forward, not danced around tit for tat But, like I said if it’s a light hearted scenario, have at it.

    Thanks for your take on chore-play. All marriages are so different, aren’t they?

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      You seem very aware of the interpersonal dynamics in your marriage, and it sounds like you and your husband do a lot of trading even if you don’t call it that. I suppose you aren’t explicit in the way I’ve described, but you write:

      My hubby’s willingness to help me out, doing non-gender chores, greatly increased my receptiveness to sexual interludes. His helping out showed his general love and respect of me and my schedule. By helping out, he was relieving me of some stress. Less stress is definitely a libido booster. But, I don’t think less stress was the complete reason behind how much it touched me. His willingness to help said to me that he valued me and valued our investment in the house. I think, too, it said that he was doing life with me as a partner.

      So perhaps your self-awareness (and your husband’s?) lets you reap the benefits of explicit trading without having to say the words? :) I wrote in my post that mutually beneficial exchanges demonstrate value and caring between people, and that’s exactly what you’re experiencing!

      (And I agree that any such exchanges should be light-hearted. If you have to write contracts with your spouse then your marriage might be in trouble.)

      1. I wouldn’t call it trading, I would call it understanding. I came to a place where I understood his need for sexual fulfillment and he came to a place where he understood I was feeling unloved and discounted. Semantics, I know. But, truly we began living Ephesians 5:21. We took each other’s best interest to heart.

        1. Sounds awesome to me.

          Question: is there a sex act that, say, your husband enjoys more than you? He’d like to do it more, but maybe he doesn’t ask that much because he knows you’re neutral towards it. You do it occasionally, and get some pleasure, but you’re glad he doesn’t ask more often because there’s other stuff you like more. If there is such an act/position/time/style, would you feel more enthusiastic about doing it if, the next time he asked, your husband also offered you something that you valued? Perhaps your husband would even be bolder in asking if he knew he had something to offer you, so that he wasn’t imposing?

          1. Interesting about the ‘imposing’ thought. From my perspective, he has given me everything of value I would ever need or want. Frankly, what I desire for him to do is to work less and when he does, well, fireworks….. ;)

  2. Studies are allowed to be wrong, as are the people who take them. :D Lol…I’m playing. I do not see dishes as a gender specific chore. However, I HATE doing dishes. So, my husband knows that he does them a lot. Actually, with the number of people in our house, we all do dishes during the day. It really shouldn’t fall to any one person…neither should any chore in the house.

    So, I don’t agree with the bartering thing either when it comes to sex, or any relationship building activity. I would not want to have to bribe my husband into spending time talking with me or taking me on dates. I wouldn’t want to have to trade with him to get him to be physically engaged with me.

    What I was suggesting is that a husband chose a chore or task that the wife does not care to do, but typically does it for the sake of convenience (such as, she stays at home during the day, so it only makes sense that it is her main responsibility). In my home, dishes is the thing I want my husband to help out with above anything else, because I hate it. When he does dishes at the end of the day, even when he is tired, it communicates love to me. Of course I want to have more sex with a guy that is showing love to me!

    Anyways…back to my idea of choreplay…I was saying, have the husband do a task for their wife that she will appreciate…but do it in a sexy manner. Wear the equivalent of male lingerie (which really doesn’t exist, so you need to put on an outfit your wife finds really sexy). Then put on a “show” so to speak, while you do the chore. Maybe, do the chore without your shirt on. Maybe put on some music and dance for your lover while you do the chore. Stop and make googly eyes at them. Blow them kisses…or just point out how they are doing that chore for the other person’s sake. Does that make sense?

    1. All good points. Like I said, the idea of “trading” for sex or chores makes me a little uncomfortable too… and it isn’t ideal! But there are plenty of people who have poor sex lives or spouses who don’t help out with chores, and a trade could benefit both parties.

        1. Seems like there are a million reasons. People are complicated, and trying to get two people to live harmoniously together in wedded bliss is at least twice as complicated :) Why do you think?

          1. I think it is because most couples do not know how to communicate with one another at all. That bleeds over into their sex lives. Communication is more than just talking. It is using the same language that the other person speaks. It is reading between the lines and genuinely understanding what the other person means when they say things.

            That, and I do not think that the generation ahead of us has done a very good job of mentoring the younger generation of how to be good couples. That is likely due to the fact that they have no idea what it means to persevere in marriage or anything for that matter.

            Also, people do not know what the God’s intentions of sex is. They have a poor understanding of sex and they think it is supposed to be what they have seen on television, which is the furthest thing from the truth.

            Ultimately, we are all fallen and struggle with our sin issues, which gets in the way. If God isn’t at the center of your marriage, you hardly stand a chance. Even if you say you are Christian, it isn’t enough if you aren’t going to actually be obedient to God.

          2. I agree on all those points, especially perseverance and knowing God’s intentions for sex. I think that communication is important, of course, but sometimes there are genuine disagreements that won’t be solved with more communication… someone needs to give in :)

            And yes, I agree that there’s always sin at the root of every problem!

  3. I would have to agree that if the husband does more of the normally female chores then you don’t have sex as often. Once apon a time my wife had said if I helped out more that she would be in the mood more. I was unemployed at the time so I started taking on more and more of the chores. After a while I was doing all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, shopping and whatever else she wanted. It made no difference and when I asked to have sex more often as I was trying to help out I was told it was my job and was then cut off for 2 or 3 months. But I had to keep doing all the work. We still only have sex 1 or 2 times a month. I do 70% of the cooking all the dishes all the vacuuming and clean the kitchen and most of the grocery shopping as she hates to do that. Also all the outside chores.

  4. I wonder if in that study they took into account the stage of life that the couples were at. I have always done most of the household chores, with hubby chipping in on occasion. Now we have many young children and hubby has to help out much more because I simply do not have the time or energy (or occasionally ability if I’m heavily pregnant). With being pregnant and having little ones, you tend to have less sex, and it has nothing to do with the chores, they’re just another symptom, not a cause.
    What about in the case of a spouse being injured or ill and the other having to take on their chores? They’re also more likely to be having less sex.
    For me, I love it when my hubby helps out, because I’d be a raving lunatic if he didn’t! It makes me feel close to him. It doesn’t lead to sex in itself, but with me being more rested and relaxed I’m more likely to say yes, so it certainly helps!

  5. I find it really weird that housework would be broken down by gender or that people would try to do certain types of housework to increase sex? I think it is far less about chores and more about communication and relationship building with your spouse. Also, it’s kind of dismissive about couples who are both working. My wife and I both work and when I’m home with the kids I’m obviously going to clean, cook, and do laundry. The same is true when my wife is home while I’m at work. When we are both home, we divide and conquer. There is no such thing as gendered work. Just everyday things that have to get done.

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