Does Equal Marriage = Mediocre Sex? The Times Says Yes She Said Yes
It’s good to be fair; it’s good to share the burdens of householding, but wait, what exactly is it good for? Not sex. That’s the thesis of a New York Times magazine cover story headlined “Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?” According to a study cited in the piece and published last year in The American Sociological Review, the short answer is Yes, She said, Yes. The Times story, written by Los Angeles psychotherapist and family counselor Lori Gottlieb, reports that the study “found that when men did certain kinds of chores around the house, couples had less sex. Specifically, if men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do — then couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car. It wasn’t just the frequency that was affected, either — at least for the wives. The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.” Wait, it gets worse. Gottlieb says that thesis is supported by her own experience and the experience of her family counselor colleagues. She writes: “Many of my colleagues have observed the same thing: No matter how much sink-scrubbing and grocery-shopping the husband does, no matter how well husband and wife communicate with each other, no matter how sensitive they are to each other’s emotions and work schedules, the wife does not find her husband more sexually exciting, even if she feels both closer to and happier with him.” Read more in the New York Times.