A couple of years ago a friend showed me a book called “Porn for Women.” Instead of featuring the classic hunk-showing-junk photos ala Playgirl this comic take portrayed attractive young men doing things like vacuuming the floor, washing dishes and listening attentively.
Cute. Clever. But a new survey has bourne it to be a prescient piece of psychological wisdom. A survey by appliance manufacturer DeLonghi indicated that just under half of women surveyed said helping around the house was a romantic turn-on and most would prefer a little help with the ironing to going out for a nice dinner.
If you’re hesitant to take the word of an appliance company that housework is sexy, how about academia? From a 2007 piece on MSNBC:
“According to a May 2007 in American Journal of Public Health, a guy who pulls his own weight around the house isn’t just hot, he’s a boon for his lady’s health.
Researchers at the American University of Beirut studied 1,652 married couples and found that wives whose husbands were minimally involved in housework were 60 percent more likely to be distressed, three times more likely to be uncomfortable with their husbands, and more than twice as likely to be unhappy.. “
And a happy person is far more likely to be a horny person.
One thing not really well-covered in either story, though, is why. Why, for heaven’s sake, would a little ironing be hotter than dinner out on the town?
Well, those little gestures are signs of caring and of valuing the other person’s time and happiness. When you take a moment to do a little chore for someone, partner or otherwise, it shows you’ve put some thought into what they might need instead of what you would like to do for them. You’re willing to take time to stop for groceries so they can get home a little earlier and relax. You get up and make the coffee so it will be there when they wake up. Especially with times as tough as they are, feeling just a little more cared for goes a long, long way.
As for the classic romance gestures, chocolates are lovely but not tons of time or creativity go into buying them – it’s the romantic version of rubber stamping. Candlelit dinners are fabulous – but if your partner has worked all day and had to do laundry immediately on arrival at home they’re going to be too tired to dress up or might fall asleep in their miso soup. Better to do the laundry for them –then they’ll have a lot more energy and desire when the lights go out. Survey sez.