Joseph Fields of Lexington, Kentucky, knows that he can boost his chances of having sex with his wife if he buys her roses and chocolates. But if he wants to be sure he'll score a romantic evening, he goes straight for the Brillo pads. "My wife has told me that she's never more turned on to me than when I'm doing housework," says Fields, a 39-year-old guidance counselor. "And she's proven it again and again."
For years, American women have hinted that the combination of husbands and housework is a potent aphrodisiac. Now, for the first time, a scientific survey of American men affirms the connection. According to a new national study of 300 husbands conducted for my book, VoiceMale, the happier a wife is with her husband's participation in housework, the more sex she has with him.
How much more sex? On average, about once a month more. That may not seem like a lot, but for those couples who are in the throes of child-rearing — when sex happens only occasionally anyway — a once-a-month increase can mean twice as much sex for them.
And that's only the beginning of the power of housework. In the survey, conducted in conjunction with the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center, I asked husbands whether they thought the division of housework in their marriage was fair, and whether their wives thought it was fair. In cases when both partners answered that things were fair in their household, the results we found were compelling:
- Wives were less likely to have affairs.
- Couples were less likely to consider separation or divorce.
- Couples were more likely to be happily married overall.