November 4th, 2010
03:59 PM ET
Does a clean kitchen lead to more sex? The art of 'chore-play'
Want to get lucky tonight, Guys? Then perhaps you should reach for a bottle of Windex before you reach for her body. No, I’m not suggesting anything kinky. In fact, the concept of “choreplay”—that women are more likely to want to have sex when their male partner helps out around the house—is a hot topic in research circles:
Our experts at Good in Bed agree: “When we first started talking about the sex–chore connection, my husband was offended,” admits Heidi Raykeil. “To him, it felt a little as if I was withholding sex unless he was a 'good boy' and did his chores. But if I’m in the mood and the kitchen’s a mess—Errrt! Mental brake screech. My head is suddenly filled with dirty dishes and duties, instead of sex. For me, choreplay just helps a potentially hot situation stay that way.”
The “mental brake screech” Heidi describes is actually backed by science: Researchers in the Netherlands found that “the key to female arousal seems to be deep relaxation and a lack of anxiety.” In a study in which the brains of men and women were scanned during the process of sexual response using a technique called positron emission tomography (PET), the results showed that the parts of the female brain responsible for processing fear, anxiety and emotion reduce during sexual activity.
Men showed far less change in these areas of the brain. Says Dr. Gert Holstege, “What this means is that deactivation, letting go of all fear and anxiety, might be the most important thing, even necessary, to have an orgasm.” So what’s the lesson? If you want to turn a woman on, the key is to help her turn off—turn off her brain, that is—and that means helping her not worry: like about all the chores that still need to be done.
Of course, it’s tough for a woman to chill out when she comes home from one job, only to be burdened by a “second shift” of cleaning, cooking, and chaos. In that scenario, sex is just one more task on her to-do list. The goal of choreplay: to move sex to the top of that list by helping her cross off some of the less scintillating items.
Men aren’t mind readers, but most of us are aware enough to notice when the sink is full of dirty dishes or the garbage is overflowing. Once guys start carrying our weight around the house, we’re apt to find that women have more energy in the bedroom. There’s no motivation like sex! And for all of you guys out there who are already doing your share of the housework, more power to you.
But choreplay isn’t just about chores, says Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University and sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute. “It’s very important not to get into a ‘bartering’ system or even to see it as a man ‘helping his wife’ with chores,” she warns. “Household chores and parenting are shared responsibilities that researchers have generally found women spend more time on than men. When couples have a more equal partnership, they do tend to have more satisfying sex lives.”
In my own life, I've noticed that when I take the time to really play with my kids, my wife finds me sexier—and my chances of sex improve. Of course, playing with my kids isn’t a chore, but it's interesting how all the stuff outside the bedroom can make or break what happens inside.
Says Good in Bed expert, Kristen Mark, “ One of the reasons many women get turned on by these out-of-bedroom acts is because they demonstrate caring in a different way. If it becomes clear that the act is being done as a means to get sex, it can become a turn OFF. So, do these things as a way to help out, not as a way to get sex....and sex just might end up being a bonus!”
That said, time to go clean up my house and play with the kids.
Ian Kerner is a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author. Read more from him at his website,GoodInBed.
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Chris: MAYBE for every meal, every snack, all day long. Soon enough you'll have heart disease and HER troubles will be over. 🙂
Janet is VERY correct!! If there is a true relationship to begin with, it'll work through the hard areas no matter WHAT. If it's SEX based, well, it'll be gone before you know it.
I'm still wondering what benefit marriage has for a man nowadays? Few years, she cheats as women all inevitably do, and then takes half you stuff and your kids in the divorce. yay.
wow bitter, stay in that mindset and your life will suck
My husband can never do too many chores. There are more BECAUSE of him.
My right hand always does more work so my left hand can feel extra-romantic....
Renee – your husband is probably a castrated mangina – I feel sorry for him.
Jono: No they don't all cheat. Neither do all men. Though more men than women do. It's what each individual believes in the first place. And how serious they take vows. A man who cheats cause of no sex or whatever reason has no virtue.Likewise with women.
Likewise, many women may feel the same way you do. No benefits, except for having children.
It's unfortunate that we're so male vs female in everything. But hey, that's always been the case. It's just that women became vocal and exerting their sexuality (for what we have anyways).
if I clean the neighbors house can I have se x with her instead?????
I'd help my neighbor beat her rug....
So what I've gathered from the story, my own experience, and all the comments is men should simply do less... If you do less and it's not expected that you're going to make dinner, or get the kids ready, or clean up the kitchen, then it won't be expected and you'll be praised when you do, kind of like a nice surprise.
If you are her slave and try to do your fair share plus more she'll never recognize what you are doing, it will become the norm, and she'll resent you for it while she's talking to some other guy on Facebook about what a great guy he is and what a jerk her husband is.
Sounds about right, Lame.
I've shagged loads of married women. Men – do not marry, your woman will cheat.
What is with this trend in showing minorities' pictures in every news story. Which regular American actors were deprived of work because of this PC quota? The 2 people in this ad look like illegals. Someone call INS.
Yea, right, whatever you think.
Actually my husband is a really good husband. Treats me well, except when I'm not in the mood. But he's not always either. We each have our positives and negatives.
What a jerk you are!! You're not worthy of any woman when you think another woman's husband is castrated.
I won't praise my husband for anything he does unless it's out of the ordinary doings. Special doings such as redoing a bathroom, washing/waxing my car. It'll be a praise of how well the job is. A simple thank you is best otherwise. He's a man, not a child. Children need praising to keep doing positive actions.
By the way, we've been married over 30 years 🙂 Bet you're not saying that!! lol
You must be looking in the wrong places... skip bars, etc where lowdowns are anyways. (Same with women looking for men.)
True, I believe alot more women than centuries past cheat. But same with men. And if you're going with any married man or woman, you're just as GUILTY as the one who's married.
wow just when you think humanity is evolving you read responses like the one in this article and realize just how far we have to go, both the men and the women, I can't imagine how some of you get thru the day carrying these attitudes, yeah I know screw me, yeah ok but maybe look at how what your doing is NOT working for you
I don't understand why women aren't having sex dispite dirty dishes, working all day, taking care of a million things...sex is a pleasure that should not be denied because of an unkept house. Ladies... if you think your house MUST be kept up instead of sex, perhaps your priorities need some readjusting. Cleanliness is NOT next to Godliness, you aren't going to be struck down if those dishes sit there.
True, BUT who's going to have to do them in the end anyways? Why shouldn't he do them so they won't be left for her later?? Why can't he do them, get it over with and she'll be freer to enjoy other activity?! One or two dishes in a sink, that's one thing. A WHOLE sinkfull.. another story!!
That's what's wrong with most of these 'young ones' these days. All they want is FUN first. Sorry, but work has to come first!!! It helps avoid a chaotic home!! Exceptions should be: emergency situations only.. oh, and newlyweds (if no children around!
Like it or not, that's the truth!! Too many raw shows on tv and movies have made it that people should be jumping into bed left and right regardless of what is going on!! We need the older good quality shows back!!
Yeah !! Thank you.
I agree. Life is far too short to be putting all of these other mundane things above sharing intimate time with our spouse or significant other. In a true partnership, people work together and these other things will get done and in a far more cheery and less stressed out environment when our sexual and emotional needs are met by each other.
I feel sorry for people who are playing these kinds-of games with each others needs.
Hmmm... dishes done or an orgasm? The choice is not hard! If you're choosing the dishes... I hope it's satisfying for you and that your spouse isn't off looking for someone else to fulfill their needs.
Excellent, so if I do a certain amount of dishes can I now purchase different kinds of sex? I mean if I totally clean up after a huge thanksgiving meal, I should be able to put it in my wife's ass correct?
Ahhh the joys of yet another "currency of life". Let's see, we have kindness, empathy, sympathy, intelligence, and now sex!
I can't believe that we are having this long conversation about sex in marriage. Gosh, if women just did "it" like they are supposed to, everything would be fine. Before marriage, they were probably "honking his horn" every day. Most husbands are the same jerks they were before they got married.
It's obvious that teamwork makes a better relationship and often that equals more sex. Can't say this exact kitchen scenario relates to my house as I'm a homemaker (childfree.). I also takes care of some appliance repair and yard work. I'm pretty much the master of the house work in most ways. But my significant other works A LOT, has school. It's rare that what we do is very is not about equal. When he picks up his snack plates, does little thoughtful things for me, I feel cared for. We might be more active when he's more thoughtful.
Also, it is said that women who play video games with their partners get more. Nothing mysterious there, either.
Work hard together, share fun things in common and the result should be happy. We've been together 11 years, living together for maybe 7. This is how we do things and we are pretty happy.
What do men withhold from women, that costs them nothing to give, that is also forbidden to be done by some outside service?
Hmmm, let me think. Costs nothing??? Not possible. The cost of giving AFFECTION only? Not going to happen. They only give hugs and kisses (other than quick peck before leaving for work) if they want sex!!
Give hugs and kisses freely without any further word about wanting sex! You just might end up having some eventually cause she's not feeling threatened with a 'needy' man. Especially if she's had to deal with with needy, clingy children all day!!
Care to ask again?
@Menopausal – Men need to and should run from you. You reinforce every negative stereotype that many of these women are working very hard to reverse.
First of all, I think it's a turn on when my fiance cooks for me – not sure why, but that's always been a turn on for me.
BUT we both do yard work, housework, work on the cars, etc. I don't think holding chores over someone's head for sex is right but it's the fact that each of you need respect each other enough to help and that goes a long way.
If I have a sink full of dishes or laundry in the washer/dryer and he comes up to me, wouldn't take long before we'd be somewhere in the house tearing our clothes off – those clothes and dishes will still be there.
....or maybe some of you guys out there aren't as good as you THINK you are to have a woman drop everything to jump your bones. I lucked out in that department.....
If you have children in the home, the whenever is thrown out the door. You can't spend time alone and let children do whatever! Oh, but wait, a man can ejaculate in two minutes.. leaving the woman behind. And guess what's happened in two minutes without young kids being supervised?? LOL No wonder so many little ones these days have NO respect!! Their folks are too busy getting the father's rocks off to keep him busy!!
Mickety: That's kind of laughable when it comes to 'it' women did it like they were supposed to. Hmmm, that means: lie there and let him do it whether you're prepared or not?!?! I have before.. it hurts like anything.. long after. But he got his rocks off, so he's happy. I resent him more then.
But then again, if we women were supposed to ENJOY sex, we'd have been created with lots more nerves throughout our whole genitalia!! Not just a little area that's only felt if the it's stimulated correctly, inside and out. Wait, we don't have anything inside.. if so, we're anatomically defected according to the medical society.
C: Wow, so women who play videos with their partners get more? Man, that says alot about their partners.. I would say that means their partners are more interested to play videos than have sex for the most part, and the only way their wive/gf receives anything is to sit for hours playing with videos also.
Hey, but us women have something positive to look forward to!! MENOPAUSE.. by then, most men can't get it up and keep it us as long! lol
@ BITTER- Seems like you are pretty sure about the Herpes thing. Did you give it to him? I am betting you did based upon such a firm statement. Nothing like first hand knowledge!
If people have to barter for sex, their relationship is in big trouble. Doing things for one another and sharing the load of household duties is not supposed to be something that is a CHORE. It takes two to make things get done in a home. If you are really in things for the long haul together, you learn that keeping score in order to beat your partner up over it is counter-productive. It will most likely cause the partner, regardless of their gender, to resent your attitude and they will be more prone to do less than you were initially accusing them of.
I left a woman over her slovenly approach at living. I did not want to be the housekeeper all by myself anymore than anyone would. If you do not have a true PARTNER and you cannot get them to be IN things with you....get out. Life is too short to drag dead weight and waste all of your breath pleading for them to GET IT.
There is a reasonable mate-match out there for everyone. Find them and be good to them. All of the rest of this will fall into place. I know it can happen. I got a GEM the second time around. I know how to help and she does too! We do not keep score with CHORES, we communicate and assist our partner.
Sort of sounds like what a marriage is all about to me. Anything else is either a dictatorship or an struggle for control and domination.
A man who gets it!!
Yes, I'm not one who thinks a woman should be a slob staying home, children or not.
But most of the time, it is a woman getting the slob and she's so worn down.
Thanks for stepping up to the plate and showing these other men what a REAL man is!!
Have a robot !!! Everybody will be happy !!!
I like taking it in the rear while I do the dishes.
You have just given 50% of the world hope. Be still my heart.
@Mary....What a WOMAN~
Unless you are a guy POSING as MARY!
When I used to date a lot more I have had days where I wake up early to get chores done, go to work for 9 hours, get home and do more chores (maybe I am behind), go to the gym for a hard workout, come back and fold all the laundry and put away dishes, go to store, buy/prepare/cook food, wine and dine with girlfriend, and still give her as much as she wants in the bedroom despite nearly falling asleep and having my whole body aching from the day. STOP with the "I'm too tired after my exhausting day of typing" crud.
Sounds about right for both Lame and myself. Bust 15 different types of arse daily for 18 hours, still be interested in spending intimate time, only to be shot down with a truly inane excuse. Eff that. I've had it. I'm going to go find a damned cave for the rest of my days. Get your own crap, I'm done busting my arse for you, buying you sh!t, keeping a nice roof over your head. your favorite brands hanging in the closet and on your feet, and stocking all your favorite foods in the fridge.
I certainly don't see any indication of you having to clean up and care for children (especially young ones) all day long!! That really changes the dynamics of cleaning a home!!! And for a mother to have even a free minute to use the bathroom (I won't mention probably not eat halfway decent.)
She sleeps in, I get the kids ready for school. I make sure lunches are made and homework is done. I check their schoolwork, confer with teachers. I make sure baths are taken and teeth are brushed. The kids aren't that young, they're in elementary school. Between work, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and the kids, I don't have time for the gym. Don't go putting up defenses where none are deserved.
no interest in becoming a chore whore....if you have to do things for sex, you relationship is in sorry shape anyway....thanks fro the continued desmaculization Ian
For once a man has seen that a relationship is in trouble long before sex issues come into play!!
Now if men would only understand about women's hormones and the sex drive. Sex drive in general!! We have far less estrogen, even during peak times, than men do of testosterone. In fact, men have MORE estrogen than a woman does after menopause. But yet men think we should be the same throughout life?? lol
This seems to have stuck a chord and in fact chore-play.com is now on auction.
Your wife wants MORE sex than you do, you want it more than she does, so why play mind games. Proof that SEX is the god of your wife is this: Give her your penis, let her come down on you, what does she do? SHE WILL KNEEL DOWN AND TAKE IT IN...ALWAYS. Give it to her and SHE WILL KNEEL DOWN and TAKE IT IN. Anytime she's got to come down on you, she WILL KNEEL DOWN and TAKE IT IN
I have been married 4 years and husband never lifts a finger...but that is ok with me. Everytime I ask my husband nicely to do something and he refuses..which is everyime. I smile politely and just go a head and do the same chores again and again. THen I go and swallow some of the neighbors cum...and then I kiss my husband with those same lips...SO yes, I do all the chores..AND I PUT OUT 🙂 :)....and by the way...most women enjoy sex...ALOT..it just may not be with YOU and YES it is because you dont help out....
so, in your logical mind, if the man does chores and his wife doesn't put out, is it okay to cheat on his wife with the hot intern?
Dam... Lucky I am not ur husband. You should at least be truthful and let him know.
So he can get away from you.
The real question is why hasn't the woman cleaned the kitchen in the first place?
You know something, women who hold out on men because they feel taken advantage of, are holding out on themselves. Sometimes intimacy is just what couples need to get over that animocity. My significant other and I are very open when it comes to any type of intimate issue. If he doesn't feel he gets it enough he tells me and I am oh so happy to give him what he needs. I enjoy being with him but sometimes as women, we think that perhaps our husband/significant other might be too tired so why bother? Unfortunately, woman think that holding out will help them in the long run when in reality, that's when cheating occurs and more problems. It is nice to get help around the house but it shouldn't be a deciding factor to have fun in the bedroom for crying out loud.
your thought process is amazing. i wish more people thought this way...
JB: You are so right with your posting! If the woman is thinking correctly, they will want to be pleased also. What is wrong with a few dishes in the sink or clothes on the floor? Satisfy each other and clean the house together afterwards. I am blessed to have a wife that thinks like you do. She is open to knowing if I am satisfied and taken care of in the bedroom. I also help out with housework because I know that I helped fill this house with little beings that take her energy. I love seeing her face when she arrives back with or without the children and the house is immaculate! When she walks out the door, we all look at each other and start the plan. Each child gets a different room and I take the kitchen and laundry. We make it a race to see who is done the fastest and who will impress mom the most. I now have the children into this thought and they enjoy cleaning to see mom happy. I did not originally see sex for cleaning but the more I cleaned the more frequent the lovins seemed to be. I do it to help out because I put myself in her shoes having to take care of our children. This is my second marriage and her one and only sexual experience. What I cannot figure out is that my ex was dead in bed even though I found out she cheated almost every week of our marriage (10 years), and my once naive wife is a sexual dynamo. I definitely got it right the second time around and I went the route of finding someone who is thankful about life in general. She has been God sent to my life.
How about we all just email this author and tell him our thoughts.
This is alot of B-S. When we do chores around the it sure doesn't involve any thing romantic. We do chores in
separate rooms. Goes faster and we don't have to look at each other. And I certainly don't want to look at my wife
i need penis enlargement to satisfy my girl.
"If you want to turn a woman on, the key is to help her turn off—turn off her brain, that is" So does this mean we need to go back to hitting them over the head with a club?
they have a nice kitchen
I remember this study from the 1950s, but then it was called, if you want your hubby to be happy, go get him a sammitch.
That's a LIE! I cleaned our kitchen at least 3 times a day and I still ended up divorced!
I already do housework and hang out with my baby thank you very much. What magical universe is this you're speaking about where I don't have to do anything around the house?! I must visit this wonderful place!!!
You see. This is what happens when women are in control of 100% of the pu$$y.
Having been a "house" husband for several years, I'll let all of you guys in on a secret; a 2500 sqft home can be cleaned in 2 hours. Bathrooms, floors mopped, dusting, laundry (and I iron), everything. Preparing meals, getting the kids around to school and appointments takes longer, about 3 hours.
I'd tell you more but my soaps are on.
"Researchers in the Netherlands found that “the key to female arousal seems to be deep relaxation and a lack of anxiety.”"
Well no kidding. Except that my wife stresses out about everything, including money, so it's not like she ever puts out and enjoys it.
WOW! What a coinky-dink because you know what gets me primed?
When the wife cuts the 1+ acre yard every week, tends the pool, fixes the cars, paints the house, repairs anything and everything that breaks, disciplines the kids after she's let 'em off the hook too many times. Oh yeah, and MAKES ALL THE MONEY working 60 hours a week.
I'm not married....but maybe switch it up a little. When your husband gets home go and turn him on...then tell him you want to take a shower to get ready for him and could he please clean the kitchen while you "get ready" so the both of you can be done for the night. Gives you time to relax in hot water and refresh...and the dishes get done faster with his arousal. Just a thought.
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I think the strongest influence causing this phenomena is the old sperm and egg story where men can best reproduce their genetic material by spreading their sperm around and women, with only one egg a month, hold out for a male who will hang around and help her raise the egg. Seeing her partner washing the dishes and changing the baby allows her ancient biology to “know” that it is safe to have sex with him.
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