Do Equal Marriages Have Less Sex?

Last year, Sheryl Sandberg said that if men chip in around the house, they will have more sex. Now, the New York Times tells us that equal marriages, where both partners share domestic responsibilities, have less fun in bed.

Being overworked, at home and at work, kills the love life. Skipping date nights kills the love life. High achievement at work and at home kills the life life.

So, leave the dishes in the sink and go out for drinks!

See, I solved America’s love life problem in one short blog post. Maybe I should write a sex advice column. I better it would get more traffic than my egg-head articles about state political culture.


22 thoughts on “Do Equal Marriages Have Less Sex?

  1. That paper suffers from the one way fallacy, etc. Blergh! How many alternate stories could we come up with in the comments of this blog, and how many did they actually test?

  2. Laura has a pretty traditionally gendered marriage, so I guess things must be pretty hot in the McKenna household. 🙂

    In our case, we both had jobs outside the home, but we have never, never worked together around the house. We fall to fighting almost instantly. We divide the tasks up along traditional gender lines. So if she is cooking, at most, I do a guy thing in the kitchen, like opening a jar, or if I am doing home improvement, my wife stands by as a carpenter’s helper, handing me tools when I am up on a stepladder. Or I set the table (i.e., as the butler) while she cooks the meal (i.e., as the maid).

      1. In The Rosie Project Don mentions cleaning the bathroom.

        In one of my longtime favorites, The Cinderella Deal, there’s this passage: “Then he went downstairs to deal with the chaos left by their illnesses. They had bills, and yard work, and cleaning, and people coming to stay for Christmas in four days.”

        It’s actually harder than I thought to find couples who share the chores because the romance novels don’t deal with what happens after the ending, i.e., when they move in together or get married, for the most part. So you have to find arranged marriages (rare in a contemporary romance novel) or more chick-lit-y types of novels that focuses more on the beta male hero in his own apartment or house.

        Jo Beverley’s Rogues series has a somewhat unconventional couple with a daughter who are the h/h of the first book and regularly appear in later books with their daughter, and the parents share a lot of the child rearing, but they are also rich, so of course they have plenty of servants.

        Oh, the movie Don Jon with Joseph Gordon Levitt. The main character (Jon) is big into cleaning his pad, and Scarlett Johansson’s character kind of tries to shame him out of doing it.

      1. I was just reading a book last night, “Mr Not Quite Perfect,” and happened to notice this:
        “He had been tidying again, Allegra registered with a roll of her eyes. You would never catch the magazines being neatly lined up on the coffee table when it was just her and Libby.”
        OK, not vacuuming precisely.
        Btw, the book was a DNF (in a long line of DNFs unfortunately) for me. Nothing to do with the beta male hero. Couldn’t relate to the heroine who had a hyper-achieving mother that she kept trying to please.
        I’ll see what else I can find….

  3. I get grouchy when I’m not only doing the traditional chick chores, like cooking and cleaning, but also doing the traditional guy chores, like shoveling out the driveway.

  4. Ditto what laura said, which happens far more often around here than I’d like. While I’m no CEO, I put a lot of energy into my job and so does Mr. Geeky. I put the leftover energy into making dinner and doing laundry (note: Mr. Geeky does his own laundry and cleans up the kitchen after meals). Both of us are passed out by 9 many nights. I’ve heard it gets better when kids are out of the picture. More time alone, less to do for the kids, less mess created in the first place.

    And I shoveled the walk during most of the last few storms. Mr. Geeky jumped the car when it wouldn’t start, so I guess that’s something. 🙂

  5. Gee, I kind of like doing the girl work. But it doesn’t happen very often: only when my wife is very sick or out of town. Maybe if I had to do it more than eight or ten days a year, I wouldn’t like it.

  6. The real question is, if a husband sees his wife shoveling snow, does he lose romantic interest? Or is it only bringing home a bigger paycheck that makes a man lose interest? Or is it the women who lose interest when gender roles aren’t fulfilled, while the men are still up for it? The article was a little unclear on these points.

  7. I’m still in a fairly new relationship. 8 months. Early in our relationship (in June) I said I had this thing about snow in my driveway, and it always annoyed me that I always had to be the one shoveling. My sweetheart took a mental note. I haven’t shoveled a driveway all winter. He doesn’t make a big deal of it. Just slips out before I even notice it has snowed- usually when I’m in the shower- and shovels the driveway without a word. You can bet he gets lucky not because of the driveway but because he knows this simple thing means something to me.

    Plus, he’s cute.

  8. Setting aside the giant holes in this particular article, isn’t this by the same author who wrote a book whining about being a single 42 year old and urging women to settle for the first man willing to marry them? I’m not sure how she became a marriage counselor, nor who would go to her. I seem to recall she used to dump men who drank free water at a restaurant on the first date for being “cheap.” She should team up with the Tiger Mom, Sandra Tsing-Loh, Katie Roiphe, and the OG professional troll, Camille Paglia, and write the mother of all terrible life manuals.

    1. .”I seem to recall she used to dump men who drank free water at a restaurant on the first date for being “cheap.””

      Gah. Money aside, couldn’t that just be a sign of being health conscious?

      1. I was supposed to get sparkling water. In fairness, on regoogling it, it appears to be a friend of Gottlieb’s, not Gottlieb herself. I still think she’s a grade A professional lady troll though.

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