Another survey is out validating the findings of many previous surveys,* to the effect that husbands who apply themselves in the kitchen, laundry room and other precincts of milady’s house may be rewarded by her in the bedroom.
In “Housework and Sex: What's the Connection?" released last April, University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research discovered that many housewives get turned on watching their husbands do housework.
"Sounds good," a macho husband might respond. "But is it manly? Because I wouldn't want to do anything that wasn't manly, just so I could get... well, you know."
Don't worry. You can look on housework as “Domestic Dragon-Slaying”--at least that's what I called it in my book. As I wrote in Chapter 5 (“Pampering and Pitching In”):
“A husband can step up to the plate (as it were) and be that that helpmeet without endangering his masculinity (even if he dons an occasional apron). By doing so, in fact, he will be more a man in her eyes. Yea, verily, he may assume the radiant and transfigured status of champion—her champion. And, yes, it may pay erotic dividends down the road.”
What these researchers have not yet discovered, or have not deigned to publish, however, is that it’s not just wives who get turned on when husbands do housework. Husbands get turned on by themselves doing it.
As Au876 (among many other wife-worshippers) has confessed:
“I often find I have become sexually excited at the darnedest times. I may be ironing her clothes, cleaning the bathrooms, preparing dinner, washing dishes -- you name it. And I realize I have an erection. She may not even be at home and yet I have become excited just knowing I am serving her in some fashion.”
I leave the “why” of this to the psychologists, normal or abnormal, to decipher. I would only point out that a male working himself up into a sexual dither in order to impress a female is not uncommon in courtship.
But for the wives, it seems, the turn-on has less to do with erotic fantasy than pragmatic reality: She’s relieved and grateful to have her usually couch-bound mate up on his feet and doing some of the heavy domestic lifting, thereby lightening her burden.
“Ask any man, goes a joke I heard somewhere, and he’ll tell you a woman’s ultimate fantasy is to have two men at once. While this has been verified by a recent sociological study, it appears that most men do not realize that, in this fantasy, one man is cooking and the other is cleaning.”
Another old joke to the same purpose: “What’s the sexiest thing a young dad can do for his wife?” Answer: “The dishes.”
That’s not to say that women can’t indulge some wild fantasies in regard to domestic arrangements. Take this sampling of responses by young women to an Internet survey question, “What would your dream househusband do for you?”
…keep my house spotlessly clean and have delicious meals prepared for me every night--- and dress up when I want to go out!
…do laundry, pay bills, walk the dog, run errands, and have dinner waiting on the table for me at night naked!
…keep the refrigerator full …cook, clean & kiss me as I walk in the door.
…fetch my book, hold my bookmark, and rub my feet whilst I read...
…pick up our kids, help them with homework, and be happy to see me!
And this final fantasy: “He’d have my period for me.”
The female-led nature of this domestic setup was also made explicit by several women who responded to the “dream househusband” survey, to wit: “I want a man who truly understands the business of maintaining home & family and who understands in no uncertain terms I am the CEO.
The message to married males I can sum up by adding three words to the tagline of this blog, i.e.:
“If you want your wife to be a goddess, worship her… and serve her!”
* According to one previous survey cited in my book, “men who do more housework and child care have better sex lives and happier marriages than do unhelpful husbands.” (Research findings published by marital researcher John Gottman, Ph.D. in the May/June 1994 issue of the Family Therapy Networker.)