Get out the toilet bleach and your sexiest pair of rubber gloves – couples who clean the house equally also like to get down and dirty more.
Research from the University of Utah and Cornell University found that couples who follow a more equal division of labor in the house experience a more active sex life. On the flip side, couples where the woman does the bulk of the housework get down to business less often.
The couples who reported sharing housework equally had sex 6.8 times per month. That's compared to couples who tended to stick to “more traditional” gender roles, who had sex around 5.8 times a month.
This study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, stands in stark comparison to the somewhat notorious New York Times Magazine article from 2014 titled "Does Gender Equality Kill Sex Lives?” This article argued that men in marriages who do equal amounts of household work had sex “1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores.”
In a press release for the new study, the researchers explain that it all has to do with how sharing the household work can be paired with an increase in social equality and more “liquid” gender roles. This in turn leads to fairer and therefore happier partnerships. And, of course, happier partnerships equal more sex.
The authors explain: “Couples report having more and higher quality sex when they are satisfied with their relationships. In today’s social climate, relationship quality and stability are generally highest when couples divide up the household labor in a way they see as equitable or fair."
They also cite historian Stephanie Coontz, who explained: “Love used to be seen as the attraction of opposites, and each partner in a marriage specialized in a unique set of skills, resources, and emotions that, it was believed, the other gender lacked. Today, love is based on shared interests, activities, and emotions. Where difference was once the basis of desire, equality is increasingly becoming erotic.”