Better communication, getting more exercise, oysters, more date nights, time away from the kids – these are just a few common theories for how couples can improve their sex life.
But now, a new study has offered up a different one, suggesting that the key to being more satisfied between the sheets could in part be down to taking it in turns to wash them.
According to the study from the University of Alberta, couples enjoyed more frequent and satisfying sex for both partners when the housework is split equally across men and women.
The study was conducted by Dr Matt Johnson, a family ecology professor at the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. Who headed up the study over a five-year period, with 1,338 German couples taking part.
His findings, published in the paper ‘Skip the Dishes? Not so Fast! Sex and Housework Revisited’ also revealed that there’s no correlation between the amount of housework undertaken by a male partner and the sexual activity of a couple.
“In any relationship, the amount of housework is going to mean something different based on the couple’s context,” explains Dr Johnson. “Based on their own expectations for what each partner should be doing, and their comparison levels of what happens with other couples they know.”
However, Dr Johnson’s study contradicts the widely reported Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage study conducted in 2012 by theAmerican Sociological Review. In which it is claimed that couples have less sex when a man performs what is regarded as traditionally female housework such as cooking, laundry and doing the dishes.
Dr Johnson believes this is down to cultural differences between the US and Germany. “The study didn’t ring true,” explains Dr Johnson. “It didn’t fit with my intuition and background experiences as a couple’s therapist.
“There are cultural differences but if the logic held from the prior studies, we would have expected to have a more pronounced negative impact of housework on sexuality in Germany because it’s a bit more traditional. But that wasn’t the case at all.”