Sex After Kids: A Different Kind of Wet Spot

photo via NYT

A few weeks back, the New York Times Magazine cover story was about sex after marriage, and specifically, whether more equality in marriage might lead to less sex. It was based in part on a study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which found that when men took on more of the traditionally “feminine” chores around the house — like folding laundry, cooking, or vacuuming — those couples had less sex. They had sex 1.5 fewer times a month, in fact, than couples where men were more likely to take on the more “masculine” chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car. And it wasn’t just about quantity, either — the wives in these more “traditional” couples reported greater sexual satisfaction than those in more egalitarian marriages (i.e. relationships where both couples work and take care of the domestic side of things).

Of course, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation — we can’t imagine that satisfying sex is simply a matter of acting like a nineteen-fifties couple. (In fact, we’re 100% sure that this isn’t the case!) But one take-away we are sure of is this: There are certain chores no one wants to see their partner perform, male or female: scrubbing poo stains off a toilet basin, for example (unless that’s your kink). Hence our Tweet the following Monday: 

Because just in case correlation does mean causation, and men sweeping the floor and cleaning toilets does dampen your sex life — well, we don’t know many women who are prepared to take on more domestic duties to rectify this situation, so clearly, the answer is outsourcing.

(And yes, yes, we know that not everyone can afford a cleaning service, and that these are first world problems with first world solutions. Bear with us for a moment.)

Anyway, cut to this past weekend, when Em’s husband was giving their two kids a bath before bed. (A.k.a. Major lady boner killer, according to the study.) Their two-year-old son peed on the bathroom floor just before getting into the bath, and as Em’s man was leaning down to clean it up, he accidentally dropped this weekend’s New York Times Magazine in the wet spot. When he picked it up, look where the wet spot landed:

Yep, that’s our Tweet, featured on the magazine’s letters page, and now covered in Em’s son’s pee, which her husband cleaned up! Which just seemed perfectly fitting to us. Here’s the full-page evidence:

As to whether or not Em’s husband got laid after this domestic double-duty, we’ll just have to leave that up to your sordid imaginations.



  1. Lori Gottlieb has a handle on a strange kind of non-fiction, and shouldn’t be so fast to put her patients’ anecdata next to some 20 year old study and call it a day.

    Did either Em or Lo notice how clean the floor and living room was in the other photo of a woman watching her man vacuuming a floor?

    I know that if by some miracle our home ever got that clean, my spouse and I would have long since moved on to better pursuits.

  2. Ha! If that’s not a sign to get a cleaning service I don’t know what is! Interesting article though that the more men take on traditionally feminine chores, the more their sex life suffers. Interesting to think about how the two are related…

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