‘No’ Says Man

Dear Neil: You printed several letters from women who seemed to be attesting that the men in their lives would receive sexual favors if the men would simply do household chores. Those women might believe what they say, and they might even respond as they said they would—in the beginning. But I believe they would find themselves taking their men’s efforts for granted in a very short time.

In my home, I clean the kitchen and bathroom about four times more often than my wife does. Apparently my tolerance for clutter is much lower than hers, because I pick up the living room daily, and she does not.

Do my efforts turn her on sexually? Do I get more sex from her because I participate in the household chores? Of course not! My efforts are taken for granted, just as wives have always complained that their efforts were taken for granted by their husbands. As soon as something is accepted as routine, it is taken for granted.

Underappreciated in Vancouver, Washington

Dear Neil: I have read your series of letters of what turns women on with growing sadness. The job my wife does of housekeeping for the family involves its chores, as does my job of providing income for the family. However, no offer of help is forthcoming for my chores, even though the march of technology makes her job easier by the year and mine more competitive.

Why does it have to benefit them in order for women to want to please their men?

Disillusioned in Christchurch, New Zealand

Dear Neil: Your “fabulous foreplay” responses are in serious need of balance. There are women who only want to be entertained, and who do nothing at home for the family. Their happiest times are when they buy things, mostly for themselves. I’ve a neighbor who’s like one of the kids. She’s irresponsible and unresponsive, and her husband does most of the domestic chores and childrearing.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dear Readers: Let’s see if we can’t begin to come to a balanced understanding of the different gender perspectives men and women carry into the sometimes heated dialogue they have with each other about sex.

Although there are exceptions to every rule—neither men nor women speak with one voice—here are the general rules of thumb:

  1. Women want help, respect and appreciation for what they give to a relationship, especially as it relates to domestic responsibilities,  and they want romance. Both.
  2. Men also want recognition and appreciation for what they contribute to a relationship, especially when the responsibility of breadwinning rests primarily or exclusively on them. And they want emotionally and sexually responsive women. Both.
  3. Nobody wants a mate who takes more than they give. Takers—male or female—make everyone else feel used, resentful and angry. If you want a happy marriage, be willing to give more than you receive, but don’t let it get too out of balance. This is a secret to having a happy marriage.
  4. Everyone—male and female—wants their intimate partner to be nurturing, responsive and romantic. Such a partner is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
  5. Nobody likes feeling that what they contribute to the relationship is expected. All of us want our contribution to be viewed as if it’s a gift

Has your relationship turned cold and distant? Neil’s book Love, Sex, and Staying Warm can help you rekindle your passion.

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