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Dads, If You Wanna Get Laid, Do the Damn Dishes (Science Says So)

Photograph by Twenty20

Washing dishes is a never-ending chore that, let's be real, often falls on moms' shoulders. After a full day of working, cooking and dealing with small, fussy eaters, it's no wonder the growing piles of sticky forks and crusty dishes every day can build resentment. Actually, having to wash dishes most of the time is the single biggest source of relationship and sexual discontent for women.

Don't believe us? Guys, just look at the science.

According to a Council on Contemporary Families report, new research to be published later this month in Socius looked at household tasks like shopping, doing the laundry and housecleaning. Sharing the dishwashing responsibility mattered the most for women in heterosexual relationships; not sharing the task ended up being most damaging to relationship quality.

"As of 2006, women who found themselves doing the lion’s share of dishwashing reported significantly more relationship discord, lower relationship satisfaction and less sexual satisfaction than women who split the dishes with their partner," wrote Daniel Carlson, an assistant professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah and the lead author of the study.

Yes, dads, take note. The more you help with dishes, the happier moms are about the relationship—this includes how satisfied she is with the sex (that means both how often you have sex and the quality of it). Seriously, moms have said finishing the dishes is what foreplay really looks like.

If we think about it, the findings make a lot of sense. Washing dishes and other chores where you're cleaning up after other people have traditionally been a "woman's job." But we're in 2018, dammit, so why should women still be responsible for the tasks people find less desirable? Plus, as women see more couples around us share those chores (between 1999 and 2006, couples who shared dishwashing responsibilities rose from 16 to 29 percent), the worse it feels when we're not getting help from our dear husbands.

Dishwashing, in particular, hits a nerve because it's gross and it's a chore you can't really compliment.

"There is old, moldy food sitting in the sink. If you have kids, there is curdled milk in sippy cups that smells disgusting," Carlson told the Atlantic. And, unlike the thriving rose bush or freakin' amazing mac and cheese balls, "What is there to say (about dishwashing)? ‘Oh, the silverware is so … sparkly'?"

The next time you find yourself wondering who's going to end up doing the dishes, the best way to go about this is to do them as a team. One of you washes, the other dries. Or one of you rinses, the other loads. Stand in the kitchen side by side and tackle that gross shit—together.

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