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In particular, we highlight the centrality of housework in sexual negotiation

By 2022년 08월 20일No Comments

In particular, we highlight the centrality of housework in sexual negotiation

Chantelle (African American, age 40, ple, suggests that her interest in sex is linked to her husband’s behavior, especially his household work

I’ve always heard that, you know, women are supposed to want it more when they are older. I’m kind of hoping that kicks in. But I don’t know. Part of me worries: Am I always going to feel like this and have to be obligated for the rest of my life? Because I don’t want to feel like that. I think it will probably be better as the kids get older and we’re able to be more spontaneous. So https://besthookupwebsites.org/local-hookup/norfolk/ I won’t feel like it’s such an obligation.

Unlike some of the other married individuals we interviewed, Karen has not been able to convince herself to be more sexual-to deep act desire. For Karen, the performance of desire is experienced as compulsory.

In sum, the most common way to perform desire for our respondents focuses on changing the sexual self, typically to be more sexual, but some married individuals try to be less sexual and some express resentment at having to perform desire. The following section delves deeper into the relational, interactional, and gendered dimensions of the performance of desire.

Housework, childcare, and marital sex

Our respondents reveal that how they feel sexually, along with how they try to change their spouse’s sexual feelings, is intricately linked to broader aspects of the relationship, especially the division of household labor. In this section, we identify two themes: (a) Some respondents use housework to increase sexual frequency or use sex to get greater participation in housework, and (b) the wives who juggle paid employment and motherhood describe sex as another form of work, in addition to paid work, childcare, and housework, that must be done to sustain a relationship.

(a) Tit-for-tat: The exchange of sex and housework. Nine respondents (15%) (5 wives, 4 husbands) report they use housework or use sex to get more of what they want from the relationship-a kind of conscious or unconscious exchange system. They use sex, emotional engagement, and/or household labor to try to influence their spouse’s feelings and behaviors. Jake (White, age 39) and Louise (White, age 35), for example, have argued about sex on and off throughout their 13-year marriage. Jake explains how he views Louise’s sexuality: “She is not real physical and unless she is reminded, she totally lacks interest in sex. And it compounds the problem that I don’t feel like I should have to remind somebody to be attracted to me.” Jake would like for Louise’s interest in sex to be spontaneous. He firmly believes “You can’t engineer [sex]. You know, you can’t say, ‘Okay here is what we are going to do. You are going to put this on and I am going to dress this way. We’re going to do this.’ I mean you can’t. Sex is more a-is totally this animal, chemical whatever it is.” What Jake does instead is try to treat Louise extremely well in the hopes that these efforts will increase the frequency of their lovemaking. He cooks most of their meals and describes himself as very affectionate. Thus, although Jake views sex as outside the realm of social engineering and wants Louise to spontaneously express an interest in sex, he tries to change aspects of himself and engages in household labor in the hope that these will encourage Louise to want to have sex more often.

We find a gendered pattern in this strategy, in that the husbands we interviewed, but not the wives, employ Jake’s tactic of using domestic labor in an attempt to increase the frequency of sexual intercourse. The wives, on the other hand, tend to link their willingness to engage in sex to their husband’s attempts to be more emotionally engaged or more involved in domestic labor. Chantelle says that sex has always been important to her husband Anthony (African American, age 48), but “it is just not on my top 10 list. I remember telling him one time, it feels like … it [sex] is just something else I have to write down on my list to do.” Moreover, Chantelle says, whether she feels like having sex is less about sex per se and more about “what goes on outside of the bedroom:”

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