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Why I Offer My Husband Sex In Return For Doing Housework

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Why I Offer My Husband Sex In Return For Doing Housework
Love, Sex

I use my feminine charms to spruce up the house.

I'm the courtesan of home improvement. I use my feminine charms to get things done around the house. And yeah, I'm talking about offering sexual favors in return for DIY projects. 

Since becoming a mom six years ago, I've been obsessed with fix 'em up shows. I binge-watch HGTV and dream of my perfect home. It must be the nesting instinct kicking in ... or it could be I’m just tired of tripping over toys and peeling stickers off the walls.

I’m even starting to feel interior design envy. Other people actually plan their room décor and have color schemes? Say what? 

Some women are DIY queens and can shabby chic an old dresser before their first cup of coffee. Not me. I’m good at arranging furniture and décor but suck at anything that requires tools. 

And yet I wanted to transform our house, with its jumbled mess of cool but mismatched hand-me-downs and vintage thrift store finds, into something stylish. But I needed help from a skilled handyman. 

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My husband is perfect for the job. He's a great guy, considerate, kind and a loving father. He's also really good at fixing things ... when the mood strikes. But it’s a gargantuan task getting him motivated and he hates my penchant for changing things up.

After two years of pleading, he finally hung up a mirror in the dining room and our daughter was four months old by the time her crib was assembled. So how would I get the place looking glam before I'm too old to care? 

I stumbled upon the answer one night during a room re-arranging spree. I wanted to swap out a rectangular mirror over the fireplace for a round one, but it was too heavy for me to move. When my husband returned from his poker night I asked for help and he grumbled, "I like it just the way it is." 

That's when, out of pure frustration, I made a deal. "Oh for God's sake. If you do this for me I'll make it worth your while."

I've never seen him move so fast. That mirror practically flew down. We glanced at each other, giggled like kids, and I honored my promise. 

One thing I've learned from being a mom is that the reward system really works. And as I discovered with the mirror incident, it works equally well with grown-ups.

You can encourage kids to do stuff like clean their rooms with the lure of candy or a trip to the zoo. Why not test it out on husbands? With men it’s pretty simple: promise them a good time when the kids are in bed.

A whole list of jobs came to mind. We were gonna get busy at our house in more ways than one. My plan was hatched. Now I'd name the project and quid pro quo. 

The next day I mentioned another job, "about that ugly TV stand." It was free on Craigslist and meant only as a temporary solution, but had been sitting there taunting me for over a year.

I bought a replacement — a trendy red cabinet with a rustic look and some vintage hairpin legs to screw on it. But since drills and me don't mix, and my requests for help had been ignored, the whole ensemble lay abandoned in the spare room.

I asked him to whip out his tools and get it done ASAP, and also implored him to "please get rid of that old piece of junk." This was a bigger job than switching out mirrors. So, game on.

Two days later the television had a new home and it looked fabulous. Score! This was too easy. He even enjoyed the challenge, planning it out meticulously and recruiting our daughter to help. I know for sure he enjoyed the rewards. Talk about return on investment. 

Why didn't I think of this sooner? We have sex regardless, so why not squeeze some extras out of it? A good bang for your buck, as they say. The strategy was an instant hit, becoming an enjoyable game, with two very eager and willing participants. 

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They say it's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar, and it's true. When we ask our husbands to do something, they often have this unique ability to tune us out. 

So when I need to apply extra pressure, or need a quick turnaround, I've devised the carrot-on-a-stick approach.

I waltz into the living room in an alluring outfit, heels and all. Think of a 50s movie seductress (cigarette holder optional) oozing an air of aloofness mixed with charm. If he's in TV zombie mode I casually stroll into his field of vision. I may even bend over to pick something up. By now I have his full attention, and this is when I pounce and negotiate a deal. 

Of course, there are many spontaneous moments where I'll slip in some freebies. He still grumbles when I embark on a room makeover, or return from an estate sale laden with home-enhancing treasures. I guess that will never change. 

"What the hell have you bought now?" he’ll growl, watching me struggle through the door with a snazzy vintage chair or whatever bargain I've managed to snag. If he spots me trawling Craigslist, he'll do a pre-emptive strike: "Please don’t bring more crap into the house."

Then I'll smile and remind him of our little arrangement, and he suddenly becomes very accommodating. Game, set and match. 

Just to be clear, we're a fun-loving, adventurous couple, in a 20+-year relationship, having a good time. That's all. I'm not advocating any outdated, stereotypical gender roles.

To the contrary, we're equal players on a strong team. I'm both a feminist and pragmatist. I stay home now but used to be the main breadwinner. And I consider myself a positive mentor for our six-year-old daughter, who loves dinosaurs and Legos and dreams of one day becoming a scientist. 

So should you try out exchanging sexual favors for DIY projects? Depends on how you feel about sprucing up your home and spending more intimate moments with your partner. It works for us as a role-playing game with benefits. The quintessential win-win.

I get DIY projects on demand and the freedom to decorate the house the way I want it. And I also get to dress up in sexy clothes on occasion. Where else would a writer/SAHM wear a slinky LBD and strappy heels? 

As for my husband? Well, he gets more sex and he's become more appreciative. Now he earns his rewards. And it's rekindled a spark in us, the playfulness we enjoyed in the early days of our marriage. Since we’ve only had one night out alone together in over six years, we need some kind of outlet.

Not only has it revved up our romance, but we've become closer friends. It’s lightened the mood and, darling, does the place look gorgeous.

Now he's coming to me asking, "Honey, is there anything I can help you with around the house?" I dig out a lengthy list of projects, mop my brow, and sigh, "Ah, well, back to the grind." 

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Alison Hill is a freelance writer, journalist, producer and BBC commentator. She writes for various magazines, is a contributor to Listosaur.com, and is also a columnist for The Eye Magazine, Wales.