Is It Smart To Use Sex As A Reward?


Is it healthy to use a bedroom payback to get him to do the dishes?

You’ve asked politely. You hinted. You argued. You begged. When it comes to doing dishes, cleaning and laundry, you want your partner to share the load and your he either habitually forgets or refuses.

Nothing seems to work to get your partner to take responsibility for a portion of the housework and so you do something you never thought you’d reward him with sex.

“If you take care of the dishes, I’ll give you an evening you won’t forget!”
“Help me with the laundry and I’ll make it worth your while!

A woman giving her man a sexy payback for “helping” around the house isn’t as rare as you might think. A recent survey by The Daily Mail reports that 2/3 of British women admit to rewarding their partner with sex when he completes household chores.

Big strides have been made when it comes to gender inequality, but overall women still perform a “second shift.” They finish one job and head home to face another one that can include folding clothes, cooking, picking up clutter and more. Every. single. day.

report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that despite more women in the paid workforce in the past decades, things are out of balance when it comes to housework. On an average day, 83% of women surveyed cook, clean and tidy up compared to 65% of the men.

Of course, there are men who do most of the housework in their relationships and who deal with the same frustration.

Maybe you feel this imbalance in your relationship and it’s a source of tension. You want your man to share the load with you instead of expecting you to do it all. Even if your guy takes care of fixing things when they break or mowing the lawn, you’d still like him to join you in the day-to-day tasks.

You turn to what you think is a “positive” way to encourage him to do so: Sex.

Is it healthy for your relationship to use sex as a reward?

Probably not.

Sex and any other kind of intimacy isn’t meant to be a bargaining chip. It isn’t supposed to be something you use-- it’s supposed to be a way to express, share and experience the love you feel for one another.

When you use sex as a reward, it can backfire. Your partner might wonder if you actually do desire him and want to be with him in this intimate way. You may start to feel resentful and believe that he’d never do anything around the house unless you “compensate” him with sex.

It can erase the connection and pleasure from lovemaking for both of you and it can drive you further away from one another.

If you stop using sex as a reward, it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to being the only one to do housework. Follow these guidelines to create agreements that work...

1. Make a request, not a demand.
There’s no doubt, it can be frustrating when you feel like you’re shouldering more than your share of a burden-- like housework. It’s tempting to shout out a demand and expect your partner to hear it. Come to a discussion about sharing housework as calmly as you can. Leave your frustrations behind so that you can really talk without putting him on the defensive.

2. Be specific.
Don’t just ask your partner to “do more around the house;” ask him to agree to a specific chore (or more) and if you have a time frame in mind, talk about it. Say, “Will you take responsibility for doing the laundry when the dirty clothes basket is full? This would include washing, folding and putting away the clothes once or twice a week.” The clearer you are about what you expect, the easier it will be for him to consider whether or not he’s willing and if this is doable.

3. Really listen.
Avoid laying out a request and assuming your man will say “yes” without thinking first. The more you get “buy in” from him, the more likely he’ll be to actually follow through with the agreement. Really listen to what he has to say. Maybe he’s open to doing the laundry but has a different schedule in mind. Maybe he hates doing laundry but is willing to wash dishes every night.

4. Trust your partner to get the job done.
One reason why some men don’t do more around the house is because they feel criticized for the way they cook, clean, wash and fold. Don’t squash your partner’s eagerness to do his share by telling him he’s doing it “wrong.” After creating an agreement or making a request, give him space to do the job. It might not be perfect or the way you do it, but if it’s getting done, acknowledge that.

The fabulous thing about creating effective agreements about housework with your partner is this... You’ll build trust, connection and appreciation for one another and these can be very sexy. When you remove the tension, hostility and resentment, you free yourself to have sex with your partner because you WANT to, not because you feel like you have to.
Talk about even the most difficult topics-- like who’s going to clean the toilet-- in an honest way that brings you closer together. Magic Relationship Words tells you how to say what you’ve got to say and create agreements that work. Visit