Is Vacuuming Foreplay?

Plenty of us have had that moment, ladies, where Clueless Man walks in from a long day at work.  One look around our house should tell Clueless Man that the next natural disaster movie could be filmed on location in our living room; laundry has piled up to heights unseen by Sir Edmund Hillary; dinner is bubbling over the pot like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice cauldron; children are yelling creative epithets at one another; and Frazzled Wife’s face has permanently frozen (as her parents promised) into an expression mirroring Edward Munch’s The Scream.  YET, Clueless Man walks over and (a) kisses neck; (b) grabs derrière; and/or (c) fondles breast of Frazzled Wife and suggests a sexual interlude.

What?!!  Is this guy paying attention at all?

Now try Scenario #2:  Smart-Sexy Guy walks in to the whirlwind that is our home and notices Frazzled Wife collapsed onto the floor praying for a break, a spa day, or – better yet – Jesus’ Second Coming.  He scoops up Frazzled Wife and gives her a non-sexual hug.  He says, “Honey, it looks like you’ve had a tough day. Why don’t you take it easy for a few minutes? I’ll finish supper and take care of the kids.”  Frazzled Wife drags herself to the bedroom, locks the door, arranges three chairs in front of that door, grabs earplugs, and lies down with a wet cloth over her eyes.  Meanwhile, Smart-Sexy Guy corrals the kids, straightens up the house, starts a load of laundry, and finishes supper.

Is there any wife out there who is not sighing with satisfaction at this thought?  Where is this Smart-Sexy Guy? And how can I trade my Clueless Man in for one of those!

Sorry, ladies, I don’t know any husbands who do that all the time.  All men have clueless moments.  Some are clued-in better than others, but it doesn’t come naturally to most guys.  They honestly don’t see the mess, the craziness, the help you need.  Instead, they get home, notice your fine figure hovering near the stove, and think “Gimme.”

I have, however, explained to my own man that it is a big turn-in when he helps me out around the house.  In fact, all housework should be considered foreplay.  Wave a toilet brush around the bowl, and I start to purr.  Fold a load of laundry, and I start to pant.  Run the vacuum around the house for me, and I am good to go.

Psychologist and Christian author Kevin Leman has a terrific book entitled Sex Begins in the Kitchen.  He wrote it to convince men that women are wooed throughout the day by all the little things that contribute to making us feel valued and loved.  When we feel those things, we are far more open to physical intimacy when opportunity strikes.

In contrast, when we can’t reach our bed because of the mountains of clutter and mess in the way, it’s hard to get in the mood.  All we women can think about in that moment is our ever-growing list of to-dos.  When Hubby marks off some of our to-dos, it clears not only our list but our minds.  We can concentrate better on that guy who wielded a broom moments before and find him pretty darn attractive.

What chore could your husband do that would turn you on?

6 thoughts on “Is Vacuuming Foreplay?

  1. Paul Byerly

    All of this is valid, and important for guys to understand. But I hear from plenty of guys who do these things and get not so much as a thank you – much less any indication that their efforts were foreplay.

    Men and women both have a need to be appreciated, especially when they go out of their way to help, or do something that is costly. In the words of a fellow who e-mailed me recently “A reaction like causes a guy to think twice before doing it again.”

    I’m just saying …

  2. Anonymous

    Hmmm, regarding this topic and the above comment… I think it might be helpful to read “The 5 Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman. He asserts that each of us has a primary love language such as “gift-giving” or “quality time” that we respond to better than the others.

    After reading it, I discovered that my love languages are touch and words of affirmation, but my husband’s love language is acts of service. So he automatically does the kind of housekeeping duties that are described in the above article. For years I didn’t realize that he was doing doing laundry, cleaning, the kitchen, etc. to show me how much he loved me. I was just thinking,”why is he vacuuming after I just vacuumed? does he think I didn’t do it right?”
    In truth, I still don’t get “turned on” by my husband doing chores for me, although I guess it helps by keeping me from getting overwhelmed and that helps by keeping my energy up, so I’m more likely to be in the mood later on.

    Now that I know his motivation for wanting to do chores for me, I completely appreciate him helping. And we have a great sex life, in my opinion. We’ve been married for 15 years, and I love him and appreciate him more than ever. Although, unfortunately, for him, vacuuming will never be foreplay for me. He has to speak to me in MY love language for that.

  3. J

    Sorry for the follow-up delay.

    @Paul Byerly – I agree. My perspective is primarily that women need to ASK for help around the house if this is what would clear their minds (and the bedroom clutter) so they can get their groove on with hubby. And then, the helpful husband should receive a BIG thank-you. If I bust myself to do something for my spouse and get absolutely no reinforcement or reward, I’ll probably concentrate my efforts elsewhere. Hopefully, though, wives are mostly grateful, and one of the best ways to thank your guy is to make sure you have to do laundry the next day — a load of sheets.

    @Anonymous – For some reason, I have a whopping THREE copies of The Five Love Languages on my shelf (one purchased, two gifted?). I love this book. And if house-cleaning doesn’t make a spouse feel valued, it’s better to find out what does. Acts of service is low on my own list (4th), but I have a hard time focusing on the good lovin’ if a mess and a long to-do list distract me. I don’t really care who does it; but having someone help me clear the plates I’ve been spinning all day frees me to set my eyes on the prize.

    GREAT COMMENTS! Thanks.

  4. Inez

    I saw a sign in Hobby Lobby that summed it up:

    I like hugs and I like kisses,
    But what I LOVE is help with dishes.

  5. Anonymous

    The man is “clueless”?!?!

    Is he not working outside the home all day long? Do you help work his 1/2/3 jobs?!?!

    But the first thing he does when he comes home is to reach out to you and you think that’s clueless. He is providing a home and probably a vehicle for you to drive and food for your children. So are you that selfish and lazy that you want him to come home to help you(God knows what you have been doing for 8 hours) but you dont go to help him. Thats a sad state of affairs for any marriage.

    1. J

      Yes, I think such a man is clueless if his wife has clearly had a horrible day, and he is only focused on what he wants. I could have also written an article about a clueless wife who pays no attention to obvious signs that her husband is stressed, exhausted, flooded, etc. and wants to dump her emotional baggage on him the moment he comes home from that third job.

      So yeah, they should absolutely help each other. Marriage involves attending to one another’s needs. I simply wrote about one side of this equation in this particular post.

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