When I casually asked my friend Becky about secret turn-ons for women, she didn't hesitate for a second. "Doing the dishes," she responded, as her husband looked at her in disbelief. "That's hot!"
For many women, turn-ons aren't about traditional romantic gestures like getting roses or canoodling during candlelit dinners. Simple, everyday rituals like pitching in with the dishes or having coffee together at sunrise can be downright sexy. (Listen up, fellas, you don't even need to spring for a card.)
Do you insist on rising at five to run each morning, even when your back is aching, black ice coats the streets, and your wife beseeches you to stay in bed? Do you only feel good when you’re training for triathlons? Is eating merely a way to replenish for the next race? Then you, my Spandex-clad friend, may have an exercise addiction.
Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, a couples therapist in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., and author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage, says, "When a partner can count on these kinds of little loving gestures being ongoing, it really makes for the kind of connection that's absolutely necessary to have a relationship hang on through the good and the bad and all the crazy stuff."
She adds, "Caring gestures make women feel really good. Guys don't realize how important they are for women when it comes to getting turned on in the bedroom. To connect physically, they really need that emotional and mental connection."
Unloading the Groceries
Lori Bizzoco, a writer and stay-at-home mom in Brooklyn, N.Y., says her husband not only helps out with the dishes but also with household chores and taking care of their 2-year-old daughter. But what she appreciates most is that when she comes home from the store, he will always come out to the car to help unload bags because he knows she's got a bad back.
"What makes it special," she says, "is that he never rubs any of what he does in my face or complains. He simply believes these things are what husbands are supposed to do. That to me is the biggest turn-on of all!"