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What Does It Take to Lift Your Sex Life to the Next Level?

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HIS VASECTOMY

Tenna Perry, 47, dog breeder and groomer
Dave Perry, 47, scheduler in an electric plant
Browns, IL

TENNA: Pregnancy has never been easy for me. With each of my three kids, I had to go on bed rest. I’ve actually gotten pregnant twice while on the Pill — both of those pregnancies ended in miscarriage. So during sex, I always worried about getting pregnant again. When I was pregnant with Will, our youngest, I thought about getting my tubes tied, but Dave suggested that he get a vasectomy instead. He said if anyone was going to be in pain, he wanted it to be him. Dave’s choice was such a powerful statement of love in my eyes. As for how it changed our sex life? Simple — it made us able to enjoy sex any time, any place, without worry. And the fact that Dave volunteered for it was a turn-on too. We’ve been married for more than 20 years and we still enjoy each other sexually, and never hesitate to show it. My oldest says, "Ugh! Get a room!"

A DISHWASHER

Thembisa Mshaka, 36, copy director, author, and voice-over actor
Anthony Tmor Morris, 36, real estate broker
Brooklyn, NY

THEMBISA: Four years ago, my husband and I were on the brink of divorce. Today, we are beyond happy and can’t keep our hands off each other. And we owe it all to our state-of-the-art Bosch dishwasher.

Doing the dishes used to be a major source of conflict. Because Tmor is a food snob, he does all the cooking and won’t allow me to help. While I’ve always enjoyed his signature gumbo, his intricate salads, his chicken-and-pineapple surprise, I didn’t enjoy how he’d dirty every pot, bowl, and measuring cup we owned, then invoke the “cooks don’t clean” rule. I hate washing dishes. It takes me back to my childhood, when I was the one who had to clean up after my siblings.

So I’d beg — literally cry — for compromise. We’d agree to split the dishes, but after about two nights, he’d silently shirk dish duty or flat-out refuse to participate. We’d have these terrible fights about dishes that bled into other areas of our relationship — including our sex life. Sex had never been great for Tmor and me. When we met, I was inexperienced and he’d had many girlfriends. I was constantly playing catch-up and he was frustrated. The nightly battle over the dishes made our shaky sexual chemistry nonexistent. Things came to a head when we moved from California to New York. We had a three-week standoff where neither of us washed a single dish. Our kitchen was disgusting, and we ended up having to throw away most of our kitchenware.

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