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

HIS VASECTOMY continued...

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.

After we calmed down, we entered couples therapy. I became more sexually confident; he became more understanding. And when we bought our new home, we decided to splurge on a dishwasher. For months, Tmor pored over magazines and scoured the Internet to find the perfect machine — one that was powerful, quiet, and big enough to wash the pots in one load. My very frugal husband could have bought a basic dishwasher just to shut me up. But he wanted a top-of-the-line model so I wouldn’t have to scrub a single pan ever again. I found that very, very sexy.

This month, we’ll be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. Tmor brings me flowers, we load the dishwasher together, and we have fantastic sex at least three times a week. By removing dishes from the equation, we were able to remember what we liked about each other in the first place.


Wendy Allen, 55, clinical psychotherapist and business coach
Jeff Allen, 56, real estate developer
Santa Barbara, CA

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