What's Killing Sexy Time -- and How To Fix It
Hey, ya know what’s sexy?

Olivia Pope of Scandal knows.

Picture Olivia’s intense stare when she says, “I’m handling it. It’s handled.”

That’s right, we love when you spouses handle things.

Why?  Because usually we are handling everything.  EVERY thing.  We are hands down, the most likely to be hands-on, handily handling ALL the things.

We’re handling kids, meals, bath times, bed times, homework, house work, work work, doctors’ appointments, sports schedules, and a million more things.  Every little mini-crisis lands in our laps:

“The dryer’s broken!  Where’s my soccer uniform?  I need 24 cupcakes for school tomorrow! The dog’s vomiting!  The baby’s vomiting!  The baby’s vomiting on the dog!”

And yes, we get hugs and kisses and snuggles from the kids – and sexy play time with you – and we LOVE our wild, madcap, frantic, frenetic lives.

But we’d also love it if you handled a FEW more things.

(Naturally this doesn’t apply to you amazing couples out there who manage to split all the duties PRECISELY 50-50 – or couples who are perfectly happy with the current division of labor.  You’re incredible — and I want to visit you on your Flying Unicorn Farm and eat Fat-Free Bon-Bons under your Living Rainbow of Color-Coordinated Butterflies while Fairy Sprites braid our flaxen hair.  So just skip to the next post, Super Awesome Couples!)

But for those of you who agree that our mates (male OR female) might benefit from a Gentle Reminder about how SEXY it is to handle things, I’ve consulted some of my friends to prepare this list that MIGHT apply to your husband – or your wife – or your live-in lovah!

Whether you’re a guy or gal — working outside or inside the home, working for a paycheck or not – whether you’re in a hetero- or homosexual relationship — sometimes one partner ends up handling most things (The Handler), while one partner skates by (The Skater).

See if you recognize your partner (or yourself!) on this list, then see the tips for how to score more sexy time!

1) The What, Huh? Mate
This is the easiest move some of our spouses make – they simply ignore the laundry that needs folding, the lightbulb that needs replacing, the car registration that needs renewing.  They figure we Handlers will eventually notice and dive right in to take care of it.

And if we point out something that the Skaters have passed three times without handling, our Skaters deliver Academy Award-winning performances for their innocent delivery of the line, “What, huh?”

Handler:      Really? You didn’t see that the clean dishes need to be emptied from the dishwasher?

Skater:         No. I didn’t even notice.

Handler:      You’re eating your cereal with a fork.

Skater:         Oh, yeah.  Um.  I…I…like it that way.

2) The False Flatterer
This person cleverly dodges tasks by telling his/her partner, “Oh, you do that so much better than I do.”

Oh please, buster!  I invented this move!  I was pulling this on my Mom when I was a teen: “Show me how to iron my uniform skirt again, Mom – you’re so great at the pleats!” or “I just can’t make pancakes like you, Mom, they taste so much better when you do it!”

And yes, I might decorate a Frozen-themed birthday cake better than you – and I might sew these Girl Scout badges on the sash better than you — but do you really think I’m buying that I should put the kids to bed every night because I’m “better at it?”

Or that I should handle the taxes and medical insurance claims because I’m better at that “sort of thing?”

Skater:      We should tell the karate teacher that Junior’s ready to move to the next class level.

Handler:   OK, his phone number’s over there.

Skater:      Oh, you should call him.  You’re so much better at that stuff.

Handler:   Really?  I’m better at CALLING people now?  Is this a sophisticated skill that I’ve honed after years of practice?  What specifically makes me more qualified than you to call someone – is it my diction?  My articulation?  My ability to punch numbers on a phone screen?

3) The Horn Tooter
These are the mates who trumpet their triumphs to the mountaintops.

My friend K. bathes her young kids nightly.  Every few months, her husband R. will handle it, then march into the living room, plop down on the couch with a huge sigh as though he’s slayed a thousand dragons, and announce dramatically, “I gave the kids a bath.”

(Naturally my reaction would be to praise this behavior in hopes of it recurring!  If it were me, I’d fawn all over my husband:  “Oh thank you! That’s awesome! You’re amazing!”)

My friend K. just gives R. the stink-eye and says, “Whaddaya want – a parade?”

She teases him, like “I give those stinkin’ kids a bath every stinkin’ night, mister!  Don’t be actin’ the martyr just ‘cuz you entered the Splash Zone once in the past six months!”

4) The Procrastinator
This is the partner who absolutely agrees a task needs to be done (awesome!) – and absolutely agrees to do it (hooray!) – but postpones it by saying, “I’ll get to it.”

My friend M. says his wife will tell him, “Don’t worry about the painting mess the kids made on the kitchen table, I’ll take care of it.” Or “There’s laundry on the couch, but I’ll get to it.”  She’s claimed those tasks as hers, so he works on other things around the house.  But eventually people need to use the table and the couch, so he ends up handling her tasks too.

“Her timing is brilliant,” he laughs.  “As soon as I finish what she said she’d do, she sails in and says with a smile, ‘Oh, I was just about to do that! Thanks!’”

5) The Delegator
Some hubbies handle the “outdoor chores” like mowing the lawn, repairs, and pool care – and some delegate those things to a gardener, handyman, and pool guy.  That’s fine, baby!  You got extra cash to out-source some tasks?  Awesome.

However, things can get a little dicey when the Skaters delegate duties to the Handlers.

If you find yourself running around town, desperately searching for great Christmas gifts for your husband’s relatives, wrapping them, boxing and addressing them for shipping, then handing a pen to your hubby to sign the cards during a commercial break while he’s watching the game, you just might start to wonder if you’re the executive assistant to the CEO!

That’s all fine and dandy if he’s reciprocating somewhere along the way by handling some of your stuff – or at least rockin’ your world on the regular!

6) The Dismisser
This is expert level task-avoidance.  This is the mate who declares that the item doesn’t need doin’ at all!

Whenever you say something like “The washer’s making a funny noise, so should we—” or “Maybe we should talk to the teacher about—” or “Before this becomes an issue, we should—” this mate will say, “Nah, it’ll work itself out.  Leave it alone.”  And you never know – is that sage advice – or just an avoidance tactic?

Handler:    Hey, can you please help me set out the folding chairs and tables on the patio for the birthday party?

Skater:      Um yeah OK.  (helps puts out one table and a few chairs, then turns to go)

Handler:   Wait, we have more to put out.  We have 20 people coming!

Skater:      If people need more chairs, we can just get them out as we need them. Everyone’s not gonna sit at the exact same time.

Handler:   (fumes internally while setting out more chairs: &%$*#@!)

Increase Sexy Time!
So if your partner is a What, Huh? Mate, False Flatterer, Horn Tooter, Procrastinator, Delegator, or Dismisser, you know first-hand that it’s difficult to feel frisky when you feel resentful.

But when you can count on your mate to just handle it, now that’s sexy.

So don’t be afraid to speak up.  Tell your Skater, “Yes, honey, your ass looks great in those jeans – and yes, I love all the things you do for our family – and how hard your work – and how you make us feel loved and happy – but you know what I find really erotic?  Handling stuff.”

Forget the flowers and chocolates and fancy restaurants.

Change that lightbulb, make that appointment, bathe those kids, or empty that dishwasher – now that’s sensual!

Sure, a ripped Channing Tatum or a suave Ryan Gosling can certainly get me hot and bothered – but a guy who sees something that needs to be done – and just does it?  Holy hell, that’s a Fast Pass to Sexy Town!

— Darcy Perdu
My post originally appeared on Scary Mommy.

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(Is YOUR mate a False Flatterer, Horn Tooter, Procrastinator, What, Huh? Mate, Delegator, Dismisser – or a new breed all together?  Dish the dirt!)

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  1. Paul Huber said:

    I teach college level family studies classes and I tell my students that the most romantic thing a guy can do is the dishes. The guys are clueless, the ladies all nod their heads yes!

    • That’s awesome, Paul! So glad you’re out there trying to clue the guys in to what really makes us swoon!
      (Listen to Paul, gentlemen, listen to Paul! He knows what he’s talking about!)

      • AinOakPark said:

        Well, Paul. That’s a good start (especially if they wash both sides of the dishes), and I thank you. Every woman has a task she hates. The husband/SO should figure out what that is and do that, at least/especially at stressful times. I would stress that one task eliminated does not make a man a God, nor should they do it so that “something” (ahem) is reciprocated. But of course, I am asking a lot.

    • Right? This is my Public Service Message for the day! :)

  2. I’m a procrastinator in one aspect- laundry. I’ll do it, but actually putting it away? For some strange reason it stays in the basket for days on end after laundry day.
    William Kendall recently posted..Stepping Back Through HistoryMy Profile

    • Someone needs to invent a closet and dresser that you can throw dirty clothes in, push a button, then the clothes are washed, dried, and folded RIGHT IN THE CLOSET AND DRESSER!

      Otherwise the laundry basket BECOMES the dresser! Right?

      • AinOakPark said:

        Let me know when you invent that! I’m in! Laundry: the never ending task.

        • I just need a little seed money to build a prototype, Allison. Please send $50,000 in small unmarked bills to my home.

          • AinOakPark said:

            I will send it immediately by secret courier.

          • Aw hell yeah, baby!

  3. Arionis said:

    OK, so you got me on 2 out of 6.

    False Flatterer – I absolutely loath talking to people I don’t know on the phone. If you can handle it by e-mail or clicking links on a web page then I am all over it. Have to talk to a live person? I’m punting it to the spousal unit because she is Soooo good at that stuff.

    Procrastinator – I am a procrastinator of the highest degree. I know it’s a problem. I even have a coin that’s called “a round tuit” so whenever I say I’ll get around to it I already have one! Every now and then I’ll get on a kick and burn right through my to do list but then it’s right back to the procrastination as the Tower of Babel list builds again.

    But on the plus side, I do most of the dishes, fix everything around the house, and cook breakfast on the weekends. When should I expect the parade? :)

    • HA! You DO deserve a parade! If you’re doing dishes, repairs & weekend breakfasts, you’re already way ahead of MANY mates! Plus you have a great sense of humor, so that goes a long way too! :)

      • Arionis said:

        Thanks Darcy! Don’t stay away so long this time.

  4. Um, pancakes really do taste better when somebody else makes them, don’t they? So do sandwiches!

    Your friend missed the boat by not orally pleasing her man to get him to associate the bathing with the blowing and making it continue on and on.

    We sort of do things 50/50, but in reality, momma does most of the things around the house. I consider all my moonlighting jobs “household labor” though and it sort of evens out in the end, right?
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  5. There is nothing that turns me on more than coming home and finding the dishwasher is empty, even if I spend then next few days trying to figure out where Sven would have hidden the spatula.

    • HA! That’s so funny — and awesome! And Sven is one smart cookie!

  6. After 45 YEARS of marriage, my husband has fallen into ALL of those categories at one time or another. You might have to add another category to the Handler aspect – called the nagger, as eventually every handler explodes into nagging at the skater. And that “Huh” expression? Nailed. (by the way – missed reading your blog recently – been gone?)

    • Thanks, Barbara, for missing me — lots of travel lately!
      And yes, the Handler often turns into the Nagger — and I maintain that if the flippity-flip Skater would just do the flippity-flip thing they’re supposed to do, then we (uh…I mean, the Handler) wouldn’t have to resort to Nagging! Argh! Pulling hair out! Swigging whiskey! Nagging wildly! (Not that I know anything about that… :)

  7. AinOakPark said:

    Wait! What? When did I begin a subscription to Cosmo?

    Oh, hahahahahahaha! It’s just YOU!

    This was great! Thanks! I’d add one more thing: can they handle it the way that I would and up to the quality I would? I am married to a “Meh, that’s good enough” guy, so I end up doing more because, evidently, I have higher standards, and if I want it done THAT way, well then I better do it myself! ARGH!!

    • Omigosh, yes!! That’s a whole other category — the “Meh, that’s good enough” guys!!
      And those guys usually end up marrying the perfectionists, thereby ensuring their mates will always take care of the tasks lest they not be executed well enough! Ha!

  8. Dana said:

    You forgot “The Oopser” , when they start to do a chore, totally mess it up (only while you’re right there), and say “Oops! ” Then they quit, because, of course, they don’t want to make it even worse, and you are left to clean up the mess, as well as do the original chore.

    • Oh, yes, that’s a brilliant addition to our list! The Oopser often appears in our mates – as well as our children! My kids have Oopsed MANY times! :)

  9. I know many of these types – some I am related to, in fact my husband falls into some of these but I love him even if he is a huge procrastinator who dismisses my advice because he knows best
    Jo-Anne recently posted..History Tuesday/MarriageMy Profile

    • Thank you, Michelle!! And I see you shared it — thank you! :)

  10. LOVED this piece! I am lucky to be married to a co-handler. He does everything I do … the calls, the appointments, the lunches, the laundry, the cooking. He really is an equal partner. But I cracked up at all of your descriptions. Loved your labels!

    • You’re married to a CO-HANDLER? Omigosh, Parri, can I please marry the both of you right now!? That would be awesome — a house of Handlers!

  11. jenny_o said:

    Ha ha ha! I’m lucky my husband is willing to do any job, the only down side is that I MUST ASK HIM TO DO IT. I call it the Blind Husband problem – apparently only women can “see” pet hair on the carpet, mud on the floor, or crumbs on the table :)

    And maybe in some households the genders are reversed, but you get the idea. And isn’t it strange how opposites attract like this?

    • Yes, that is so true! Lots of questions around here start with “Didn’t you see…” or “Didja notice…”! Ha!