In March, when the coronavirus pandemic initially led to lockdown in the United Kingdom, deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries offered relationship advice alongside her medical opinion: New couples should either move in together or else stay completely apart.
Regardless of how many dates you’ve been on, moving in with a partner is a major step that opens you up to things you could only learn after living together. Which seemingly insignificant habits will quickly get on your nerves, and which will become turn-ons you weren’t expecting? And while you’re cooped up together, how do you keep the intimacy from quickly getting stale.
For a closer look at the nonsexual actions, habits, styles, and tendencies that get us hot and bothered, we surveyed over 1,000 people (including people from the UK and the U.S.) to understand the more domestic elements of attraction. Read on as we explore when making the bed or doing the dishes is likely to get your partner worked up in more ways than one, and which at-home actives (including playing board games or watching TV) have lead to sex during quarantine.
Even if you prefer a glass half full kind of perspective, lockdown isn’t exactly the stuff of relationship fairy tales. Couples who had been living separately prior to lockdown may have opted to move in with each other rather abruptly in order to avoid isolating completely alone. With more time in their new, combined home than ever before and less opportunity to create that much needed “alone time,” couples are possibly learning more about each other’s domestic quirks than they ever thought possible.
Of course, extended time at home doesn’t have to be a complete bore, and washing up around the house could be more intimate than you expected. Across the pond more than 1,000 people we polled, 58% admitted to being turned on when their partner did chores, including 61% of men and 56% of women. Keeping your flat tidy might not be as impressive in the UK (44%), but 73% of Americans indicated being aroused by these acts of domestic bliss.
Cooking was the most attractive stay-at-home activity for 62% of people, followed by cleaning (48%), being handy around the house (43%), and making the bed (40%). Not every chore was universally attractive, though. Men were 20% more likely to be turned on by their partner making the bed, and women were 30% more likely to be turned on by watching their partner tend to the yard.
With a little bit of imagination, even the most mundane activities can lead to intimate moments at home. Nearly half of people acknowledged that doing chores with their partner had turned into a sexual encounter at least once. If you’re looking for an opportunity to make housework more exciting, making the bed (52%), cooking (45%), cleaning (45%), and doing the dishes (24%) might be your best bet.
Another 1 in 5 people used their household chores as an opportunity to sexually role-play with their partner. Under the right circumstances (and with the right partner), role-play can be an effective way to both spice up your time in the bedroom and escape from reality for a little while – both helpful during quarantine. While women were 14 percent more likely to be turned on watching their partner be handy around the house, men were likely to find making the bed, cleaning, or doing laundry a titillating exercise.
Handy at Home
Weeks and months of social distancing, quarantine, and lockdown mean finding new and exciting ways to keep yourself occupied (and then finding more new things to do after those things get boring).
On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to be in lockdown with your spouse or partner, you have the advantage of being able to turn a lot of common activities into something a little more exciting. In the U.S. and the UK, watching a movie or a TV show together was the domestic activity most likely to lead to sex. For even more specific inspiration, you can set the mood with some streaming opportunities that are more likely to keep things steamy. Being perched in front of the telly isn’t the only activity that can lead to sex, either. Spending time on a hobby (24%), working from home (23%), playing video games (17%), and doing at-home workouts (16%) all led to sexual activities. Only 27% of people said there were household activities that led them to get off with their partner.
A natural response to the pandemic, millions of people around the world are working from home for the first time. While the sudden surge in working from home may have helped people reduce their commute times (or the need for putting on pants on a regular basis), it isn’t without its struggles. Not being able to differentiate between your office and your home can blur the boundaries set by a positive work-life balance.
Working from home also reduces the opportunity for one of the sexiest work activities for most people: watching their partner put on a work uniform.
Like wearing a uniform to work (26%), managing others (25%), making more money (22%), and quitting jobs that made them unhappy (13%) were identified as the most attractive things people do at work. For Britons, wearing a uniform to work earned top billing (29%), while Americans were more turned on when their partners managed others (28%) or earned a higher salary (25%).
Younger generations (including Generation Z and millennials) were more likely to find the sight of their partner in uniform enticing compared to older generations. Millennials were also the most likely generation to be turned on by their partner’s earning a higher salary than them.
What makes someone attractive isn’t always about their looks. While being very physically fit was the most attractive characteristic in a partner for 37% of people, unique clothing style (27%), being very tall (27%), having a deep voice (26%), and general awkwardness (25%) were also quirky traits that were classified as turn-ons. Compared to older generations, Generation Z was the most likely group to identify awkwardness (34%) and a mean-looking resting facial expression (18%) as attractive in their partners.
Americans were more enamoured by physical fitness in their partners (42%), compared to Britons (32%). As we found, people from the U.S. were also 10 percentage points more likely to be attracted to someone who was introverted and 5 percentage points more likely to find a unique clothing style a turn-on. In contrast, Brits were seven percentage points more likely to find a partner with a deeper voice alluring.
Making the Most of a Strange Time
It’s hard to pinpoint one specific occurrence that has made 2020 seem like the longest year of our lives, but for many people, it’s now about making the most out of an otherwise terrible time. Being forced into cohabitation might not have been ideal for many new couples, but domestic bliss can have its perks. Doing chores may not be inherently sexual, but given the right motivation, you can turn anything from making the bed to folding laundry into a fabulous roll in the hay.
At Superdrug Online Doctor, we’re passionate about making sure quarantine doesn’t come between you and your love life. Whatever your sex health needs are, we’ll get them delivered safely and discreetly right to your front door. You can even chat with one of our online doctors without having to leave the comfort of your home. With Superdrug Online Doctor, you can order online and have everything you need delivered without getting out of bed. Visit us online to begin a consultation today.
Methodology and Limitations
We surveyed 511 Americans using Amazon Mechanical Turk service and 517 Britons using Clickworker. The only qualifier for this survey was that respondents had to have been in a romantic relationship before.
The average age of respondents was 37 with a standard deviation of 12.76. We had a total of 110 baby boomers, 357 Generation Xers, 380 millennials, and 181 Generation Z respondents.
This survey relies on self-reporting which could result in over- or underreporting and exaggeration. This data has not been weighted nor is it representative of either population, therefore it should be considered for exploratory purposes only.
Fair Use Statement
Watching your partner do the dishes might not be such a weird turn-on after all. Make sure your readers don’t feel so alone in their feelings; share the results of this study for any noncommercial use by including a link back to this page in your story.