The Surprising Thing That Gets Couples Turned On At Home

Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor By Kelly Gonsalves
Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor

Kelly Gonsalves is the sex and relationships editor at mindbodygreen. Her writings on sex, relationships, identity, and wellness have appeared at Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

Image by Matt and Tish / Stocksy

Forget the candles and whip out a mop.

According to a new survey, a clean house can be a pretty big turn-on for couples.

The survey, conducted by the research folks over at Decluttr, surveyed over 1,000 people about how the state of their home affects their sex life. First of all, a table-setter: some 44 percent of people said they prefer a clean home over having sex and view home cleanliness as more important to their relationship than sex itself is. Just for added emphasis, more than half of respondents even said they’d rather live with their parents (a living situation that may be a significant factor in why millennials are having less sex) than live in a messy home, and 40 percent of people said they’d likely break up with someone with a perpetually messy house. So people are not messing around when they say they can’t stand a mess.

Here's how to use this intel to your advantage: Over 50 percent of people said they’re more likely to have sex with their partner after they’ve completed household chores, and just over 60 percent said a clean, organized bedroom makes them more likely to have sex.

Why does a messy home mess with your sex life? The same reason clutter messes with any part of your life. “Clutter commands our senses—we can't help but see it, possibly trip over it, and not see what we're looking for,” Iowa physician Dr. Karyn Shanks tells mbg. “It creates distraction that draws us away from the tasks we want to complete, from focused contemplation or creative inspiration.” Yes, that includes sex.

There’s also the stress factor: “The sensory impact of clutter drives stress (think overwhelm, anxiety, and higher cortisol levels) by overwhelming our senses, making us less useful for other tasks. It can create anxiety and confusion, causing us to lose things but, more importantly, lose our energy,” Dr. Shank adds.

When your mind is subconsciously distracted and stressed out by your surroundings, it becomes a lot harder to partake in normal, exuberant activities you usually enjoy because it feels like there’s too much going on, too much around you, and not enough time, space, or energy. Fun can feel impossible in this kind of environment.

“Once you create lots of order and harmony in your home, you’ll be more present and radiant,” feng shui master and mbg Collective member Dana Claudat explains to mbg. “Like acupuncture, which removes blockages and imbalances from the body to create more dynamism and wellness, clearing clutter removes blocks and imbalances from your space. When you move through spaces that are lit up with fresh energy, inspiration strikes and the most magnetic parts of your personality can come to life.”

A clean space brings you to life and moves possibilities to the forefront. Plus, there’s also the sense of accomplishment from knocking out a household chore (that you feel) and the satisfaction of having someone provide a service that benefits you (that your partner feels) that makes a post-cleaning romp just sound all the more appealing.

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