In particular, we highlight the centrality of housework in sexual negotiation

In particular, we highlight the centrality of housework in sexual negotiation Chantelle (African American, age 40, ple, suggests that her interest in sex is linked to her husband’s behavior, especially his household work I’ve always heard that, you know, women are supposed to want it more when they are older. I’m kind of hoping that kicks in. But I don’t know. Part of me worries: Am I always going to feel like this and have to be obligated for the rest of my life? Because I don’t want to feel like that. I think it will probably be better as the kids get older and we’re able to be more spontaneous. So I won’t feel like it’s such an obligation. Unlike some of the other married individuals we interviewed, Karen has not been able to convince herself to be more sexual-to deep act desire. For Karen, the performance of desire is experienced as compulsory. In sum, the most common way to perform desire for our respondents focuses on changing the sexual self, typically to be more sexual, but some married individuals try to be less sexual and some express resentment at having to perform desire. The following section delves deeper into the relational, interactional, and gendered dimensions of the performance of desire. Housework, childcare, and marital sex Our respondents reveal that how they feel sexually, along with how they try to change their spouse’s sexual feelings, is intricately linked to broader aspects of the relationship, especially the division of household labor. In this section, we identify two themes: (a) Some respondents use housework to increase sexual frequency or use sex to get greater participation in housework, and (b) the wives who juggle paid employment and motherhood describe sex as another form of work, in addition to paid work, childcare, and housework, that must be done to sustain a relationship. […]