August 2005

How to score with your wife

By Suzanne Strazza

Recently, I was out with some friends and the conversation turned (as it almost always does) to relationships and sex. (Yes, boys, we talk about it too). One of my girlfriends blurted out, "Doesn’t he understand that there is a direct correlation between my sex drive and a clean kitchen?” She elaborated, “I mean, when I get home and the dishes are done... now THAT’S hot!”

This declaration was followed by nodding heads, “Oh yeahs” and even a “Right on, sister.” It was clear that what women find to be turn-on’s are not necessarily what men think. I pondered long and hard about this — how can we possibly bridge the gap so that we all get a bit more of what we desire? I asked around and many women want the same thing. Also, women’s needs in that department are generally pretty basic and easy to meet — you just have to know what they are.

Therefore, I am offering a little list of basic turn-ons and turn-offs. All the following information comes directly from the source(es). I have not made any of this up. Feel free to hang this on your fridge for quick reference.

By the way, I promised my husband that I would keep our personal lives out of the muck for awhile, so none of the following information comes directly from me — although, I admit that I agree with most of my friends. But, I have to say, Tom does score way above average in most of the areas. Okay, first, the TURN-ON list:


  • Wash the dishes. You will score even better if they are done in a timely manner. Waiting three days to do them sort of defeats the purpose.
  • Spend time playing on the floor with the kids. Women love to see their men being sweet and playful. We also love for someone else to be “on” with the children.
  • Run the vacuum once in a while. This is a good one, but make sure you do it well — get underneath the couch and the dining-room table.
  • BIG turn-on: Clean the toilet. Actually, none of my girlfriends can even summon up that image. Maybe that's hoping for too much.
  • Make coffee in bed for your wife. (Tom scores high in that department.)
  • Watch a good chick flick or period piece with her once in a while. This will show that you do have a sensitive side. You can also learn a lot about making your moves a bit more sensual and a bit less Neanderthal-ish. Make special note of the gentle-lifting-of-thehair and soft-caress-of-the-neck move.
  • Spend some time at home during the waking hours. “Some time” meaning more than 15 minutes before collapsing into bed and wanting “some.” You can almost be guaranteed a score if you come home early one day claiming, “I got off work early and just wanted to be with you.”
  • If you are a father, offer for her to take some time to do whatever she wants. Don't judge if her choice is different from what you would choose to do. Getting her hair done (there’s nothing like having someone else wash your hair for you), going to a movie with her friends, sleeping — these are all necessary for a mother. Key phrase here: “Go do something fun — YOU DESERVE IT.” Please remember, going to City Market or Wal-Mart is not a break.
  • Do the laundry, start to finish; sort, wash, fold, put away. Do not wash anything of hers; ruining a favorite sweater does negate the points scored by doing the laundry.
  • Make the bed. Again, this one needs to be done well — a half-ass job gets you into the negatives.
  • Shower occasionally. Now, for the TURN-OFF list.


  • Fart. Manly Man ones are not romantic in any way, shape or form.
  • Use the word “baby-sit” when you’re referring to your own children. They are yours too.
  • Kick off your underwear so it lands anywhere near her head when you’re crawling into bed at night.
  • Do just your own laundry. Show that you are aware that there are sheets, towels, dishrags and kids’ clothes to contend with too.
  • Make promises you have no intention of keeping. If you say that you are going to go for a bike ride with her, GO. And don't bring your friends along.
  • Use the phrase “lighten up” — it’s a killer. It may even get you some couch time.
  • Pick the wax from your ears or the dead skin from your feet as you proposition your gal. So not sexy.

OK, now for the big one... The bump-and-grind in the kitchen is not, I repeat IS NOT, a turn-on. (If you think that she looks really hot stirring the soup, try the above-mentioned hair-lift routine). Men might find aprons sexy; women generally regard them as part of a work uniform. The real deal-breaker is the B&G while she is doing the dishes. One last thing; Don't offer to hump her leg.

Now, I will say that the above information does not apply to all women, or all men. Some of you may disagree with me. But all the women that I surveyed generally felt the same way.

I am also not trying to put men down — I happen to like men very much. Mostly, I am just trying to give some of you boyfriends and husbands (especially those whose girlfriends and wives I have spoken with) a few insider trading tips.

I would also love to hear from the aforementioned boyfriends and husbands about what works for you. Keep it clean and I just might pass on the information on our next Girls’ Night Out.

Suzanne Strazza, married and a mother of two, writes from Mancos