This survey was commissioned by a British cable television channel, the Discovery Home and Health channel, I guess so it could create a reality TV show, Cleanaholics, which, according to the Times, will "[follow] 27 women and three men as they plough through their chores. " The website claims the show "delves into the psychology behind [the cleanaholics'] routines, and asks – is cleaning the new therapy?" A provocative question indeed!
The headline of the Times story is, "The women who think housework is better than sex," because a third of the 2000 women surveyed reported that cleaning house was more rewarding than having sex.
But I think the real gem of the Times story is the final paragraph:
Graham Peters, 40, of Dorking, one of the minority of superclean men (about one in ten), says he wishes he could cut down on his cleaning habit. “I’ve always been tidy,” he said, “but if I got a young female to clean for me, I would give up tomorrow.”
"If I got a young female to clean for me"?!
Has he ever looked into a cleaning service?
There are plenty of things I would give up tomorrow if I could get someone else to do them willingly, graciously, free of charge, for me: mowing my lawn, servicing my car, dry cleaning my fine woolens.... Oh wait! I forgot! I CAN get someone else to do those things for me, willingly and graciously! I just have to PAY FOR IT, because people tend to expect to be paid for their work!
Oh, wait: I forgot something else: People expect to be paid for their work.... unless that work is housework, and it's done by a woman.... Then it's supposed to be UNPAID. AND it's supposed to come with the added bonus of FREE SEX once the house is clean.
And yet, I imagine that given Graham's attitude, any "young female" he could find to clean for him would be one of the women who find housework more rewarding than sex. Who wants to get it on with a guy who's primarily interested in free maid service? I wonder if they asked THAT of the women who prefer housework to sex.