Choreplay is the new foreplay

Want to get your woman in the mood?                                 Try doing housework.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/12/08 Every night after dinner, David Zinck scoops up his two young daughters and escapes into the “jam room” where they rock out to Rush or Queen.

Meanwhile, mommy gets 30 minutes of alone time.

Holly Zinck turns on the computer. She flips magazine pages. The clamor fades. Serenity creeps in.


And, behind that feeling, something else. Holly gets …

… well, highly interested in David. Let’s put it that way.

Forget crimson roses and chocolates.

Grab a broom. Unload the dishwasher. Play with the kids.

Now, that’s hot. That’s choreplay.

Parenting Magazine recently coined the term after its survey revealed 15 percent of moms said their idea of foreplay is their hubby doing chores.

“Flowers, candy, all that stuff ”” it’s just an expense,” said Holly Zinck, a working mom from Woodstock. “It’s more important to take time off from working and doing things like spending the day as a family at Amicalola Falls … Or when he draws a bath for me. That’s romantic.”

Traditional turn-ons can be common romantic gifts, such as champagne, chocolate or lingerie. Or something physical, a kiss, for example. But the unexpected gift of time – and that’s what many choreplay examples amount to – can reveal a deeper connection. And that can be downright sexy.

“I call it the new romantic gesture,” said Scott Haltzman, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and author of the new book, “The Secrets of Happily Married Women.” “Women are looking for something that gives them the message they’ve gone the extra mile and they’ve done something that matters to them. Being in the kitchen and emptying the dishwasher is a real clear signal you are fighting for her love.”

It’s not that women get turned on watching their sweethearts iron sheets, but they respond to being relieved of work and having time to relax.

And that down time helps switch gears.

But choreplay can also backfire if the deeds are calculated moves to get lucky. Many women are secretly resentful of the prospect of their husband pitching in around the house expecting something in return.

“If that’s the case, he’d be better off with roses,” said Jen Singer, editor of “They act like there should be a parade down Broadway for making the bed. I hear from moms, ‘Of course you should help, it’s your underpants on the floor.'”

Still, Singer believes a well-intentioned husband who really makes an effort

will see his wife naturally become more amorous.

“The best present you’ve got is that person,” said Tracey Cox, co-host of the former HBO show, “Sex Inspectors,” and sex expert for iVillage. “You’ve got their dreams. And it would be more meaningful to skip the flowers and do something that would make her life easier. What would she really need? Is it a massage? Or is it a nap?”

And while she suggests husbands and wives avoid any bartering for sex, Cox urges couples who engage in a conversation about choreplay (ie. see those two loads of choreplay?) do it playfully.

“It’s OK if you can have a sense of humor about it,” she said. “Better yet, say what you really want.”

On a recent Saturday, Singer’s husband took the kids to get their hair cuts and then ran some errands.

Singer had the morning to herself. She read the newspaper and took a shower.

And that, she said, was very romantic.

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