When our babies were very small, a group friends and I were gathered at someone's house. The conversation revolved around poop (who was doing what and how often), feeding (who was doing what and how often), and hilariously, sex (who was doing what and how often).
It may make us sound like cantankerous nags, but like most women, we also conversed about a lack of support; the wrong type of help, or at the wrong time, or performed the wrong way by our partners and husbands. It's not that we weren't grateful, but we all felt support was coming in the wrong form and at times, begrudgingly.
On that day, we decided to take matters into our own hands and hypothesised an experiment. Given none of us had a science background we were flying blind, but we wondered if we'd get more willing and unprompted support from our guys after we had sex with them.
All the literature will tell you that using sex as a bargaining chip is not a healthy way to operate a relationship. But what they don't tell you is that women and men have been manipulating the system since time began, although not always with sex.
The most simplistic of manipulations, timing, is like the third person in any relationship. Most women know the power of timing, unlike many men, who when a thought, suggestion, plan or change of plan comes into their head, verbalise it immediately. Likely because women have been conditioned for so many years to be submissive in our relationships, we wait until the scene is set and the mood is right before we make our pitch. Maybe we just understand the power of timing better.
Putting this into context outside of a relationship, no one in their right mind would approach their boss to pitch an idea or ask for a promotion as that person is hanging up the phone having just been reamed by their angry boss. You'd wait for the right time, when they appear ready to engage with you. In essence, manipulating the situation.
If physical touch is one of the five love languages, the others being acts of service, gifts, quality time and words of affirmation, then how is using sex any different to get what a woman wants, to a bloke doing the dinner and dishes, or giving a foot rub, and getting what he wants?
Need I make a disclaimer that sex as a weapon or tool is not good and is one of many signs of an unhealthy relationship. But sex lets off steam, much like rain washes away the dust and leaves the sky bluer.
So back to the experiment. For a few days after, the group text was slow to ignite, but gradually it began to heat up. We weren't asking for Birkin bags immediately post coitus, we just wanted our partners to want to help us, instead of us constantly asking. Ultimately, we spoke to them in their love language (physical touch) instead of expecting them to converse with us in ours (acts of service).
So, was it a success? I will confirm it was.
Am I advocating using sex as a bargaining tool? No. Am I advocating manipulative behaviour? No.
Am I suggesting that in healthy and respectful relationships that you could try speaking to people in their love language to get them to speak to you in yours, while paying homage to the all-important timing? Absolutely.