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Confessions Of A Married Journalist

Speaking of Sanda Tsing Loh, I just want to say how grateful I am that some woman somewhere finally had the guts to come clean aggressively warn all those unsuspecting unmarried women out there about a problem that I and so many of my girlfriends have been silently struggling with for years now: husbands who have no interest in sex but only want to cook and do domestic chores. 

Apparently, now that she is divorcing, Tsing Loh and her other hard-charging friends have begun having weekly Girls' Night Dinners, during which they share at some length the dirty little secrets of their sexless marriages. Try as they might, Tsing Loh and pals can't talk their domestic-god husbands into the saddle. Oh, sure, the boys will cook flan and gazpacho all day long. Need some new bookshelves? The men are also handy with a hammer. Indeed, this modern breed of Superhusband apparently thinks nothing of shouldering more than his share of the life-maintenance burden, including the care and gourmet feeding of children and pets. But when it comes to dropping trou and giving a gal what she really wants, they are grossly derelict in their duties.

Now, I don't know about other wives, but I can't tell you how many times I've begged my own mate: Please, honey, put down that toilet brush and let's get it on. But all too often, he just looks at me with those accusing eyes and mumbles something under his breath about my treating him like a sex object. And I've learned not to even approach him when he's folding laundry. The last time I mussed up a pile of the children's carefully sorted socks, he refused to touch me for a week. 

Like Tsing Loh's friend "Rachel," I find the cooking obsession especially grating: I've had a hard day at work, the toilet's leaking, the kids have been dashing around all afternoon like weasels on speed--in short, I'm just looking for a little sympathy, a little tenderness, a little stress-relieving nookie. Him? He's too busy standing guard over his bloody port-wine reduction. I swear, watching the man standing at the stove, relentlessly stirring, stirring, stirring with that giant bamboo spoon, I am overcome with the urge to grab him by the knees, flip him onto the floor, and do unspeakable things to him with his favorite oven mitt and the flask of extra virgin olive oil he totes around the house like a protective charm. Of course, then he'd just complain that he had to get the kitchen rug cleaned. 

But here's the worst part: Lately I've begun to suspect that my husband has been cooking for another woman. No, I don't have any hard evidence. Yet. But I have noticed some unusually large charges to the gourmet market down the street. And one night he came home late reeking of fennel, which I hate and so have forbidden him to bring into the house. He, of course, says that it's all in my head, that he would never consider braising for another woman--even if it's clear that I no longer appreciate his culinary attentions like I did in those early, less-calorie-conscious days of our marriage. A commitment is a commitment, he tells me, and he intends to honor his no matter how divergent our needs--or how tiresome my penchant for pleather and role-playing games.

And so night after frustrating night, I smile, sigh, roll over to my side of the bed, and try not to think about all the fun I could be having if only I could get my man to put down the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living and shuck off those boxer-briefs. 

--Michelle Cottle