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Is Choreplay Good for Your Marriage?

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Yeah, you read it right. Choreplay. He does chores or something he doesn’t want to do in order to get on your good side and score later. Sometimes, it’s actual chores—“Look, honey, I folded ALL the laundry!” *wink wink* Other times, it’s something he just doesn’t want to do. Once, my church had a “family dance.” In a group text, one of my friends said, “We are going; my husband just doesn’t know it yet. I’ll make it worth his while.”

What’s so bad about that? He went to an event he didn’t want to go to or did extra stuff around the house. Why not give him physical affection in exchange? Here are 3 reasons choreplay seems like a good idea but actually can hurt your sex life—and ultimately, your marriage.

Choreplay makes love transactional.

If I’ve learned anything from marriage and motherhood, it’s that if you give love only when you get it, you’re in trouble. We have to choose love, even when we are annoyed, angry, tired, uninspired, or otherwise just not feeling it.

If you’re treating sex like an exchange of goods, what you’re saying is this: I’m willing to give my body and my love only when I receive. It seems harmless until you throw in all the things (stress, hormones, kids, work) that can pull us out of the mood. Then we easily can slide into, “Why should I be willing to give it when I don’t receive?”

If sex can be used as a reward, then it can be withheld as a punishment.

When my son did well on a fall standardized test, we went for ice cream. Fast-forward to the spring. He did fine on the test but didn’t improve as much as some of his peers. We didn’t go for ice cream and he asked if he was in trouble. To him, the lack of a reward felt like a punishment. Truthfully, I had just forgotten and was in a rush to get home after school.

When we use sex to send a conditional message instead of unconditional love, we are saying, sometimes who you are and what you do will not be enough. When we withhold sex, whether we are trying to punish or not, that’s how it will feel to our husbands.

Choreplay is not in line with the purpose of sex.

The purpose of sex is not to get the new patio furniture you’ve been eyeing or to get your husband to say yes to a weekend away with the girls. Sex is not for bribery. Using it as a reward or payment diminishes its purpose. The dual purpose of sex is to create life and unite a couple.

When we start to muddy the purpose of any action, abuse of it is not far behind. For example, food is for fueling our bodies and providing flavors. But when we use it to comfort, escape, or punish, it’s easy to slip into eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with food. When we misuse sex, where do we draw the line? When does using become abusing?

Don’t get me wrong. Sex is a great way to show your husband you see what he’s doing and appreciate him. But for the good of your marriage, you can’t allow choreplay to become the replacement for foreplay.

Be honest. Do you use choreplay? How do you think it’s affected your marriage?


When you do something nice for someone, do you expect something in return?

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