Obsessing Over Cleaning

Here is an interesting quote from a blog I follow:

Many (but not all) women I talk to can’t even comprehend this idea.  They look at me like I’m nuts.  Eyes narrow.  Conversation gets really awkward.  Cleanliness really is next to Godliness and is something we should all be striving for and God hates those who don’t clean up after themselves.  Usually it’s women who are SAHM or who are WOHM but always stressed out and complaining about not having any time and having husbands who don’t help out enough that are most unable to comprehend the idea.   Really, just let things go.  It may even help your relationship!

(For some reason, I’ve never met a man, other than the rare case who has been formally diagnosed with OCD, who seems to have this hang-up.   A pathology in men is the social norm for women.)

People who clean obsessively, who freak out when they consider that there is a dirty cup in the sink, who clean and clean and clean until they are “always stressed out and complaining about not having any time”, are people who suffer from a severe sexual deprivation. I know that people love misunderstanding posts that mention the word “sex.” So in order to stem the tide of the indignant comments telling me that there is nothing wrong with refusing to live in a pig-sty, I will repeat: we are talking about obsessive cleaning, the kind of cleaning that has become an end in itself, and not something people do because they enjoy an orderly environment and then forget about it. I know a woman who would yell hysterically at her guests whenever they leaned against a wall because, according to her, their greasy hair left stains on the wall. This is the kind of obsessiveness I’m talking about.

This basic sexual dissatisfaction is stronger in women than in men in our puritanical society. So they clean because dirty thoughts about dirty sex become too intolerable. This is why it’s useless to tell such women to get over it and relax about cleaning. They clean because it fulfills an important purpose that is in no way related to cleaning per se.

The reason why the basic female sexual dissatisfaction is stronger is that women gain a much greater social capital by being “in a relationship”. As a result, a partner who possesses good personal qualities and is “relationship material” is often chosen even though the sexual chemistry with him is nil. I have met a couple of men who chose women they actively didn’t desire but the number of women who chose such men has been many times greater.

“He is the man of my dreams,” a friend once shared. “I can’t express how much I love him. The only problem is that he keeps wanting to have sex and I find it hard not to vomit when I have sex with him.”

This friend had a collection of differently colored sponges for every single surface in her tiny apartment. She washed her windows twice a month and her bathroom every day.

9 thoughts on “Obsessing Over Cleaning

    1. Yeah, I think this sort of obsessive behavior in women stems from abuse — and the subsequent shame and feelings of “dirtiness” follow. I mean, I haven’t had sex in quite some time, and I’m fine, though by the definition of others I’m “deprived.” And when I did have sex, I didn’t have any of that feeling of “dirtiness” and that I was a used slut afterwords, even though I wasn’t married at the time and have never been married. But I’ve also never been sexually abused (someone tried, and a stop was put to it right quick, and I never felt ashamed or that it was my fault), and I was never brought up to think that sex was dirty and badwrong for women and only for babies. Bringing up girls that way is a form of sexual abuse. That woman who wants to vomit at the thought of having sex with her boyfriend has endured some form of sexual abuse, whether just verbal (as in being brought up to feel that women who like sex are dirty) or physical.


      1. ” I haven’t had sex in quite some time, and I’m fine, though by the definition of others I’m “deprived.””

        – Sexual intercourse is not the only way of being sexually satisfied. For people who are too lazy to take care of the issue on their own :-), nature has a way of sending them sexual satisfaction when they sleep. Of course, people who think that sex is dirty, have this mechanism in a damaged state. 😦


      1. Another thing that occurred to me is that the “all she needs is good sex” argument is a favorite of misogynist men to use against women. I can’t tell you how many times a man has said to me “you need to get laid” when I’ve expressed anger at something. See, I was “uptight,” and sex (with a man, of course — not a woman, myself, or an animal) is all I needed to make me relax and stop bothering men with my unimportant, female worries. So I don’t really care for that whole idea that women who are neat freaks just are sexually deprived. I myself am pretty much of a slob.

        I will say, though, that one woman I knew let her apartment go completely to pot when she left her husband. It wasn’t just a comfortable mess, it was “there are no dishes left to eat on because they’re all in the sink” and stuff all over the apartment… But I think it was more of a rebellion against being the good little Catholic wife she had been. She certainly wasn’t sex deprived, and ended up breaking up another friend’s marriage.


        1. “the good little Catholic wife she had been. She certainly wasn’t sex deprived”

          – No, this does not compute. 🙂 A good Catholic wife is prohibited by her church to derive any enjoyment from sex. So a good Catholic cannot enjoy sex and not be devoured by guilt.


  1. One more thing: I have met men who were neat freaks. Their apartments were spotless, and if a crumb fell on their kitchen floor they would pick it up right away. One of these men was in the military, but the other was a Greatful Dead fan. The first guy came from a rather chaotic background (large family, dysfunctional parents). I don’t know about the second one.


  2. @TheTwistedSpinster-I know several male neat freaks. All were either ex-military or had spent fairly long sentences in state penitentiaries where neatness is compulsory.
    Growing up in severe poverty or squalor also can create female neat freaks. So can working survival cleaning jobs.


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