Emotional Care?

Emotional Care?

The salary gap is a recurring issue in our society. And there is also a less tangible difference: emotional care . Most people today are familiar with the term self-care, which refers to self-care or self-love. Some people have a quiet evening on the couch with a glass of wine, others travel somewhere alone. The trend of loving yourself more has been increasing rapidly since the pandemic at the latest. Masturbation is also part of self-care.

For most FLINTA*s, care doesn't stop with themselves, but let's start from the beginning:

FLINTA* stands for F emale L esbian I ntersex N onbiary T ransexual A -Gender and the asterisk stands for further variations in gender diversity. However, the data collected was collected about women* and men.

What exactly is emotional care?
Emotional care work refers to the invisible, often unpaid work that aims to provide emotional support, care and well-being to others. Unlike physical work that is often visible, such as cleaning or cooking, emotional care work is less obvious and can take various forms. In enough social relationships, emotional care work hardly receives recognition.

Gender Care Gap
According to the BMFSFJ (the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth), the gender care gap is 43.8%. This means that women spend an average of 43.8 percent more time each day on unpaid care work than men. And therein lies the gender care gap, the gap between these two realities. That's a difference of 77 minutes per day. Men spend almost 21 hours a week and women almost 30 hours on unpaid care work. Compared to the last ZVE 2012/2013, the gender care gap has decreased - at that time it was 52.4 percent.


What can emotional care work look like?

This can look very different, it starts with listening and acknowledging difficulties. In most partnerships and also between parents and children, the women* are mostly there to listen and “vomit”. But listening, comforting, supporting conversations, giving input and reflection are also part of emotional care work. Women* are also more likely to process emotional states such as fear, stress, panic or sadness. Here are some variants:

  • Relationship maintenance : The work of cultivating and maintaining relationships requires emotional investment. This starts with regular reporting, planning joint activities, showing affection and appreciation, and resolving conflicts within relationships. This also includes reminders to contact friends or family, birthdays or active suggestions.
  • Child care and education : Emotional care work also includes the care and education of children, including comforting, reassuring, consoling, and assisting with emotional development. Remember your favorite toy, your preferred brand of food, your favorite song and the times when the series is on.
  • Elderly care : Similar to child care, caring for older family members or loved ones requires emotional support, patience, and attention, especially when it comes to age-related needs and challenges.
  • Mental health support : This includes supporting people with mental illness or emotional problems by listening, encouraging and providing moral support during their recovery.
  • Self-care : Emotional care work also includes caring for one's own emotional well-being, including self-reflection, self-compassion, and self-care practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and stress management.
  • Constant thinking : From writing shopping lists to birthday calendars to planning when and when to do which laundry. In most relationships, women* do the constant thinking. It's incredibly mentally demanding. Emotional care work is often invisible but essential to the well-being of individuals and communities. It is important to recognize the importance of this work, value it and share the burden fairly to ensure that it is not carried out at the expense of certain individuals or groups.

How can men relieve emotional care work?

  • Creating awareness: Acknowledging and recognizing the emotional care work. Create awareness in the relationship of how work is currently divided and how the FLINTA* can be relieved.
  • Listen and show understanding :
    Men can listen carefully to their loved ones, take their feelings seriously, and make an effort to understand them without immediately offering solutions. Finding a solution together also divides this work.
  • Offer emotional support or create relief:
    Opening yourself up to emotional conversations and being approachable can often bring relief. It can also help to specifically ask what emotional support might look like. Then FLINTA* still carries out care work, but the feeling of support can already be supportive. For many topics it also helps to simply show presence and willingness.
  • Active involvement in child care : Men can actively participate in the care and upbringing of their children by taking time to play with them, comfort them, and invest in their emotional needs.
  • Breaking free from traditional gender roles : Men can help overcome traditional gender roles by acknowledging and expressing their own emotions rather than suppressing them, and by setting an example for other men about how to be empathetic and supportive.
  • Maintaining partnership relationships : Actively investing in the emotional relationship can make a huge difference. Remembering things yourself and taking notes, suggesting and planning activities together. And consciously do things for FLINTA* without benefiting yourself.

By actively engaging in emotional care work and taking a supportive and empathetic role, men can help create an environment based on mutual respect, understanding and support. This not only contributes to individual well-being, but also strengthens relationships and communities as a whole.

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