An Ode To Shower Sex

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
Despite the hot, steamy shower sex scenes that often grace our TV screens (shout out to Veronica and Archie, and Callie and Arizona), shower sex has gotten a bad rep. Just about any article about having shower sex will first warn you that it's not as amazing as it sounds. You'll probably get water in your eyes. You can't both fit under the hot water, so at least one of you will be freezing at all times. And showers or bathtubs tend to be pretty tiny, so you might need gymnast-level flexibility to make sex actually work. Cosmo went one step further and declared shower sex both a "crime of hygiene" and "the fast lane to the emergency room."
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None of those warnings are necessarily incorrect, but they're all pretty damn negative. Yes, having sex under water does wash away natural lubricant. But we have this wonderful thing called silicone lube, which (unlike its water-based counterpart) won't immediately go running down the drain. If you're planning to have penetrative sex in the shower, silicone lube can help keep things wet.
It's also true that shower sex requires some manoeuvring, and not every shower sex position is going to work for every couple. But guess what? All good sex requires manoeuvring to figure out what feels comfortable and good. So think of it as an opportunity to practice, rather than a reason to call it quits on shower sex. "If you want to get good at anything, if you want to understand what your strength is in golf or what your strength is in math, then you have to go and learn about that thing," Shan Boodram, certified sex educator and host of Facebook’s Make Up or Break Up, previously told Refinery29.
So maybe your partner can't manage to hold themself up, with one foot on the tub and their back resting against the shower wall, as you go down on them. Just stop and change positions: Try having them place a towel on the edge of the tub and sitting down while you perform oral sex. Or, move on to a totally different sex act (pro-tip: fingering is a lot easier to do standing up than eating someone out). Half of the fun of shower sex is in the experimenting.
And, often, the complaints people have about getting busy in the shower wash away (pun intended) when the couple is good at communicating their needs. Because all good sex also requires an ability to talk about what you like, what you don't like, and whether or not something hurts. "It doesn’t take any weight at all for a spry elbow to dig itself into some part of me hard enough that I need to (and do) vocalise my irritation. This is kind of just how sex works, you guys," Laura Delarato wrote for Refinery29. Take Cosmo's concern that shower sex is the fastest way to the emergency room, for example. They say that because bathtubs tend to be slippery, and can get even more slick when you've been soaping each other up or utilising silicone-based lube. But most of the danger goes away with 1) the purchase of a non-slip shower mat and 2) the ability to tell your partner, "Hang on a second, I'm slipping." Take it from someone who once fainted during shower sex — it wasn't the shower that was dangerous, but rather my failure to communicate to my partner that I was feeling a little woozy and a lot dehydrated.
Sure, it was kind of awkward when I fainted, and wasn't exactly smooth sailing any other time I've had sex in the shower, tbh. Shower sex is rarely the silent, ravage-your-body-under-the-steam experience that we expect. But let's stop faulting shower sex for not living up to unrealistic and honestly, kind of problematic, expectations. No sex should be silent, because no partner knows how to perfectly please your body without direction, whether it's in a bed or in the bathtub. You can't fall into a sex position you do all the time in the shower, so shower sex forces couples to communicate. Maybe some people think that makes it awkward, but I think it makes shower sex even more fun.
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