Over the years, movies and TV shows have painted shower sex as this super-amazing, almost perfect act of lovemaking that we all should be doing. But anyone who has actually had shower sex will probably tell you it's not always as picture-perfect as you've been led to believe. Sure, getting sexy with someone as steam fills the room and warm water cascades around you definitely sounds appealing...but it has to be done right because nothing kills the mood faster than a slip and trip to the emergency room.
So, if you're ready to make good shower sex a part of your routine, there are a few things you'll want to consider or keep in mind before diving in. Here are some expert tips, positions that'll help you find the right fit, and precautions to take.
How to have shower sex:
1. Use temperature, steam, and water pressure to your advantage.
According to AASECT-certified sex therapist Shannon Chavez Qureshi, PsyD, shower sex should incorporate all of the elements of water, including temperature, steam, pressure, wetness, and slipperiness.
"If your shower has a handheld shower head, adjust the temperature and pressure to your liking and then run water over erogenous zones including the nipples, back of the neck, wrists, or clitoris," sex therapist and LELO sex expert Casey Tanner, LCPC, recommends.
An adjustable shower head will also come in handy here. "Aim the water away from your face," Megwyn White, certified clinical sexologist and director of education for Satisfyer, recommends. "It's best to position the shower head toward areas like your legs and lower back when it comes to shower sex."
2. It's very easy to slip, so be careful!
It can be very slippery in your tub! Especially when there's any thrusting involved and the need to prop yourself up against the walls with your hands and feet, it can be very hard to keep yourself steady with all the water and soaps sloshing around. You'll want to have a nonslip mat within the tub, says Chavez Qureshi, and potentially a mat outside of the shower for soaking up extra wetness upon exiting.
Also be aware of what might be danger in your shower. Anything that's easy to slip on should be removed, and make sure that anything you're holding on to for support is securely fastened and won't break while you're mid-romp. (FYI, most shower rods cannot hold a human up and can cause injury if you try to hold onto them.)
3. Use lube.
Yes, water is wet, but it's actually not the same as having the lubrication you need for penetrative intercourse. In fact, the constant stream during your time in the shower may actually wash away the vagina's natural lubrication—which could make things a bit uncomfortable. You may need to use a bit of lube for maximum pleasure, but make sure it's the right kind, says sexologist Jess O'Reilly, Ph.D.
"Save your water-based lube for use outside the shower," O'Reilly explains. "Since pure water is the main ingredient in these, they tend to wash away quickly when engaging in water play. Silicone-based lubes have a unique slick, silky feel that not only feels soothing to the skin but stays slippery and lasts longer underwater."
4. Stock up on shower-sex-friendly equipment.
"Make a shower-sex kit with all the things you would need, including toys, props, sponges, a stool (if you do not have a bench in your shower), and suction-cup handles. These accessories make it easier to get into different positions and provide comfort and support in a smaller space," Chavez Qureshi says.
Sex therapist Michael Stokes, LMHC, says sex toys can be great for shower sessions as long as they're water-safe. "Sex toys can add some great pleasure and fun in the shower. Dildos, fleshlights, butt plugs, and more!" he says. "It is fun to line them up on the counter in the bathroom and let your partner and yourself choose whichever one they want to incorporate! The more choices, the sexier it gets!"
Sex toys, particularly if used internally, may need to be used with a silicone-based lube when used in the shower to make sure there’s enough lubrication.
5. Keep checking in with each other.
Whether it's your first time having shower sex or you're a pro, it's important to make sure your partner is comfortable, White says. Keep checking in with each other to make sure the positions and types of touch feel good, keeping in mind that the stuff you two may enjoy in bed may not feel the same in the shower because of how the water and steam change up the sensations.
Be mindful of the temperature of the water around you, too. "It can get pretty hot having sex, so you should be mindful of keeping the water warm to both partners' liking," White says. "The last thing you want to do when you are in the heat of the moment is worry about adjusting the temperature valve."
6. Go for secure, standing positions.
When it comes to shower sex, finding good positions will make or break the experience (and possibly your neck). Many people's showers are pretty tight, which means your favorite bedroom positions might not work so well. In general, standing positions are your best bet in the shower as well as anything that allows both people to stay securely planted to avoid slipping.
Shower sex positions:
This is one of the best tried-and-true shower sex positions, says Angela Rosario, a sex toy expert with TooTimid. One partner stands and braces their hands against the walls to stay stable while the other partner pleasures or penetrates them. The penetrating partner can use a penis, sex toy, or fingers.
The Ballet Dancer
This face-to-face position is great for penis-in-vagina sex. The vagina owner faces the wall in a single-leg stance with the penis owner supporting their raised leg and back, White explains. Alternatively, the receiving partner can place one leg on the side of the tub or on a footrest, Rosario says.
"The benefit of this position is that it offers you the opportunity to face your partner directly," White explains. "It's a great position for G-spot stimulation, and you can use the shower water to stimulate the lower back to help release tensions. It feels really good!"
"Partners can bend down or get on their knees and stimulate their partner's genitals with their mouth and hands. It gives you better access to your partner's body and water provides natural lubrication and pleasurable sensations," Chavez Qureshi suggests.
Straddle the Edge
White suggests this position for oral sex and finger play for folks with vaginas: The receiver faces away from the shower head with knees bent, one foot on the side of the bath and hands pressed against the wall. The giver can get into a kneeling or even sitting position to stimulate the receiver with tongue, fingers, or a water-safe toy.
"The benefit of this position is that it offers ample opportunity to stimulate the G-spot with oral stimulation," she explains. "Arching the back and squatting will help to enhance."
Water the Garden
"One partner is seated and relaxed on a shower stool with legs wide-open. The other partner is in a bent position to pleasure them either orally, with their hands, or with their favorite vibe," White explains. "This is a great position for all sexual anatomies to be explored by their partners in a stable and relaxing position. It offers ample space to access most of the important pleasure zones like the vulva, clitoris, testicles, shaft, and glans of the penis."
If you can get your hands on a shower bench, Rosario says sex positions with one partner lying down can be a great option. "For instance, in the corkscrew position, the receiving partner reclines on the bench facing away from the penetrating partner. The penetrating partner can then penetrate from behind," she recommends.
Another sex position if you've got a shower bench: The receiver lies on their back at the edge of the bench with their legs off the bench, Rosario explains. "They can place their legs on the penetrating partner's chest to better control the tempo and depth of thrusts."
This one's for PIV too, and it involves sitting on the floor—which might actually prevent slipping.
"This is a great position to try with your partner for PIV sex and offers you a comfortable position to angle into the G-spot in just the right ways," White says. "Straddle your partner with your legs wrapped while both are seated. Use the angle of your lean to intensify penetration, and the strength of your legs to modulate rhythm and depth. This position is great for getting more intimate with your partner, with the ability to make eye contact and also explore clitoral stimulation. It's fairly easy to do and won't cause you to slip, so it's a safe bet for couples new to shower sex to experiment with."
Peaking the Mountain
"This is a great position to help stretch your legs and your spine and is similar to the forward bend in yoga but with your hands on the floor to help stabilize the position, with the partner directly behind," White explains. "This is a great position to explore anal play, and if you're a vulva owner, you can also experiment with dual stimulation of the clitoris."
White says the position itself offers a nice stretch to the calves, legs, and spine, which can calm the mind and increase circulation to the pelvic area and sexual organs. It's also one that will be fairly easy to do. If you struggle with flexibility, you can also use a shower bench as a prop to support your upper body and arms.
"Rubbing while standing up can be highly arousing," Chavez Qureshi says. "Use your hands to stimulate your partner's body including back, chest, belly, and inner thighs. Genital rubbing can even stimulate an orgasm. Push your hips back and forth for extra friction. Engage in deep kissing and caressing while holding your partner's body close to yours."
If you have a shower bench or stool, Chavez Qureshi recommends placing it under the water to create a "mini waterfall experience." One partner sits on the chair while the other sits on top for penetration, pelvic rocking, or genital grinding.
Benefits of sex in the shower:
Reduces tension in the body.
Warm water in the shower is excellent for reducing tension in the body and can help both partners relax more into sensual play, says White. "As the water covers the whole body, it's so much easier to open up and be receptive to areas that are holding tension," she says. "You can use the water to direct relaxation into the areas of the body that are most needed, like the back or shoulders."
Variety adds intrigue and excitement back into a sluggish sex life. Moving sex from the bedroom into the shower can be a great change of pace. "Shower sex allows you to get creative with positions and dynamics that you may not have explored in the bedroom," Tanner adds. "Make use of shower benches or chairs that offer further opportunity for exploration while also providing stability."
"Ditch your worries about messy sheets or getting sweaty before work; shower sex has a built-in cleanup that allows you to get dirty without staying that way," Tanner says.
The easy cleanup also makes it great for period sex, they add, and it can also offer some soothing for period cramps. "Period sex in the shower can be both convenient and relaxing. Enjoy the soothing benefits of heat for cramps without the fear of leaving a stain."
"Shower sex engages the five senses, providing plenty of opportunity to notice sounds, smells, temperatures, and textures that we don't have access to in the bedroom," Tanner says. "Notice the feeling of warm water dripping down your back, the sight of you and your partner in the bathroom mirror, or the smell of your favorite bath products. Sexual pleasure increases as we're able to remain present and mindful of the experience, so take a moment to take it all in."
She also recommends bringing a waterproof speaker into your shower and hitting play on a sexy playlist to up the ambience.
Sometimes it can be hard to make time for sex, particularly morning sex. But shower sex can allow you to add it to your regular morning routine, Tanner notes. "Combine your shower with your partner's, and take advantage of the opportunity to wash each other's bodies, give a scalp massage with shampoo, or lotion each other up afterward," she suggests. "Shower sex is both a practical and connective way to start your day."
Supports overall health
Having sex in general comes with so many health benefits, not to mention the benefits of orgasms. "There are so many benefits to pleasure in supporting health and wellness," White says. "As we focus on pleasure, we allow our bodies an opportunity to reset, and improve connection with our partners. Shower sex is a great lifestyle practice to ensure that you are not only getting the benefits of sex but can also explore self-care and enjoy the benefits that a shower naturally offers."
It's very easy to get hurt during shower sex.
It's very easy to slip in the shower, especially when you're distracted and trying to get into tangled sex positions. White recommends using a nonslip mat to prevent any accidents or potential injuries while in the shower. She also suggests props like shower chairs and foot grips for extra stability, plus a bath mat and towels for when you get out, to catch the excess water.
"Don't get too rough in the shower, as it will increase your chance of falling and cause your partner to tense up during sexual play," White adds. "Take it slow, and always be a little bit cautious when it comes to positioning your body."
Water is not lube.
The water may actually wash away the vagina's natural lubrication, making for more painful sex if no lube is used. "Even though the shower is wet, this does not equate to lubrication," White says. "It's important to use a silicone-based lubricant in the shower, which will definitely make shower sex far more pleasurable."
The same goes for anal sex, Chavez Qureshi adds: "For shower sex and anal, the most important tip is using the proper lubrication. The risk is lack of lubrication can cause damage to the delicate tissue in the anal canal. Any friction-based activity can cause damage to the tissue and introduce bacteria leading to infection."
Be careful with condoms.
Safer sex practices are still necessary in the shower. "Condoms should be placed on before getting in the water. It will be more difficult to put the condom on once in the shower," Chavez Qureshi says. "It is also important to use a lubricant with condoms so that penetrative activity doesn't cause the condom to come off or tear."
While condoms will work in the shower, the condom is only effective if it stays on securely. And since the addition of water can increase the likelihood of slipping, you'll want to be a little extra mindful. Chavez Qureshi emphasizes the importance of having a condom that is a proper fit and put on correctly. Lifestyles condom website also notes that "chemicals such as chlorine or additives such as bath oil or bubble bath may harm a latex condom."
Avoid getting bath products in your private areas.
"Be sure to clean your body first and not during sexual activity. Soap and other bath products can be extra slippery and not good for the internal pH of the vagina," Chavez Qureshi says. "Soap in the anal canal can also cause irritation to the tissue."
As long as you're safe and careful, shower sex can be a fun and easy way to mix things up.
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Stephanie Barnes is a freelance writer from Kingston, Jamaica. She studied Information Technology from the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean and spent several years as a front-end/iOS engineer. Her work has been featured at The Huffington Post, Healthline, The Lily, HelloGiggles, Business Insider, and more. She's passionate about all things mental health, technology, and binge-worthy television.