Many people find the concept of underwater sex to be exciting and it can certainly be a great way to show off your more adventurous side.
However, regardless of whether you are thinking about sex in the shower or hot tub, or sex in a lake, or a swimming pool, there are things you need to consider and risks you need to be aware of!
In this Q&A piece, I’ll answer some of the most frequent questions people have asked regarding having sex in water. Let’s get right into the questions!
Table of Contents
1) Is it possible to engage in penetration while submerged in water, or would it wash off (natural or store-bought) lubrication?
One of the single biggest misconceptions about underwater sex is the idea that because everyone involved is soaking wet, there is no need for lubrication. In actual fact, the water can wash away natural vaginal lubricant, resulting in dryness that can make sex difficult and painful. For this reason, it is important to buy artificial lubrication.
In general, lubricants and gels can be separated into two main types: water-based and silicone-based. Although water-based options are popular because they tend to be easier to clean up and less sticky, they are not ideal for underwater sex. Silicone-based lubricants, on the other hand, offer water-resistant qualities, making them a better choice.
2) What about in the shower – would penetration be easier to maneuver in terms of lubrication?
Shower sex can be significantly easier to navigate in terms of lubrication, because the body is not fully submerged in water. This can make penetrative sex easier and less painful without the use of artificial lubricants.
With that being said, the problem with the water from the shower potentially washing away the body’s natural vaginal lubrication may still persist. Therefore, even in the shower, it may still be necessary to purchase a silicone-based lubricant with water-resistant qualities and use this liberally to make penetration easier.
3) What sex acts CAN work in water?
If you are in the shower, you have a wide range of options available, from penetrative sex, to oral sex, and virtually anything else that can be performed standing up, or kneeling down. You will need to be careful in certain positions, as the water does increase the chances of slipping over, but your choices are fairly unrestricted!
For baths, hot tubs and pools, again, penetrative sex is relatively easy to perform, while the use of hands for non-penetrative stimulation is also simple enough. However, oral sex can be more difficult, as unlike in a shower, the water is not constantly draining. Therefore, you will need to think carefully about positioning.
In outdoor environments, such as oceans, lakes and similar bodies of water, options can be more restricted. Try to find a location where you are able to maintain sure footing. Avoid positions where one or both people need to have their head underwater for any length of time, as this introduces an unnecessary level of risk. Penetrative sex and the use of hands for stimulation and foreplay should both be possible. Oral sex may be more tricky in these environments.
You should also know that the use of sex toys is perfectly possible when having underwater sex. However, you need to be sensible about this. It’s crucial to invest in waterproof sex toys that are marketed for their ability to be used in baths, showers, pools, hot tubs, etc. Fortunately, most modern vibrating dildos and other toys are safe and functional for this type of use.
4) Do condoms still work underwater?
Research on condom effectiveness underwater is still surprisingly limited. Nevertheless, there is no reliable evidence to suggest the effectiveness of latex-based condoms will be adversely affected by the presence of water alone. In general, if you are engaged in underwater sex, use of a latex-based condom is recommended.
With that being said, Durex suggests that there could be an increased risk of condom slippage. The company also speculated that although salt present in sea water should not impact upon the effectiveness of its condoms, it is possible that chemicals in swimming pools could, theoretically, reduce their overall effectiveness.
5) Does the chances of condoms tearing increase if you’re underwater?
There is no evidence that the presence of water alone increases the risk of a condom tearing, at least with conventional latex condoms. However, if you are having sex in a swimming pool, or in a hot tub with chlorine in the system, there is the potential that the durability of the condom could be compromised slightly.
It is important to stress that evidence of this effect is limited. Condom manufacturers are not required to test their products in underwater conditions with chlorine and other chemicals present and studies are few and far between. However, Durex and other brands have anecdotally implied that the risk of tearing could increase in these conditions.
6) Could chlorine and/or ocean or lake water potentially irritate the genitals or cause any sort of medical issue?
Unfortunately, the simple answer to this question is ‘yes’, especially for women. Chlorine can affect the pH balance of the vagina, making yeast infections more likely, while irritation, itching and vulvitis also become more likely. In pools, oceans and lakes, there is also the possibility of bacteria in the water causing issues. This may lead to urinary tract infections, or other less common infections, so you do need to be aware of this heightened risk.
For men, the chances of encountering issues are significantly lower, but the presence of bacteria in ocean or lake water can still lead to problems. Penile irritation is also possible in pools and hot tubs that contain chlorine. If you or your partner do experience irritation, it is best to stop immediately and reconsider your approach.
7) Are there any other considerations someone should have regarding sex in water?
It is important to remember that water-based sex of any kind will introduce some safety hazards, so you and your partner do need to take care. If you are having sex in the bath or shower, be aware of the potential for slipping and falling.
Handrails can be one way to reduce the dangers in this particular area. If you are in a pool, lake or the sea, have respect for the water and remember that there is a drowning hazard that needs to be taken seriously.
The main other thing to be aware of is the law. While sex in a public place can be a turn-on, and while introducing water adds a whole extra element of fun, be mindful of legal issues that could arise if you are caught in the act. For similar reasons, you should also avoid having sex in someone else’s private swimming pool without permission.