How to have sex in the shower (comfortably): Five Tips


Sex in the shower is something that many women and men wonder about. It’s been the subject of numerous sex scenes in mainstream Hollywood movies as well as in porn, so it’s common for people who have never had sex in a shower , hot tub or bath tub to think that sex in a shower or bath must be hot, satisfying and pleasurable beyond belief. But the truth is that sex in the shower or bath can be tricky indeed. It can even be uncomfortable, painful and awkward. That’s no reason to throw the towel in, however. Here’s some basic information you can use to enhance your sex play in the shower or bath:

1.) Shower sex is oddly dry. As anyone who has spent significant time in a bath tub or shower knows, warm water can dry the skin and turn us all a bit prune-like. It can also dry the vagina, which can make vaginal penetration uncomfortable or painful for women and their partners. On the receiving end of vaginal penetration, even if one’s partner is able to get anything inside the vagina, it can feel painful and abrasive. On the giving end, it can feel difficult if not impossible to successfully penetrate one’s partner.

2.) Not all lubricants are created equal. Once people realize that shower sex can make sex more dry and thus uncomfortable (see #1), they may think “aha! I’ll just add lube!” However, most people have only water-based lubricant on hand. When they try to use water-based lubricant during sex in the shower or bath, they may quickly realize that the water washed away water-based lube, leaving sex still utterly uncomfortable. However, silicone based lubricants are slicker, longer lasting and difficult to wash away (they are also condom-compatible) so many people find that silicone lubricants make for more comfortable sex in the shower or bath. Why not keep both water-based and silicone-based lubricant on hand for different types of sex?

3.) Condoms have not been tested for underwater sex. That means that we have no idea how likely latex or polyurethane condoms are to slip off or to break during sex in the shower or bath tub. Therefore if you are relying on condoms for the prevention of sexually transmissible infections (STI) or pregnancy, then you should perhaps stick to sex on dry land rather than sex in the shower or bath.

4.) Sex positions in the shower can be challenging. Some people find it difficult to have sex in the shower because they try to rely on the same sex positions they might use on dry land, such as sex standing up. However, bodies don’t always match up very easily (height-wise) and, as mentioned above, intercourse in the shower can be uncomfortable. Rather than be rigid about how sex in the shower “should” be, try expanding your idea of shower play. Why not soap each other’s bodies up, or indulge in some oral sex play, as a means of foreplay? Sex in the shower can be used to enhance excitement and arousal before you transfer to dry sex, or at least the bed, for other types of sex you might wish to engage in.

5. Keep an open mind. If sex in the shower doesn’t live up to your expectations, try something else! Similarly, if your partner isn’t into sex in the shower, hot tub, or bath, find another way to be intimate together. For some people, a bath or shower is a place of relaxation (not that kind) and refuge and they may simply want to use that time for quiet reflection or relaxation. Try to keep an open mind about the many ways that you and your partner can experience sexual pleasure or connection (or make a baby, as the case may be!) together.

Learn more in Dr. Herbenick’s book, Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction, and follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor

[Image via Remolinos and available via Flickr Creative Commons.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at

  • allyson hudson

    what does it mean when your 26 yr old boyfriend doesn't stay hard when your trying to come on to him,such as giving him head or while your having sex?

  • cat

    It means something's wrong… Maybe he's got anxiety about not pleasing you. Maybe you've made it sound like you want a marathon or something and he knows he can't. The more anxious men are about performing, the worse it gets. It can be a vicious cycle because each “failure” makes it worse.

    Tell him to relax and if he goes soft, don't say anything. Do something else for a while. If he complains say you're not worried and that it'll be good either way, not to focus on the length of time. Most of all, get him to relax and it should work fine. Unless he has medical problems but at 26 it's unlikely.

    -was there… no longer…he's awesome now. :)

  • jessica25252

    try doing extra things to him while giving him head, like rubbing his balls and saying hot sexy things to him…and play with his dick and rub the tip, thats the most sensitive part of a guy dick. And while ur having se scream his name out AND TRY letting his maturbaute between ur breast…whilei hope this information works 4 u..good luck!!

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