When you imagine having sex in the shower, what comes to mind? It might be beautiful, naked, soapy bodies exchanging steamy kisses—or maybe soap in your eyes, butts against cold tiles, and awkwardly slipping against each other as you trying to find a single stable position. The fumbling sex scene in 500 Days of Summer, where they fall out of the tub and rip out the shower curtain; that’s probably the most accurate portrayal of bathroom sex in recent memory.
The secret, as with many other sex situations, is to have fun with it all, says David Yarian, Ph.D, a Nashville-based sex therapist. You can’t expect it to work like normal intercourse, but you can find ways to make your bathroom your own sexual water park. Here are some of his best tips.
You might be completely aroused at the sight of your partner all slicked down, but that shower water could accidentally wash away all of your natural lubrication. “The number one thing that goes wrong is vaginal irritation and/or infection,” says Yarian. By avoiding the water, you can maintain your own wetness so that it doesn’t hurt when he’s entering you. And be really careful if that delicate southern skin gets irritated easily—you might want to avoid getting all soapy in that particular area during the act.
It’s really hard to open a condom with slippery hands, not to mention actually getting it on him. Get protected before you get wet—whether by birth control, IUD, or whatever your personal preference—or if you do want to use a condom, research the brand to see if it can stand up to water, says Yarian.
Do not, we repeat, do not put a foot on the edge of the bathtub. “There’s always the possibility of slipping and falling,” says Yarian. One good position that keeps your feet planted firmly on the ground is doggy style. “If the female—or receptive partner—is bent over with both feet on the ground, they might be more stable, and then the man can stand upright behind her,” says Yarian. “I would not add extra acrobatics on top of slipperiness.” It’s an easy way to wind up in an ER. Not hot.
“I think intercourse is the least-safe thing you can do,” says Yarian. “It’s fun to fool around, soap each other up, caress and touch, be slippery together, and then have the actual intercourse outside the bathroom.” Play with the sensuality of the water, the hot air, the new feeling of each other’s bodies. That’s a really great time, too.
Pause to appreciate and embrace the intimacy of the moment. You’re makeup-free, your body is bare, and you’re standing there together taking care of each other. “To have your partner groom you, shampoo you, soap you, it’s pretty intimate,” says Yarian. “It can be slow, and slow is often really sexy.” Give him an epic head scratch as you shampoo his fair, or let him wash you from head to toe, or carefully shave your legs. You might find sensitive spots you didn’t even know you had. Plus, you just crossed a task off your to-do list for the day! It’s a win-win.