Pool sex has an undeniable allure. But is it ever really as sexy as it is in the movies?
The truth is, while it can definitely be steamy, pool sex does come with a few logistical challenges. There are three main issues you should watch out for: lubrication, irritation and infection.
First up, as you might have experienced during foreplay in the shower or bath, “the water in the pool will likely wash away your natural lubrication,” says Kate White, M.D., an ob-gyn in Boston. There’s a dark irony to this: “Being surrounded by water makes you drier inside, so intercourse may be more uncomfortable,” White says.
That doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel so to speak. “Sex in the water is fine as long as there is lubrication present,” says Leah Millheiser, M.D. an ob-gyn and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University. She suggests using a silicone-based lube, which will stay on in the water.
Even with lube, beware of irritation. “Depending on the level of chemicals used, the chlorine may be seriously irritating to your vulva or vagina,” says White. You might not notice this right away, “but a red, swollen, itchy, burning vulva can really kill the post-sex glow,” White says. FYI, saltwater isn’t much better—in fact, it might even make your sexcapade a little more painful: “If a vulvar or vaginal tear occurs during sex due to lack of lubrication, salt water may cause more of a sting,” White says.
Finally, there’s one more danger to watch out for: Infection. “If you’re in a pool—or worse, a hot tub—that hasn’t been properly chlorinated, there is a risk of a bladder infection from the microbes in the water,” White says. Millheiser emphasizes urinating after the fun is over to reduce your risk of a UTI.
As always, it’s best to use a condom if you’re having sex (especially, you know, if you’re not the only person who uses the pool)—but keep in mind, Millheiser says, that they can be difficult to keep on in the water. “In circumstances where condoms need to be used, it’s best to have sex on dry land,” she says.
That doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your time in the pool floating chastely: “Why not try a little manual foreplay in the pool instead of intercourse?” suggests White. As it turns out, the water actually helps out here: “The water will increase the slickness of your fingers on each other.”