Few sexual activities are as fraught with danger as water-based fucking, an inherently high risk but low reward endeavor. When shower sex goes wrong it's like watching slow-motion reruns of high-speed car crashes: compelling, as long as it's not happening to you.
Shower sex is a lot like regular sex, only harder. It's important to emphasize that it's not better, just more technically challenging. All of the basic competencies regular sex requires—skill, balance, manual dexterity, core strength, variation—are needed, only in more uncertain terrain. Overbalance, and you might find yourself crashing dick-first towards a hard tiled floor like a bobsled racer approaching terminal velocity. If you're risk averse or have poor balance, it's probably best to stick to bedroom-based fucking.
According to some fairly questionable recent stats from condom-and-lube vendors Trojan, more than half of Americans think that shower sex would "spice up their love life." A press release accompanying the findings states that "62 percent of Americans would rather have sex in the shower than in an airplane bathroom", which isn't saying much—you're just swapping one fetid, enclosed space for another, slightly less fetid, enclosed space.
To find out more, Broadly conducted extensive research into shower sex. A few had braved the wrath of the tiled gods, and came out on top. Chloe, 27, told me she'd had shower sex recently, and it was "pretty awesome actually." When pressed for more detail, she told me "I can't really remember anything standing out as going wrong. Just a bit cold sometimes, but I've never fallen over or anything, touch wood (pun intended)." Gravity, of course, is the enemy of bathroom fucking. Richard, 26, also managed to escape falling over. "I guess you could say I'm a whore with good balance."
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For the most part, shower sex is just a bit shit. In the words of one Reddit commenter: "I feel like shower sex is just overrated." Briony, 26, tells me of a failed attempt with an ex-boyfriend. "He tried to lift me up and hold me but it wouldn't work. I think it was in briefly but he couldn't keep it in so we kept falling over. I don't think he was strong enough to hold me and do the thrusting bit at the same time."
Other respondents highlighted the fact that they were in the shower through necessity, not choice. Chloe, 27, shagged an Australian dude in the (shared) shower of her hostel because she was on her period and didn't want everyone to know. "I was on my period and didn't want to fuck up the sheets because everyone would see. It was the first and last time I've shagged someone on my period in the shower, let alone on a one night stand."
Another complication when it comes to shower fucking is that water can be pretty distracting, as 27-year-old Sara recently found out. "I'd been on a first date with this guy and we ended up back at my flat. I didn't want to have sex mostly because I was about to come on my period, but I made out like I wanted to wait because I was classy."
After a night spent blue-balling him, Sara invites him into the shower. "We're in the shower and he slips it in. It's in for like ten seconds, but then he starts laughing? I had no idea what was going on, but I've never had someone laughing inside me before the first time we have sex." In his defence, Sara's partner described the warm water as "incredibly distracting."
Although shower sex can result in bruised egos, the alternative can be far worse—as 27-year-old Jonny found out the hard way. "Years ago, my friend Joe and I ended up at a hostel with these two Swiss girls. As we were all getting off I suddenly became incredibly aware of the fact I didn't want to hear Joe's sex noises, so me and the girl went into the shower room."
"It was fine for a bit until she tried to mount me. Although she didn't so much mount me as kind of lunge quite aggressively at me, and I slipped and smacked my my head on the wall and then fell on the floor with her on top of me." Stoically, they tried to continue fucking but "it was all a bit shit by this point and I realized I'd really fucked up my coccyx, so I left." To add insult to (spinal) injury, Jonny had to return the following morning to retrieve a lost wallet. "I shouted what I thought was her name outside her window with my head still throbbing, and a bunch of girls poked their heads out and started laughing at me. I assume they'd all heard about what happened."
This next story is as haunting as a Radiohead dirge, so if you're easily triggered count yourself warned. Alice, 30, met Tom on MySpace a decade ago. "A lot of our mutual friends called him 'Tom-dick-implants', which they said in a really mean way. But I didn't think that dick implants were a real thing, so I just thought they were making fun of him for having a big dick."
After a weekend of non-stop fucking they end up in the shower, "not because we were pretending shower sex was hot, but because we genuinely smelled bad. It was a small shower, very close quarters. At one point he pulled out of me but I moved. And—I swear to god—when I turned around his dick was fully hard, but bent in half in the middle, at a 90 degree angle.
"And then I thought, maybe dick implants are real! I mean, his penis was huge, like nine inches hard, definitely the biggest penis I've ever seen in my life. The weirdest thing of all was that there was zero pain. Imagine watching someone bend their middle finger all the way back with no reaction. That's what it was like."
If, after reading this, you're still foolhardy enough to risk life and boner in the pursuit of some shower-based fun—some advice, from the Reddit annals. As anyone who's ever fucked in the sea will tell you, water can be very drying. One Redditor describes "silicone lube as the messiah of shower sex", although others say it just makes things more slippy. Most agree that it's best not to have a huge height differential between partners, and a no-slip mat for the tub is a valuable safety precaution, unless you particularly fancy a separated shoulder. Finally, you might want to make sure the boiler is switched on: cold water favours no man.
But be careful. As Alice puts it, "I never want to see a penis bend that way again."