The Potential Risks To Having Sex In The Water

It's a hot summer day, and you and your partner are swimming in, let's say, a magical river without a single other person in sight. Things are getting flirty. You start touching each other. You're both getting not just slightly aroused but really aroused — like busting at the seams type of aroused. There's no one around, so should you do it? Should you actually make the move and cross water sex off your bucket list? It always looks pretty hot in the movies, after all. Well, except for that one iconic pool scene in "Showgirls" (that's too NSFW to link to), where there's a lot of thrashing around in the water by Elizabeth Berkley, aka Jessie Spano of "Saved by the Bell." But to get back on topic, should this be the day you finally have sex in the water?


"[There's] nothing wrong with a little foreplay in the pool, but when it starts to get hot and heavy, time to move onto the chaise lounge," sexpert Emily Morse tells StyleCaster. Why should you move over to the chaise lounge? Because there are just certain things that aren't worth the risk, and having sex in the water is one of them — any water.

You can get a bacterial infection

When it comes to water sources that can be a potential place for a romp, the worst of the worst is water that's pretty much stagnant, like lakes and ponds. You may think you're having a sexy experience, but whether you're being penetrated digitally, with a penis, or a dildo, you're literally shoving bacteria that's been floating in those bodies of water into your vagina which can result in a whole slew of infections, including UTIs and vaginosis.


But what about pools and hot tubs? Forget them too. According to the CDC, the chemicals, like chlorine, can do a number on the skin and eyes and can even corrode pipes if the levels aren't exactly as they should be. Do you want your "pipes" corroded by a pool or hot tub that hasn't been properly maintained? Probably not. Also, the chemicals that are used to kill germs in these waters can throw off the pH balance in the vagina causing yeast infections.

Your body doesn't properly lubricate

It doesn't matter how wet water is when it comes to vaginal lubrication — which is necessary for pleasurable, pain-free sex — it just isn't happening because whatever water source you're in is literally washing out your body's natural lube. In other words, when they say "wetter is better," they're not talking about having intercourse in a body of water — showers included. 


"People think water is like vaginal lubricant, but they're completely different," board-certified OB/GYN Idries Abdur-Rahman, M.D., tells Self. "That lack of lubrication can make you more prone to micro-abrasions."

Now combine those micro-abrasions and any other skin irritations with whatever bacteria is in the water source where you're having sex — are you picturing it? Can you see how that might create one heck of a problem? While you can try to use to store-bought lube during water sex, it's still not going to last the entire extent of a proper sex session like it would on dry land.

Condoms have a higher chance of breaking

According to a study published in National Library of Medicine, 7.3% of condoms break. Granted, this is just one study and doesn't speak for all condoms or penetration with condoms, but the fact is condoms are only 98% effective, according to Planned Parenthood, and can break. In some cases, you and your partner may not even realize there's been a breakage until after the fact when you go to remove the condom.


Condoms can break for a variety of reasons: if they're expired, if they're not used correctly (meaning you didn't put it on right), or from friction that can arise during penetration that's really intense and causes the latex to tear. If you're having penetrative sex in the water where natural vaginal lubrication is non-existent, or you're having any sort of penetrative sex without lube, chances of the condom breaking are very, very high.

Which brings us to...

STIs and pregnancy are still a concern

Whether you opt to skip the condom (because you're in a monogamous, fluid-bonded relationship) or the condom breaks, having sex in the water doesn't decrease your chances of contracting or transmitting STIs or getting pregnant — contrary to what sexual health rumors you may have heard. "There is a pervasive myth that water and/or chlorine kill sperm and it's not true," sex educator Erica Smith tells Refinery 29. "Remember that you can still get STIs or become pregnant when having sex in water."


While the life of sperm once it leaves the body is extremely short-lived, so you don't have to worry about it swimming up and into places that you'd rather it didn't, it doesn't change the fact that intercourse that includes ejaculation in the vagina doesn't result in minimized chances of pregnancy or STIs just because you had sex in the water.

There's no denying that sex in the water can seem like a sexy idea, but when you weigh the pros against the cons, it's just better to stick to dry land. But not the beach without a towel! Getting sand in any orifice brings on a whole bunch of other problems. So, maybe just stick to your bed for now. Or the kitchen floor if you want to spice things up.