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Hot tub hanky panky.

Hot Tub Hanky Panky.

A field guide to heated antics.. and avoiding a UTI.

In the realm of sexual tropes, hot tubs reign supreme. You’ll encounter hot tub hanky panky from rom-coms to serial dramas. Perhaps you’ve also turned up the temp in a hot tub of your own, so to speak. But what, exactly, is the appeal? 

Well, for starters, you’re already nearly naked (if not entirely so). Secondly, you’re in close quarters (pools generally offer added room for personal space), and perhaps most importantly, all that literal steam is, well, steamy (research shows that you’re more likely to orgasm at higher temperatures). That said, in reality, most folks can attest to the fact that hot tub sex, in addition to an orgasm or two, tends to yield some fiery UTIs. And yeast infections. And rashes of all genres. So, when it comes to semi-aquatic slamming, we’ve got some advice to help you ensure that you’re steering clear of a post-coital trip to Urgent Care. Here’s what you need to know:

Introduce Lube

This may seem contradictory being that you’re already...wet. But here’s the thing: water washes away the vagina’s natural lubrication –– which means that penetrative sex can be fairly uncomfortable (not to mention your increased risk of irritation and microabrasions). So, if you are going whole hog, try adding a silicone-based lube to the mix to keep things smooth.

Consider protection

We’re not here to deny the fundamental appeal of the whole hot tub hoorah. But we are here to remind you that contraception is more difficult to use while submerged. Underwater, it’s far more likely that a condom will slip off –– and it’s also likely that the heat will wear down the latex. Plus, unlike with bedroom sex, it feels plenty likely that contraception won’t be readily available. Now, contrary to popular rumors, hot tub water does not make pregnancy or an STI more likely than unprotected sex elsewhere –– but it’s still important to be cautious. 

Stick To Foreplay

Listen, we want you to have your cake and eat it too –– or whatever idiom you’d prefer. But the thing about any shared, enclosed body of water is that there will be ample bacteria around. Not only can this lead to any number of different infections (topical rashes included), but the chemicals found in pools and hot tubs also tend to alter the pH of a vagina –– which typically gives way to bacterial infections, yeast infections, and occasionally UTIs. So, for the sake of everyone’s comfort tomorrow, consider enjoying your foreplay from the hot tub, before pivoting to dry land for full-on intercourse. 

Mix Up Your Positions

If you’re willing to get creative, there are plenty of ways to approach penetration while keeping your genitals out of the water. Try a standing position on the seats that bring you above water level, or experiment with various forms of oral sex where the folks doing the pleasuring submerge their bodies, and the folks being pleasured remain dry. You need not exit the tub to guarantee you’ll stay *mostly* dry. 

Introduce a Waterproof Sex Toy

Messing around with a toy that you know can handle some submersion may be your best way to stimulate pleasure for your partner without risking microabrasions or a potential slip-up with your contraception. Just be sure the thing is waterproof before you toss it in the whirlpool. 

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