How to have sex in the shower - plus exciting shower sex positions to try out

Become an expert at sex in the shower with our best tips and tricks for a successful shower session

Couple dressed in white bath robes, laughing and coming out of the bathroom in a hotel after having sex in the shower
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sex in the shower always seems like a great idea after you see it on screen. From Casino Royale to Fifty Shades Darker, Grey's Anatomy to Orange Is The New Black, a scene can go from damp to super-steamy in just a few seconds - but is it actually achievable in real life?

Much like everything else that happens in the movies, all the awkward parts of on-screen shower sex are cut out. In reality, there's a real risk of slipping, water running down your face, and no room to turn around in the shower - let alone get all the right angles. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on having shower sex just yet. 

From the pitfalls of using too much lube to the very best sex positions, we've unpacked everything there is to know about how to have sex in the shower with the help of a certified sexologist.

How to have sex in the shower 

1. Think safety first

It might not be the sexiest of starting points but having sex in the shower does come with its own potential issues, so set yourself up for success by buying a non-slip bathmat to put into the shower. When it comes to having sex in the shower, you don't want to lose your footing - especially if you're trying something like the clasp sex position. Pick out a rubber bath mat that has suction cups on the bottom so it will stick firmly to the base of your bath or shower tray.

When it comes to trying certain sex positions, this advice really rings true. "Injuring yourself during shower sex will make the experience not worth it so the shower is not really the place for acrobatics or positions that test your agility. It's much better to find positions that work for you in giving one, if not both of you, a stable position to work with. Also, don't use walls that can't take your weight like glass shower doors for leverage," says Kate Moyle, registered UKCP psychosexual and relationship therapist.

2. Use plenty of lube

Another important thing to be aware of before attempting shower sex is that water is in no way a lubricant, so you'll also need to invest in one of the best lubes if you don't already have a favorite. 

"Just because you're in the shower doesn't mean that lubricant can't be included in your shower sex, and it can really add to the sensations of the experience. Water doesn't create the same slide sensation that lubricant does for making sexual motions more comfortable and pleasurable," says Moyle, who is also the resident sex and relationship expert at sexual wellness brand LELO. "Side note, as lube is clearly designed to be slippy, be careful not to drop any on the floor or tiles." As we say, safety first.

3. Point the shower head at your chest or legs

The shower head can add a multi-sensory dimension to shower sex, Moyle says. "The temperature, feel, and sound of the water, and any scent of shower gel or body wash that you choose, can make this a multi-sensory experience. Not only can dialing up the sensuality of an experience help you to focus your attention on what you're feeling, but it's a great way of breaking out of sexual routines and introducing novelty."

But if you can change the direction of your shower head, have it "slightly away so it's angled on your chest and back, rather than directly onto your head or in your face," she suggests. 

And if your shower head comes off the wall completely, you could try incorporating it into play by directing a gentle stream of water at your or your partner's various erogenous zones. However, depending on what type of shower head you have, it may not be a sensation that everyone likes so it's worth exploring your own first.

4. Set the mood

Logistics out the way, you want your shower sex to be as hot as possible - but let's face it, bathrooms aren't always the most erotic of settings. Firstly, make sure your bathroom is actually clean. It may sound obvious but as survey research suggests that as few as 40% of Americans clean their bathrooms once a month or less, it's a point worth making.

Secondly, think about the lighting. While natural daylight will almost be more flattering than an overhead light, you may be attempting shower sex in the evening - or not even have a window in your bathroom - so try lighting the room with candles. 

And thirdly, think about smells. You could try a scented candle, with a sexy earthy scent or something light and floral for a more playful feel. Avoid using bleach or any kind of cleaning liquids anywhere in the bathroom at least one hour before you plan to go in there, just to be sure. 

Equally, be sure to find the right water temperature before you step in. Turn it on a minute or so before you step in to test the waters and adjust accordingly.

5. Bring toys into the bathroom

Bringing your best vibrator or your pick of the best sex toys into the shower with you won't only spice things up a bit, but it'll take the pressure off you or your partner to make this challenging setting work the first time around. 

A waterproof vibe or dildo is perfect. "Many sex toys are also designed to be waterproof, meaning that if you want to vary the sensations, taking compatible sex toys into the shower with you is completely possible," Moyle says. 

"You can also take the shower head and tease each other all over your bodies and use body washes or a sponge to create a feel that's different to what you are used to," she adds. "But remember shower gels don't need to go into the vagina as they can upset the natural pH of the body and cause discomfort or infection."

6. Think about protection

This won't be a problem for everyone who wants to have sex in the shower, but it's still worth considering as it's easy to forget protection when you're caught up in the moment and out of your normal surroundings.

Importantly, condoms haven't yet been approved for the shower and they can slip under water pressure, or heat from the water could cause them to break. Instead, take a look at other contraceptive steps if you want to or use the shower as light foreplay and wait until you're dry before heading somewhere else where you have access to what you need.

7. Communicate always

This is the golden rule of sex anyway, whether you're having sex in the shower or trying out some of the best oral sex positions. Being open and communicative with your partner about what you do and don't want or like is essential for your enjoyment. 

"You have to navigate bodily positions to make it work for you and this can't be based on assumptions," Moyle reminds us. "Shower sex by nature means someone will get splashed in the eye or you may need to move around or adjust the temperature, and all of that is fine. If it doesn't go perfectly to plan, laugh it off and remind yourselves it's meant to be fun. It doesn't always resemble the scenes that we see in the movies and on screens, but being able to tell each other what's working or not working for you is an important part of you both enjoying it." 

If you find it's not working for you, don't be worried about starting in the shower and then moving back to a bedroom or drier surface. "Move it to somewhere else like the bed by throwing some towels down first, or start elsewhere and then move into the shower," she suggests. "There are no rules to say that because it starts there that's where it needs to finish if it's not working for you." 

The best shower sex positions

Choosing the right sex positions can definitely help when it comes to having sex in the shower safely. But when there’s barely space to bend for the soap, things can get awkward - and fast. There's unfortunately no vertical version of the speed bump sex position to make things easier either.

The positions that work best tend to be the ones that make the most of the space, so we've asked Kate Moyle to recommend a few of the ones to try. 

1. The Back Massage

Illustration of the back massage sex position for shower sex

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

How to do it: This one's pretty simple. Either kneel down in the bath in front of your partner or fold up a towel and put it between your knees. Your partner will then stand opposite the shower head while you kneel in front of them and give them oral sex. You could also use your hands to massage their lower back at the same time, given the name.

Why it’s great: The warm shower will feel amazing for you while you go down on them. Plus, you shouldn't be struggling for space with this one and both of you won't be sliding around trying to make tricky angles work. Both of you can take turns too, making this one of the best lesbian sex positions to try in the shower.

If you have a vulva and you're the one standing, you might want to prop a foot on the side of the tub to give your partner easier access. 

Make it sexier: Pick up one of the best wand vibrators (make sure it's waterproof before buying for the shower) and take it in with you, both for sexual stimulation and for the back massage. 

2. The bend and splash

Illustration of the bend and splash shower sex position with woman bent over in front of man, shower head above

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

How to do it: Facing away from your partner, bend over so there's a 90-degree angle at your hips. If you need some stability, press your hands into the wall on either side while your partner penetrates you from behind. 

Why it’s great: "With one partner standing and the other bent over in front of them, you both have feet planted on the floor. This way the bent-over partner can also use a solid wall of the shower for support," says Moyle. "You can also change the speed of your movements in this position easily, or the receiving partner can pull themselves up to standing to change the angle and by facing the solid wall, you can then use your hands against it to hold you." 

Make it sexier: Add it some foreplay before you dive into this position. Why not get into the shower clothed and remove the garments as they get wet and see-through. You could also bring a bullet vibrator into the shower for this position, allowing you or your partner to stimulate the clitoris at the same time as they penetrate you.  

3. Sitting slip 'n' slide

Illustration of the slip and slide shower sex position

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

How to do it: You might stand in the shower but that doesn't mean you have to do that when it comes to you getting it on with your partner. Have the penetrating partner sit down in the shower, leaning back against the wall if possible, with you sitting astride them - just like in the face off sex position.

Why it’s great: You can choose to sit facing them or away in a reverse cowgirl pose. If you sit face-to-face, this means lots of kissing while facing away means they can use water to massage your back and buttocks while you ride. 

Make it sexier: As you’re sitting down, it’s safe to add more lube as you won’t slip over and hurt yourself. Make the most of this - and as you're sitting so close to each other, you could try some dirty talk. Take inspiration from sex stories you've heard before, or some of the best porn for women. From here, it would also be very easy to slip into the 69 sex position, if space allows for it.

4. Brace for pleasure

Illustration of the brace for pleasure sex position

(Image credit: H. Maddison)

How to do it: This is one of the best positions for shower sex and it's very similar to the ballet dancer sex position in many ways, with a little more water involved. Brace yourself against the wall with your partner in front of you and the water pouring behind you. When you have enough grip on the floor (note the non-slip shower mat), lift up your leg and either rest it on a surface or have your partner grip it around their waist. Providing that your heights match up, your partner can now enter. 

Why it’s great: You get the heat from the water and the stimulation from your partner at the same time - a win-win. Also, being able to brace yourself up against the wall gives you a firmer footing and you are less likely to slip over. 

Make it sexier: Adding a couple’s vibrator such as the We-Vibe Sync (provided you've got it all set up beforehand) or adding a cock ring to your sex play could enhance the pleasure for both of you. Going for a hands-free sex toy means you won’t lose any stability during the action. Turning the lights off may seem dangerous, but it could really make your other senses - such as touch - feel even more intense.

How to make shower sex work if there's a height difference

If your partner is significantly taller than you or you're taller than them, things can get tricky as most of the shower sex positions need to be done standing up. So, to overcome this issue, those who are shorter should use something to allow them to raise one leg as this will make penetration just that little bit easier. 

If you’re taller, try leaning your back against the wall. Then wrap one leg around their hips for support as they enter you. 

Faye M Smith

Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021. Currently Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships.