When it comes to summertime sex, it's hard not to think about having sex in a pool or in the ocean. Or lake. Or river. Or maybe even while rolling around on a Slip'n Slide under a sprinkler. If it's already hot as hell and you're leaving swamp ass all over the city, it only makes sense that when you have sex, you might want to do it in a nice cool place. Sure, sweaty sex can be deliciously hot but, honestly, there's only so much sweaty sex a person can take. While pool sex is refreshing and fun, from a physical standpoint, it's not the best idea.
"While the water experience can be sexy," Dr. Sheila Loanzon, board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and author of Yes, I Have Herpes: A Gynecologist’s Perspective In and Out of the Stirrups, tells Bustle, "there are some health risks."
I know, I know; I just rained on your parade of having hours of pool sex this weekend, but there are things we need to consider before having sex in a pool. Here are the seven facts to think about before you take things from skinny dipping to intercourse.
1It Can Mess With Your Vagina's pH Balance
When it comes to having a healthy (and happy!) vagina, proper pH balance is everything. Sadly, sex in a pool can throw off that proper pH balance, leaving you wide open for a variety of infections.
"Due to the chlorinated water in pools, the exposure of sensitive vaginal skin to that water can cause pH changes in the vagina," Dr. Loanzon tells Bustle. "Which can lead to vaginal infection (yeast or bacterial)." Not only that, but if you're a woman who's prone to UTIs, you're also looking at increasing your chances of getting those, too, when you have sex in a pool.
2It Can Increase Your Chances Of Contracting An STI
Extremely important fact: Water is not a lubricant. While there are water-based lubricants, on its own, it's not and can cause more damage than you might think.
"Using water as lubrication can lead to micro tears in the vaginal skin," says Loanzon, "Which can lead to increased STD risk, like herpes and HIV." Again, these micro tears bring us back to vaginal infections, like yeast, bacterial, and UTIs because the healthy space in which your vagina usually exists is compromised.
3The Chlorine Isn't Vagina-Friendly
Think about the potent smell of chlorine. Now think about that potent chemical getting inside your vagina because of intercourse. "The water in a chlorinated pool will not be safe for the vaginal environment," says Dr. Loanzon.
4Sex In The Water Isn't Contraception
Although having sex in the pool doesn't increase your chances of getting pregnant, according to Dr. Loanzon, it certainly "shouldn't be considered a safe contraceptive." If you want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, pool sex isn't the answer; condoms and/or hormonal contraception is.
5You Still Need To Pee After Sex
If you've just had sex, surrounded by chlorinated water, you might think that you don't have to pee after sex, because, you know, that body of water is washing aways any bacteria that has been passed during sex. But, if anything, it might be even more important to pee after sex in a pool, because your chances of a UTI are increased.
"Women in general are prone to UTIs because of the anatomic location of the urethra to the vagina and rectum," explains Dr. Loanzon. "Being in a pool of water doesn't change that. It is important to still urinate after sex to decrease the risk of UTIs." So get yourself out of the pool and into the loo.
6It Might Not Feel As Good As You Think
Between that chlorine that doesn't like your vagina, the tears that come with opting to use water, as opposed to proper lube, you might actually find you're not even enjoying yourself at all. If you do it too long, pushing through the discomfort, you may not just physically damage your vagina, but really hurt yourself, too. Suddenly all those fantasies of sex in a pool are gone and you're left with a sore vagina and bad memories.
7It Makes For Better Foreplay Than Sex
Ultimately, as Dr. Loanzon explains, women should avoid bodies of water, whether it's a pool or hot tub, and take the shower route instead when it comes to sex in the water. That being said, having some hot foreplay in a pool, before making your way to the shower to seal the deal, is probably your best bet. It's still sexy water fun, but with all the negative side effects.
Although sex should have elements of adventure, that adventure shouldn't come at the cost of your sexual health. Even if you're hell bent on having sex in a pool, at least now you know what you can expect and prepare wisely.