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Sexpectations – Sex in water


We get why you’re keen on the idea. There’s nothing more romantic than being away in some far-flung holiday destination, making love in a hotel suite jacuzzi or, if you’re feeling really daring, in the sea just as the setting sun eases behind the horizon.¹

Depending where you are, sharks and jellyfish could be one of the risks you need to consider (not in the jacuzzi, of course) and an interruption from the local police for having sex in a public place is another.

But, for the purposes of this article, when we talk about safe sex, the only two threats we’re referring to are unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So, before you get yourselves into trouble, let’s take a look at the facts.

Risky business

If anything, a woman is more, not less, likely to get pregnant having sex in the pool or in the ocean. That’s because some of the best contraceptives on dry land can be less reliable under water.¹ The effectiveness of sponges, diaphragms and cervical caps can all be compromised during sex under water. Even with condoms, you need to be aware of the possible damaging effect of pool chemicals, the increased chances of breakage in the higher temperatures of a jacuzzi and the dangers of the rubber slipping off the end of the willy.¹

What Durex say

Durex, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of condoms, offers an additional word of warning: “As far as we are aware, no research has been carried out into the performance of condoms when they are used underwater. It is possible that the risk of slippage, for example, might increase when used in such circumstances. Whilst salt in seawater would not have adverse effects on condom materials there is a strong possibility that the chemicals used in swimming pools (chlorine and ozone, for example) would.”¹ That’s not very encouraging news for water babies who don’t want to have babies of their own. But, if you’re a glass half-full kind of person, then the ocean could definitely be the place to head when you and your partner are trying for a baby!

Other risks

The way our bodies are designed means that women are more likely to pick up infections during a romp under water than men. Water itself does not present any particular health problems during sex, but what’s in the water might.¹ Salty sea water, chlorine-filled pool water, or bacteria-rich hot tub water can all be forced into the vagina during sex, and this could lead to irritation or infection.¹ The added issue of sexual friction (due to less lubrication caused by the water simply washing it away) can result in micro-tears inside the vagina. These tears provide a direct route for infections to enter. They can also increase the chances of catching a sexually transmitted disease.¹ Having underwater sex in the cool fresh water of a mountain lake can also present problems, beyond the effect the cold water might have to his manhood. While there are no issues with salty water, chemicals or chlorine, there’s a risk of harmful bacteria in lakes, ponds and rivers. These can cause a urinary tract infection.¹

Can Durex help?

Durex have more than 80 years of experience of manufacturing condoms. So, it's hardly surprising that they are the world's leading condoms.

All Durex condoms use only fine quality raw materials. And every single one is electronically tested for holes and imperfections, but not for sex under water.¹ While using a Durex condom under water will definitely be better than using nothing, we can’t guarantee 100% effectiveness. The best condom for use under water is a female condom (and Durex don’t make those). This is placed inside the woman rather than on the man’s willy. When it’s safely inside, the water is less able to get to it which means the condom is less likely to slide out. To increase the effectiveness of a female condom, insert it before going into the water. That way, the lubrication inside the condom is less likely to wash off.¹

Durex lube and gels

Durex have good news for mermaids when it comes to lubricants and gels. There are two types of lubricants: water-based and silicone based. Water-based lubes are more popular these days because they are much less messy and sticky compared to silicone-based alternatives. They can be easily cleaned up from your clothing, sheets, and even from your skin.

Silicone-based lubricants

However, Durex silicone-based lubricants are a safer bet for sex under water as they are condom-safe and water-resistant.³ Remember though, a lubricant is not a contraceptive so if you plan to have sex under water, you’ll definitely need an effective one of those too. Enjoy yourselves, wherever you choose to do it with your lover, but try not to get out of your depth when the passion takes hold!

  1. OMG! – Durex. Available at: (Accessed: 11th September 2019)
  2. Your G-Spot: What It Is, How To Find It, and All The Other Things It Can Do For Your Sex Life – Explore health. Available at: (Accessed: 11th September 2019)
  3. 5 Types of Orgasm and How to Get One (or More) – Healthline. Available at: (Accessed: 11th September 2019)

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