Should You Have Sex in a Pool on Your Honeymoon (Or Ever)?

That pool, hot tub, or ocean might sound great in theory...

Updated 09/01/17
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Your wedding day is one of the best experiences of your life. After so much planning, anxiety, and worry over the details, there is nothing better than putting on that fabulous dress (or whichever outfit you chose) and going to a party that is all about you and your partner.

That is, except for the honeymoon! The wedding is great and all, but a week or two on a luxurious vacation? Let's be real—nothing can top it.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That the cherry on top of the whole trip (besides the massages) is: the sex! You're newly married and the stress of wedding coordination is finally over. You can bet you and your new spouse are going to have sex on every surface, in every location possible.

The problem? As tempting as it might be to jump in that infinity pool, hot tub, or those ocean waves and get it on, you might want to think twice. Sorry to be a drag, but the last thing you want on your sexy honeymoon is a not-so-sexy trip to the pharmacy for some Vagisil.

Pools are a solid no.

Having sex in the pool sounds like your romantic movie dream come true, but it’s actually a terrible idea.

Dr. Sherry A. Ross, an OB-GYN, women’s health expert, and author of She-ology says that the harsh chemicals in pools are extremely bad for your vaginal health. Having sex in a pool can disrupt your vaginal pH, leading to infection, and “contaminated pool and ocean water is less than ideal for the delicate vagina.”

Salt water pools are no better. “Salt water pools would seem safer than the ocean but there is still exposure to harmful chemicals and unwelcome bacteria,“ says Dr. Ross. Hello, BV!

On top of the sex factor, you don’t want to spend a lot of time in your wet bathing suit. The chlorine water of a pool washes away the good bacteria in your vagina. The dampness of your swimsuit is a prime environment for yeast overgrowth, which can cause a yeast infection. As soon as you finish swimming, slip off your bathing suit bottoms and throw on a sarong.

Hot tubs? That’s a no as well.

Hot tub sex runs all the same risks as having sex in a pool. Only, there’s even more to worry about. Yay!

Because hot tubs are, well, hot, there is risk for hot tub folliculitis. This is an infection in the hair follicles due to an overgrowth of bacteria in warm bodies of water. We’re talking puss overgrowth around your nipples, etc. Not cute.

Hot tubs are prime places for bacterial growth, despite the chlorine, because the water is warm. Heat = bacteria.

Most luxury hotels clean their hot tubs regularly enough to alleviate this risk, but not all. It’s something to think about. If your hair follicles can become infected from bacteria, think about what is happening to your vagina. Gross.

The biggest no of all: Oceans, lakes and other bodies of water.

Chlorine kills bacteria. In an ocean, lake, or other body of water, you don’t have any chlorine. This means you’re swimming in a giant vat of bacteria. There is “floating trash, oil spills, sewage runoff, and other unwanted bacteria” in open bodies of water, Dr. Ross tells us. So if you haven't been taking notes, this means: not a good place to be having sex. You could very well wind up with an infection.

Oceans are a boundless stretch of floating sand. Dr. Ross says that sand getting into your vagina can cause irritation to the vaginal skin, making you prone to yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. “If you envision sex in the water," she says, "it’s best (and safer!) to have it in the shower.”

Water does not equal lube.

One last thing to note: having sex in water (including the shower) can cause unwanted friction. Water does not lubricate the vagina and it does not act as that much needed barrier during sex. I know it seems counterintuitive because, well, water is wet. But not so much. Water washes away the vagina’s natural lubrication leaving it dry and painful.

Shower sex likely won’t lead to an infection, but friction and irritation are no picnic either. Having sex without lubrication is not a particularly enjoyable experience for anyone.

When in doubt, stick to sex in your gorgeous canopy bed and on every surface of the hotel suite. Who knows, maybe you can even sneak into the dry areas of the tropical landscape for a quickie.

Gigi Engle is a sex educator and writer living in NYC. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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