Is It Safe to Have Sex in a Pool?

Couples often look for exciting ways to deepen their sexual intimacy. While having sex in the pool sounds adventurous, there are some things that couples need to consider before taking things underwater.

For example, chlorine in a pool typically kills bacteria, but it won’t wash away everything that can cause STIs or UTIs. Having sex in a pool can also be dangerous without proper precautions and lubrication.

Chlorine

Most people have swum in a pool at least once in their lives. Whether at the neighborhood pool where legions of kids swat down sweat and Band-Aids, or in an indoor pool filled with communicable diseases and a few too many pone kids peeing, most swimming pools contain a whole host of chemicals. Chlorine (Cl) is a common pool chemical used to keep the water clean and safe for swimmers. It is found in swimming pools, disinfectant wipes, medicine, bleach and many plastic products.

Chlorine is the second lightest halogen element, with atomic number 17. It is a yellowish-green, dense gas that smells like bleach. Chlorine is found naturally dissolved in seawater and salt deposits. It is also produced through electrolysis of aqueous sodium chloride, the most popular method for making chlorine today.

Chlorine kills bacteria by disrupting proteins inside their cells, thereby destroying them. It is also able to kill viruses, though its mechanism of action is less understood. Chlorine is a toxic gas, and it burns the skin and eyes and irritates mucous membranes. Breathing high concentrations of the chemical can be fatal, which is why it was used as a poison gas in World War I at Ypres, killing thousands. The gas is also much heavier than air, so it sinks to the ground and forms a cloud of poison that drifts with the wind.

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Waterborne Bacteria

Many people assume that a pool’s hot water kills STDs and sperm. However, this is false. The water may reduce the sperm’s function, but sperm can still make it to the egg and cause pregnancy or an STD. Furthermore, swimming pools can contain bacteria and parasites that are dangerous to genital health, even without chlorine.

Moreover, the water can dry out the vagina and wash away its natural lubricant. This can increase friction during sexual activity, which can lead to a painful condition known as dyspareunia. Dyspareunia causes genital pain before, during, and after sexual intercourse. It can also lead to STDs and nonsexual infections, including a fungal infection called candida.

A lack of lubrication can also cause microtears in the vagina, penis, and anus. These tears can open up the pores and increase the risk of bacterial, yeast, or parasitic infections. It can also lead to a painful sensation known as “edematous or thrombogenic” vaginal discharge.

In addition, sex in a pool can be extremely painful due to the chlorine and other chemicals in the water. The pH of the water can also change, causing vaginal itching and irritation. Lastly, the water can break down condoms, making them less effective at protecting against STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Using oil-based lubricants in a pool can rot latex condoms, making them even less effective.

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Vaginal Dryness

Many people like pool sex because it’s a more comfortable sexual experience, since your body is in direct contact with water. But the same thing that makes it a great experience for those with mobility issues also causes friction, which can lead to micro- or even macrotears in your delicate vulva lining. This not only feels uncomfotable, but it can lead to infection, itching and burning, and a whole lot of pain.

Additionally, water washes away the natural lubrication your body produces to make things more sexy. Replenish the lubrication that’s been washed away with a silicone-based lube, such as Uberlube or Jo anal.

Finally, if you’re not using a condom or dental dam for protection, the chlorine in the water can actually work against you by attacking and weakening the plastic, which allows bacteria and chemicals to get into your vagina and cause an infection. Even if you are using a condom, check it frequently, as the chlorine in the pool can break down the material over time.

Overall, it’s best to avoid sex in the pool altogether. There are other ways to have sex that don’t expose you to these risks and are more comfortable, including the shower, jacuzzi, or hot tub. But if you’re determined to go for it, just be sure to use a condom and don’t layer two together as this can increase the risk of breakage and the chance of an infection.

Discomfort

The fact is, having sex in a pool—even for foreplay—isn’t really all that comfortable. It’s often more difficult to get in position than, say, a bed or couch, and there’s also the issue of water movement. Plus, there’s nothing erogenous about the water itself (though you may find it more pleasurable to have wet sex in a jacuzzi than in the pool).

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Not to mention that, as Dr. Loanzon explains, the pH changes in pools can lead to yeast or bacterial infections in the vagina. “This is a huge risk, especially for women who are prone to these infections,” she tells Bustle. And, she adds that the chlorine in pools—which is supposed to kill germs—can actually wash away lubrication and increase friction during sexual intercourse, which can lead to more irritation and even a yeast infection.

In addition to lubrication, it’s important to note that you can get pregnant while having sex in the pool, just as you can on dry land. Condoms function fine in the water, but you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got plenty of silicone-based lube on hand for this endeavor because the combination of the dryness caused by the water and the friction from swimming can deteriorate latex condoms. Luckily, you can also purchase waterproof lubricants to avoid this problem. And, if you’re going to use a condom, it’s best not to take it off until you’re out of the water.

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