Whether you’re on vacation and enjoying a night in the hot tub or getting a little bit dirty as you clean up in the shower, water and sex really don’t mix.
Aside from the risk of slippery surfaces in the tub or shower (we recommend laying down a mat to protect against a fall), Idries Abdur-Rahman, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN, explained to SELF magazine why getting busy when submerged in water is super risky for people with vaginas.
“People think water is like vaginal lubricant, but they’re completely different,” he said, adding that water is actually very drying to the vaginal canal. “That lack of lubrication can make you more prone to micro-abrasions,” he explained, which can be worse if you’re in chlorinated or salt water.
If you’re willing to take this chance, opt for silicone-based lubricant because oil-based lubes can damage the condom, while water-based will simply get washed away in the water. But you’ll definitely want to use the silicone-based lube of your choice, because condoms are more prone to breakage due to water-induced dryness and friction, upping your risk for unintended infection or pregnancy.
Aside from that, public bodies of water are actually rife with bacteria even when they are chemically treated, according to a May 2016 report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found that many public pools still have improper pH levels, upping your risk for bacterial infections.
“[Lakes and oceans] are by far the dirtiest,” explained Dr. Abdur-Rahman, so you’ll want to take extra caution when slipping off those swimsuits.