• Question Palooza!

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    I love reader questions! Some are complex and emotionally charged, but others don’t require as much explanation. Today we’ll see how many can fit into a single column!

    My boyfriend has enjoyed shower sex in previous relationships. I’ve never done it. It seems weirdly difficult to pull off and inevitable that I’ll slip and bust my ass. Any advice?

    Totally legit concern. Injuries in or around the bath account for more than two-thirds of emergency room visits. Just getting in and out of the shower is one of the riskiest activities people do, and that’s true of all ages. 

    Plus, there’s the increased risk of your boyfriend’s dick fracturing, since you’re more likely to end up in a precarious angle – all while holding on to slippery surfaces. That said, being in a hot, steamy environment can be sexy as hell and a really good opportunity to explore each other sensually. Perhaps the first time you try this, you’ll want to limit the activities to erotic touching and massage, which is not only much safer but, quite frankly, underrated. 

    Some things to keep in mind: if you’re using a condom, put it on before getting into the water and keep bath oils away from it. That will decrease the odds of it slipping off or the latex being eroded. Use a silicone-based lubricant – the shower will ironically make it more challenging to maintain natural lube. Definitely don’t grab shampoo or any other random product and try to use that. Your orifices will thank you.

    Obviously, a non-slip shower mat is helpful, as are handles and footrests. If you have a removable shower head, take advantage of that and/or consider bringing a water-safe vibrator in with you. And if the situation becomes more stressful than pleasurable, just hop out and move to a more comfortable environment.

    Settle something for me: what do you say to pets in the room during sex? My dog gets really excited and barks a lot. A LOT. I can ignore him, but my partner says it is too distracting and awkward and insists that we kick him out. 

    Personally, I don’t give a damn. My cats have seen … plenty. And I think they respect me more for it.

    But it makes sense that someone would find it disconcerting.

    Not everyone loves an audience, especially when that audience is loud and agitated. Pets are also kind of like our kids, which can be a real mood killer.

    In this case, I’d side with your partner – the dog certainly doesn’t need to be present, and the environment should add to the sexy vibe, not detract. 

    I had a spinal cord injury many years ago and even though I was able to recover a lot of mobility, there are still sexual side effects. I can get and maintain erections, but it’s rare that I am able to finish. It’s maybe once every few months. How do I prepare a girl before a hookup that it might not happen, and she shouldn’t take it personally? 

    It sounds like you’re already pretty clear on what to say. At some point you can mention the injury and your recovery – hopefully you feel comfortable talking about that in general – and then just share how it impacts your life today. 

    Some folks make the association that orgasm is required for a “successful” sexual venture, but that’s a somewhat narrow, goal-oriented idea about sex. Sure, we want to make sure our partners are experiencing pleasure, but that is not synonymous with coming.

    Some of the most engaging, satisfying encounters don’t involve an orgasm, and some of the most disappointing ones do.

    Valuing someone else’s pleasure is important, being willing to explore each other and try new pathways to enjoyment is great. It’s not a good idea, however, to tie our egos to the ability to get someone else off. That has far less to do with skills or attraction than we are often led to believe.  

    Any reasonably mature person will be able to deal with this and instead focus on connecting, pleasing and being pleased. Anyone who can’t handle this is probably not a great partner for you – at least not right now. 

    Have a question for Dr. Timaree? Send an email to asktimaree@philadelphiaweekly.com.

      • Timaree Schmit Headshot

        Timaree Schmit is basically an episode of Adam Ruins Everything, but in the shape of a person. She has a PhD in Human Sexuality Education and years of experience in community organizing, performance art, and finding the extra weird pockets of Philly.

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