People overly romanticize beach sex, but it can be unsafe. Sand and salt water wash away natural lubrication, making intercourse painful, and introducing bacteria into the vagina.
Strong underwater currents, predators and non-friendly aquatic wildlife also add to the risk of ocean sex. If you are determined to get it on in the sea, try secluded beaches and flotation devices.
Like any other sexual activity, sex in the ocean comes with its own set of risks. But it’s not necessarily more dangerous than doing it in a lake, pool or even a hot tub, experts say.
The main issue is that sand is abrasive and can rub up against your anus or vagina (or whatever else you have in there). Plus, salty seawater stings any microabrasions, which could be painful—or lead to infection. That’s why it’s important to bring a large blanket to lie on and make sure you rinse off with fresh water afterward, says Reddit user raginghappy.
Also, beach sand is chock-a-bloc with fecal waste from animals and humans—it’s basically nature’s public toilet. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and scope out an area that seems private, or at least away from other people. And you should probably bring some lube, too—but not a water-based lubricant, which will wash off in the seawater around you. Instead, try a silicone-based lubricant that’s more likely to stay put.
And don’t forget to pack your swimmers and towels in case you need to get out of the water quickly. Finally, if you want to avoid getting busted by a lifeguard or the police, do your beach sex at night. It’s illegal to have sex in the public areas of beaches during the day, and even if it’s at night it can be difficult to find a spot that’s not packed with sunbathers or families.
Oral sex is fun, but it’s also potentially dangerous if you don’t have the right precautions in place. It’s also not something you want to do while in a body of water if you don’t feel well, are dizzy or physically weak. This puts you at a higher risk of getting sick from bacteria, parasites and other germs that could enter your genitals.
The biggest challenge with oral sex in the ocean is that the salty, rough seawater can wash away your natural lubrication. So, if you’re going to do it, make sure you have a good quality silicone lube (such as Astroglide’s Diamond Gel) on hand to keep things moving smoothly. This is even more important if you plan to use condoms, as oil weakens the integrity of latex and can cause it to break in the water.
Many people believe that having sex in the ocean or other bodies of water, such as a pool, hot tub or shower, doesn’t require protection because it kills sperm. But sperm can live outside the vagina or anus for up to a few minutes, and if you don’t use protection when having sex in water, you’re at risk of pregnancy and STIs.
While you might think water sex sounds super steamy and sensual, it’s not quite as safe as sex on land. The wetness of the water washes away natural vaginal lubrication, and without saliva or personal lubricants, it’s not as enjoyable for both partners. You also open yourself up to infection and STIs (especially from any penetrative sex), which can lead to tearing and irritation, and increased risk of UTIs.
Whether you’re swimming in the ocean or lounging around a lake, the buoyancy of the water offers many opportunities for body exploration and play. This can be especially fun with a partner, as you can wind your legs and arms around each other, exploring body parts that wouldn’t be possible on land. And, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a private cove or beach with clear water and no one else around, the whole place is yours to explore.
It might seem counterintuitive, but lake water doesn’t kill sperm, either. Unless someone has an accident in the water, he or she is just as likely to become pregnant while having sex in the lake as in the bedroom. But, the same rules apply here as on the beach: Use a condom and test regularly for STIs, regardless of where you have sex. Keeping fingernails trimmed can also help minimize the risks of scratching or cutting yourself during sex, which could lead to an unwanted pregnancy or STI.
Flotation devices are the sexiest sex toys on the market, and many people dream of having sex by the ocean or in a swimming pool. While water sex is a turn-on for couples, it’s not always the safest. Having sex in the ocean or in a lake, hot tub, or pool increases the risk of pregnancy, STIs, and vaginal irritation. This is because the semen doesn’t wash away, and water can enter your vagina during intercourse, leading to irritation.
Another thing to consider is that the salt in ocean water, chlorine in pools, and other chemicals can damage condoms, making them less likely to work properly. Additionally, the lack of lubrication can cause friction and break down latex. If you’re planning on getting it on in the water, make sure to use a silicone-based lubricant rather than a water-based one to keep your condoms intact.
As long as you and your partner are both good swimmers, sex in the ocean can be an exhilarating and sensual experience. However, it’s still a good idea to stay close to shore and have at least one person know where you’re both going in case of an emergency or undercurrent. And remember that drowning is always a risk, even for experienced swimmers. Moreover, don’t attempt this activity while inebriated. Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends. Her work has been published in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.