Sex talk
Sex with Straight Guys

Simon Sheppard,

"Have you ever noticed," asked a friend, "how much gay porn takes place in the shower?" Well, no, I hadn't, but a perusal of porn websites sure seemed to confirm his observation. Cleanliness is not only next to godliness; it's also, apparently, next to horniness. Why's that? What makes a shower stall so sexy?

Some of it, no doubt, goes back to our personal histories: For lots of us, the locker room was the first place we could ogle naked guys. Changing into and out of sports gear can be a brief, hurried process, good for just a glimpse, but the leisurely pace of the shower room - with its acres of damp, exposed flesh - is like proto-porn in a white-tiled room. Small wonder that the thought of running water gets many queer men hot.

Then, too, there are the sexy specifics of the archetypal Showering Man. Hetero porn features women taking baths, their half-concealed bodies passively horizontal. But a showering guy's naked vulnerability is countered by his upright posture, water pouring over him like cum coursing down an erect cock. And, as my porn-loving pal pointed out, "All that water makes a man's flesh gleam, showing off his muscles. Yummy."

The shiny exhibitionism of shower-room porn is tempered by a casual offhandedness. After all, showering is something we all do. The wet boy in the picture isn't really posing for porn; he's just innocently taking a shower while we voyeuristic masturbators intrude on his private ritual. It's a fantasy as hot and wet as the water spurting from the showerhead.

Meanwhile, back in real life, showering can form a delightful, damp prelude to a lust-drenched scene. "I remember," says one man, "when my trick came over directly from work. He was a manual laborer, and he arrived dirty and stinky. I loved sitting there in the bathroom as he stripped off his clothes, then watching him through the semitransparent shower curtain as he got himself clean enough to have sex with me."

And after sex? There's the ever-popular post-fuck mutual back scrub - two men in a tub rub-a-dub-dubbing each other, spreading suds on slick skin, along shafts, and into nooks and crannies. Two-man cleanups can get so heated they lead straight into a wet Round 2 - nonsloppy seconds. Screwing beneath a pounding jet of hot water has a certain tropical charm not easily reproduced between the sheets; it's the kind of primal scene that can make a guy grateful that soap was invented. And if, amidst all the aquatic antics, another fluid starts to flow.well, at least it all goes directly down the drain.

Sometimes porn fantasy and plain old reality can happily converge. "I was at the Y," recalls a horny gym-goer, "when I spotted the hottest fellow taking a shower a couple of nozzles down. He was looking at me, soaping up his crotch and getting hard. It was late and there was no one else around, so I turned off my shower, moved down next to him, and ended up slipping a couple of soapy fingers inside his butt while we both shot off into the flowing water." Sounds romantic, but gym bunnies beware - a stroked member can result in a yanked membership.

Feeling dirty? Whether beneath a waterfall or under a shower massage, in a porn flick or in the locker room, running water has a liquid sexiness. It gets you hard while it gets you clean. And it's safe sex: The worst that can happen is pruning up from staying in the stream too long. So let's get wet!

Simon Sheppard is the co-editor of Rough Stuff: Tales of Gay Men, Sex, and Power (Alyson Books)

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