In our marriage, there’s one practical thing we’ve done since the beginning that has bolstered our intimacy in ways we didn’t even notice until we spent an extended period without it: showering together.
During the infancy of our marriage, we lived in a tiny apartment with a shower that seemed much like a cheap hotel. Little water pressure, small spray area, a small tub, and — as a result of all this — middling enjoyment of the shower for either of us, as much of your body stayed cold.
So when we hornball honeymooners decided we should co-shower, it was less than ideal. To a degree, one person was always cold, though the small bathtub’s forced proximity helped a bit, and the other person was dreading giving up the hot water, waddling around the other, and becoming cold. Showers usually went quick, even if they turned sexual.
One day I decided to get a new showerhead. I thought, Maybe if we have more water pressure, we will stay warmer longer and can take our time. Having swapped showerheads many times before, I know what to look for — a tiny removable water regulator that, when taken out of the showerhead, gives you the full pressure available.
So, at the store, I began comparing the various features, sprayers, and detachable heads, weighing my options.
Then I stumbled upon pure genius.
This one was both fixed and detachable. As in, it had two showerheads. One attached to the pipe as normal, and it included a small water hose leading to a second head which included a powerful suction cup to hold it up on another wall. The implications were obvious. For an extra ten bucks, we could retrofit our tiny shower, enabling us to truly shower together. At the same time.
The new showerhead was a big hit, and we haven’t looked back. Not only did it make shower sex far more comfortable thanks to its spraying in two directions from two origins, not only did it make for a fun interactive shower where we can use the detachable head to rinse each other, not only did it make even solo showers better for being sprayed on both sides and eliminating the hot/cold dichotomy altogether, but also it kept us warmer longer. So, we could finally take our time.
More than Sex
Before long, our co-showers became about more than the sexual thrills of seeing each other naked, lathering up together, and rinsing off sensual suds. Soon, we often found ourselves just showering. Together. We’d shower side by side, but independently, enjoying each other’s company (not to mention the views, of course).
Our showers became times for conversation, from funny memories to vexation from the workplace. After a day of separated chaos, our co-showers presented a time to resynchronize with each other, where we could be open, frank, and vulnerable.
I think that last bit is crucial. Nakedness is inherently a vulnerable state, and the continued sharing of that state was a continued exercise of trust and love. That vulnerability gave way to broader vulnerability, and our greatest conversations about hopes, fears, dreams, frustrations, desires, anxieties, and ideas came more naturally.
And yes, we had sex sometimes, too.
These days, it’s trickier. Throw kids into any marriage, and things get trickier. Co-showering is no different.
When a child is old enough to go get Mom and Dad out of the shower if something happens with otherwise unsupervised children, much of the freedom of schedule returns. However, up until that point, you have to orchestrate a schedule around times when the kids are in bed or otherwise reliably engaged. Mom and Dad showering together, but who’s watching the kids?
But really, that just emphasizes that it’s all the more valuable with the kids in the mix. If ever there was a time when a marriage needed a healthy, regular resynch, if ever there was a time when a relationship required a time of mutual vulnerability, conversation, and yes, the occasional steamy, sudsy quickie (a great stress reliever), it’s after kids invade the home.