What proportion of couples in relationships shower alone versus together?
October 12, 2008 5:44 AM   Subscribe

Couples: do you shower alone, or together?

And why, or why not?
Just trying to get a cross-section of the population here.

I've showered with lovers before, of course, but I seem to be one of the only people among my circle of friends who doesn't continue to shower with my partner daily. I actually don't see the point unless it's a sexual situation. I couldn't imagine just showering away, in a totally routine manner, with somebody else. I enjoy my alone time! Am I a prude?

I've been with my partner for 5 years now and at this point I'd actually feel strange sharing a shower...
posted by nomnomnom to Human Relations (57 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think that taking separate showers in everyday life makes you a prude, nomnomnom. I'll shower with my boyfriend as a prelude to sexy times, but in regular day-to-day life I would only jump in if I had to be somewhere quickly and needed a shower that very instant.

Shower's too crowded otherwise. People who are at the steam end get cranky.
posted by amicamentis at 5:57 AM on October 12, 2008

Ugh, god no. That is prime creative-solution-out-of-the-blue/quietly-modeling-the-day-ahead time. I'd be totally nonfunctional if it turned into manage-resources-in-a-small-shared-space-with-another-human time.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 6:01 AM on October 12, 2008 [8 favorites]

Seriously? People shower with their partner every day? That is one of the weirdest things I have ever heard. Hell, no.
posted by miss tea at 6:06 AM on October 12, 2008 [4 favorites]

When I'm coupled, I do both. It's excellent to have naked-together-but-not-sexy-time, but sometimes you just want to shower by yourself.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:06 AM on October 12, 2008

No way, someone is always left in the cold part of the shower or waiting to rinse. Not as much fun as it sounds.
posted by saucy at 6:06 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

I'm with amicamentis. The only time this would happen would be a sunday morning. Other than that, you run the risk of either crankiness if your partner was in a hurry, or one-thing-leading-to-another-ness and then you're both late.

Besides if you make it routine it's not as fun when you want it NOT to be routine.
posted by selfnoise at 6:07 AM on October 12, 2008

In my last long-term serious relationship...it was fairly random (sometimes we would shower together, sometimes we would not). It just depended on our schedules and what we were doing prior to the shower. I do enjoy a solitary shower,. .. but given a choice (assuming the hypothetical girlfriend is someone I'm attracted to), I'd rather shower with someone else. Why?.. not for sexual reasons, but moreso because I consider it "bonding time". Its nice and cozy and can be a effective way to build trust in an intimate but non-sexual way.
posted by jmnugent at 6:09 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

My shower is about the size of a phone booth so there's barely enough room to trade out for the "towards the shower head" end of things. Also, the angle of things is such that for me to wash my face or hair, my wife gets hit in the face by the overspray. And then there's all the acreage that couldn't be washed without elbowing one another.

We also both have our own toothbrush.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:12 AM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

Taking for me an Mrs Rus its not really feasble (due to a one year old daughter) even before that we took separate showers as one of us ends up getting cold and for me its one of the few times of the day that is totally mine so I normally use it to have a think about the day ahead or just enjoy the sensation of water and turn off for a few minutes
posted by rus at 6:19 AM on October 12, 2008

While sharing space, if we're both dirty, boyfriend and I shower together. Mostly the cranky one at the steam end is responsible for back scrubbing, and it works as long as the conditioner needs to soak... provided I don't want to shave.
posted by Phalene at 6:34 AM on October 12, 2008

I enjoy my alone time! Am I a prude?

No. You're not against showering together, you just don't want to do it everyday.

Just trying to get a cross-section of the population here.
What population, the Global, Australia or just the West?

Doing a Google search for "percentage of couples who shower together" mostly brings up hits about baby showers. There is Yahoo Answers question, "Do all couples shower together on occasion?", but any reasonable person can guess what the knows the answer to that.

"percentage couples bathe together" a couple of interesting side nuggets, such as divorce is hard on community resources, since people no longer bathe together (among other things), consuming more resources.

If showers were designed with two heads, at either end, I bet people would shower together more often. Hell, that would actually be pretty cool, each person could have their own temperature and water flow, while still sharing the same space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Put me in the "showering together" camp. It doesn't happen 100% of the time, just because sometimes our schedules don't match up. But it happens fairly often, and usually has nothing to do with sex before or after. It's just a nice way to share som time and space together. If nothing else, it's great to have someone to scrub your back. :-)
posted by browse at 6:39 AM on October 12, 2008

We used to, depending on our schedule, but a recent move made our showers a whole lot smaller.

Basically, if the choice was waking up a half hour earlier to fit two showers in before we had to be somewhere in the morning, then we'd shower together. Otherwise, shower separate.

Its nice and cozy and can be a effective way to build trust in an intimate but non-sexual way.

This, too. I like when MuddDude washes my back.
posted by muddgirl at 6:42 AM on October 12, 2008

Whenever we have access to a bigger bathtub we bathe together, and often squeeze into our tiny one at home even though we can't comfortably fit, but shower? Nope. That happened way back in the early can't-keep-our-hands-off-each-other days and wasn't as much a shower as it was sex with lots of bubbles&hot water in a steamy room.

Different stages of grooming may go on in the bathroom, ie - him in the shower, me at the sink or vice versa.
posted by dabitch at 6:59 AM on October 12, 2008

As often as possible for the Mrs. and I. We shower at night before going to bed and it's a nice way to end the day. Occasionally we have to shower separately as schedules permit but I find those showers far less enjoyable. ;)

I realize we're in the minority though. We've done informal polls amongst coupled friends and we were the only ones.
posted by purephase at 7:12 AM on October 12, 2008

Like several above, we have a tiny shower, so only if we're staying in a hotel with a nce spacious, multi-headed shower. If we had one of those at home then I think we'd shower together all the time.
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:18 AM on October 12, 2008

Almost never, for two reasons 1)our schedules are very different 2)we are not people who find it sexy or otherwise fun. We're just not water people.

Also, I'm trying to just get clean, you know? To me showering is completely utilitarian. I don't like trying to work around another person. In the morning, I don't even want to talk to another person.

We do it only when we happen to be trying to get ready at the same time, in a super hurry.
posted by MsElaineous at 7:20 AM on October 12, 2008

In both my former "serious" relationships we showered together, in the first we shared it more often than we didn't. In the second we did whenever space/time permitted. In my current relationship it's a definite rarity. I think we've done it twice in a year of dating. I'm not sure why, but I would guess that's it's a combination of schedule, space, and privacy. I think I like it better this way.
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:39 AM on October 12, 2008

I would hate to shower with my husband every day and I know he'd hate it as well. As many have said, it's no fun for the person who's not currently under the spray. We do shower together very occasionally but that is only because it's nice to get a blowjob in a warm shower. Or so I hear.
posted by kate blank at 7:40 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

We'll shower together sometimes, but less often than not. We also have a fundamental temperature disagreement problem: she wants to boil, and I (in her words) want ice water, so that does make it slightly more difficult.

When I jumped into this thread I was expecting to see many answers along this line.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:42 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

I like showering together, but my SO prefers showering apart. I don't really prefer it because of sexiness, but (as Frank Zappa told his kids) because showering together saves water, as well as time. I think Mr. WanKenobi just gets annoyed when he has to wait awhile to rinse.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:44 AM on October 12, 2008

My girlfriend and I have live together for 2 years and we only occasionally shower together. On weekdays, we wake up at different times, but even on weekends I think we both prefer to shower alone. If we're in a rush to get someplace on a weekend, we'll shower together, but in general our shower is just too small for two people and my girlfriend doesn't like shower sex.
posted by cheerwine at 7:44 AM on October 12, 2008

My husband loves co-bathing. I don't mind, particularly because he sings little songs in the shower that makes me laugh, so I like being there for them. But it isn't the most efficient shower in the world. Though of course my boobs are always very, very clean afterwards.

/sarah silverman
posted by Hildegarde at 7:48 AM on October 12, 2008

I'm with the majority here - an occasional joint shower is fun, but for the most part I prefer showering alone. If nothing else, it's a time of day thing - one of us is a morning showerer, the other prefers nighttime, neither of us is inclined to change.

I might change my mind if I ever had a big fancy shower with two shower-heads to alleviate the "someone's always standing out of the water being cold" thing, but that's highly unlikely while we live in this house.
posted by Stacey at 7:49 AM on October 12, 2008

Sometimes. If we're both in a rush to go somewhere, it makes sense. Sometimes we do it just because it's nice. We would shower together more earlier in the relationship, before we figured out that shower sex just does not work -- partly because of our heights, and partly because the slipperiness (of the floor!) was disconcerting and kills the mood. So when we shower together now, it's either a speed thing or a pleasant thing, but not really a sexual thing.
posted by Nattie at 7:54 AM on October 12, 2008

Sometimes. Mostly after sex, generally not out of the blue.

In my future dream home, the shower stall will be big enough for two and will have >2 heads with separate temperature controls.
posted by SpecialK at 8:12 AM on October 12, 2008

Together! More often than not. When else do I get to give him a Ferris-Bueller-esque mohawk?

We also like to bring the cats in the shower with us, but they are party-poopers. Too bad, because they would look AWESOME with mohawks.
posted by heatherann at 8:40 AM on October 12, 2008

In my future dream home, the shower stall will be big enough for two and will have >2 heads with separate temperature controls.

Mine, too.

For now, though, it's a rarity. It isn't much faster than showering separately, because only one person can be under the water at a time in our shower. Taking baths together is a lot nicer, with a lot more body contact and time to relax.

Mostly when we shower together, it's a case of one person taking a shower and the other person jumping in before they are done, and staying on after the first person finishes. So it's more like shower-overlapping than a true showering together from the beginning. You get the intimacy of bathing together, without the logistical problems of trying to both shampoo at once.

I used to live in a house that had a fantastic shower. Room for two under the showerhead, lots of light, shelves for shampoo, etc. In that house, many, if not most, showers were two-person. So I'm sure that if I moved to a place like that, or rebuilt my bathroom around a luxurious shower stall, that co-showering would again become the norm here.
posted by Forktine at 8:54 AM on October 12, 2008

Holy shit. No. Shower time is alone time.
posted by dame at 9:28 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

If showers were designed with two heads, at either end, I bet people would shower together more often.

When we redid our bathroom we put in a vast shower with multiple water outlets, a la the "human car wash" idea, definitely room for two with no chance that someone would be standing in the cold, waiting for their chance to get under the water. Just the same, there has been no increase in co-showering. It's just not efficient, and even after twenty years of marriage, I think we both like having moments such as "shaving armpits" and "washing butt" as non-spectator sports.
posted by Dreama at 9:35 AM on October 12, 2008 [5 favorites]

Generally speaking with my ex, yes, maybe 80 or 90% of days. About half of those turned into or stemmed from sexual situations. With my wife before marriage? Maybe 50-60% of the time, with very few sexual situations as a result. Well after marriage? 10% of the time at most, with no sexual situations at all after a strenuous attempt at recall.

At least in my case, there has been a certain amount of correlation between showering together and sex, but I'm not entirely sure which direction the Arrow of Causality points and it has not ever been a solely sexual thing. Barring insufficient shower infrastructure I prefer it, but then I also get plenty of dry time to myself so bathing does not have to be a bastion of peace and solitude for me.
posted by majick at 9:35 AM on October 12, 2008

Oh, and my parents showered together almost exclusively for some number of years. It's entirely possible that my perception of co-bathing as routine and normal stems from that.
posted by majick at 9:37 AM on October 12, 2008

I enjoy my alone time! Am I a prude?

No. My wife feels the same way. With the kids and all her morning shower routine is one of her few opportunities to have some time alone.
posted by MikeMc at 10:04 AM on October 12, 2008

The hubby and I like to share showers, but it usually only happens on weekends, or days when our schedules coincide. Having a roomy shower and a super nice shower head really makes a difference. We enjoyed it even before we changed to an awesome rain-style shower head, but did run into the cold side v. hot side back then. I guess we fall into the group that enjoys the intimacy of spending that time together, occasionally letting it turn into sexy-time.
posted by purpletangerine at 10:26 AM on October 12, 2008

Nope. I like my shower very, very hot. Scalding, actually. Anitanita boyfriend, not so much. He's more 'warm'.

Consistent together showering is just a recipe for cranky-making.
posted by anitanita at 10:53 AM on October 12, 2008

I assume this might be one of those introvert/extrovert things. I can't imagine sharing a shower with someone, unless the goal is something other than getting clean. :)
posted by wsp at 10:55 AM on October 12, 2008

If I had a giant shower with at least two nozzles I might consider daily co-showering. If we tried to pull it off in our normal size shower, in the course of the usual half-awake routine, I suspect it would eventually, inevitably conclude with a trip in an ambulance.
posted by nanojath at 11:09 AM on October 12, 2008

I think it depends on the two people. I'd never shower with my ex unless I was expecting sex, simply because he didn't see a point in showering together "whah, to get CLEAN? Seriously? You don't shower with someone to get clean!!"

With FutureMrDamnJezebel, we shower together when it's more convenient to - when he's here in the States, that's pretty much most days. Sex figures into it only a fraction of the time (as I am a massive klutz and have slipped one too many times in the shower and fallen). It's really nice. We take turns washing each other's hair, scrubbing unreachable areas and such. It's a great excuse to touch each other without sex being the motivation. That's not to say that we don't get turned on by it - because, duh - but we don't have to have sex every time we shower.

Oh, and the days that we shower together usually mean we're a lot closer physically - he's more apt to kiss me in public and be more affectionate after a shared shower than if we take them separately.

This isn't to say that I don't enjoy a shower alone; I do, and that's when I do "maintenance stuff" like shaving or face masks or hair masks - the things that require me to take up all the room in the shower stall, basically. I just happen to enjoy our showers together more.
posted by damnjezebel at 11:11 AM on October 12, 2008

The hubby and I share (nonsexual) showers on weekends but not during the week, when our schedules don't permit. It's nice to have the company and maybe to get my back scrubbed, but it does make it hard to shave.

Add me to the list of people who wants double-headed showers. I don't know that it would increase the number of showers taken together, but it'd be nice.
posted by immlass at 11:14 AM on October 12, 2008

Just THINKING about showering with a partner is making me cranky. I've never met a man who likes his water as hot as I do. Plus, shower time is my favorite kind of alone time.
posted by arianell at 11:23 AM on October 12, 2008

If there's no sexual purpose to a shared shower, it's just a cramped, chilly shower where only one person at a time can dominate the hot water. Thumbs down.
posted by namesarehard at 11:35 AM on October 12, 2008

My girlfriend and I shower together sometimes, maybe about once a week on average. Sometimes it's a prelude (or postlude) to sex, but not always. We enjoy the intimacy of washing each other. I consider it the human equivalent of mutual grooming, like chimps plucking fleas off of each other's backs.

But we certainly don't shower together all the time. It seems to me that making it that routine would detract from the specialness of it.
posted by number9dream at 11:44 AM on October 12, 2008

I've showered with lovers before, of course, but I seem to be one of the only people among my circle of friends who doesn't continue to shower with my partner daily.

This is strange to me. I can't think of anyone who showers daily with their partner. ?? It's, yeah, generally considered something fun to do on a lark, or for sexy time. I wonder if there's a regional/cultural trend to this.

I find showering together is pretty inefficient because of the limited space around the shower head. If there was a better set up for it though, it might be a different matter. Maybe...
posted by ifjuly at 1:15 PM on October 12, 2008

My boyfriend loves to shower together every time we shower. I don't. He takes FOREVER in the shower and my tub is small. Unless it's a romantic prelude or postlude, I'm not into it, although he's always sad when I go ahead and jump in without him.
posted by cachondeo45 at 1:24 PM on October 12, 2008

Many people have been asking about logisitics. I'll describe our normal set-up.

The shower head projects water at a certain angle. I stand between the front wall and the spray. 'Dude stands on the other side of the spray (since I'm much shorter than him and shorter than the height of the shower head, I don't block the spray at all). We take turns soaping up and rinsing off. If I don't want to get my hair wet, we reverse positions, but that means he blocks most of the water and I take a mostly-dry shower punctuated by a brief rinse period after he gets out.
posted by muddgirl at 2:09 PM on October 12, 2008

Excellent. It was confirmation bias, of course. My housemates shower together every single day, no exception. When I go to several of my friends' houses before parties, the couples seem to shower together. I guess I'm noticing all the people who do shower together and ignoring those who don't.

(BTW I suspect I am a bit prudish about this anyway. The idea of simply showering together makes me feel icky ... unless it's a sexual encounter. Don't know why, but washing myself seems private. Like toilet time!)
posted by nomnomnom at 2:12 PM on October 12, 2008

Sometimes I do. Most other times, not. But showering together every day is fucking creepy, I'm sorry.

They say that once you've seen your partner urinate, the romance is over. I'd amend that and say that the romance is over once you've seen your partner wash their asshole.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:37 PM on October 12, 2008

It really depends. Weekday morning, never. Post sex, usually. Weekend mornings, sometimes.

My ladyfriend and I shower together a lot of times just because it's fun to shower together. We don't have tons of room, but I don't mind standing in the back of a cold shower. It is great to build a level of intimacy nude, but in a non-sexual manner. I love watching (and washing) her body!

Just a data point from me.
posted by SNWidget at 4:32 PM on October 12, 2008

I've showered with partners in both sexy and casual ways, but it is certainly NOT a daily event. I've been in two Long Term Capital R Relationships now and nope, never showered together on a regular basis. Big as I am on saving water, I don't go *that* far. I think "all of [your] friends" represent a minority, not the majority, of the general population.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:13 PM on October 12, 2008

It depends on the circumstance. We both have to be somewhere and we're short on time? Shower together. Just feeling like some slippery thrills? Shower together. Just feeling like it? Shower together. Most of the rest of the time? Shower separately (mostly because we're on slightly different schedules.)
posted by Thorzdad at 6:29 PM on October 12, 2008

I used to, quite often. We had a large shower at that house, and after sex, me & my then partner would both jump in for a rinse, and scrub each other's backs.

Having someone else scrub your back? Mmmmmm...
That's the value right there!

I miss it.
posted by Elysum at 7:14 PM on October 12, 2008

We shower together every day. In six years, it's never gotten diminished the lovely non-sex intimacy. And we don't have a big bathroom, fancy double-shower heads, etc. (muddgirl's got a good description of the logistics.)

(We sleep naked too, and showering seems like a natural extension of naked time. Why would we wait for other person to shower when we're both ready to shower at the same time?)
posted by desuetude at 8:33 PM on October 12, 2008

Boyfriend of 6 months and I shower together just about every day. And, as others have mentioned the back scrubbing is a definite bonus.
posted by hworth at 9:37 PM on October 12, 2008

We shower together 90% of the time, probably. Except when I'm washing my hair, because the slipperiness of the conditioner (and the hair everywhere) ick PurpleCurlyGuy out. Also, I prefer to shower or bathe alone when shaving. In my last relationship, we showered together exactly once. In the one before that, it was probably 50/50.

This weekend, we tried a bubble bath together, in my tiny NYC tub. The results were decidedly amusing, non-sexual, and required a shower (and some mopping) at the end. We won't be doing that again!
posted by purplecurlygirl at 6:54 AM on October 13, 2008

Married for three years, and we always shower together. I could probably count on my fingers the number of showers I've taken alone when the wife was around.

We're both fairly non-social people, and the shower is a dependable way to get us off our computers and spending some (soapy, naked) time together. It's also more efficient in terms of hot water usage - one person's soaping up while the other's rinsing off.
posted by Turbo-B at 8:48 AM on October 13, 2008

My husband and I almost always shower together. It's partly that it's a nice way to ensure that we get a little bit of alone time where no one's trying to do anything else, and partly that it means that showering takes ten minutes, total, as opposed to ten minutes for him in the shower, ten minutes drying off and puttering around the bathroom, five minutes for me in the shower...Makes things a bit faster.
posted by meghanmiller at 8:57 AM on October 13, 2008

Definitely not daily. Maybe once every 2 weeks, almost always immediately before or after sex. If he was always trying to shower with me I'd start locking the door. It's definitely my private time unless it's sexual.
posted by desjardins at 5:45 PM on October 13, 2008

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