Which way do you face in the shower?
November 23, 2016 6:01 AM   Subscribe

I was astonished to find out this morning that my wife faces the showerhead when taking a shower. I face away from the showerhead and assumed everyone did the same. She says that most people face the showerhead and I'm the unusual one.

Which way do you face?

Also, were you aware that people faced the other way? Bonus points if you can find some kind of actual data to figure out which is more common.
posted by insectosaurus to Grab Bag (269 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
I face away from the shower head. Your wife is wrong. So very wrong. I hope Thanksgiving isn't ruined for you.

Go team away!
posted by bondcliff at 6:03 AM on November 23, 2016 [67 favorites]


Mostly toward the shower. Obviously, I have to turn around at some point.

But, look. You do you.

(Also, it sounds like you two are perfect for each other, at least when showering together.)
posted by The Deej at 6:03 AM on November 23, 2016 [33 favorites]


This is clearly the new standing/sitting thread. Who faces away from the showerhead?!
posted by katrielalex at 6:03 AM on November 23, 2016 [28 favorites]


What? I have really long hair so there is some time doing both.

- get in shower and face showerhead
- face away from showerhead to get hair wet & wash hair
- put on conditioner facing showerhead
- wash most of self while facing showerhead
- turn around to wash conditioner & rest of soap off
- set water temp to SCALD and stand there with it on my back for a while
- turn around, rinse face
- fin
posted by jessamyn at 6:05 AM on November 23, 2016 [147 favorites]


#teamaway
posted by Defying Gravity at 6:05 AM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I face the showerhead, but it's not like it's positioned to blast me in the face.
posted by blackzinfandel at 6:06 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm on team face away.

Also on team "hug yourself and rock softly" and team "stand like a statue and nearly fall asleep until the water runs cold"
posted by Dressed to Kill at 6:06 AM on November 23, 2016 [102 favorites]


I remember being surprised to learn that some people faced the showerhead and I still mostly face away. But learning that you could face the showerhead opened up a new world to me, and now I do sometimes face the showerhead.
posted by mskyle at 6:07 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, I rock slowly from side to side! I always wondered if everyone else did!
posted by Defying Gravity at 6:07 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I face towards the showerhead, but I'm tall enough where a typical shower will not have the stream of water hitting me directly in the face. I'm sure that makes a difference.
posted by dobi at 6:09 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Actually, it's more of a slight rotation rocking motion.

I'm gonna stop clogging up the thread now.
posted by Defying Gravity at 6:10 AM on November 23, 2016


I face away, mostly because of the stream of water in your face thing. It hadn't occurred to me that others did differently.
posted by peacheater at 6:10 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Team Away and my wife is Team Towards. She also runs her shower about 20 degrees F colder than I do, which does not lend itself to joint showers very well. :(
posted by Rock Steady at 6:11 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mostly away because a major part of the joy of showering is blasting hot water on my lower back for ages.
posted by joan_holloway at 6:13 AM on November 23, 2016 [34 favorites]


Team Away
posted by briank at 6:13 AM on November 23, 2016


Oh right, I am 5' 2" which means most showers are hitting me directly in the face when I am in facing-showerhead mode.
posted by jessamyn at 6:13 AM on November 23, 2016 [19 favorites]


This sounds like "which foot do you use to walk?". Obviously you turn away from the shower to soap up your body and rinse your hair, and towards the shower to rinse your body and apply shampoo. How can you possibly wash all over easily without facing both ways at different times?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:14 AM on November 23, 2016 [104 favorites]


Away! Because when you face the showerhead, the water blub blub blub cough.
posted by mochapickle at 6:14 AM on November 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


I face away when I'm soaping myself up or washing my hair; towards when I'm scrubbing with a washcloth after soaping. After that, I do a couple rotations to thoroughly rinse. I'm 6'-5" so water in the face is almost never an issue.
posted by LionIndex at 6:14 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm tall and most showerheads are set low so the water hits my chest, not my head unless I bend over. So I probably spend 2/3 of the time facing forward, and 1/3 facing away. On the rare occasion that I take a long shower and stand there soaking under the hot water, I always do that with it hitting my back.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:15 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Away because boobs.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:16 AM on November 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


Wait - how do you soap your back without all the soap coming off the thingy before it reaches you if you face away from the shower? You have to face a bunch of ways.

First get in and face shower so hot water on your face wakes you up.
Then turn and face away so hot water hits your back and restores your will to live (this can take a while)
Then wash your hair and soap your front
Then turn, facing the shower, and soap your back.
Also turn to each side - profile view to the shower - to do your sides and underarms
Spin so all soap is off.
Face the shower to wash your face
Then face away to rinse out your hair.

TL;DR -- Land of contrasts, you and your wife are both weird.
posted by Mchelly at 6:16 AM on November 23, 2016 [23 favorites]


Porque no los dos?

I rotate so I receive a warm, soothing deluge on all sides.

Default is towards, though. That's how I start out, and when I picture someone taking a shower, they are facing the shower head.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:16 AM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I move around quite a bit in the shower - so I face the front while washing my face, combing the conditioner out of my hair and so on, and face the back while shaving and shampooing my hair. I move around so much there's no one or the other answer for me.
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:17 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


And steady massage mode.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:17 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'll just add this to the YouWHAT? section of the MeFi wiki, shall I?

mostly away.
posted by zamboni at 6:17 AM on November 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


I face away when I'm washing my hair. But if I'm trying to keep it dry, I put my hair up high in a bun, move the showerhead real low so it hits my chest, and face towards it. Of course, either way I do the spin to clean all the soap off my body.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 6:18 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Depends on the shower. My current shower comes from directly overhead, but I tend to face away from the shower controls because that's where the caddy holding my shower necessities is. My previous shower was a wall-mounted/hand-held deal that hit my body either at neck level or mouth level, so I defaulted to facing away except for rinsing my hair/face.

But what I want to know is whether or not anyone faces the wall or the shower curtain. THAT would be weird.
posted by wakannai at 6:18 AM on November 23, 2016


I'm about to get in the shower, and here's what will happen:

1. Get in shower facing it, wetting the front part of me
2. Face away to wet hair, soap up front
3. Turn around and face to rinse, soap and rinse back parts
4. Get out of shower

Twirling twirling twirling in the shower...
posted by rtha at 6:19 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I face away, my SO faces towards. I'm tall but the shower head is above my head. (When I first looked at my apartment a co-worker gave me a ride to check it out. He's 4'11", I'm 6'4". First thing he said when we walked in the place was "Get in the shower, see if it fits." It fits.)
posted by Floydd at 6:20 AM on November 23, 2016


Also, we last discussed this topic in 2006: Regarding the Proper Way to Shower.
posted by zamboni at 6:20 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Um, I kind of continuously rotate in place, like a turkey on a spit. But mostly away, I guess, because yeah, boobs.

I have noticed that in movies and shampoo commercials, the actors almost always face the spray.
posted by anderjen at 6:20 AM on November 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


Team Away (for the most part)
posted by sperose at 6:21 AM on November 23, 2016


I swing both ways, baby.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:23 AM on November 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


i face away as is correct because when you do that you can let the water run down your neck shoulders and arms to shoot off in little rivulets at your wrist so you can pretend to be spider-man taking care of doc ock who is shampoo bottle
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:23 AM on November 23, 2016 [71 favorites]


Away! Otherwise I get a face full of water for 10 minutes. Bleh.
posted by JawnBigboote at 6:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


As I thoroughly wash all of my body, I turn around while showering. I have longish hair, so when I wash that I spend more time with my back to the head.

For the record, I DETEST showering altogether (loud! pummeling! inevitable chill afterward!), and wish I was self-cleaning.
posted by kimberussell at 6:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


I rotate
posted by james33 at 6:25 AM on November 23, 2016


Both? I never realized this was a one-or-the-other thing. Maybe it has to do with height? I am usually too tall to stand completely under a showerhead, and even if I'm not, I get this "drowning rat" feeling.
posted by muddgirl at 6:26 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


(Also, I caught MuddDude standing sideways in the shower this morning, letting the conditioner set. So I guess "sideways" is the missing third option here.)
posted by muddgirl at 6:27 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Away.
posted by notyou at 6:27 AM on November 23, 2016


Mostly #teamaway, partially because I take such hot showers that blasting myself in the face the whole time with that hot water would cause havoc on my sensitive skin :)
posted by getawaysticks at 6:32 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Away here.

My partner is a sideways.
posted by threetwentytwo at 6:34 AM on November 23, 2016


Forwards, then away to lather up. If joint showering, I don't bother turning around while lathering because the other person in the shower is already blocking the spray.

I think every single person I've ever taken a shower with has done the same thing, so I'm now wondering if people change their behaviours while joint showering.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:34 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I use a strigil after covering myself in oil.

In reality I'm fairly modile in the shower but for contemplative though facing away. What I really wish I had was a really bristly rope so I could properly scrub my back. For the people who only face one way how do you effectively rinse?
posted by koolkat at 6:36 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Always twirling, twirling, twirling toward cleanliness.
posted by Etrigan at 6:36 AM on November 23, 2016 [42 favorites]


Toward until my mid 30s, after which I turned Away. Go figure.
posted by adamrice at 6:39 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Neither. Sideways!
posted by snorkmaiden at 6:41 AM on November 23, 2016


I have a handheld shower head, so it's more like I stand in one fixed place in the tub and make the shower rinse me from all directions. Because I'm short and hate how a fixed shower head doesn't quite reach everywhere.

Where I stand depends, I tend to prefer to face toward the shower head mount, but sometimes have to reach behind, because that's the shelf where the shampoo and soap live.
posted by PearlRose at 6:42 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Away! But this is funny -- a DC community list I subscribe too just did a poll on this as well if you want more data.
posted by aaanastasia at 6:42 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK, two people have said "away because boobs"; I myself am a boob-haver and a face-awayer, but I'm not sure how boobs preclude facing towards - would anyone like to explain? (Maybe boobs get too close to the wall? But in most showers doesn't the water hit you at least a foot away from the wall?)
posted by mskyle at 6:42 AM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Towards only when face/front rinsing; generally avoiding getting spray in the face. Away while wetting hair. Sideways/ off to the side while conditioner sits.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:43 AM on November 23, 2016


I face away of course. I'm about 5'5" and the spray hits my face if I face it. How tall is your wife?!
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:48 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I face away except when washing my face or reaching for some close to the shower head.
posted by Shadow Boxer at 6:50 AM on November 23, 2016


Mostly away. Only towards when I am shampooing my beard, which is not an everyday thing.

How can you possibly wash all over easily without facing both ways at different times?

Washcloth.

My current shower comes from directly overhead

I encountered one of those in a swanky hotel I stayed in once. "Ooh, fancy," I thought when I first saw it, but it turned out I didn't like it that much when I tried it out due to it being impossible to avoid water running down my face.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:53 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Team Away all day.
posted by saladin at 6:54 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's basically a hokey-pokey, turning around as the situation merits and as I need to rinse. I'm 5'4" so the water does hit me directly in the face if I'm facing forward, unless I take a step forward such that I'm basically in front of the spray.
posted by writermcwriterson at 6:55 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I face away of course. I'm about 5'5" and the spray hits my face if I face it. How tall is your wife?!

I am 5'6" and didn't have this problem even when I was showering in the tiniest shower known to mankind, so I'm now wondering about where you stand and nozzle adjustments.

Also have boobs and it has never been an issue while showering forward?
posted by dinty_moore at 6:56 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Both. I don't know how to shower without doing both ways. Makes no sense to me. I feel like my partners both face either way equally also.

I have an overhead "rain" shower head, also, but you can angle it a little, and I do -- so forward/away still applies.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:57 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I take really quick showers 90% of the time, so I'm never standing there contemplating life or anything, which is the only way I can imagine people having a strong preference for one way or the other. I am in, soap, scrub, shampoo, rinse, out, so I'm turning around all the time.

The other 10% (when I am very tired and just... standing) is mostly towards the showerhead. When I am tired I get cold very easily and my front is much less tolerant of cold than my back. Shower hits me around the lower face/neck area.
posted by gaspode at 6:57 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Away. I'm not a heathen.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Team Towards, except while wetting my hair.
posted by tryniti at 7:02 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I take baths.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 7:02 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Both, but then I live in England, where our showers seem to be higher from the ground, so the "hit directly in the face" isn't an issue, it's more on top of your head.
posted by chrispy108 at 7:02 AM on November 23, 2016


I oscillate continuously. (And wildly.)
posted by palomar at 7:03 AM on November 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Yeah, how could you do exclusively one or the other? I'm with Jessamyn and others that do both, depending on what I'm washing or rinsing.
posted by Pax at 7:04 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was going to say "away", but mostly sideways actually I think.
posted by bluesky78987 at 7:06 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the boob issue is probably about nipple sensitivity and especially hard shower jets. Particular shower heads or shower head settings are different, for me, at least, but many small pointy hard jets of water type settings can cause nipple pain.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I also bathe whenever possible. Those rare times I'm forced to shower, beginning and end I'm facing the head, of course -- that's where the controls are. But throughout the shower, I'm continuously rotating.
posted by Rash at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I shower like it's a vertical rotisserie.

1. Get in, rotate under shower for full coverage of water.
2. Away from shower to wet hair.
3. Towards shower to lather shampoo.
4. Away from shower to rinse shampoo.
5. Away from shower to lather front half with soap
6. Towards shower to lather back half with soap.
7. Rotisserie to rinse soap.
8. Away from shower to lather facewash.
9. Face under the nozzle to rinse facewash.
10. Endless rotisserie until I've had enough.
posted by tracicle at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2016 [14 favorites]


Came in to state that I am astonished that you are married and have never taken a shower with your wife. :)

I do the rotation thing.
posted by eas98 at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I face away. I don't like water splashing into my face unless it's intentional. My wife faces the showerhead.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:09 AM on November 23, 2016


Jessamyn is correct, as usual. (Idk about the scalding water but otherwise totally correct. Bc I believe that yes, there is an optimal way to shower for soap/shampoo etc removal)

One addition, re leg shaving days for those to whom it applies: angle shower head towards wall with back to shower. (Otherwise you get pummeled in the face while you work, and your lathering efforts go to hell. Maximize this time by having conditioner in then, too)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:11 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


All the ways, including crouched with water running all over my face because there's a massive furball under my feet and I don't want my cause of death to be "slipped on a Maine Coon's tail while showering".

Cat faces the shower always. He closes his eyes.
posted by fraula at 7:12 AM on November 23, 2016 [40 favorites]


Team head on. Like a big damn hero.


this is one of those threads
posted by French Fry at 7:14 AM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Team away. 5'5" here as well. I only turn towards to fiddle with the water temperature. No need to rotate, water gets everywhere anyway.

Plus, that way I can use my washable markers on the back wall of my shower and write down all the stupid things I can only seem to remember while i'm in the shower.

Now i'm cold and really want a hot shower. dammit.
posted by cgg at 7:17 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Toward while washing my face, away for everything after. I hate having the water hit me in the face, which it does because I'm short.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:20 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how boobs preclude facing towards - would anyone like to explain?

Just tested all this. In order to face forward without getting hit in the face or boobs I have to step far enough back that I'm essentially standing out of the water. Standing under hot water is 60% of why I ever want to take a shower, so maybe that's the difference. Facing away means I can have my whole back half under the water, with some spillage over my shoulders. I hate having droplets of water drying on my skin in the shower, which is one reason I rarely use the handheld mode.

how do you soap your back without all the soap coming off the thingy before it reaches you if you face away from the shower?

I take a tiny step forward, scrub with the thingy, and then step back into the comfort of all the water.

Also, I use a washcloth for my face.

I'm sorry, California, I am your drought.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:21 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was curious about the people "facing away so the face doesn't get it", because I always face towards the shower so that I get water in my face which is the whole point of a shower??? But then I realized I actually take a step back and forth depending on whether I wanted water in my face or not (shower is aimed diagonally). Also have to rotate away to lather or to rinse the other side.
posted by The arrows are too fast at 7:22 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Away except as necessary to wash/rinse various body parts.

The straight-above-your-head rainfall showerheads are the worst, there is no way to stand under them that both keeps you warm and keeps your head/face out of the water once your hair is washed. I am weird about sensory stuff, though, and am trying to grudgingly accept that there seem to be people who are not bothered by having the water come straight down.
posted by Stacey at 7:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Team Forwards, but switching to away when wetting hair. I like really hot water but I realize that's terrible for my (already super frizzy and damaged) hair so I face front so as to not get my hair in the hot water. When wetting hair, I lower the water temp as much as I can stand and face away and I do this as quickly as humanly possible due to being a baby about water temperature.
posted by eeek at 7:24 AM on November 23, 2016


Facing away except for the brief moment when I'm washing my face or rinsing my hair.

I'm also tall, and most showerheads reach at about my shoulder leve.
posted by kandinski at 7:25 AM on November 23, 2016


Toward, mostly. Away or angled away when shaving my legs, or in a shower when I've had to put some of my shower stuff behind me, and it's easiest just to shampoo or whatever with my back to the shower because I'm already facing that direction.

(Best tags ever!)
posted by minsies at 7:25 AM on November 23, 2016


Away. I guess I can kind of get the team head on thing, but sideways blows my mind.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:26 AM on November 23, 2016


Away for me.
posted by kathrynm at 7:28 AM on November 23, 2016


I sit in the shower.
posted by maxsparber at 7:28 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was immediately going to say I face away but then I actually pictured myself through a shower and I rotate, maybe actually more towards. So basically I have no idea. My shower is big (converted into the space that a tub was in) and the head had adjustable height so I can be full-face or directly on my lower back depending on what I'm doing. Nowadays I'm usually showering with my 11-month-old and she stays at the far end so I'm super away to face her but it's a bit awkward to do.
posted by brainmouse at 7:29 AM on November 23, 2016


Team What jessamyn Said

(for anecdata, I am a half foot taller)
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 7:32 AM on November 23, 2016


Gotta face the shower head to soak the scalp and long hair at first -
posted by Countess Elena at 7:40 AM on November 23, 2016


I don't think I've ever showered where I entered and never turned around, even once. How would you wash the soap off whichever the other side was?
posted by humboldt32 at 7:41 AM on November 23, 2016


I tend to rotate.
But! We have two shower heads (or rather, a two-headed shower head), and it can be attached to the wall in two positions (high and low), and sometimes it's just really nice to put in on the lower hook and stand still with one shower head directly above each shoulder. In which case I face away from the wall because otherwise I'd be uncomfortably close to the wall and some body parts might even touch it and who wants that?
Controls are off to the side. We just have a weird shower I guess. But it's comfortable, even for the two of us.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:46 AM on November 23, 2016


Good afternoon from England. Here, the general procedure is to bathe while one's butler/valet pours a splendidly refreshing cup of tea.

When visiting the Western Colonies and adjusting to the domestic plumbing arrangements within, one disrobes, enters the "shower" "cubicle", enables a flow of water and rotates (always clockwise as we are noble), concluding facing away. This procedure allows one to moisten all areas of the general torso. The product known there as "liquid soap" is then applied to lubricate all parts, corners, crevices and other landscape features. Depending on your class, this specific task is either undertaken by yourself, your butler/valet (gloved), or your partner (apparently ungloved, I have been informed; how ghastly).

One then faces the "showerhead" to apply shampoo to one's hair. To conclude, one then rotates (again, clockwise) to remove said products and solutions, finishing with facing the "showerhead" in order to fully cleanse the follicular arrangement on one's lower face.

Finally, upon returning to the Motherland, a bath is immediately taken. This is a condition of re-entry.
posted by Wordshore at 7:47 AM on November 23, 2016 [21 favorites]


I did a quick search on Google for shower clipart and the person is always depicted facing towards the shower head.
posted by Cozybee at 7:47 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh, there is missing info here: How hard/what setting is your showerhead set to?

Mine has rings of drenchy, rainy water around the outer half and a hard, massage jet in the center. I've used that kind of combo for as long as I can recall, which is a part of why I'm an away. If I had a really low flow showerhead I could see how facing forward would optimize warmth and coverage.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:48 AM on November 23, 2016


Team away. I shower for more than the absolute minimum to get clean and any time that doesn't absolutely require facing the shower is spent facing away.
posted by Mitheral at 7:49 AM on November 23, 2016


Jessamyn Method here, but my instant reaction was "facing, obviously" because I do think of the showerhead as 12 o'clock. But yeah, I have various tasks that require different orientations, like I turn my back while I lather/apply conditioner, and there's a step at the back of the shower where I put my foot up to nail scrub/heel rasp, but then I face forwardish and swivel for most washing tasks.

Both of us are tall, and the original shower mount is so low that we had to get a suction cup mount (damn, those things have gotten a LOT nicer since I bought one 2.5 years ago!) to make it high enough for us to wet our hair, but the angle is steep enough that stepping forward and back slightly is enough to keep your face out of it.

My primary motivation is that all of me stays fairly warm during the showering process.

I hate those directly overhead rainshower things. Not everyone wets their hair every time they shower, and I've thrown my back out doing the Hotel Shower Limbo before. Also, no pressure. I want to feel like I've just been through one of those touchless car washes when I get out of the shower. I want to be exfoliated.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:50 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I sit in the shower.

That's doesn't answer the question at hand. You're still facing in a certain direction while sitting, n'est pas?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:50 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Both hubby and I say "away".

We are wondering how one faces the shower without water splashing directly into the face or even splashing up into the face if the water is hitting the chest. If a "towards" person wants to explain, we'd love to know!
posted by Toddles at 7:53 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, at the current time, my showering position is affected by hard-water mineral buildup in the head, and it's like being pissed on by a giraffe. I have to figure out what to do about this as a renter who's all thumbs, but that is another Ask.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:54 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Another tall person who mostly faces the showerhead. Unless I'm rinsing my hair, or soaping my front, or rinsing my back. But if I'm just standing there enjoying the hot water, definitely facing the showerhead!
posted by esoterrica at 7:57 AM on November 23, 2016


Away. What monster faces the showerhead?
posted by glaucon at 7:58 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


There are several Internet polls on this subject. I did a rigorous meta-analysis and concluded roughly 2/3 of people face away from the shower. Sources:

Buzzfeed: 60% away, sample size 440,000 (!)
Seven:Thirty: 66% away, sample size 494.
Glamour: 63% away

In the spirit of ChatFilter, I of course face away. Except this morning, when I have shower heads on opposite walls and will luxuriate in the middle of both of them, wasting tens of gallons of water in an effort to get warm on a cold day.
posted by Nelson at 8:02 AM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


As a short person, I'm usually facing away.
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:04 AM on November 23, 2016


I shave in the shower, so both, I guess. Away to lather up and toward to shave and rinse.
posted by bonehead at 8:04 AM on November 23, 2016


Vertical rotisserie, rather like tracicle, except that I do top front/back then bottom front/back, and I stand at an oblique angle away from the shower while soaping the top front. (Who says that full toward and full away are the only options? ;) )

Boobwise, I like water on my chest just above them, but not getting them hit directly by the stream. I don't like water hitting my face at all.
posted by velvet_n_purrs at 8:06 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's doesn't answer the question at hand. You're still facing in a certain direction while sitting, n'est pas?

Depends on whether I want my back or my front to get blaster by the water. I tend to switch back and forth.
posted by maxsparber at 8:06 AM on November 23, 2016


I just read most of this thread to my mother, as an example of "classic metafilter."

Also, Team Forward, except when rinsing hair.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:08 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am so confused by this question. Who could possibly spend their whole time in the shower only facing either toward or away from the showerhead? I move back and forth, depending on what part of my body I'm washing or how I am feeling at any particular moment.
posted by barnoley at 8:14 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Team Away, and it absolutely is blowing my mind that there's a different answer and I thank you and your wife for bringing it to my attention. I would love to see a "have boobs or not" breakdown of these answers.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2016


I am so confused by this question. Who could possibly spend their whole time in the shower only facing either toward or away from the showerhead?

I took it to mean what way do you spend the majority of the time facing. Not when you're actively rinsing a part, but that five minutes or so when you first get in and you're just sort of standing there crying.

I would love to see a "have boobs or not" breakdown of these answers.

Also, height of person vs. height/angle of shower spray. If I faced the shower head I'd be getting face fulls of water the whole time.
posted by bondcliff at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


I gave toward when washing my ront or face to remove make up and away when washing my back and my hair. #team both. Who the he'll only washes half their body also in winter in my chilly bathroom the bit out of the water gets cold so rotating maintains warmth.
posted by wwax at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2016


There are people who stand with their backs to the shower? Like, the whole time? How do you wash your face? Do you wash your pits backwards? What about your front bumbums? This makes no sense at all!! Face towards except for rinsing hair (and back bumbums).
posted by billiebee at 8:17 AM on November 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Face away so that my back is to the wall and I can immediately defend myself if a monster appears when I close my eyes to rinse the shampoo out.
posted by lucidium at 8:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wondering how angle of shower head and water and room temperatures effect results, as well as gender and just what grooming is done while in there.
posted by wwax at 8:26 AM on November 23, 2016


Away 75% of the time, because I don't like being semi-waterboarded, and I don't like makeup running into my eyes (on days that I bother w/ it). Plus it's super-nice having hot water streaming down my back and neck. I do face forwards to wash my face and rinse the front, cause, well, you gotta!
posted by jhope71 at 8:27 AM on November 23, 2016


1. Forward in stream, in warm/hot water to open pores ("nature's filth-collectors")
2. Out of stream, to soap up
3. Forward in hot stream, to wash away soap and filth
4. Face-first in stream with temperature turned to maximum cold to close up pores again
posted by Greg Nog at 8:32 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Towards except when rinsing hair or shaving legs. I am short (5' 3") and in possession of boobs.
posted by MsMolly at 8:35 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Stick toe in water to determine temperature. If hot enough, shove water collecting bucket out from under the water, get in tub, face away, water on back. Also wet hair. Put in conditioner, if using. Turn around, face towards, rinse off face. Turn away, apply soap to relevant parts. Turn towards, rinse off soap [optional - shave arm pits]. Away, rinse hair, let water run down back. Done.

Short, female, live in permanent drought country. If I had to define myself as one or the other, I'd say Team Away, because that's how I stand when I'm just standing under the water.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:39 AM on November 23, 2016


I took it to mean what way do you spend the majority of the time facing. Not when you're actively rinsing a part, but that five minutes or so when you first get in and you're just sort of standing there crying.

Yeah, but I'm still pretty much turning the entire time, otherwise the other bits of me get cold and/or dry(ish) and I don't like that. FWIW, I do have a pretty low-pressure shower.
posted by muddgirl at 8:45 AM on November 23, 2016


I start every shower facing Towards the shower head, then rotate to get all of me wet. I think a lot of why I face towards most of the time is because that's where the soap and shampoo are--hanging on a thingy under the shower head. I do plenty of rotating though and rinse my face and wash my ears last, thus ending Towards.
posted by purple_bird at 8:46 AM on November 23, 2016


Team "my bathroom is freezing so I constantly spin in circles as the parts of my not under the spray get chilly oh god why do I live in an old paint factory."
posted by mollymayhem at 8:55 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mainly towards, but as others have said, there is turning involved. Also, if I'm using the hit water to loosen up back/shoulder muscles there is some away involved for more than a few seconds at a time, but the default for me and my SO is always towards.
posted by wierdo at 8:58 AM on November 23, 2016


Away, because boobs and because I am tall enough to get water up my nose when I face the shower head. My parents, who trained me otherwise, remain dismayed, for they are towards people. I have decided we probably aren't related.

The only time I face forward is when I am doing the damn it why is the water changing temps all of a sudden dance and I have to scramble to a) turn up the heat and b) not crack my skull open on the tub when I slip
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:01 AM on November 23, 2016


team rotate continously
posted by stray at 9:03 AM on November 23, 2016


Strange. I immediately though I'm a towards person, as that's how I mentally picture taking a shower. But truth be told, I probably spend most of my time facing away as I crank up the heat on that baby. Hot showers also make me feel like privileged royalty as I often contemplate that for most of humanity and history, hot showers were not the norm.

And even though I may spend most of the time facing away, I still want to be on team towards.
posted by forforf at 9:08 AM on November 23, 2016


> I would love to see a "have boobs or not" breakdown of these answers

I'm on Team I Have Boobs And Don't See What That Has To Do With It, Surely Most Of Us Have Nipples

I'm also on Team Showering With Other People Is The Worst
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:12 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Toward because boobs. (Also, I'm pretty short - don't know if that plays into it.)
posted by northernish at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2016


I face away, mostly because of the stream of water in your face thing

I didn't even know there were people who don't like the stream of water in your face! That's the best part of showering for me! Also if you face away wouldn't the water hitting your shampooed hair wash the soap into your face and eyes?

#TeamFaceTheShowerhead
posted by corb at 9:20 AM on November 23, 2016


#teamjustkeepspinning
posted by isauteikisa at 9:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I face away from the showerhead unless I'm doing something like washing my face. Why the hell would you want water hitting you in the face? Do you people also just stand outside in windy rain? What is going on???
posted by Automocar at 9:29 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Do you people also just stand outside in windy rain?

Hell yeah, baby, wuthering heights up ins
posted by Greg Nog at 9:34 AM on November 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


Also if you face towards the showerhead how do you stay vigilant about murderers not sneaking into the shower to murder you
posted by Automocar at 9:38 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mr. Nat and I had this conversation some time ago (he brought it up). He's Team Away.

I'm team Towards when I Can. Except I have long kinda thick hair right now, and most of the showers I end up in are kinda weak, so I have to stand there trying to actually wet my hair (which I have to wash daily, or the allergens it's picked up will disturb my sleep). Also, my current shower at home has approximately 3.5 minutes of hot water; combined with the hair situation, I'm basically constantly moving in order to get out before I get the Blast of Cold Water.

I wonder if this is why I'm now on Team Can't I Be Self Cleaning.

Back in my team Towards days, I loved to face the hot water and let it hit me right in the face. While standing with my hands tucked up under my armpits (and thus arms covering whatever boobs might be around).
posted by nat at 9:46 AM on November 23, 2016


I am mostly a face-awayer these days, but that's graduated from being a side-facer.

I've got a neuro condition that causes a fair bit of balance problems. Back before I got on a really good med that helps control the worst of the symptoms, I used to completely lose my balance--to the point where I'd fall over--if I closed my eyes while standing up. Obviously not good news for showering. So I solved that problem by washing my hair, etc, while keeping my elbows against the shower wall as grounding. Hence the side-facing.

It's been several years since I didn't need that anymore, but I still occasionally find myself facing the side and/or propping my elbow out of instinct.
posted by phunniemee at 9:48 AM on November 23, 2016


Oh, and I always knew there were multiple ways of standing in the shower (thanks to TV and movies which always show people facing towards, which I assume is to keep dicks and boobs out of eyeshot while still allowing a nice glimpse of booty).

BUT I had no idea until I was about 18 that falling over when you closed your eyes was unusual.
posted by phunniemee at 9:51 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Surely Most Of Us Have Nipples

Are your nipples situated over big old squishy mammary glands? Again, my showerhead is usually set to some degree of jet massage, so I don't want it hitting me in my big old squishy belly, either.

Also if you face towards the showerhead how do you stay vigilant about murderers not sneaking into the shower to murder you

I just asked a friend and she said towards because 1) she likes to be in control of her water and 2) having your back towards it is "freaky" because someone could sneak up on you and mess with the shower or also kill you because she's seen too many horror movies.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:55 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Turn around to get everything wet. Then away for the soaping stage, lean head back to rinse hair, rotate again for the rinsing stage, then away & let water pour on my back for a couple of minutes to relax my shoulders.

So mostly Team Away.

Also, half the time I forget to rinse one armpit or the other.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:59 AM on November 23, 2016


Away, sideways, towards. Whatever I have to do to get water where I want it, and away from where I don't want it (like directly on my skin or face while I'm scrubbing-- don't need to wash away all the lather I just spent effort putting in to the washcloth.

Come on, people, needs must. NEEDS MUST!
posted by Sunburnt at 10:04 AM on November 23, 2016


Both. Good grief. Depends what body part I'm rinsing! I am bi-directional
posted by Joh at 10:11 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I always face North.
posted by Kabanos at 10:11 AM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


DAAAAAAAH AWAY #TeamAway

Less visceral, more using-my-words explanatory response:

- I'm short [and chesty; Team Boobs here]. I can be standing at the back of our slopey New England 5' tub and water is still hitting me around chest level and thus splashing up into my eyes; with soap or shampoo involved? NOPE.
- I feel colder in the shower when I turn to rinse my face off than when I'm facing away the rest of the time. I suspect this is because I have more insulation on my front than my back. I. Do. Not. Like. Being. Cold.
- I don't like water hitting me in the face. Fully-submerged swimming, snorkeling, hot tubbing? Great! Water gun fights where the face is an allowed target, kisses in the rain, facing towards in the shower? Keep it onscreen and out of my life, ugh!
posted by Pandora Kouti at 10:11 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


To people who are confused: I think this requires being a person who spends some amount of time standing still in the shower just being there. I know folks (my wife is one) who shower very fast who would find this question weird because they are not standing at any point, they are only washing like mad.
posted by French Fry at 10:15 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Interesting.

I used to keep my shampoo and conditioner on a rack that went around the shower head - I faced towards the shower most of the time (see jessamyn's answer). Recently, I bought a new shower head and decided to move the rack to the back of the shower, and now when I shower, I pretty much face away from the shower head.

So my answer is, I face in the direction of where I keep my shower products.
posted by NoraCharles at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Because Boobs is a thing, although for me it's because chest skin is more delicate than back skin, so if I have the water very hot, I get boiled when facing front. But I prefer to face front when not rotating, so on cold days I keep the water lukewarm until the end, at which point I turn away and let my back get thoroughly braised before I get out to face the cold, cold world.

Team Away must be contain all the Don't Like Water Hitting Their Face folks. I love the way the spray feels and I rinse the soap thoroughly off my face immediately, thus Team Towards. Also, I only wash my hair every third day, so more than a minute or two Away gets it wet (I bun, no shower cap because they feel gross).
posted by notquitemaryann at 10:19 AM on November 23, 2016


Huh. I've a magnificent set of breasts and yet they don't really influence shower positioning, I don't think. But I'm also tall. My way is mostly with Team Jessamyn, but the amount of time I spend facing forward or backwards is directly influenced by the imaginary conversation(s) I'm having* and if I'm actually having it out loud, which is almost always done facing towards the shower. I just can't talk to myself if I'm facing outwards.

#TeamTalksOutLoud in the shower

*Honestly my shower time breakdown consists of 75% just standing there, 20% shaving my legs, and only 5% washing.
posted by barchan at 10:24 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


In my dream house, "fetal position on the floor" will be a definite option.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:30 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Re: water on the face, I floss and brush just before showering, and one of my favorite things is to stand facing the shower with my mouth open, so that the jets of water have a sort of Water Pik effect on the gums. (This is possibly the single most embarrassing confession I've ever made on the internet.) And like corb, I do in general like the feeling of the water on my face, though it would be different if I had one of those high-powered flaying-the-skin nozzles.

Also, rather than stand with my back facing the shower to get the relaxing/scalding spray on the shoulders and back, I use the handheld shower attachment, which means I can stand facing any direction, and bring it right up against the nape of my neck, or specific tight spots in the shoulders.

I really don't know how people live without handheld shower attachment, tbh--when I have to use a hotel shower that doesn't have one, I never feel entirely rinsed.
posted by Kat Allison at 10:38 AM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


general rotation whilst actively washing but when standing around arguing loudly with imaginary foes over 16th century imperialism i am facing away

this is 01) so i will not get any water in my mouth while shouting and 02) because the boiling hot water pounding down on my neck draws attention away from the otherwise overpowering chronic pain
posted by poffin boffin at 10:41 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


A bit of both OF COURSE because I don't want to be only 50% clean...

(though facing away for the recreational "ahh this is nice" bit once I'm clean)
posted by penguin pie at 10:48 AM on November 23, 2016


Team away to start, I am 5'7". The water hits me in the face (and other places) if I face the shower.
I sit on the tub floor to shave my lower legs and I love how the hot water feels on my back and
neck - a cheap spa treatment. I also meditate in the shower, not something I think about, it just
kind of happens!
posted by Lynsey at 10:49 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the record - she's 5'9", I'm 5'5", and we both have boobs.

I spend around 90% of the time facing away so that I can have hot water on my shoulders/back and avoid getting water in my face. I step forward to wash hair, and I do turn around to rinse my front. She says that she spends about 75-90% of the time facing towards the showerhead depending on the length of the shower, since she rinses hair facing away. She aims the showerhead low enough that it doesn't hit her directly in the face though she doesn't mind some water in the face. The showerhead aiming is actually how this discussion started - we were talking about how the other person aims the showerhead wrong and it always needs adjustment.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:49 AM on November 23, 2016


begin by facing, quickly rotate to fully wet hair / shampoo / rinse, then curl up in a ball in the tub and think about life while the water runs over me until it starts getting cold and i'm all wrinkly, then i stand back up and quickly finish washing and conditioning hair before the hot water is entirely gone
posted by burgerrr at 10:49 AM on November 23, 2016


If you're not facing in each direction at least some of the time, there's no way you're getting your nethers clean. I think especially women, but I've never been a man so I can't speak with authority there. I would urge you unidirectional-facers to give this some sober reflection.
posted by HotToddy at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


also i noticed the other day that my bf faces the water to rinse shampoo out while i face away, which is weird because we both have shoulder length hair so that's not a determining factor. maybe it's because he's too tall for the shower head (6'2") and i'm just short enough (5'8") but in any case why would you rinse facing?? then all the shampoo runs over your face. bizarre
posted by burgerrr at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2016


I'm #TeamAway, and I normally take businesslike, fast-washy showers. But today I had the day off work, so I mixed it up. Faced the shower half the time, super hot water, just stood under the stream for a while. It was nice!
posted by zoetrope at 10:53 AM on November 23, 2016


My initial response was that I generally face away but I was more self-aware during my shower this morning and as far as the active shower time is concerned (ie when I am actually lathering or rinsing something) it is somewhere around a 60-40 away-towards split. But if I am just enjoying the warm water then I will be facing away, and that can easily take more time than the active shower time.

My answer might change if I lived somewhere where I had to shower in one of those standalone enclosures and so the shower head would be spraying directly in my face if I faced it, but I've always lived in places where I either showered in the tub, and so had room to move closer and farther from the shower head, or a bathing area in a wet-room.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:00 AM on November 23, 2016


I have no default: facing toward the showerhead, away from, to the side... I move around a lot. And for the times I need to get at the undercarriage, I have a removable showerhead.

I also take long showers, but even when time is short, I spin much more quickly!
posted by not_on_display at 11:04 AM on November 23, 2016


I was towards the showerhead. The water in my parent's house is very rusty and used to turn my long hair brassy if I let it run against it, maybe that's why? If I faced away the water would wash away my shampoo and conditioner before I wanted it to. Obviously I turn away to rinse my hair out. Interesting, I never thought about this before!
posted by Bunglegirl at 11:08 AM on November 23, 2016


I face forward most of the time. I think this works because I'm 6'5" and the water mostly hits me on my collarbone, not in the face.

Clearly I do some rotating in the course of cleaning and rinsing because I am not a barbarian.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:15 AM on November 23, 2016


I have no boobs and I am tall, yet I face away. Hot water pounding into my back is literally the reason I'm in the shower. (And I hate having water in my face. I have enough going on in the morning without having to figure out if there's soap/shampoo in and if it's going to get in my eyes when I open them. Facing away means less time thinking about this.)

Also, because I am a civil being, I shave in the shower, which is necessarily an away-facing activity.
posted by Ookseer at 11:21 AM on November 23, 2016


Having just read this whole thread and then jumped in the shower, I have to say it was one of the most consciously present showers I've ever had!

Facing to the shower for shampooing, washing and rinsing. Away otherwise. And rocking side to side with my hands in a prayer position and the water on my back.
posted by maupuia at 11:30 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Away or towards? like, on my back or on my chest?

This is one of those questions that doesn't entirely make sense to me in most showers. I'm 6'2~ and i have to duck down a lot, especially in midcentury apartments or motels/some hotels to even wash my hair or face.

I ended up buying an adjustable extension arm when i first got my own place without roommates, so the water comes straight down. For a while i had two of them plugged together until one stress fractured.

also i noticed the other day that my bf faces the water to rinse shampoo out while i face away, which is weird because we both have shoulder length hair so that's not a determining factor. maybe it's because he's too tall for the shower head (6'2") and i'm just short enough (5'8") but in any case why would you rinse facing?? then all the shampoo runs over your face. bizarre

It's because you end up having to bow forward anyways, so facing towards it makes more sense. Whenever i lean back facing away i somehow end up with water up my nose. Buh.

If i ever remodel a bathroom in my own place, the shower head is going to be like 7 feet in the air. Unlike airplanes, small cars, and public transit seats this one of the things that doesn't get talked about much when it comes to being even tall-and-not-really-tall.
posted by emptythought at 11:42 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mostly away. That's how you keep the water out of your shower beer.
posted by dame at 12:05 PM on November 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


Please note I only occasionally have a beer in the shower and never in the morning.
posted by dame at 12:06 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


"I'm tall and most showerheads are set low so the water hits my chest, not my head unless I bend over. So I probably spend 2/3 of the time facing forward, and 1/3 facing away. On the rare occasion that I take a long shower and stand there soaking under the hot water, I always do that with it hitting my back."

Yeah, 6'2", pretty much the exact same but maybe closer to 50/50 when not taking a long shower soak, in part because I shampoo my beard too.

Further: Thinking back on it, since this is the first place I've lived with a shower head high enough to hit the top of my head, I think the relative height of the shower head has meant different ratios at different places, and I'm kinda surprised that people have such strong feelings about it rather than adapting to the situation.
posted by klangklangston at 12:08 PM on November 23, 2016


Away for soaping, toward for rinsing.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:10 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


OMG I totally forgot about shower beer. Shower beer is the best.
posted by nat at 12:15 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there anything better than shower beer? Other than bubble-bath cigarettes?
posted by Dressed to Kill at 12:22 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Re: showerbeer.

My brother's best friend growing up's dad was a salon products rep, and we got a lot of weird haircare product samples when he'd clear out his stock. My favorite was this beer shampoo. It came in a little 4 pack caddy, if I remember correctly, and the bottles were bottle shaped. My favorite one had a strong cherry smell to it.

Those were great. Haven't thought about those shampoos in years but now that I am I miss them.

posted by phunniemee at 12:36 PM on November 23, 2016


I am Team Toward (with reasonable rotation, of course.) Guyagonalize is firmly Team Away. This has been one of the Great Divides in our marriage along with "What is half a deviled egg?"
posted by Diagonalize at 12:57 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Half a deviled egg is a quarter of a whole boiled egg.

Please see me with any additional questions.
posted by bologna on wry at 12:59 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you're not facing in each direction at least some of the time, there's no way you're getting your nethers clean. I think especially women, but I've never been a man so I can't speak with authority there. I would urge you unidirectional-facers to give this some sober reflection.

I'm Team Away, as stated above, but obviously there is some turning hither and yon and to and fro during the shower to achieve thorough, 360-degree cleanliness. Otherwise the grime would build up like the dark side of the moon and eventually get so thick that we would topple over. And we can't have that.
posted by mochapickle at 12:59 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am team lie prostrate in tub whilst showering.
posted by bologna on wry at 1:00 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Kat Allison I am also Team Uses the Shower as a WaterPik! I mean, those nice little streams of water are just begging for it to be done and it feels so nice!
posted by MsMolly at 1:09 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I face sideways.
posted by My Dad at 1:30 PM on November 23, 2016


I'm a woman, I spend all of five minutes in the shower and I'm Team Away.
To get all my pits and pieces clean I'll twist, but I don't normally rotate. The showe head is right above my shoulders pointing down at them.

In days where I still had time for long showers I'd gradually turn up the heat and sometimes rotate when the heat difference between my belly and my back would get too big - my back would be scalded and itchy and my belly and boobs would be cold!
posted by Omnomnom at 1:30 PM on November 23, 2016


Towards for me. I learned that DH faced away the time I threw a cup of water at him over the shower curtain, assuming it would hit him in the back of the head. We were both shocked-he that I did it, me that it got him squarely in the face. I'm so disillusioned ever since. I thought I knew him so well...

I do face away for a few minutes each time and if my back is hurting will face away so I can stoop over and let the hottest water hit me in the lower back until it runs cold.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 1:40 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


For those freaks who face the showerhead, which is clearly wrong, what do you do:

Do you stand close enough to the showerhead that it hits you high, so basically at the hairline and water runs down the top of your head to the back? This is obviously wrong because then your front body doesn't get any water warmth and will be cold.

OR

Do you stand farther back so to water hits below your face, which is obviously wrong, since then your hair isn't getting watered on that's just not satisfying at all.

The correct method of course is to stand facing away from the showerhead at a distance that cause the water to hit your head and upper back. Then your head gets wet, the back of your body gets wet, and the front of your body gets wet from the water coming at your shoulders and then running down the front.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:40 PM on November 23, 2016


Do you people also just stand outside in windy rain?

I live in the Pacific Northwest, so: Yes. The only other option is: Never stand outside.

As for showering, the orderlies usually just turn a firehose on us while we cower in the back of the stall.

I've said too much.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:58 PM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Uh.... both? Sounds like it really depends on what angle the showerhead is pointing and whether or not it can be manually angled (because nothing's more annoying then jumping into the shower after your boyfriend and getting blasted in the face because he's taller so he angled up the showerhead, grr....)
posted by curagea at 2:01 PM on November 23, 2016


All of you who pretend you don't turn in the shower are in denial or lying to hide some secret shame.

And can someone please tabulate the results? Not me, can't be bothered.
posted by stellathon at 2:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


and the front of your body gets wet from the water coming at your shoulders and then running down the front

But what about the front of your neck? Under your chin? The upper part of your décolletage??
posted by stellathon at 2:06 PM on November 23, 2016


I wonder what the breakdown of people with shower-only stalls vs. showers-in-tubs we have here, since I suspect it has something to do with the "I don't stand towards because of the water in my face" answer. Anyway, I'm Towards, except obviously when washing my front, or trying to find the better resonances in the shower for my singing voice, or drawing obscenities in the condensation on the shower door; didn't even realize Away was a thing; and as a disposition I find it as inexplicably unsettling as facing towards the back of the elevator.
posted by invitapriore at 2:07 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time, in New York City, I lived in an old, unrenovated apartment that had at one point been luxurious and had never had a low-flow valve put in the shower.

The shower had an overhead nozzle in the middle of the ceiling and two side nozzles on each side of your body. Yes. Five shower heads. And each had the force of a thousand garden hoses, sending gallons and gallons of water at you at the same time, at the highest tolerable rate of flow.

Forward didn't matter. Backwards didn't matter. The water came from all angles at once. All soap and shampoo were removed near instantly by this shower, from every possible direction, and the current of was such that you could practically swim upright in it.

I miss that shower so, so very much. All showers should be as great, which would totally negate this thread.

Now that I am back in the land of single showers, well. I make do. I start front. Then turn back. Then front. Soaping and rinsing alternatingly.
posted by slateyness at 2:09 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


But what about the front of your neck? Under your chin? The upper part of your décolletage?

Washcloth.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:12 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Came from the grey, so, every which way taking care not to get dizzy and slip, but more than anything I could not live without a detachable showerhead hose, I'd rather not detail the fine and varied usages but I'll reference that old limerick "concave or convex" and point out that single directional just misses spots.

Now, this is one very good reason to be in the .001%, a fully automated custom sensing shower keyed to your body that day that knows exactly which temp to start and progress to with multiple directional shower heads that cycle through the perfect pattern for the current activity (quick swoosh, big workout deep clean, loooonng relaxing zen rinse) is something that we all deserve.
posted by sammyo at 2:24 PM on November 23, 2016


Dual showerheads: I face away and towards!

More seriously though (i usually only have one showerhead going) it depends how temperamental your water temperature is. If you have to adjust it often, you'll mostly want to face the controls. But rotate to stay warm. And I also have boobs and i always keep a hand protectively blocking the water from directly attacking the nipples. I thought everyone did that...
posted by lollusc at 2:39 PM on November 23, 2016


To get the front parts (for Team Away--the correct, righteous and winning team) is to throw your head back like the mermaid siren you ARE and let gravity do its work.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 2:39 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Commenting purely to express my delight at billiebee's "front and back bumbums" (as it were).
Also, team Away and had no idea there were even other options.
posted by BlueNorther at 2:39 PM on November 23, 2016


At 6'2" most showers just hit me in the chest or upper back depending on which way I'm standing and have to duck to wash my hair and face. I generally face the shower because that's where the soap and shampoo are stored.
posted by octothorpe at 2:53 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do you stand farther back so to water hits below your face, which is obviously wrong, since then your hair isn't getting watered on that's just not satisfying at all.

This is clearly part of the issue. Some of us don't wash our hair everyday, so we don't want to get it wet.
posted by lollusc at 3:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


away, except when pissing
posted by thelonius at 3:08 PM on November 23, 2016


I don't always wash my hair every shower (I find showers soothe my migraines so sometimes shower 4 or 5 times in a night), but whether I wash it or not I soak it cause showering and keeping your hair dry feels icky.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:10 PM on November 23, 2016


Team away. These days this has the added bonus of letting me keep an eye on the cat as he snoops on me from his perch on the edge of the bathtub.
posted by janepanic at 3:33 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I tallied. To date:
163 votes (including SOs)
38 'toward' = 23.3%
66 'away' = 40.5%
59 'other / no allegiance' = 36.2%

Adding to Nelson's meta-analysis: no other internet poll has more than 15% 'other'. Metafilter: contrary.

I'm team away, for the person who tallies from here...
posted by yesbut at 4:05 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Face away and curse the water pressure. Every time.
posted by soakimbo at 4:11 PM on November 23, 2016


I sit in the shower.

Protip: if you half-fill the sub first, you can pretend you are in a submarine that has been struck by depth charges.

For me, facing the shower head is the starting position because how else do you turn the faucets to the right temperature? This is the finishing position as well, to shut operations down. In between, anything goes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:15 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Face away, definitely. Otherwise I'm short enough that I'm gonna get a face full of water.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 4:20 PM on November 23, 2016


I face away for about 98% of my shower and this question makes me wonder a few things. I'm slightly claustrophobic and hate things on my face (like, when doing a fitting for a respirator for a HAZMAT training I felt like I was suffocating, and another time an EMT tried to put an oxygen mask on me and it freaked me out and made me hyperventilate worse than I already was).

This aversion to stuff blocking my breathing/touching my face also extends to hair and scarves and turtlenecks. I also cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can sleep face down and not feel like they were being smothered to death. I now wonder if there's a correlation between face touching/breathing sensitivity and which way people face in the shower. I know I for one hate anything that impedes my ability to take full, unrestricted, deep breaths.
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 4:26 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I rotate when washing, but spend my "just relaxing in the shower time" facing away because one of the tiles has a pattern that makes it totally look like a chill dude is wishing me a good day, and that makes me happy.
posted by Gygesringtone at 4:26 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


BUTTER SIDE UP! Er.. wait.

Warm shower. Get in facing shower to warm front and tummy. Face away for most soaping and cleaning. Face toward to clean face and rinse.

FWIW I'm 5'4" and have boobs. I have had nips that were so hormonally painful that the water pressure on them almost made me cry. Now I take baths exclusively though due to health issues.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:46 PM on November 23, 2016


Maybe this is a height thing, but in every shower I've ever been in, if I faced the shower head, I, a short person, would be getting sprayed directly in the face with water. I face away, with brief turns towards the shower head to get my front wet and/or rinse. i do all other washing, lathering, and shower thinking facing away.
posted by katyggls at 5:29 PM on November 23, 2016


team spin for the win
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:02 PM on November 23, 2016


Face toward. Never knew there were away-facers.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:05 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


5'1" boob haver with shower in tub. I basically do what jessamyn described except I never put my face in the water. I wash that at the sink at a lower temperature than my body would enjoy. One of the first things I did in my apartment was change the shower head to an easily adjustable multi-jet situation, so I just point it between chin and boobs basically and rotate and move forward or backwards as needed for hair, shaving, etc. #teambothffs
posted by grapesaresour at 6:20 PM on November 23, 2016


Like Deion Sanders, both.
posted by valentinepig at 7:26 PM on November 23, 2016


I think you all should know that I Google Talk'ed DomesticPartner7 on this subject earlier today and the things that were revealed were not good.

Now I need somewhere to live.

Thanks for nothing, MetaFilter!
posted by prismatic7 at 7:57 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


#teamaway so I can read metafilter in the shower. (Seriously, I am currently in the shower...)
posted by Maastrictian at 8:01 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I remember being a 'towards' when I was younger, but now I'm an 'away'. I just realized that, and it's weird because I'm usually a person who does things like I do them for Reasons. I can't remember switching, or why I did. I'm sure it was a very good reason, though, so 'towards' is wrong.

I still a 'towards' when I'm freezing though, but that's more like "huddling towards the life-saving heat source".

I did try sideways once I realized the bathrooms in the Japanese hotel I was living in were watertight rooms with drains in the floor. It went well with "I don't need this shower curtain at all, do I?. But that doesn't work at home even with a curtain - too much splashing out.
posted by ctmf at 8:55 PM on November 23, 2016


- wash most of self while facing showerhead
Emphasis mine.
Are we talking legs?
posted by unliteral at 9:24 PM on November 23, 2016


My answer is probably irrelevant, in that I have a Japanese style shower/bath, which is a little room with a door. You close the door, you stand on the floor next to the bathtub, and you have a shower head on a hose. There are two brackets on the wall to hold the shower head, one up high for if you're standing, the other lower down, for if you're sitting on the stool (there's a stool in the shower). I face away when soaping my front, then turn and rinse. I leave the shower head on the wall, then lather my face and head (bald, so no shampoo!), then turn and wash my face in front of the shower. After that, I pick up the showerhead and rinse all over. If taking a bath, it's full on scrub and rinse before getting in, because the next person (Mrs. Ghidorah) will be using it, and it's poor form to leave a dirty bath (she does the same if she's the first one to take the bath). Shaving, I put the shower head in the lower bracket, face towards the mirror, with the shower hitting me from the shoulders down, from the side of the mirror. Also, the shower has a little air unit in the ceiling that can be used as an ventilation fan, an air conditioner, or a heater. It's all heavenly.

But, and I feel that this is a much more pertinent question: For people who have fixed shower heads, how do you, uh, rinse down there? I know of no yoga that can get a shower jet from above to wash below.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:11 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Standard shower (in tub): I face away for washing my hair, then my body, then grooming, and only turn around toward the shower head for rinsing whatever body wash remains, which by the time I've stood, moaning at the indignity of having to be awake...for a good ten minutes, amounts to just getting the last of the body wash from under my ample bosom. (I haven't used bar soap since body wash was invented, as no bar soap ever seemed to want to leave my skin.) By then, everything else seems to have been rinsed completely.

I have to stay pretty far back from the shower head for this last move, so as not to get my face fully wet (which I don't ever do intentionally unless I'm washing my face at the sink with a washcloth), and I use my foot to push the little button on the tub faucet to turn it from shower back to tub flow, so as not to get water in my face. (The few times I've failed to get water to the right temperature prior to getting in, which mostly happens in hotels, involves me turning my body toward the shower head but my shoulders/face away, and blindingly twisting the knob to get unscalded without getting my face drenched.)

Note of weirdness: my mother, who used to be one of those fancy ladies who only had her hair done at the salon and didn't wash her own hair from age 20 to mid-70s), applies a full face of makeup (and looks like an actress and is assumed to be decades younger than she is) and does-up her fancy hair, THEN gets in the shower. She's tall, like 5'9", so that may be the trick, but she's had a lifetime of showering and grooming without a drop of water messing up her hair or her fancy makeup (like, foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, eye shadows, mascara and lipstick). Apparently, when she washes her hair, she does that and then does her hair, and then makeup. At 80, she looks better than most humans. But I'll have to ask her which way she faces.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 11:33 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's dark-thirty in the morning on Thanksgiving and I'm going to visit in-laws for the holidays.
And now I need a shower. #TeamSpin for the win.
posted by TrishaU at 2:07 AM on November 24, 2016


The Wrong Kind of Cheese I wear full makeup in the shower sometimes and I'm Team Forward. Sometimes it's after doing makeup for going out because the steam gives it a nice glow and helps set it, and sometimes it's after work, say, when I want to freshen up before heading out again but can't be arsed taking all my makeup off and starting again. I just keep my face out of the stream and the water hits my shoulders and chest first and I'm still bemused that people think facing forward means the water full in your face the whole time.
posted by billiebee at 2:48 AM on November 24, 2016


The słuchawka (shower head? "słuchawka" comes from its resemblance to an old telephone handset) is connected to a flexible hose. I hold the shower head in one hand while I soap or scrub with the other. So I am always directing the water at some part of me while the other is cleaning away. I don't spend much time with the shower head sitting motionless in its wall-mounted holder, but when I do, it is blasting fairly straight down on my head and face as I rotate.
posted by pracowity at 2:53 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fascinating! #teamtowards, 6'1" non-boob-haver. (Obviously I turn around to get the other side etc, but my "default" position is facing the water.)
posted by en forme de poire at 4:25 AM on November 24, 2016


Face away by default, with some side-to-side rocking. Face towards to wet hair.
posted by crocomancer at 6:36 AM on November 24, 2016


fwiw: tall, non-boob haver
posted by crocomancer at 6:40 AM on November 24, 2016


For people who have fixed shower heads, how do you, uh, rinse down there? I know of no yoga that can get a shower jet from above to wash below.

Fortunately the standard human comes equipped with these things called "hands" attached to the end of their arms...
posted by MsMolly at 8:50 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Huh. Yeah, I do neither.

I face ... the wall? I also hug myself, but I kind of just lean up against the wall and rest my head on it, for generally hanging-out-in-the-shower-just-to-enjoy-being-warm. I stand where the water hits right at where my shoulder meets my neck, so that front and back are warm.

To wash, i do top-half then bottom-half. For the top half and hair, I step forward so the water is hitting me at the waist. For the bottom half, I just wash while the water is there. The soap just acts as an emulsifier to get grime off, it doesn't really need to sit.

I face the shower and away from the shower equally.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:36 AM on November 24, 2016


I face the shower head during the chorus, away during the verse. I stand sideways on the guitar breaks.

Then I face away for five minutes of scald.
posted by mule98J at 11:04 AM on November 24, 2016


Ghidorah: "I know of no yoga that can get a shower jet from above to wash below."

NSFW example.

Seriously though: wash cloth and splashing around with hands.
posted by Mitheral at 12:13 PM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I twirl around like a damn ballerina in the shower. Anybody who does otherwise is just uncivilized!
posted by TheCoug at 2:07 PM on November 24, 2016


I twirl
posted by janey47 at 2:48 PM on November 24, 2016


Team MostlyAway since my apartment has a towel rack positioned at the non-faucet end of the tub and that's where my hanging baskets of Expensive Bath-Related Stuff live.

Also the water pressure in this place is equivalent to lazy drooling so I tend to cuss at the shower head if I'm facing forward.
posted by catlet at 3:30 PM on November 24, 2016


Mostly away especially when I am showering with my partner who stands closest to the showerhead because he is taller. However this can get quite chilly in the winter because our bathroom window intrudes into the shower area and it is always open at least 6 inches. So if I get too cold I have to trade places with him-- and we inch past each other very slowly. One glorious time we both slipped and shot out headfirst out of the tub and onto the floor but that was when we were much younger and more flexible. If that happened now someone would probably end up in the E.R.

There is one vital reason to face toward the shower and that is to practice underwater breathing. Which is my one and only shower game. Stand with face slightly bowed and water hitting full on. Breath. Pretend you are in a waterfall. Really soothing and relaxing. Also good for full-on face cleaning.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:31 PM on November 24, 2016


MetaFilter: What about your front bumbums?

(Team Fast-Shower Spinners)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:17 PM on November 24, 2016


...You stop spinning when you get there. Then you spin some more. Repeat if necessary.
GO TEAM FAST-SHOWER SPINNERS!!!! Our local team is the Danvers Dervishes
posted by not_on_display at 12:08 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am not going to read all these comments, but I did get about halfway through. The obvious answer is, I turn so the parts I want rinsed are facing the shower. Which brings me to the apparent attraction some people have for directly-overhead showerheads. How in hell are you supposed to rinse the shadowed bits? Using your hands to redirect the water running down your bod is an ineffective method, and I would never feel confident that I didn't have soap left down there. Ditto for those showerheads hotels like, that feel like a heavy mist blowing dampness at you. I have a detachable handheld showerhead, and would never get any other kind.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:22 AM on November 25, 2016


Our local team is the Danvers Dervishes

The sworn enemies of the Virginia Vortices. A pox on you widdershins wankers!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:26 AM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


rinse the shadowed bits? Using your hands to redirect the water running down your bod is an ineffective method, and I would never feel confident that I didn't have soap left down there.

You just take as long as necessary if you know what I mean.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:28 AM on November 25, 2016


Some things are longer than others.
posted by bonehead at 9:33 AM on November 25, 2016


Both, when I showered, to the extent that the premise of the question seems bizarre to me, but I have a bathtub now and can immerse myself in hot water entirely I'm never, never going back!
posted by kyrademon at 11:41 AM on November 25, 2016


I don't have a preference re towards/away. I hate hot showers, though. Cool showers FTW. Ice cold in the summer.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:52 PM on November 25, 2016


This is clearly a function of height and the height of the showerhead. I am tall but prefer my showerhead high enough to fall on the top/back of my head. When I lived in rented places with low showerheads I installed extenders. The worst thing ever is showering when you have to bend in half just to get your hair wet.

So I face away unless I'm specifically washing my face. I step away to wash my back, turning slightly but not a 180 and then back under the water.
posted by threeturtles at 1:13 PM on November 25, 2016


Away.

But the real question is: how did you NOT know this before you got married?
posted by she's not there at 6:38 PM on November 25, 2016


I'm 5'10", have boobs, and face the low-flow showerhead when I'm getting wet, applying shampoo/conditioner, and soaping up, but face away when I'm rinsing my waist-length hair. If I'm not showering alone, I face 45º from the showerhead, toward my sweetie. So apparently I'm on #TeamSpin.
posted by culfinglin at 9:47 PM on November 25, 2016


I am disturbed by the number of people who aren't aware of washcloths.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2016


I am disturbed by the number of people who aren't aware of washcloths.

I can't be the only person who finds washcloths gross except straight out of the dryer. Once used they go through first damp and then stiffened phases, both of which make my skin crawl.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:05 AM on November 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


As a result of this thread, I tried the towards shower. I spent about 30 seconds staring at and protecting myself from the forceful stream of water, muttered obscenities about how slightly less than half of you are doing it wrong, and finished my nice hot shower with awesome water pressure happily facing away. I tried, but y'all towards types are either weird or have sub-par showers.
posted by cgg at 8:09 AM on November 26, 2016


I am disturbed by the number of people who aren't aware of washcloths.

Be even more disturbed by the people who are aware of them and refuse to let them in to the shower with them! Gross mildewy things when left to their own devices. I'm not much of a religious person but I firmly subscribe to the church of the magic soap. Also I live alone most of the time.

I've been paying attention to my showering habits all week and I realized I face the showerhead even less than I thought since I now put on conditioner facing away also. I don't like random little bits of water getting in my eyes, apparently. I also go to a gym where I shower in one of those big shower rooms with a lot of other women and the bulk of them seem to face the showerhead but maybe that's a thing people in group-shower rooms do that they might not do at home. I think there are a bunch of variables.

- does your shower have high or low water pressure?
- do you have a stall shower or a tub shower or something else?
- curtain or door?
- removable sprayer on a hose?
- where are your toiletries?
- leg shaving part of this?
- are you tall or short?
- can you adjust the height of your showerhead?
- where does the water hit you?
- do you need to get at your showerhead to change settings?
- do you have long hair?
- is your bathroom cold?
- do you have children/pets/others to be concerned about?
- washcloth, scrubbit or something else?
- do you consider some parts of your body self-cleaning?
posted by jessamyn at 8:35 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who is reusing their washcloth? No. Stop it. I do a load of whites twice a week with bleach which include the following: white socks, washcloths, towels, kitchen towels, and napkins. All white, all dried in the dryer with woolzies doused with lemongrass oil. Washcloths are cheap and you bleach and wash until they are rags and then you use them as rags. I probably have at any given moment 30 washcloths because we never reuse them without washing.

but I have a bathtub now and can immerse myself in hot water entirely I'm never, never going back!

So you are fine with soaking in your own dirt, scummy soap, and old skin cells? Unless you are talking about the Japanese system of washing and rinsing first and then soaking which I wouldn't mind but I'm not set up with a Japanese-style bath and a shower is much faster.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:48 AM on November 26, 2016


Who is reusing their washcloth? No. Stop it.

I think a lot of people reuse them, actually. But even if you don't, you still need to dry them (lest they mildew in the laundry basket), and so you still have the gross phases of used washcloths (warm-wet/cold-wet/stiff-and-dry), all of which are serious ew.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:56 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also go to a gym where I shower in one of those big shower rooms with a lot of other women and the bulk of them seem to face the showerhead but maybe that's a thing people in group-shower rooms do that they might not do at home. I think there are a bunch of variables.

They have separate stalls at my Y but I can see that maybe in that setting the urge to face forward and feel less exposed, due to either modesty or protectively not wanting to expose your soft underbelly.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:26 AM on November 26, 2016


Away. I love the feel of hot water on my back.
posted by jeri at 9:38 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also go to a gym where I shower in one of those big shower rooms with a lot of other women and the bulk of them seem to face the showerhead but maybe that's a thing people in group-shower rooms do that they might not do at home. I think there are a bunch of variables.

They have separate stalls at my Y but I can see that maybe in that setting the urge to face forward and feel less exposed, due to either modesty or protectively not wanting to expose your soft underbelly


Yes, this would be true for me. Our Y has individual stalls but the pool does not. My rare occasions at the pool have quickly (but temporarily) converted me to Team Toward.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:05 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


They have separate stalls at my Y but I can see that maybe in that setting the urge to face forward and feel less exposed, due to either modesty or protectively not wanting to expose your soft underbelly.

I just finished watching El Marginal, which is set in an Argentinian prison. Most of the shower scenes were done facing outwards, exactly the opposite of how I have seen people using group showers, probably to best showcase the actors' physiques.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:49 AM on November 26, 2016


My gym, where I am "the old dude with the beard" (think a sporty secret lovechild of Gandalf and Harry Potter and it's close enough) has installed new power showers. In the mens changing rooms, there are seven cubicles (thankfully all with full length frosted doors, so no privacy issues).

I hang up my superman towel outside cubicle 3, get in, arrange my bathroom bottles and lucky mascot on the shower tray, start singing Hard Rock Hallelujah (my shower song is usually a random Eurovision song) and press the wall button marked... "WATER".

Immediately a firehose-pressure torrent of superhot water hits me in the chest region. I gasp and, by reflex, step back. Unfortunately this means that the torrent now hits me lower down, in a region which I am not fond of being pummeled as I'm not really into that sort of thing. I move back a little further. After a few seconds more, the shower stops. Swearing ensues. Upon examination, parts of me are red and stinging a bit. Showers are not supposed to be painful.

Hmmm. Thinking this through I hear pretty much the same happen in another cubicle, with copious swearing at the ferocity of the water. And again at another cubicle.

I turn on the water again and stand to one side and it torrents out again, but then suddenly slows down to something manageable. Ah! I suddenly realise that the pressure depends on how many people are showering. So, with some shouted instructions between cubicles, the three of us synchronise the repeated pressing of our respective shower buttons. That problem is solved.

As to the actual shower; the shower head is fixed. This is a tad annoying; most UK domestic showers have a hose and head so you can direct the water from any direction at any part. Though I can understand why the shower head is fixed in a gym - less moving parts, more robust, less chance of breaking and repairs. And, with the force of the water here when there's only one person showering, allowing that person to have a flexible hose and head could result in e.g. the accidentally self-administration of an enema.

So, I had to face both towards the shower head for most of the time (I loathe my beard being soapy or catching shampoo), but also turn around for a while, and did sides as well. Having the fixed head also meant limbs had to be moved and extended a bit more than usual. Being large and hairy, the process of rinsing usually takes considerably longer than soaping up.

Exit from shower, dry, pass comment with my fellow shower water pressure co-ordinators, the usual five minutes of brushing various hair, clothes on, exit changing room. On the way out, I mentioned the water pressure to the gym manager. He sighed and said that they installed the new showers because people complained about the previous showers being too weak, and some people were never satisfied, and he'd "look into it". My gym membership is up at the end of the month and I might look into that as well.
posted by Wordshore at 12:15 PM on November 26, 2016


in an Argentinian prison. Most of the shower scenes were done facing outwards

Is this maybe a thing in prisons, so no one can sneak up on you?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:22 PM on November 26, 2016


> I think a lot of people reuse them, actually. But even if you don't, you still need to dry them (lest they mildew in the laundry basket), and so you still have the gross phases of used washcloths (warm-wet/cold-wet/stiff-and-dry), all of which are serious ew.

Damp ones are hung on the laundry hamper while they wait to be washed (and they are washed after each use, my god, I'm not a savage). I agree they're not pleasant, but they're no worse than anything in my laundry hamper -- we're an athletic family and terrible things happen in there.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:37 PM on November 26, 2016


Handheld shower hose. I face whatever way I want and the shower revolves around me.
posted by snofoam at 3:01 PM on November 26, 2016


Is this maybe a thing in prisons, so no one can sneak up on you?

My unscientific and far from comprehensive viewing of carceral movies and television dramas leads me to think that the shower orientations shown mostly hinge on varying rules about how much nudity to broadcast, rather than anything specific to actually showering in prison. Relatedly, in Orange is the New Black, they have cubicles with curtains, which never show up in the male prison movies.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:11 PM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


How are more people not #both? Some parts of the shower, you face in, some out. This is science, people.
posted by greermahoney at 10:59 PM on November 26, 2016


But, really, the question is.....how many of you face down? Like, for at least 20% of the shower, I'm bent at the waist looking at my knees. I suspect....this isn't super common. But I'd love to know for sure.
posted by greermahoney at 11:01 PM on November 26, 2016


Who is reusing their washcloth? No. Stop it.


Who is using bleach? No. Stop it. Seriously, if you're not cleaning up blood or something with those washcloths, detergent will do you just fine.
posted by greermahoney at 11:11 PM on November 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you are cleaning up blood, you want hydrogen peroxide, not bleach.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:19 AM on November 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


5'5", boob haver, long hair farmer. Team away. I'm in Minnesota and feel cold when I face toward the showerhead. I also face away to wash and rinse my hair - bending forward is asking for eyes full of shampoo (I'm saying for ME; I'm sure you toward-facing hooligans have your techniques,which are probably witchcraft or something.)

I am also team Shower With A Friend, and Team Shower Beer - Stiegl Radler is thee best shower beer, comes in a can, not too heavy or boozy, and the cold grapefruit flavor is such an amazing contrast to the heat of the shower.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:56 AM on November 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


For people who have fixed shower heads, how do you, uh, rinse down there? I know of no yoga that can get a shower jet from above to wash below.

I'm 5'11" and most of that height is in my legs, so I, uh, face the showerhead and then put one of my feet up against the wall at like, shoulder height. Seriously, as high up as I can get it. And I use that leverage to tilt my pelvis until nethers are cleaned.

Ok, now THIS is the most embarrassing thing I have ever shared on the internet!

BTW, I'm Team Away, with rotation of course, and Mr. Freedom reckons he's about 50-50.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:57 AM on November 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


+1 for the handheld option. How people with a fixed shower head (or even worse, one of those up-on-the-ceiling things) can get the water to wash all the bits that need an upward stream of water, I have no idea. I sort of picture people catching water in cupped hands and throwing it at their underparts. On further reflection, I suppose it might explain those mini towel things that some people seem to have in their bathrooms...
posted by pipeski at 10:16 AM on November 27, 2016


data point: have boobs, am of average height for the gender of boob owners, and I shower facing toward the showerhead. I do turn to wet and rinse various parts of me - but otherwise I consider myself a towarder. I do stand in the centerish of the tub as to have the water hit my chest and not my face. I don't mind the water hitting my face, but breathing is a requirement for living.

That might play a role in it, btw. Walk-in showers are smaller with less maneuverability then tubs with showers. It's easier to face the sprayer when you half a whole half of the tub where barely any of the water spray reaches.
posted by INFJ at 10:08 AM on November 28, 2016


I still face the spray in a tiny stall shower; however, I am also 6'1".

This is also pretty irrational but I realize that having my back to the spray makes me feel like the water is awkwardly spooning me and I prefer to be the big spoon.

(Possible derail but washcloths have always seemed super unnecessary to me; you don't use an extra cloth to wash your hands, so why would you need one to wash the rest of your body? If the answer is exfoliation, washcloths aren't as effective for me as salicylic acid and tend to irritate my skin more.)
posted by en forme de poire at 2:20 PM on November 28, 2016


I sort of picture people catching water in cupped hands and throwing it at their underparts.

I totally actually do this btw.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:20 PM on November 28, 2016


Possible derail but washcloths have always seemed super unnecessary to me

It's partially exfoliation, partially that rough and soapy washcloths feel divine on backs and shoulders. It just doesn't feel like a proper clean without one. (Is this maybe a geographic thing? My people are from western TN.) And obviously you need a fresh one for each shower.

I ran an experiment this weekend and stepped (clothed) into my folks' (dry) shower/tub back home and recalled through muscle memory that (ack!) I face TOWARD the spray there! I am an avid-awayer at my current place, which only has the tiny stand-up stall. The shower at my parents' has a high window and the house is often freezing as it is and the water pressure/temp is anemic at best, so facing toward helps you keep your vulnerable underbelly as warm as possible.

So maybe there really is something to the shower-style theory, re: space, temperature, and flow rate.
posted by mochapickle at 9:12 PM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Both: Toward to get my hair wet, away to wash shampoo out of hair.
posted by maryr at 8:50 AM on November 29, 2016


[Several comments deleted; sorry, chatty though this is it's still AskMe, answers need to address the question. Goofing can go over to the Metatalk.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:55 PM on November 29, 2016


Forward, but that's at home, where I have the shower-in-a-bathtub arrangement, plus a shower head on a hose so that I can rinse off without having to turn around. When I'm somewhere with just a shower stall and/or no hose, I'll turn around as necessary to lather and rinse.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:16 PM on November 29, 2016


Face away. I find the very specific angle at which I can rest my forehead on the glass with my feet somewhere around the middle of the shower, with my head effectively supporting my body weight without hurting my neck.

I am Hypotenuse. Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:17 PM on November 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Like many, I'm an opportunistic turn-arounder, but probably there are more facing showerhead minutes than facing away. At first, it's critical to make fine temperature adjustments and warm up the less-tolerant-of-chill front side. And then at least during allergy season (which is much of the year), it's helpful to stick my face right in the spray so it eases sinus pain and lets me breathe steam.

This was more of an issue when I had butt-long hair, but I always shampoo and rinse first and then clean the bod, and most of the post-shampoo time is facing the showerhead so my hair is out of the spray and can drip-dry a bit to make toweling (which I do after shutting off the water but before stepping out of the tub) faster and easier. The worst thing ever is to inadvertently get my hair all full of water again right at the end and then drip all over the bathroom -- and my clothes etc. since I don't blow dry.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:31 PM on December 9, 2016


I've been thinking about this (and observing my shower behavior) since I first commented, and although my reflexive response was that I face forward, I'm actually a spinner.
posted by minsies at 5:57 AM on December 12, 2016


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