Wide World of Water Sports

"Are you kinky?" I asked a model at a photo shoot when she bemoaned not having a girlfriend. A reluctant matchmaker, I didn't want to point her in the direction of paddles and spanking if she was looking for candlelight and cuddling. "I haven't had a lot of experience," she admitted, "but, yeah, I'm kinky." She paused for a moment. "Oh, but I'm not like golden-showers kinky." The room went silent. I looked at the group: a photographer, an assistant, a girlfriend, and me. I knew for a fact that at least three out of four of us had indulged in and enjoyed the world of piss play. Are we really that kinky? Not anymore.

Golden showers is a term once exclusively employed by leatherfolk to describe taking pleasure in pee. Golden showerers fetishize the feel, the smell, the taste of piss; they enjoy the erotics of pissing on themselves, pissing on others, or being pissed upon. Once confined to the world of s/m, water sports have made a splash in wider circles. Even actress Kate Winslet let her yellow nectar flow for the camera in Holy Smoke. She seemed to really enjoy doing the scene, as she giggled about it during an interview on The View, and don't give me that crap about acting.

My friend and piss maven Gigi says she first got passionate about pee when she was suffering from severe allergies and someone recommended urine therapy. For three months, she drank eight ounces of her morning's first release, and she says her health dramatically improved. During her treatment, she became obsessed with her pee, filling the bathtub with it, she says, and rubbing it all over her skin. Gigi can ejaculate, so she is accustomed to spraying lovers with bodily fluids, and piss play takes it one step further: "I like peeing on my lover because I consider my urine sacred, healing fluid."

Gigi's transgendered boyfriend George enjoys being the recipient of Gigi's golden potion: "I like it when I look up and I see the expression on Gigi's face—her dominance and the sensual release. I also like the sensation of being peed on, the warmth of pee splashing on me, and I like the taste." And how does urine fare with the taste buds? "Gigi is a vegetarian with a very clean diet. Her piss tastes great, like tears and vegetable soup."

Gigi and George are not the only ones dabbling in between-the-legs dribble. Water sports have become a stroke-book staple. Penthouse was perhaps the first mainstream porn rag to feature pissing pictorials, and it opened the floodgates more than two years ago. A Penthouse spokesperson acknowledged being at the forefront of presenting the practice, but declined further pro-pee public comments, saying the magazine was wary of the topic in deference to distributors. In the November issue, two of the three spreads show women peeing on themselves, on each other, or on their male partners. And February's edition displays a woman streaming on her hunky partner. Several magazines have followed Penthouse's lead.

Peeing has become so popular with the readers of the fetish magazine Taboo www.tabookink.com that it has dedicated an upcoming spring issue to April showers, featuring pissing in every pictorial. "Letters in favor of golden showers have poured in," editor Ernest Greene says, "whereas much fewer anti-pee comments have dribbled in." Greene believes that Taboo has made water sports more publicly visible and helped break down some of the shame and silence. So, what's the turn-on that has created this new urine nation? Greene has a mouthful on the subject:

"It's the allure of the unfamiliar—readers are always looking for something they haven't seen before. I believe the curiosity factor plays a role, too: Men are getting to look in the girls' room finally, and see how everything works down there. There are also, of course, sadomasochistic undercurrents to piss play. For the top, pissing on someone can be a territorial assertion of dominance, and for the bottom, receiving and/or consuming pee is a demonstration of submission. There's also just the sensual aspect of it: It's hot and wet and nasty all over."

In San Diego, an organization called the Waterboys is dedicated to man-on-man pee lovers: "One of our missions from the very beginning was to destigmatize water sports and give guys the chance to explore this wonderful erotic activity," says cofounder Dan G. "Now, everywhere you look, people are wearing yellow hankies [the s/m community symbol for golden showers]." Dan's company has a Web site ( www.waterboys.com) and publishes the quarterly magazine Waterboys, which in its fifth year has 2300 subscribers. Waterboys also hosts monthly piss-play parties in the Los Angeles area for several hundred men. From his golden empire, Dan philosophizes about the increasing popularity: "As gay men get older, we tend to be creative and want to experience new things, expand our sexual repertoires. And with water sports, we can do it in a safe way."

Splash Alan, a contributing writer to Waterboys, says, "Piss is sterile. As long as you don't have any urinary tract infections, your urine is safe. Hell, back when I was a navy corpsman, we were instructed to always try and keep open battle wounds to the abdomen moist. If water wasn't available the instructions were 'piss on the battle dressings before application to the wound.' What more can I say?" According to San Francisco Sex Information (www.sfsi.org), urine isn't necessarily sterile, but it is very clean as far as bodily fluids go, even cleaner than spit. Peeing on someone or in someone's mouth is relatively safe; being peed on or in can be safe, with a few exceptions. Hepatitis B, cytomegalovirus (CMV), the genital herpes virus, chlamydia, and gonorrhea may be present in the urine of a person infected with any of these diseases, says Dr. Beth Brown, a physician and advice columnist. Therefore, if infected urine comes into contact with broken skin, transmission and infection can occur.

Swallowing urine that is infected with CMV, chlamydia, or gonorrhea could theoretically lead to infection. There is no evidence of HIV being transmitted through urine. The American Liver Foundation's Hepatitis and Liver Disease Helpline claims that peeing on someone or in someone's mouth cannot transmit hepatitis A, B, or C. Certainly, there is mixed information out there about the safety of golden showers, mostly because of a lack of research. I have a simple solution. Let's drop our drawers and open our mouths in the name of science. Who's with me?

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