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With electric toothbrushes there might be vibration, and cucumbers might have a phallic shape, but it’s the detachable shower head – with its dispenser of pressure, moisture and heat – that often has the upper hand when it comes to household items used for self-pleasure. In fact, according to sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the program, many people are initially indoctrinated into the realm of masturbation with their showerhead sex with dr Jess podcast. Still, for many, the shower head never did justice to a real sex toy, lacking adjustable pressure and a targeted rhythm—until now. This is where the Womanizer Wave comes in, a shower head for masturbating with the appropriate stimulation powers.
The Womanizer Wave ($199) might look like any old detachable shower head at first glance. In fact, this chrome-plated, claw-shaped attachment is a showerhead that’s technically advanced special to deliver orgasms. Developed as part of a partnership between Womanizer and premium bathroom product manufacturer Hansgrohe, the product is the brainchild of both brands. It combines Womanizer’s expertise in clitoral stimulation (they were the pioneers of clitoral sucking toys) and Hansgrohe’s experience in developing elegant bathroom faucets. The result? An external stimulator that uses water in three unique jet options. And after trying it, I can confirm that… stimulate, it does.
Why a shower head sex toy makes a lot of sense
For many people, the showerhead isn’t just the welcome at the door to self-pleasure; It is a constant guide that will accompany you throughout your life as a masturbating person.
And why? It often comes down to practicality, says Dr. O’Reilly. “The shower is usually the only place that offers privacy for those growing up in shared apartments,” she says. The fact of the matter is, thin walls have nothing to do with the overwhelming rain noise of most showerheads. Also, the shower is often the only place we can spend a lot of time naked, she adds.
“Running water allows humans to experience all sorts of sensations.” —Jess O’Reilly, PhD, sexologist
Privacy aside, showering is usually also a natural sensory experience. “Flowing water allows people to experience all sorts of sensations,” says Dr. O’Reilly. “Even though these sensations aren’t necessarily erotic, because the shower gives you time to attune to your body, it can lay the groundwork for erotic exploration.”
So it only makes sense that masturbation in the shower might follow. And a detachable shower head has long provided a way to direct the water jet at the same external erogenous zones you might stimulate with a hand or a toy, like the clitoral hood and labia. Realizing that common behavior inspired the teams at Womanizer and hasgrohe to create a shower head expressly designed for self-pleasure – one that will bring your wet and wild fantasies to life without the limitations of a typical shower head.
How the Womanizer Wave works (and why it’s so different from a typical shower head)
It took over three years, two prototype iterations, nine research projects, 60 interviews, 100 tested samples and 4,000 questionnaire responses to perfect the Womanizer wave. The result is a head – no, not The Type of head – according to a study by Womanizer, this is 94 percent more comfortable, 88 percent more arousing and 86 percent more suitable for masturbating than a normal shower head. (And to be perfectly clear, it works just as well as the usual method for actually showering.)
The head has three different jet types: Powder Rain, Pleasure Swirl and Pleasure Jet. Powder rain most closely resembles a regular shower spray and is probably the one you would choose when shampooing and lathering. The pleasure jet, on the other hand, consists of a powerful, even three-jet jet, which is great for people who need constant pressure to experience pleasure while masturbating. And the vortex of pleasure creates a unique feeling with a rotating jet that reminds me of a traditional vibrator.
Switching between the three modes is easy and intuitive; You simply press the button on the underside of the head with your thumb (which is ergonomically close when you’re holding the Wave in your hand). There is also an intensity dial on the neck of the Wave so you can play with the water pressure. Essentially, this works like the “+” button on most vibrators.
My experience with the Womanizer Wave
While I’m very sexually attracted to DIYers and Home Depot regulars, I’m about as skilled myself as…well, I’m not skilled at all. While I was excited to try the Wave, I was also afraid that my own technical ineptitude would basically block me. Thankfully, installing the Wave was as easy as unscrewing my old shower head and screwing on this one. The whole row lasted less than three minutes at most – which, to be honest, took the same amount of time as it took me to orgasm.
I had just finished a workout before installing the Wave, so I started showering like I would any other shower: rinse and shampoo. While the Powder Rain option was effective in getting rid of all the foam buildup in my hair, I wish it was a little more intense. (Forgive the bragging, but my usual showerhead is basically the Niagara Falls showerhead.)
After my hair was clean, it was time for me to get dirty. When I took the head out of the holder I was impressed by how light it is. Made from ABS plastic, the Wave weighs just 177 grams, making it much easier to maneuver and manipulate when masturbating than a similar stainless steel product.
As I mentioned before, the product worked effectively on my clitoris within minutes, so even if it is was hard, I didn’t need to worry about my muscles failing midway through. But the light weight of this product makes it accessible to people of different strength levels, and it can also be used by those with certain wrist or hand limitations that might otherwise prevent them from enjoying the shower head.
In the shower I was not only warm, but also hot – which allowed my muscles, including my pelvic floor muscles, to relax.
Of course, the Pleasure Jet technology in the shower head is also responsible for my easy orgasm. But I also think part of the speed was because I was warm and relaxed.
Despite the embarrassingly high temperature that reigns in my apartment, it’s me always cold. (Before undressing with my partners, I actually always have to ask them to turn up the heat…literally.) In the shower, I wasn’t just warm, I was hot—which made my muscles, including my pelvic floor muscles, activated , relax. Given that an orgasm is essentially a series of pelvic floor muscle contractions, it makes sense that it would be easier for me to reach O if those muscles were more supple from the heat.
Also worth noting: I’m lucky enough to have a seat installed in my shower. So I could lean back while masturbating. As someone who generally thinks that standing sex is overrated and who has never been able to get both feet planted firmly on the ground, the ability to sit was a key element of my pleasure experience with the Wave. If your preferences align with mine, I would recommend adding a shower stool to your shopping cart alongside the shower head. (As an added bonus, the stool makes using lube safer if you want to combine the Wave’s external stimulation with an internal waterproof vibrator.)
The ecological impact of using the Womanizer Wave
Since the launch of the Womanizer Wave, there has been some environmental resistance, most notably from the folks behind UK-based sustainable sex toy company Love Not War, who say masturbating with water is a bad use of said water – and consumers naturally suggest you buy their sex toys for that purpose instead.
Certainly spend more time under each shower head does Use more water than if you just step out of the shower once you’re clean. In fact, some estimates suggest that about 300 million liters (roughly 79 million gallons) are consumed each year just for showerhead masturbation.
But as a pleasure activist and sex educator, I have a problem with people chasing water wankers in the name of a greener world. Because using the toilet, bathtub and washing machine currently accounts for a larger proportion of our average water consumption than using the shower. Therefore, focusing a campaign on discouraging people — especially those with a vulva — from masturbating in the shower is ineffective at best. And at its worst, it’s sexual negativity disguised as environmentalism.
Another thing to note when using the Wave is that it was designed with sustainability in mind, using technology that allows it to use 60 percent less water than a traditional showerhead. And if you’re like me, all you need is a few extra minutes of water beyond the typical time you’d spend in the shower to catch the wave.
Undoubtedly, water wastage is a major concern that we should unite behind. However, focusing on excessive water loss from shower masturbation ignores all of the complex reasons people choose to masturbate in the first place – for example, there is less risk of someone stepping in or getting caught, or because it’s the only way they feel safe or relaxed enough to let go of their alertness and experience pleasure.
While I’m a sex educator and not a campaign manager, it seems that a more effective and sex-positive water conservation campaign would be to encourage people to use sex blankets so they don’t have to change their sheets every time they bang or shower together as part of a post-sex aftercare practice, rather than disparaging a practice of masturbation, which for many serves a uniquely satisfying purpose.
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