“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

-Sylvia Plath


Ablutolagnia means deriving sexual arousal from washing, bathing, or showering. The word comes from the Latin word “Albluto” which means washing. A much older way of asking if you had washed up was “Have you performed your ablutions?” – this phrase was used for literal washing as well as spiritual cleansing. 

The Intimacy of Bathing

Bathing has become the most popular ritual for self care. Draw a hot bath, light some candles, open a bottle of wine, turn on some soft music, and spend an hour or so with yourself. Whether that hour is supposed to be meditative, relaxing, or an explicitly sexy time is up to you. But the message of sensuality is implicit. You are taking time to spend some intimate moments with yourself. Cleansing has often taken an intimate meaning. In movies, moments of intimacy are often shown between people in the bathtub, from relaxing with one another to actually bathing each other. The sensuality of having a bath can come from rubbing your hands or a cloth over your body. You are touching your whole self, or someone else is touching your whole self. They are cleaning parts of you that are typically private. 

Sensual Water

A big part of ablutolagnia is the sensuality of the water. It is the feeling of water running over your naked body, running over your genitals. It is the feeling of your genitals in the water. It is the stimulation by the washcloth or sponge going over their body, the slippery feeling of the soap. It is arousal from the entire sensuality of the bathing experience.

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