“Have you ever heard a blindfolded octopus unwrap a cellophane-covered bathtub?”

-Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


Coitobalnism is the fetish of having sex in a bathtub. It could be considered part of the aquaphilia fetish and ablutolagnia, which is sexual pleasure from water, but it can also be distinct. What makes coitobalnism different is that it is location-based instead of element-based. A person who is into coitobalnism can be aroused at having sex in a bathtub with or without water. 

Bathing in Sexiness

There is something about a bathtub that just says luxury, relaxation, sensuality. Bathtubs always relate to taking a moment to yourself in a self-care decadent way. Though the bathtub fetish often involves the tub being filled with water, that is not, in fact, necessary. Even empty, a bathtub creates an intimate and contained space. Ultimately sex and pleasure in bathtubs is mostly about intimacy.

Bathtub Intimacy in Movies

The bathtub has been featured in countless movies to depict moments of sensuality, intimacy, or violation of intimacy. American Beauty featured Kevin Spacey and his fantasy girl in a bathtub full of roses in a cinematic moment that showed her coming out of innocence and into womanhood. Nightmare on Elm Street took the intimate moment in a different direction with the scene where Freddy Krueger’s hand comes up out of the water between a girl’s legs. In Pleasantville, the bathtub is where the 1950s mom Betty discovers her sexuality, in a masturbation scene that brings color to the black-and-white neighborhood. In Splash, Madison the mermaid rolls out her tail in the bath as she momentarily returns to her true self. The themes showcased are quite similar – bathtub scenes are about intimate moments, whether they are being savored or ruined.

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