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March 1995

by William A. Henkin, Ph.D.

Copyright © 1995 by William A. Henkin

<Q> Can you provide some information about including golden showers in SM?

<A> Yes, and I'm lifting much of my answer from SM Safety, a guide I prepared with Sybil Holiday for use in some of our SM classes. Thanks, Sybil.

There is a long history of human activity – sexual and otherwise – involving "golden showers" and "recycled water," which in clinical circles has usually fallen under the heading of urolagnia. While some people both in and out of SM find this to be an extreme activity, others find it fairly ordinary. Some people who enjoy giving or receiving golden showers find the experience mildly humiliating, and seek it specifically for that reason. Some people who have a problem with golden showers dislike the experience for the same reason. Negotiate very carefully with your partner before including urine in your play.

On the whole, "piss play" is probably the most common and least extreme form of edge play that pops up in the local community. Some people whose tastes run to urine keep expelled urine on the outside of the body and others do not.

Unless you are HIV+, or you have an infection that involves the bladder, urethra, or vulva, your own urine is probably safe to drink occasionally. Whether it is safe to drink other people's urine is a controversial question. Studies of possible HIV transmission conducted at Tufts University and the Harvard School of Medicine as reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (December, 1989) determined that no "replication quality" HIV survived in urine. (Joseph Bean researched this information, and reports it in his book Leathersex, published in 1994 by Daedalus Publishing Co.)

Hepatitis and other infectious organisms may be neither destroyed nor fragmented in urine, however, and may be passed on to anyone who ingests the urine of an infected individual, just as some portion or residue of alcohol and many other drugs can be passed from one person to another in urine. If you plan to include the ingestion of body fluids in your SM play, know your own health thoroughly so that you and your partner(s) are both (or all) informed and can take appropriate precautions.

If you do drink urine, also drink plenty of water afterwards to flush the excess urea out of your system. A glass of water containing a tablespoon of baking soda can help neutralize the acidity in your stomach, but taking this quantity of baking soda on a regular basis introduces too much sodium into the body for its own good. If the person whose urine is being drunk consumes a carbonated beverage and lots of water before voiding, the urine's acidity will be relatively neutralized more safely.

After drinking urine brush your mouth and teeth with baking soda to neutralize the urine's acidity, which can damage tooth enamel. Urine is not dangerous on unbroken skin, but urine that carries infections can infect micro-cuts that might result from ordinary dry skin or abrasion of any sort, and that are invisible to the naked eye. Although over-doing the alcohol can dry your skin in unhealthy ways, you can check your own skin for micro-cuts by splashing it with rubbing alcohol (occasionally) or with lemon juice: cuts will sting. Avoid getting urine in the eyes.

If you plan to have another person ingest your urine, pay attention to your diet for 6 - 8 hours before play. Avoid consuming B-vitamins in tablet form, and avoid eating asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, and avoid drinking coffee. All these substances give urine a specially pungent flavor and aroma.

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