Splashback

Wet and Wild: The History of ‘Golden Showers’

‘Germaphobe’ Donald Trump denied being turned on by ‘golden showers.’ But the sexual practice has an endless stream of other fans.

At the end of John Updike’s Rabbit Is Rich, the novel’s prejudiced, patriotic, angsty, lust-crazed protagonist urinates on his wife’s friend—who, in turn, urinates on him—during a vacation to Puerto Rico.

The golden shower is an unorthodox sexual activity even for Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, whose very nickname evokes an impulsive, frenetic creature with an undiscerning sexual appetite.

President-elect Trump has insisted he’s never read the book, but given his contempt for the truth and the now-infamous, unverified report that he enjoys being peed on, one wonders if our soon-to-be POTUS’s particular sexual proclivity was inspired by Updike’s fictional American everyman?

Or perhaps it was that Sex and The City episode in which John Slattery plays a politician who gently beseeches a horrified Carrie to pee on him in the shower? Could it be that Trump developed his reported fetish after seeing a woman urinate on a corpse in Caligula, Gore Vidal’s 1979 cult classic?

Or was it the golden shower scene in Pedro Almodovar’s sexually explicit first feature, Pepi Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom that whet Trump’s appetite?

Before coming out of the closet, Ricky Martin spoke to Blender magazine in 2006 about how he took great pleasure in “giving the golden shower… I’ve done it before in the shower. It’s like so sexy, you know, the temperature of your body and the shower water is very different.” The Puerto Rican singer found himself under attack by his native country’s conservative leaders, who called for him to step down from his charitable children’s foundation. Martin was incensed by the response to his interview and denounced the “absurd political discussion that has become sensationalist” in a statement on his website.

R. Kelly had a thing for waterworks, too. Six years after a video surfaced of him having sex with and urinating on an allegedly underage girl, the R&B singer was cleared of child pornography charges.

Trump has denied the salacious details documented in an unverified report published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday night, which claims that Russian security agents observed him engaging in “perverted sexual acts,” with the Kremlin’s leading spy agency employing “a number of prostitutes to perform a golden showers (urination) show in front of him.”

In a press conference on Wednesday, the president-elect suggested he’d never partake in such activities because he’s a “germaphobe.”

He has repeatedly insisted that the entire 35-page document, a series of memos about alleged ties between Trump and Russia that was briefed to President Obama and President-elect Trump last week, is libelous “fake news.”

The report had in fact been obtained by multiple news organizations before Tuesday, many of whom declined to surface it because they could not verify its claims.

FBI Director James Comey had reportedly received it via Sen. John McCain last month and Mother Jones published quotes from it back in October. But no one had published it in full because, as New York Times editor in chief Dean Baquet put it: “We, like others, investigated the allegations and haven’t corroborated them, and we felt we’re not in the business of publishing things we can’t stand by.”

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Still, the report’s detail that Trump had engaged in sex acts involving urine was irresistible to denizens of the internet, who were alternately gleeful and horrified by an image of the president-elect being defiled by Russian hookers.

According to the report’s anonymous Russian intelligence sources, Trump had specifically requested to spend his debaucherous evening in “the Ritz Carlton hotel, where he knew President and Mrs. Obama (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia and defiling the bed where they had slept.”

Twitter continues to be flooded by a seemingly endless stream of hashtag wordplay (#PEETUS, #GoldenShowergate, #Watersportgate, #Yesweecan), puns about “leaks” and GIFs alluding to Trump’s (unverified) golden shower.

Amidst the collective prudishness about how icky the act is, a number of Twitter users said that delighting in golden showers was the only thing they had in common with the president-elect.

Others expressed concern that the fetish community would somehow be denigrated in the wake of the report.

MirrorOnline, a British tabloid, has since dug into the psychology of “urophilia,” with one psychologist telling the tabloid that there’s “nothing in psychological literature which suggests people who are into golden showers have any deficiencies” and that urophiliacs enjoy being peed on for a variety of reasons, including “to humiliate or be humiliated (i.e. through urinating on another person or being urinated upon), and/or capturing the spirit of a sexual partner.”

Anyone who has perused Pornhub knows that a female ejaculation or “squirt” fetish is hardly uncommon, which may explain why some men enjoy being urinated on by women (a stream of female ejaculate looks like urine, after all, and some sex researchers maintain that they are one and the same).

The jokes may help take the edge off, momentarily, Trump’s attacks on the media that the “golden showers” story, umm, precipitated. But how heartening at least that in these supposedly seen-it-all times, a sexual practice can still shock us—turns out we’re still quite wet behind the ears.