Gen Bathing

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Trope · Genre
Related: Gen Bed Sharing
See Also: Smarm, H/C
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Kirk and Spock in a hot tub just talking, from the zine No Beach to Walk On by Gamin Davis

Gen Bathing gets characters into the shower, or bathtub, together for reasons other than sex.

The trope is usually employed as an off-shoot of hurt/comfort, with the emotional and physical comfort offered after bad dreams, emotional meltdowns, and physical injury. Both characters are portrayed as finding relief with this close contact.


Some fandoms with a particular interest in bathing are:

  • The Witcher - based off of two bathing scenes with Geralt (one with Jaskier and one with Yennefer)
  • Watchmen - often used as a way to make canonically unhygienic Rorschach more palatable to the reader, it often can lead to a homoerotic freak out or sex

Some Examples

  • In The Sentinel/Nash Bridges story No Center Line by LRH Balzer, Blair is bathed by both Jim and Simon after a bad experience: "They made it look so natural: Simon working more shampoo into Blair's hair, trying to erase the smell of death. Jim helping his partner soap down his legs and feet. It wasn't a parent bathing a child. Or a lover his beloved. But yet it was both. An extension of one being to encompass another. It was almost as though there were no lines dividing them. No walls to say where one began and the other ended. Strength flowed from one to the other, particularly between the partners, but also between them and their captain."
  • In the Starsky and Hutch story, Alone by Daydreamer, Starsky bathes his traumatized partner: "He spent a few minutes wondering how he was going to manage this task, then shrugged and stripped himself. He pulled Hutch to his feet, took the robe off and helped him into the shower. Once the blond was seated on the stool, Starsky lathered the washrag and began with Hutch's back. He washed slowly and carefully, continuing to be appalled at how thin and wasted Hutch had become."
inside art from issue #3 of Independent Entity, by Martynn
  • From the Sherlock (BBC) story, No Incentive So Great by thisprettywren: "“Here,” John said, “inch forward a bit.” He leaned down to pull off his socks and then simply slid into the tub behind Sherlock, heedless of his clothing, fitting his legs around either side of Sherlock’s hips and pulling the other man back to lean agains this chest. “Better?"“
  • Merlin: Bath!hug by derryere. It's been a long day. A long day in a long week, in a brutal month in a year that was marked by the highlights of attempted assassinations, almost-marriages, manservants at large and the occasional dignified heartbreak. Arthur was tired. Gen

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.