We’ve seen sonic showers in Star Trek, Star Wars, and countless SF books – so much so that I would wager that even a non-SF fan would know what was being referred to. Here’s a relatively recent amusing science discussion where the consensus seems to be that if it could be invented, it would probably hurt.

That real-life hypothesis aside, I cannot think of a single book / movie / show where the sonic shower is viewed with any greater positive emotion than indifference. Characters either revile it and yearn for ‘real water’, prefer a water bath (eg. Deanna Troi), or just accept it as the only way to get oneself clean.

We often read about characters that have pleasurable experiences (of all kinds!) bathing in water, whether it be a shower, bath, or cleaning oneself in a natural body of water such as a river or lake.

Can anyone provide an example of a case where a sonic shower is a pleasurable experience for the character?

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    Umm - using a form of directed vibration to slough off dead skin (and assorted effluvia) just never sounds like something I would WANT to do. Getting clean shouldn't feel like the vibrating toothbrush I use to brush my teeth. I can't argue with the results but I always feel like "there must be a better way to do this." I imagine sonic showers have the same level of irritation for their users... We grew up with water to get clean, perhaps sonic showers are an 'acquired' sensibility. Maybe they can't imagine using water to get clean with... – Thaddeus Howze Jan 15 '14 at 22:32
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    Can you imagine the mishaps? "Lt. Davis is in sickbay again, will be there for 3 weeks regrowing his epidermis, seems Specialist Jankowski was a little sloppy calibrating the sonic showers during routine maintenance..." – John O Jan 15 '14 at 22:56
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    @Thaddeus On the other hand, lot of people would tell you that vibrations can be quite pleasurable... – Izkata Jan 16 '14 at 0:26
  • Perhaps, Izkata, but I suspect the intensity required to get clean may exceed the pleasure threshold by some degree. Now variable sonic showers may get the seal of approval from many species... – Thaddeus Howze Jan 16 '14 at 1:44
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    You can phrase anything to sound bad. Would you like to have tiny jets of liquid heated to near boiling temperature shoot at your skin at 12 km/h? Not when it's put like that, it doesn't. Oh, and Lt. Davis switched back to water showers and now has burns all over his skin. :) – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jan 22 '14 at 15:04

In the world of Trek, the choice between sonic showers and water showers seems to be purely a matter of personal preference and upbringing. Clearly the principle behind the Sonic Shower is that it's less wasteful of water and can be run using only a minimal amount of energy. They're anti-bacterial so they're also a health benefit to the crew and the "pitch" can be altered so that the shower has different effects; We hear of several people suggesting a 'cold sonic shower' to diminish ardour or a "hot" sonic shower to relieve tension.

As to your specific question, in the Star Trek : Voyager episode Juggernaut, B'elanna Torres certainly expressed that given the choice, she would go for a sonic shower over a water bath so clearly not everyone hates them;

TORRES: I don't know about the rest of you but I could sure use a sonic shower.

NEELIX: I'd like to soak in a hot bath for a day or two.

TORRES: Oh no, not me. I want to feel those sonic pulses dissolving every last atom of this grime off my body.

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