There are two types of people - those who share towels, and those who don't.

Well, this was a revelation.

There are people in long-term relationships who care enough to ensure they and their partner are using separate towels.

Can't relate.

Watch: Just some more gross linen chat. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia.

You see, author Sally Hepworth brought this appropriately dubbed #towelgate to light with a confession on her Instagram stories recently: she shares towels with her husband and three children.

"Now, I am aware that I probably end up using the towel that Christian has used to dry his balls on my face later, but isn't that what families do?" she asked.

"Towels - they're communal, aren't they?"

She did a poll for her followers and it turns out that... no. For many people towels aren't communal. 

My head is spinning. Image: Sally Hepworth/Instagram.

What. the. hell.

Now, no matter what camp you fall into, this may be confronting. Who knew this was a thing?


If you're #teamcommunal, the thought that other people are that protective over their towels is... disturbing.

If you're #teamindividual, you think communal towel users are disgusting monsters who are smearing balls on their faces, by proxy.

It's disturbing that it always comes back to... balls. Image: Sally Hepworth/Instagram.

Other delightful terms of phrase used by Hepworth's followers are 'ass juice', 'ball water' and 'dead ball sack skin'. And that's only about the men.

Permission for a quick vomit break, if you need.

So yes, Hepworth's stories led to an equally passionate debate among the Mamamia team. 

Some of us share towels and the rest of the team shun them for it. 

Now, all the information I can find on Google is about how sharing towels is bad, blah blah blah. 

Headlines include:

  • 'The science behind why you shouldn't share a towel'
  • 'Your Towels Are Way Dirtier Than You Think'
  • 'Why you really shouldn't be sharing a towel with your partner'
  • 'Why Sharing Towels Can Be Seriously Bad For Your Health'

So that's not... great. But still, I'm struggling to care.

Maybe it's down to the fact my partner and I have vastly different routines, so shower like, 12 hours apart. The towels are never wet.

As for balls, meh. If you date men and have been together a while... worse things have definitely already happened. 

I usually wash/dry my face with a separate face cloth anyway, which is definitely ball free.

But mostly... and I can't stress this enough, meh.

I just don't feel a fiery passion to defend my towels from another CLEAN body.


Journalism is serious business and in the interest of objectivity, I have tried to understand the other side. 

Putting my pride on the line, I asked colleagues their thoughts. 

The responses did significant damage to my self-esteem:

  • "When I have lived with a partner, I have never shared towels. Because I don't like to dry my face with something that's been rubbed on a ball sack"
  • "OMG no way, no towel sharing"
  • "Ewwww"
  • "Absolutely not"
  • "Some people just be raised wrong. YOU DO NOT SHARE"

I only found solidarity in a select few, who I shall exclusively hang out with from now on.

And on the bright side, a boss of mine, who I shall not name in the interest of keeping my job, will share a towel with ANYONE, so she's definitely way grosser than me.

As for the rules of 'separate towels', there are a few options, apparently.

If you're a communal user feeling shamed into more of a towel-related mental load, the advice is to either use different coloured towels, different hooks, specific positions on a towel rack, or to keep your towel under lock and key so no one else can even LOOK at your precious, precious drying device.

For the individualists looking to get wild, there are no actual rules to sharing. You just do it, and spend your life blissfully unaware (until now) that many people find it completely f****d.

But if you're unsure, one of Hepworth's followers shared this marked towel, which ensures you can do less washing while also ensuring you don't rub your face with anything you don't want to.

Image: Sally Hepworth/Instagram.

So go for gold.

But I draw the line at toothbrushes.

Feature image: Getty.