To take a bath is to immerse one's body in water, such as in a lake, a swimming pool, or a bathtub. The water can be cold, warm, or hot. Bathing is done to clean one's body, for relaxation, to cool one's body down (e.g. on a hot day), or to heat one's body up (e.g. on a cold day).
 Nudity and swimwear
Bathing in a tub is usually done in the privacy of a bathroom, and completely naked. Bathing in public is usually done in swimwear, except for places where nude bathing is permitted, such as nudist lakes, pools or beaches. In many countries, small children are permitted to bathe naked, but older children and adults are expected to wear swimwear.
In poorer countries, or in ad-hoc bathing, people often have no swimwear available and bathe in their underwear instead.
 Giving a bath
At home, babies, toddlers and young preteen children are usually given a bath. This means their parents fill the tub, check and adjust the water temperature, add soap or other ingredients, help them to undress and get into the tub, help them with washing their body and shampooing their hair, help them to rinse, get out, dry off with a towel (and possibly, a hair dryer), and to dress again. After a bath the child is often put in sleepwear because a bath is often given in the evening before bedtime.
- Main article: Scrubbing
Scrubbing the body with bath brushes was very common in the Victorian and Edwardian era, but has been largely replaced by using the hands or softer tools such as washclothes and sponges, especially for kids who find getting scrubbed a painful ordeal (unlike a lot of adults who like it). The scrubbing scenario can be eroticised in a similar way to scenarions such as spanking, corner time, mouth soaping, or giving an enema.
 Pre-spanking bath
Giving a spankee a bath before the spanking is sometimes done:
- to make the spankee "nice" and clean
- to make the spankee more relaxed before the punishment begins
- to make the spankee more comfortable with (or more aware of) being naked
- when it is going to be a bedtime spanking
- to pre-warm and soften the spankee's skin
- to give the spanking on a wet bottom (which makes a louder noise and is said to hurt more)
- to give the spankee a scrubbing, reddening and tenderizing their skin
- in erotic spanking, for the erotic qualities of a sensual bath (e.g. with oil)
- in ageplay, to roleplay the adult/child scenario and give the spankee the feeling of being a (small, dependent, cared of) child
 Post-spanking bath
Occasionally a cold bath is taken to "cool off" a hot-spanked bottom. For example, in the movie Pelle the Conqueror, the protagonist Pelle cools his bottom in a lake after one of his spankings.
Another example takes place in episode 9 of Ikki Tousen (Geneon, 2003). Taking a trip to the countryside, young martial artist Hakufu Sonsaku is given a bare-bottom spanking by her mother (a situation made doubly embarrassing by the presence of her cousin Shuyu). In the next scene, Hakufu is shown soothing her hot, throbbing bottom in a the waters of a natural spring. The sequence is one of the best known examples of modern-day anime spanking, due to its recent production and availability through online sources such as YouTube.
 Bath house spanking in Anime
Although comparatively rare, bath house spanking scenes are not unknown in Japanese animation. One instance occurs in the popular children's comedy, Maicching! Machiko Sensei (Studio Pierrot, 1981). In a typically risque storyline, mischievous sixth-grader Kento-kun sneaks into a local datsuisho to spy on his teacher and several female students. Following a number of amusing mishaps, Kento finds himself naked in the women's section, where he is eventually caught by his (equally naked) mother. The comedy of errors finishes with Kento being disciplined in front of his classmates (a fitting conclusion, all things considered).