Monday, October 8, 2007

Swedish Sauna

Yesterday I took my first Swedish Sauna (pronounced saow-na, emphasis on the second syllable). It was a singular experience, and I have to admit, despite running a gamut of emotions, I enjoyed it... a lot.

My first impression of the Sauna? Lots of naked people. The Saunas themselves were separated by gender, with the Males in one and the Females in the other. The swimming area was co-ed, though there seemed to be an unspoken division between where each of the genders went into the lake.

But it was interesting. In the US there would be embarrassment, or the young boys who were there would giggle because people were... naked. Here it was just... that's how it was done. Nothing out of the normal. It was rather comforting, actually. I ended up deciding to "fit in" by not wearing a bathing suit, and I have to admit I liked the experience.

On another note, the water was COLD. But it was strange. You went in, and it was freezing, but then you would get out into the chilly air, and after a moment, you would be warm. Anita said it has something to do with the pores being open from the heat, and then when you hit the cold water they retract and get tight, so the heat stays trapped in your body, but either way, it was strange.

And it was also cool because each time I went into the cold water, when I got out I had this urge to giggle uncontrollably. Kind of the same giggle we get at camp from the people in the showers when the hot water suddenly runs out. Shrieks, and then giggles.

It left me with all these fun natural chemicals swimming around in my body, adrenaline, and happy chemicals.

And with a new impression of Swedish Habits and society. I like the fact that here nudity in certain situations... Saunas, locker rooms and certain pools or swimming areas, is ok. It's normal to see young children swim without clothes, and I have to say the whole pratice is rather convenient.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

is the swimming area also nude? is this type of nudity-openness common in sweden?

Anonymous said...

A swedish sauna? Just about as authentic as a german pizza. Says a finn.

Anonymous said...

Whereas I'm not comfortable being nude in front of any man other than my husband, or maybe a doctor, I do kind of prefer a more "naked locker room" over a more conservative and prudish one.

I've never really understood why some people get so uneasy about non-sexual nudity in locker rooms?

In all honesty I don't stare at other women when their in the nude, and I prefer that their not staring at me. But it doesn't bother me at all if other women are comfortable walking around the locker room in the nude, and it doesn't bother me to be nude in the locker room either.

I think it's nice when women can feel comfortable in their own skin, and aren't ashamed of their bodies.

Recently I started taking aerobics at a new gym that I joined. The first few weeks that I was taking the class I wondered if for some reason the other women in the class disliked me for some reason. They would talk to each other before and after the session, but no one was ever saying hello to me or showing any signs of interest in getting to know me. Then one night after the aerobics class one of the other young women in the class was only a few lockers away from me, I was in the middle of dressing after I had taken a shower, and she was standing there nude drying off after having showered. While she was still nude she said to me "Hello, I'm Kim, I've been meaning to introduce myself." We started talking and she said "I've felt bad for you that no one seems to be trying to introduce themselves to you or asked you out for coffee after class with us."

I said that I had wondered if some of the other women in the class thought I was a leper or something. At that point she, while still totally nude, said "come on, I'll introduce you to some of the other ladies in the class." She then walked around with me introducing me to several of the others. I now am getting to know and like many of the women in the class, and they ask me if I want to join them at a near by coffee shop after aerobics class.

Anyway, I just thought that it was sweet of Kim to introduce me to the other girls and try to make me feel more at ease. and I was impressed that she was willing to do that without even bothering to get dressed or even wrap a towel around herself. She was just like "well come on, I'll introduce you to the other ladies," without caring that she was nude.

In a completely non-sexual way, of course, I like that casually nude atmosphere in a locker room, it just kind of adds to the bonding and female comerodery. It's like it's a girls clubhouse, no boys allowed. LOL.

I don't know, maybe it's just me that feels that way? I hope not though.

Christina

Aji said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

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Neil Dalby said...

Good to know that you enjoyed your experience! You may be a little awkward at first, but you will get the hang of it eventually. It is a fun habit to do, especially if you’re used to it. Sauna experience is always an adventure for me since every sauna is different, and learning all the benefits it could give to one’s health.

Neil Dalby

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