My first sauna experience

by Nina de Haan

For a long time I’ve been curious about going to a real sauna and especially about the naked aspect that clings to it. It didn’t seem something for me really, for I think I am quite prudish when it comes to nakedness, but I wanted to experience at least for once what it was like. Well, this horribly long winter made the perfect timing to actually plan a visit! Luckily for me, I found a friend who was done with the cold too and  already had some sauna experience (which means she would be able to guide and encourage me when needed), so we took off.

Let me begin by explaining how my doubts on me liking a sauna are funded. I’ve been in small saunas at the local swimming pool, but I have never been sure whether I truly liked it. I like the idea of sitting and relaxing, but in a sauna? Not sure. I am not even sure whether I enjoy taking a bath. At my parents’ place, the bathtub’s job description goes something like ‘collect all used, wet and dirty towels and tolerate the accumulating dust as you do so’. I have used it about three times in about ten years. Oh and once on vacation I’ve had a mud bath and a sulfur bath and that was really nice actually! This may count as experience here. My nudity background is that I just don’t really have experience with it. I am not a sports person so I never got used to changing and showering together with others and I’ve always been locking the bathroom door securely, just as all my family members. I am quite insecure about my body and to be honest I prefer others clothed too (not completely without exceptions, no). I am already insecure dressed in swimwear, really.

So I have never done this before, but I am willing to try. Maybe I am not that prudish after all. I am studying Biology and (therefore) it’s not hard for me to talk about things concerning nakedness, as long as it’s not about me specifically. I am really rationalistic and I know everyone looks different but at the same time we’re all the same and it doesn’t matter and we shouldn’t be ashamed, right? Plus I am not going there to get a guy so technically it doesn’t matter at all what others may think of me.

Wimereux2012

I did not dare to bring my camera to the sauna, so here you go: a completely unrelated but nice picture, from last year’s trip to Wimereux.

The idea was to go to the sauna to escape the cold, but it turned out the day we were going was the first day of real spring. Oh well, it’s better to walk around naked when it’s warm, right? It was quite weird actually. We met at the train station and took the bus together and it felt like we were going on vacation; the weather and the atmosphere were so different from before!

Well, I have to say: I liked it! I didn’t feel much differences between different saunas and all, except for the scents and the amount of sweat that came out, but it was nice to just sit somewhere and feel warm for a change. One inconvenience I experienced was that I had a hard time finding a nice position. You’re expected to only sit on your towel, but that’s just hard! One wants to change positions and the options were fairly limited now, while I thought I had brought a large towel. Next time I’ll try to bring a bigger one, or two. Or I’ll try to not freak out when I break the rule and rest my feet on the wood.

But you know what? Being naked with the other visitors wasn’t that arousing! – to use the psychological term. I got used to is really fast and in the end it felt more strange to walk around in a bath robe than just naked. How weird is that?! I was afraid to feel embarrassed and self-conscious, but it turned out to be okay. Everybody was just doing his or hers own thing and I don’t think anybody stared at me and in turn I didn’t stare at others either. How lovely. I have to add that it would’ve been a whole different situation when there would’ve only been twenty year old supermodels in there. Then I would have turned around immediately. But of course that’s not reality, thank god.

It was nice to be there, the atmosphere was soothing. The nakedness of everyone made me realize again that while we all have a slightly different shape, essentially we are all the same. Everybody it beautiful in his or hers own way and we shouldn’t be ashamed about who we are and how we look. Let’s just be ourselves. The atmosphere kind of made me love everyone there, or is that strange? So be it.
~ I love youuuu!
Okay, bye.

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