Full disclosure: I started writing about pelvic floor physiotherapy and all of a sudden I went off on a tangent about nudity in some countries in Europe. I decided this topic deserved to be it’s own full blog post. Initially I was writing a paragraph about how, in our society, no one talks openly about the physical realities of giving birth vaginally. While it’s improving somewhat, talking about vagina health is almost taboo. On this mini writing rant I was reminded of a conference I attended in Heidelberg, Germany. Cutest little town ever! But, that’s beside the point. My friend and I had quite the experience at the hotel spa that really opened my eyes to how weird we are about the naked human body in our society. Especially women’s bodies.
How can they say “no bathing suits”!!! Was this legal? Was I in some kind of brothel? Nope, just a family friendly hotel spa in a super cute town in Germany. Fuck.
This no bathing suit rule wasn’t going to stop my friend and I from enjoying the spa. We live for spas and this place had a nice pool, saunas, and steam rooms. So, what did we do? We tried to hide the fact that we had our bathing suits on by taking our straps down from around our neck and wrapping the towel around us. To everyone else it looked like we were naked under our towels. Never did I ever think I would be trying to smuggle a bathing suit into a spa. A co-ed spa nonetheless. We tried to go into the sauna and steam room when we knew they were empty. Because I’m so mature, I knew if someone walked in there buck naked, I would die. Like, die from laughter. We were sitting in the sauna, minding our business, when a young couple came in. They were probably in their late 20’s. Initially I thought we were safe because they had their towels wrapped around them, they were a young couple, we were two young girls, surely they would feel uncomfortable being naked in front of us. Nope, I was wrong. They were not uncomfortable at all! Seconds after they sat down in the sauna, off came the towels. And, there they were. Buck naked. I think my heart shrivelled up and fell out my butt. We just sat there silent for a few minutes and quietly walked out. We couldn’t leave too quickly or else we’d seem weird. We waited an appropriate amount of time so it seemed like we were totally cool with the naked stuff, and we exited like mature adults. As soon as we turned the corner we died.
…the naked people in Germany aren’t the f*cked up ones.
I remember later that day having a big discussion with my friend (who also likes to over-analyze everything) about the fact that the naked people in Germany aren’t the f*cked up ones. WE ARE!! We sexualize bodies so much in our culture that I couldn’t even handle a couple hours at a co-ed spa. It was so odd for me. I lived in Italy for 3 months in 2015 and that experience in Germany was one of many that made me realize that many Europeans have it right when it comes to how they feel about naked bodies. You might think this little spa in Heidelberg was a random one-off thing. No. Other experiences included a spa in Milan (at a hotel in the airport) where I ignored the no bathing suit rule. So there I was with two elderly naked men, just chillin’ in the steam room. And then there was a family spa in Switzerland where I didn’t even go into the sauna and steam room area when I noticed the no bathing suit sign.I didn’t want to go in alone and there was no way in hell my husband was going to come with me. I did some reading on other blogs about the topic of naked spas in Europe and they refer to North Americans as having “Sauna Anxiety”. That makes me chuckle because I can relate.
Babies drink milk from their mother’s boobs. GET OVER IT!
Are you uncomfortable when a mom is breastfeeding their baby in public. Why do you think that is? Really think about it. I would bet money it’s because you’ve been brainwashed to believe that boobs = sex. Newsflash, a woman’s breasts exist so she can feed her babies. You know how dogs and cows and a million other animals drink milk from their moms. Well, samesies for humans!