Wednesday, July 09, 2008

When did I become such a prude?

Seriously. Somewhere between age 25 and now, I became a true American puritan. Someone's ancestors would be proud, possibly even mine.

Back in the day, I used to love skinny dipping. I would still jump at the chance to jump into a hot tub or a lake naked. It is just plain fun to swim around without any clothes on.

Well, now I'm in Finland where nudity is apparently "no big deal" or so I have been told. They live for the sauna, and they hang out in the sauna naked. Patrick and I have our very own sauna in our apartment, which I think is pretty freaking awesome. We tried it out Sunday night. That's when he told me how it is done here -- naked. Hey, no problem I thought. Then my mind jumped to a story Patrick told me about "the guys" hanging out in a sauna one time. I asked him, "so, when you hang out with the guys, I guess I'll just chill at home, right?" Patrick said, "No, you can hang out too."

My uptight American brain snapped. I started visualizing a coed naked sauna. I stressed out. First thought was "I need to shave!". Then I started wondering if I could do it. Could I just casually hang out naked with a bunch of people? Swimming naked is one thing, but I was comforted by the protection of water around my body. The more I thought about it, the more anxious I felt. I kept reminding myself "nudity is no big deal here. It is only a big deal in my mind." I decided that I could do it if we were in a big group with many ladies present. I thought I could hide in the crowd that way.

Well, the very next night, we were invited for dinner, drinks, and SAUNA! There were 6 guys and me. They were all really nice. Nothing about the sauna felt inappropriate, but I was frozen. There was no way in hell I was gonna hang out naked at Sausage Fest 2008.

That's when I started to wonder when I became so uptight. Well, whenever it happened, it apparently has happened. I do hope to break through this and embrace the coed sauna experience. But, I am going to take baby steps. It would be a little easier to transition into the coed thing if I had a group of girlfriends here. I could hang out with them and have someone to talk to. I mean, imagine that you have to go to a party. You don't know a soul there. It can be intimidating to meet new people and socialize with strangers. Now imagine you have to do that naked in a really hot room. Geez louise. When did I become such a prude?


Patrick said...

I know if it were 6 of your Finnish girlfriends and I was invited to a hang out in the sauna, I would say yes.


YogaNerd said...

lol! That is so noble of you.

Marjukka said...

Hiya \o Hey, don't worry about it :) I'm a Finnish girl (a student at the Oulu university btw), and I always wear my bikini or take a huge towel with me to the sauna if there are men present. I've gone to sauna with like 15 people all at once, and I really don't like the idea of there being so many boys at the university who have seen me naked. So it's bikini to the rescue! I suggest the same for you ^^

Oh, and, I spotted your blog through OuNe, the knitting group. Your blog is an enjoyable read :)

YogaNerd said...

Marjukka, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your story made me feel better. I'm glad to know that I am not the only one feeling this way about the coed sauna. I will definitely take your advice and wear a bikini!

Maggie Rose said...

your ancestors that I am aware of would not have a problem with nudity. or maybe that's just my take on it. bikinis work though (good suggestion) :-)