I am a huge sauna fan….it helps me meditate and relax, and I think it helps me lower my blood pressure, probably not but I like to pretend. How we sauna depends on the country we’re in and even the specific venue. My girlfriend likes them as long as we can be together, preferably naked…I will list the different places we have been:
Germany: Mostly all saunas are coed and…very nude! My girlfriend and I took the plunge and went to one having been a huge fan of spas in the states…we went to a spa/sauna in Berlin that had a large pool that required swim suites (there were families with children that used it) and then a compulsory nude sauna zone. I am by no means good looking in my opinion and am overweight, but I did not have a hugely hard time walking around naked in the sauna area. My girlfriend did but eventually she needed to drop the towel to go into the steam room, and she did it! This experience really strengthened our relationship which was not expected; it was by no means erotic in the moment but was extremely relaxing. We ended up using a nude sauna at the hotel we stayed at, and then again at another hotel we stayed at later that week. Both of us were completely comfortable by the end of the week walking around naked. There was definitely some eroticism to this and we did have some decent sex afterwards, however the actual sauna and spa were sacred to us and more about relaxing than sex.
Switzerland: I went to school in Switzerland and I can honestly say when I was in school I would have never even considering doing this. I was soooo uncomfortable with my body. Having returned to the country once on vacation, I was unable to find a coed nude sauna like Germany; the options were either single sex nude or bathing suits required unless we wanted to go to an extremely upscale resort that we would not have been able to afford. That said this was the Zürich area, we’re going back again soon and I am scoping out some other venues. The Swiss are definitely a bit more conservative than the Germans.
United States: Ugh, I love our country however our uptightness on nudity is a shame. We have three different experiences (mind you more than three places):
Regular Spas: My girlfriend loves massages…we have gone to a few couples massages and some of the places have saunas. We have seen a few different setups:
Locker Rooms: Mostly all have had saunas and one even had a steam room too in the locker rooms. My girlfriend and I could not unfortunately be together in this setup, however because it was in the locker room we could go nude. That said, when I would go nude (just wrapped in a towel) in the men’s room I’d get dirty looks and she’d leave her bottoms with her breasts free and she’d get dirty looks. Uptight Americans :-P
Coed Areas: A few have had coed sauna and steam room, but, they always require a bathing suit not even allowing to be wrapped in a towel! These allowed us to hang out but was not as relaxing. My girlfriend even got a bit of a burn from her bathing suit in the sauna!
Both: One we go to has both, so, we hang out a bit together and then get our naked on in our respective locker rooms.
Nudist venue: There are a few nudist venues in the New England region with saunas. We have only been to one, and, it was really relaxing at first. This had a communal sauna but also private saunas, all wood-fired which were incredible! There is a hot tub and a cool pool. We loved cycling between the pool and sauna…however…the nudist culture was intense for us. Normally people wear a towel between sauna and pool…throughout the public space…this place everyone just pranced around naked. But that was fine with us just not something we mirrored. But…there was a known presence of swingers at this place. We went probably about 5 times in about a year’s time. We kept to ourselves and used it for relaxation. The final time we went, we witnessed a couple engaging in full-on sex in the pool area, outside on the deck. Both of us were made so uncomfortable we’ve never been back. I keep an eye on this place on FetLife (yeah…so not really a spa more of a swinger’s paradise) and it sounds like they have gotten real strict on sex and do not allow it anymore, I’m hoping to give them another chance soon.
Stand-alone Sauna: A sauna opened up in an urban area near where we live. I have been a customer since they opened and it is great but not the same…there are two saunas connected to two separate locker rooms…so my girlfriend and I are unable to hang out in the sauna however it is at least clothing optional and the crowd generally goes nude. There is then a plunge pool, hot tub, relax room, and cafe that is coed, however clothing is required; bathing suits in the water and at the very least a towel anywhere else, not allowed to plunge nude.
My girlfriend stopped going with me as the women’s side was always loaded with cliche girls that would talk and talk and talk. Though my girlfriend eventually found out that body confidence would shut them up; she’d rip off her suit and shower butt naked displaying her breasts and blonde bush, completely intimidating the prissy bare girls and shutting them right up. Eventually though the sauna started a silent day where no one is allowed to talk outside the cafe, including inside the saunas. The day of the week it was did not work out for my girlfriend’s work schedule…but that was fine I started going 2-3 times per month. Eventually, I stopped as the crowd they had were just too snobby for me. They did not follow the silent rules, I’d get dirty looks being naked (even though plenty of others were)…while this was not the owner’s fault their menu at the cafe is ridiculously foofy related to this crowed they’re catering to. There is zero comfort food…things like granola are on it, weird Greek like salads, breads, nuts…they have some cool beers but that’s about it.
From there they have this insane obsession with gender…let me start by saying I am proud to employ all genders at my business and I educate those that do not completely understand that there are more than 2 genders, this also goes for my customers and it involved a lot of planning for us to ensure there was inclusiveness. They built this sauna with just two locker rooms connected to two saunas, the saunas though can connect however they never open it for a coed day. They tell customers to pick the locker room they most feel comfortable in. From there, they have done women/non-binary days where they allow full access to both saunas from both locker rooms with the portion opened and allow nudity in the plunge pool/hot tub areas. My girlfriend and I conform to the conventional genders so this does not allow us time to sit together, and we really feel like they do not want couples like us there…kind of sad…I have no idea why they did not make at least a third sauna as all gender/coed and maybe even a third locker room.
Sorry for the novel, these are my experiences with sauna. It is an extremely relaxing experience for me and hopefully sometime we will get as a society more comfortable with the German, Dutch, Belgian way of spending time in sauna.