Naked sauna in Hong Kong - not for the faint-hearted!

Do keep in mind that I am not a prudish guy, and have had a few naked sauna experiences in Germany and Finland. Of course I started with being extremely uncomfortable with it in Germany to comforting a British lad that it was alright to sit naked with another naked man in a hot steamy room and make small talk. But I generally feel that we in Asia are a bit more prude (Japan with its legendary Onsen notwithstanding) when it comes to nudity, primarily because we in India are. The only time I got naked with my friends was also on an impulse on a deserted beach in Diu (read more: Skinny Dipping in Diu), but it’s unlikely that we would’ve done that without a few beers in our blood stream.

Young man relaxing at the sauna (Photo credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic on Shutterstock)

I actually reached my hotel many hours in advance of the check-in time and so decided to work out at their gym while my room got ready. After almost two hours of hard work and dripping with sweat as I walked into the locker room, my trainer suggested a rejuvenation of mind and body at the sauna, steam and Jacuzzi area. I suspect it was because my room still wasn’t ready and it was better that I stayed away from the receptionist in a steamy room. I looked at the watch and agreed that it was a good idea. A quick shower in cold water later, I decided to climb up to the sauna area. Having come from Scandinavia recently I decided to skip the steam and jumped straight into the sauna. Of course, with the towel covering my modesty.

Within minutes the guy I was working out with walked in pretty much naked, placed the on the towel on hot wooden bench and spread out like I wasn’t event in there. Now I felt a little bit odd sitting with a towel while he seemed to be enjoying it the way it should be (in my opinion too). But was it culturally appropriate? I wasn’t sure so asked him if it was alright to not out on a towel. Rather surprised he said it was perfectly normal and why would I want to hide myself anyway. We spent the next ten minutes relaxing and chatting up a bit. It was, however, a bit odd that he walked around the room a few times to check the temperature. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t odd being naked at all with a stranger in a sauna.

I never asked his name, but he told me that he was an art dealer from Paris and was in the city to participate in an art exhibition. It got too hot and we both stepped out for a cold shower, and then we both headed to the steam room. We both walked in with our towel across our neck, but an Indian and a Chinese guy chatting up inside had small hand towels covering them a little bit. I sat down placing my hands strategically, by my Parisian friend didn’t give a shit at all. The next fifteen minutes were spent discussing India’s growth story and the influence of Narendra Modi on the country’s ethos. I joined in as well and was so impressed with the know how of the Chinese guy about Modi and our foreign policy.

As it again got too hot inside we stepped out, and got into the Jacuzzi pool. Now this was the weirdest part of the day - I didn’t have my swimming trunks so had decided to skip the tiny pool - but both the Swiss and Chinese guy got in without worrying about any clothing! Not be left behind, I joined them too and immediately got the shock of my life - the water was incredibly hot! The only place available was between the two of them, but I just couldn’t dip my butt into the hot water. Finally the Chinese guy saw my struggle and slowly convinced me that it was absolutely alright to get in and I managed to take a plunge with a gasp. Jacuzzi was great, but I was a bit uncomfortable sitting with bodies touching in a hot tub. No one was bothered, so I decided to pretend it didn’t bother me at all! In fact the concept of personal space is so strong in Europe that I never quite imagined the Parisian would be comfortable so close to someone else.

A young man at the sauna (Photo credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic on Shutterstock)

Anyway, after what felt like eternity (and I think I even dozed off for a while during this time) I decided to step out and into the shower. My French and Chinese friends decided to take it further and stepped into a freezing cold mini-pool next to the hot - something that I simply couldn’t imagine doing! So I took a shower, had another round of sauna, a final cold shower and headed down to check-in for a long afternoon sleep!

So this was my story, and I must confess it was a bit embarrassing in the beginning. These experiences do help me become more comfortable with my own body as well as nakedness - something that's very natural. How about you? Would you do a naked sauna ever? If no, why not?

Comments

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  2. I wonder what the other Indian guy thought about the nudity.

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    Replies
    1. Good question, but I never quite got around asking anyone about their perception of nudity. I was doing my best to fit in without feeling awkward :)

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  3. what is your comfort level now in entering a sauna nude? in and out of India

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    1. If it's part of the culture of a country I am in, I am fine with it. In India, that would be very unusual and I will use a towel for sure.

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  4. Thanks for sharing some of the nude sauna experiences in Germany and Finland. I also like sauna
    duck life

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  7. I have read through some similar topics! However, your post has given me a very special impression, unlike other posts. I hope you continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone!

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  8. Well, this was a very interesting read. I can totally understand all that awkwardness, this happened to me in Manali when I entered a hot spring in Vashisht in a t-shirt and shorts whereas all other women (not Indians) were nude or semi nude. The biggest shock of my life. Haha.

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    1. Haha...it's a big shock when you are not expecting it. In Finland I knew what I was getting into, so it was ok...but in Hong Kong I was quite a bit surprised :)

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  9. Thanks for your article! I have read through some similar topics! However, your post has given me a very special impression, unlike other posts. I hope you continue to have valuable articles like this or more to share with everyone!

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