Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nudity with Coworkers...Not Just for Strippers Anymore

So I did it. I experienced non-sexualized nudity. It really wasn't that big of a deal. It would have been more awkward to have been the only person with clothes on. No one cared. It really was like just wearing a different outfit than I normally do.

We went to this Banya: www.baninapresne.ru and it was one of the more authentic experiences I have had. It was a segregated experience. Women on one side, and men on the other. (Not sure how ok I would have been with it otherwise). No one cared you were naked or that they were naked. From the time you walk in, everyone is more concerned about doing their own thing. And really who cares if anyone did look? It was inspiring to see the women of every shape shed their clothes and be completely ok with the vulnerability of public nudity.

So we walked in, changed into...nothing, and then took showers, went into the steam room (that was unbearably hot), covered ourselves in coffee grounds, back to the steam room (still unbearably hot), dropped into an ice pool,  back to the steam room (you guessed it), I got beat with birch branches, got out, covered ourselves in honey, popped into the dry sauna to let said honey melt, and then on to the final shower.

Now to continue with the honest experience, I am going to write that I got a question answered (no idea why I was wondering about this). Russian women (at least the 50 or so that I saw at the Banya), do not groom the down there regions. (!?) For as polished and put together they are in public, this really surprised me (and yes I looked, come on, it can be honest and authentic, but you are still going to LOOK. Not to go in to too much personal detail here, but this is not a belief I subscribe to, and consequently, an old lady grabbed my junk, pointed, and wanted to discuss the state it was in (this is not a service I paid for, and I since I do not speak Russian, this is only my guess based on her pantomime and tone).

Well, it doesn't get any more non-sexualized than that.

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