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Sauna Etiquette - Clothing Optional?

Apr 8, 2008
To wear, or not to wear; that is the question! All kidding aside, there are some serious things to discuss when it comes to the question of clothing inside of saunas. Some people have no problems when it comes to stripping down to their birthday suits, no matter who sees them! The majority of the population however does have problems with being seen naked in public - even in a sauna. What then, is considered proper etiquette in a sauna when it comes to clothing?

I will never forget one moment in my childhood when I opened a sauna door and encountered a very unattractive, naked woman sitting inside. I quickly closed the door, and saunas have never been the same for me since! Granted, there are some settings in which you can go without your clothes in a sauna. For example, if you own your own private sauna in your home, there shouldn't be a problem going in your birthday suit! Another example would be at a private club where the clothing option is clearly stated. In a public sauna however, it really is best to leave your clothes on.

Europeans have been using saunas for generations now, and North Americans only discovered them a few years ago. It is well known in Europe that saunas work the best when the user is not wearing any clothes at all, and maybe nudity is more accepted over there because of this fact. In North America however, nudity is not so acceptable! It is better to use a sauna without clothing, but when you think about sharing space with eight or nine other people - especially when those people are complete strangers, clothing is suddenly more important than getting the best use of the sauna.

Another reason not to forget your clothes when going into the sauna is because of the position your body must be in to get the maximum results. Sauna experts will tell you not to sit in the sauna - you must lie down to get the full sauna benefits. They will also tell you that if you do have to sit down, it is best not to let your feet dangle. In these positions, it is probably best to be clothed!

You can get away with a very small bathing suit, or even wearing a towel wrapped around your body in the sauna. As long as the material of the suit and the towel is made of breathable cotton, you should still be able to reap the full benefits of the sauna. Some very uncomfortable moments can be created when you don't pay attention to the kind of sauna you are entering without clothing - please pay close attention to this very important detail!

Saunas can be a great experience for anyone who wants to go, and you've got to remember not to spoil that experience for everyone else! (Like it was spoiled for me!) Home saunas are pretty affordable to build, and if you choose an infrared heat sauna, it is actually cheap to run as well, and you can feel free to wear your birthday suit as much as you want.
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