thread: 2013-08-01 : A Guide to the Sauna for Shy Americans

On 2013-08-02, aseaemba wrote:

A very nice article indeed, and some very important viewpoints. However, there is one thing, that is easy to forget, and which makes the perspective skewed.

Not all Finns are comfortable with the idea of naked coed sauna.

There was recently an article in Aamulehti (a daily newspaper in Tampere/Pirkanmaa area) about men and women going to sauna together. The article was based on a masters thesis someone had done. I can no longer find the article, nor do I remember the name of the student, who had made the research. Sorry for that.

The research showed, that most finns (about 60%) felt uncomfortable about being in sauna together with the opposite sex, at least other than family members. A large portion even felt uncomfortable about being in the sauna with others of the same sex. They just wanted to go into sauna privately or at most with their spouse.

There were some groups, in which the naked coed sauna was generally approved of and even the standard. These groups were mainly young adults in various universities and other student bodies, where cultural and sexual diversity is generally more encouraged than in the main populace.

Being in such a group, one easily disregards information from outside of said group. I feel that especially academic students or postgraduates, who engage themselves in roleplaying, LARPs or similar hobbies, are most comfortable and relaxed with coed sauna and nudity in general. This, I think, is because participating in drama clubs, improvisation, roleplaying and such brings us more self-confidence and lessens the fear of making fools out of ourselves. Or rather: if (and when) we do make fools of ourselves, so what. Everyone else is a fool, too. In such an environment it's easy to feel comfortable about our own and each other's bodies, clothed or not.

I think roleplaying and interactive drama bring out the best in us, but one should not forget that the "average Finn" might not be like us.


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