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

On 2013-08-04, Ile (Finnish, early 30s) wrote:

A great article, thanks! The only strange thing I found was the naked seaman wrestling :D I've never seen or heard about after-sauna wrestling or other sports (except swimming, rolling in snow etc.) and I was born and raised in Finland. So I believe that's not a standard thing to do.

Mixed saunas heavily depend on the habits of the people you go to sauna with. There are no laws, regulations or common procedures shared with all Finns. I, for example have two totally different friend circles: in the first we always have a male and a female shift, and occassionally there might be a couple that arrives late or just wants to go to sauna only together. No-one ever comments on that, it just happens as even new people notice quite quickly that in this group we don't go to a mixed sauna.

In another circle of friends we always go to a mixed sauna. People come and go, and if someone (a new face for example) doesn't feel comfortable, he or she can easily go to sauna after others have came out. The interesting thing here is that we have never had any discussions about this. It just happens, for a reason unknown to me, that the groups are different in this. In the latter group (mixed sauna) girls and guys are maybe closer to each other as friends, not just as "a friend's girlfriend", so maybe that's the reason. But I don't know if there's something else too. My point is, it doesn't matter: when you come to Finland, go to sauna. If you don't want to go to a mixed one, no-one's gonna blame you. Not all of us want either. If you want to wait until the last Finn has come out and go then, it's okay, but I suggest to try it with others as the best conversations always happen in sauna.


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