How do you feel about public nakedness? Image from pixabay.com.
The dimmed light reflected off the dark blue tiles of the spa hallways, making it too dark to be humiliating but just romantic enough for it to feel inappropriate.
My first Czech spa experience was filled with all the nakedness, empowerment, humor, and relaxation you would hope for. Here are some reflections on my time and thoughts on how to best enjoy the experience.
Czech spas typically include saunas, Jacuzzis, and cold pools. Image from danubiushotels.com.
We entered through a building that looked like 1960s off-the-Strip Vegas, with faded carpet and clashing paint colors on the walls. Once inside, we passed a bowling alley, an indoor water park (continuing the Vegas theme), and a deserted Mexican-themed Czech restaurant, and went upstairs to the “Wellness Center” entrance, guarded by a turnstile — basically an adult-themed amusement park.
Inside one very public door, men and women disrobed together. We were each given two bed sheets to use as coverings and/or towels throughout our two-hour stay. We either wrapped them around our waists or tried unsuccessfully to make togas.
Walking through the spa, saunas and steam rooms of different intensities were intermingled with semi-open showers and plunge pools for cooling off (or for freezing your limbs momentarily). One could easily get lost in the unmarked hallways and foggy sauna air, especially when one’s friends disappear into caves.
This Czech spa also had massage rooms (for additional charges) that were equipped with locked doors and mood music. The maze-like space also included a handful of lockable “resting rooms” and an almost-hidden collection of caves, both for mischievous couples (or maybe, unbelievably, for individuals who wanted to rest in some privacy).
The only gender-segregated areas were the toilets.
Overall, walking around and trying out the hours-long self-indulgence was a perfectly wonderful experience, and I left in love with the spa. There were only two men with heavy staring problems, only one of whom was noticeably standing at half-mast.
Naked or not, a spa day could be just what you need. Image from pixabay.com.
Here are my top four takeaways from my first Czech spa experience, a few tidbits that will hopefully help to make yours enjoyable!
1. Practice toga wrapping.
Unfortunately for the ladies, we weren’t as satisfied as the men with a simple towel-around-the-waist wrap. Additionally, the linen sheets became a hinderance once they unavoidably got wet. A strong toga wrap would have prevented a lot of frustration.
This technique, though not a classic Greek toga, will give you a strong tie:
Start with the sheet behind you, as if you are wrapping a towel post-shower, with a corner in each outstretched hand. Then bring each corner to the opposite shoulder, crossing one over the other across your chest. Continue these corners over your shoulder, and tie together behind your neck.
You’ll have the option of spreading the towel out in the saunas if you choose while simultaneously keeping it on your person hands-free. Almost all Czech spas, no matter how European, will have some form of towel or sheet for you to carry with you.
2. Think about your preferred age range.
My one nude spa experience in a gender-segregated L.A. spa included mothers, daughters, and apparent grandmothers. At the Czech spa my 20-something group was undoubtedly the youngest; the remaining majority appeared to fall somewhere between 30 and 50 years old. I know this isn’t the case at other Czech sauna-and-pool combinations that are geared towards families, but such was the situation at this dim-lit, labyrinthine location. The family-friendly spas are also the ones that tend to be more medicinal looking and likely have designated nude-optional saunas and non-nude swimming pools. I suggest calling ahead to find out about the usual clientele so you feel most comfortable.
3. Keep track of time.
The turnstile entrance to the spa was amusing, yes, but it also served as a method of tracking who had gone over their paid-for time limit. We had been so engrossed in our steaming and relaxing that the turnstile wouldn’t let us out! We had to pay extra for our extended time.
4. Go with people you like.
Simple enough: If you don’t like someone when they’re wearing clothes, you probably won’t like them when they are naked, surrounded by naked people, and keeping you company while you are also naked. Plus, being publicly naked with people who are insecure would be miserable (see also: couples who fight, friends who talk too loudly, and parents).
Have you been to such a spa? What tips would you recommend for first-timers?