This week I had a whole morning free and decided to visit King Spa as a friend had recently mentioned enjoying her visit to this spa. The King Spa website assured me that I would be relaxing in whirlpools and baking in saunas that would cleanse my body of toxins and purify me while refreshing my skin. Aromatic herbs would calm and relax my nerves. It sounded exactly like what I needed.
When I arrived at King Spa, I was greeted by the front desk clerk, who spoke in a very calm spa-like voice, and while I did not understand a word of what he said past “Welcome to King Spa,” I got the gist of what I was supposed to do. I paid my $25, was given a key for my locker, and went through the double doors into the spa area. At the end of the first long rug is a set of lockers where you leave your shoes. Knowing that I would lose my key before I returned to the locker, I just stuffed my shoes into my bag.
The next set of doors led to the women’s locker room. Entering the room, I immediately noticed that I was surrounded by naked women shaving their legs, waxing their body parts, plucking eyebrows, drying off, and going in and out of the whirlpool just off the locker room area. No one was wearing a bathing suit. I asked the attendant, “Are you allowed to wear a bathing suit?” She answered, “No. No bathing suits. You be naked, all naked.” I asked again just to make sure I had heard her right the first time. Handing me a towel, she mimed with her hands and answered, “Yes, be naked.” I handed back my towel and robe — the only part of me this place was going to see bare was my feet!
Back at the front desk, the greeter looked at me and said, “So soon you leave.” I said, “Um, yeah” as I handed him my locker key. He just smiled, opened the cash register, and handed me my $25.
No spa day for me. I drove to Target and bought a book, some socks, a couple of organizing containers on sale, and a pumpkin spice latte. I then went over to the cemetery and sat reading my book and sipping my latte for an hour. It wasn’t the morning I had planned, but it wasn’t a bad morning.
I later learned from the friend I had first heard about the spa from — a woman I never would have believed would have felt comfortable at a naked spa (you just never know) — that the experience was more like a “bath house” experience than a spa experience and was focused on really allowing the body to sweat freely. She went on to say that had she known I was going, she would have mentioned that she didn’t think it would be my cuppa. I wanted to shout, “I’m not a prude. In my youth, I streaked a senior citizen and I married a man who used to come out of the shower, strike a pose, and yell, ‘Look, I’m waterfall’ as the water dripped off his various parts (I’d laughed and then suggested that it would be wise to move away from the front window; the neighbors were starring. He would wave before moving on).” She then went on to say that it might have been easier to navigate the spa with friends. OH NO! I like spending time with my friends fully clothed thank you too much.
No judgment on my part tho; I just believe that if God had wanted me to sit around in public hot tubs and saunas naked he wouldn’t have invented bathing suits. (Yes, I know Land End invented bathing suits, but we all know using God makes your argument stronger.) I still love my friend tho … without her, I would not be writing this blog post, and besides, everyone needs a friend or two who enjoys frequenting bathhouses. And my sweet mother will be so relieved that she doesn’t think bath houses are my cuppa.
Another friend I shared the experience with agreed that going to a nakey-butt bath house would not be her cuppa either and was surprised that the spa didn’t offer a bathing suit option. This didn’t bother me tho. Bath house spas cater to those people who want to experience a fully naked cleanse or maybe just be free of bathing suits that ride up in back. I understand.
I can’t wait until the next time bath houses come up in conversation! I will throw out that I went to one once. My experience will make me seem more worldly. Nobody, ever has to know my worldliness is not skin deep and only lasted about five minutes. You won’t tell, right?
Have you ever been to a bathing-suitless bath house? Could you or would you go to one? Inquiring and nosey minds want to know!
Full Disclosure: In ‘fairness’ to King Spa, the naked part is only for the water features (steam room, hot tubs in three different temps, cold plunge pool, and for showering and massages and scrubs). For their 12 (different!) saunas, they give you a comfy pair of pink shorts and a t-shirt.