The (Un-Erotic) Glories of Nudity
For the last two years I’ve been indulging in nudist behavior. With my daughters. In public. And it’s been wonderful. It all began two years ago when my eldest daughter, then six, and I were invited to a most unusual birthday celebration: a day at a mammoth Korean spa in College Point, Queens. The hostess alerted me in advance that the first portion of the day would necessitate some nudity, so I wasn’t entirely surprised when, after we checked in, we were directed to an enormous room with separate lockers for our shoes and clothes. It was challenging to remove everything without feeling totally exposed, but not wanting to show my daughter I was fazed by it, I stripped off and closed the door on my clothes.
In minutes, we found ourselves walking, stark naked, towards an equally vast space filled with a series of shallow pools. Each pool is heated to a different temperature, from a bone-chilling 60 degrees to a scalding 108, and many have pounding jets that attack various parts of your body. But as impressive as this show of waterworks was, it was much more striking to be surrounded entirely by naked women. Lots of naked women. After this area the other parts of the spa are co-ed and therefore necessitate clothing (a scrub-like uniform of shorts and t-shirts worn by all). And the other areas were lots of fun–a warm outdoor pool that we basked in despite the freezing January temperatures; a collection of saunas lined with gold, ice and jade; a Korean food court. But it was the “naked room,” as we quickly dubbed it, that captured everyone’s fancy most.
I’ve been back several times, with adult friends as well as with my daughters (mothers of sons, you are out of luck here—only very young boys are allowed in the women’s area), and I never fail to get a rush out of the first floor. There’s something incredibly sweet about seeing mothers and daughters and grandmothers all sharing the experience, and while I wouldn’t feel terribly comfortable having a friend scrub me all over with a hard exfoliating glove, as I see other women doing (exfoliation is big in Korea, apparently), I do feel a bit subversive for being part of this grand nudist exhibit. It’s not dissimilar from the feeling I had as a college sophomore, participating in the so-called “Nude Olympics” that marked the first snowfall each year. Clad only in boots and perhaps a scarf, the most daring sophomores would dash around the prettiest quad on campus at midnight; needless to say, the event drew impressive crowds and some bad behavior, but my own experience of it was both chaste and entirely exhilarating.
read more-Soirce: Psychology Today
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