In theory, it sounds fine. Remove all of your clothing, the sign says. No swimming costumes allowed. That’s reasonable. That’s a thing people do.
But then reality sets in. This is a mixed sauna. You’re going to be completely naked in public. You’re going to be letting it all hang out not just with total strangers, but with people you actually know, people you’d figured would probably never see you in all of your birthday suited glory.
And this is something that people do all over the world. They nude up for saunas in Sweden. They strip down for onsens in Japan. They go naked for a bath in Russia, and they take their clothes off for pretty much everything in Germany.
As a visitor, you have to comply. But is everybody actually OK with this?
On this episode of Flight of Fancy: the Traveller.com.au podcast, I talk to travel experts Ute Junker and Keith Austin about the global tradition of getting nude. In which countries should travellers expect to have to do it? How do you know when you’re actually supposed to strip it all off? And… what’s it like when you do?