clothing optional spas

My First Clothing Optional Spa Adventure

I was on my way to the spa when I halted on the sunny sidewalk to grope around the inside of my canvas rucksack. I confirmed that my fear was warranted. I had forgotten my optional clothing.

Never before would I have called this buns-out little number a modest garment. However, when you’re wearing a bikini at a clothing optional spa, you’re pretty much wearing a nun’s habit.

Why partake in a clothing optional spa if you’re uncomfortable with being naked? Great question.

For selfish reasons…I wanted to use the spa facilities, a sauna and a soaking pool, that I knew would rock my wellness world—especially when combined with a 60-minute deep tissue massage. Aaaah.

After collecting my optional clothing, I sorta forgot I was heading to a “naked spa.” During my newbie tour, I was quickly reminded of my bare ass surroundings while receiving instructions for securing personal belongings in the co-ed locker room. In walked a man from the soaking pool, diplomatically covering his bits with the rented spa towel.

I admired the locker room wall with a sudden burst of energy, much the way I would behave after sighting a gorgeous pair of shoes on a display shelf. Avoidance seemed like the right thing to do, but I couldn’t exactly pull off the “act natural” thing this way. So, I focused past any naked people as if I was searching for my exit sign on the freeway.

There we go. That seems way more natural, Britt. Nice work.

My eyes widened. What if I ran into someone I knew here? A client? A friend’s husband? A former boss?

A good friend of mine went to a clothing optional spa with her boyfriend once. They’re comfortable with the whole naked thing, so they opted out of the clothing option. So did her boyfriend’s boss.

That was the first time my friend met her boyfriend’s boss. Although she isn’t the kind you can make blush, she was mortified they were all shaking hands, buck naked.

These things happen. Still, I prayed to be surrounded by naked strangers, something I can’t recall ever praying for until that fateful moment.

When I spotted the doors on the bathroom (that locked!), I wondered if it was all a mirage. I turned the handle, dashed inside, locked the door, and took a moment to catch my breath with my back against the door.

In record time, I changed into my nun’s habit bikini and wrapped my crusty orange towel around my body to serve as my introverted shield. I hurried into the safety of the soaking pool and had the place to myself for approximately two minutes. Until a boisterous naked couple barreled out of the sauna, carefree…and well, carefree.

I admired the sky with a sudden burst of energy, much the way I would behave after sighting an unexpected rainbow. It was a pleasant summer day—the birds waxed poetic in their feathery ensembles and the trees moved in the wind like elegant women in flowy dresses. Even nature’s creatures seemed to be wearing clothes that day. Except here.

“You want the jets on?”

I made eye contact with the naked couple and said…nothing. I was an introverted mute in a foreign, naked land. I managed a nod.

They smiled at me, unfazed by my habit bikini and muteness. They strolled over to the switch, set the timer, and joined me in the soaking pool. A young woman sauntered out of the locker rooms and posted up on a towel to lay out. An older man strolled out of the locker rooms, whistling a jaunty tune as he entered the sauna.

Clothing optional spas suggest that you won’t be the only one running around in your nun’s habit. On this particular day, my first clothing optional spa experience in life, wouldn’t you know it? I was the only prude tip-toeing around, blushing profusely until I blended in with the accent colors on my floral bikini.

“Britt?” My massage therapist came to the rescue. In an interesting twist, she was fully clothed. Thank God!

During my massage—which was fantastic—I had some introspective moments about my nakedness discomfort. I thought I was comfortable with bodies, having been around my fair share of naked dancers backstage for ballet performances. And, er…I’ve seen my fair share of naked men in more intimate settings. I’m 37, okay? I’ve seen lots of human parts.

Visiting a co-ed clothing optional spa isn’t something you typically do in American cities, unless you’re in a more liberal city like I am. It’s common for people to strip down and enjoy naked liberation around here. And apparently, meet your significant other’s boss for the first time.

Am I ever going to be that liberated? Nah, and that’s okay. I do have an appreciation for those who are cool with it—the establishments who truly offer a “come as you are” space and the people who benefit from relaxing in those spaces.

I’ll just keep rocking my nun’s habit bikini around others and keep my birthday suit celebrations inside the house.

23 thoughts on “My First Clothing Optional Spa Adventure

  1. Ha! Beautiful Britt! Thanks for (sort of) being naked with your story. 🙂

    I used to be a member of a nudist resort for years, not for the nudity though that wasn’t a problem for me. No, like you, it was a great spot – lake, spa features, and a place to get away from the city during the summer. The difference there was it wasn’t optional. The owners were a couple who had embraced the nude lifestyle, as had many of the members. I found some of them a bit militant at times. Once, a newcomer ventured into the man-made lake with a bikini and was sternly told it wasn’t allowed. She came as the guest of an established member and was still getting her feet wet, I guess.

    All this to say that I don’t think your choice to keep your habit (sic) on shows any lack of liberation. It’s probably a combination of many things — culture, upbringing, comfort with body image, etc. In my opinion, that you have a choice is a good thing. 🙂


    1. The nudity is a new thing for me, but I’m definitely just there for the spa perks. I agree that optional clothing is the best option for making everyone comfortable. I don’t know what I would have done if someone had told me my bathing suit wasn’t allowed. I’d probably run away!

      Next stop…Bali vagina steam! (kidding)

  2. I’m with you on that one. Though I probably would not even go to the clothing optional spa at all! And it’s funny. I’m not a prude (hell, I used to make the cakes for a nudist club off the island of Montreal) but I’m not all that comfortable with having my bits hanging out.
    Fun read.

    1. What kind of cakes for a nudist club? Just kidding. I’ll let my imagination take that one.

      I think it’s cool that people are comfortable with letting their bits hang out. And, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, given the opportunity. Turns out, it’s a resounding “hell no” for me. The bits are staying in!

      1. Haha! Nothing crazier than chocolate our carrot sheet cakes 😆

        So do I. And same for me. I ain’t letter the girls swing to and fro. They show proof of having birthed three children !

  3. I kept thinking through this whole thing, “But you’re a dancer!” Haha! Modesty in a dancer? What a rarity! Can’t say I know another one. You’re a rare gem, Britt. True to yourself. 🙂
    I loved the way you intently stared at the sky. That was hysterical!

    1. I know, I know. The modest dancer exists, nice to meet you. I didn’t ever change in the bathroom or anything crazy. I had a modest strategy with a towel, dress, or skirt usually. I was never that ballerina putting her eyeliner on with her tits out like it was no big deal. Totally not me!

  4. This was really funny Britt, I cringed and looked away and worried along with you at each step. I don’t think I would have gone there in the first place so well done for braving the spa at all 🙂

  5. Haha. Well written and expressed Britt. I’m not sure there’s much call for that sort of establishment this side of the Pond – though maybe, like you, I’ve been studiously whistling and looking elsewhere.

    Puts me in mind somehow of 1967, the Summer of Love, when everyone was stripping off. Then came to their senses a few weeks later and hurriedly got dressed again 🙂

    1. Studiously whistling and looking elsewhere. Haha, totally! So true about the Summer of Love.

      Interestingly enough, these spa facilities are outside. Not sure how everyone runs around naked in the colder months here. I may or may not find out…my courage is waning.

  6. I’m with you, Britt. I am not comfortable strutting my stuff around like that, and I’m impressed by anyone who is unfazed by it. I’m glad that spa gives people the choice of clothing, so at least, if you like the spa well enough, you can still go (in your bikini). 🙂

    1. I’m impressed too. Especially in a fairly confined space. A beach makes more sense to me, so everyone can spread out. Ha!

      I do like the spa as they have excellent massage therapists with the best price in town. And, I’m a sucker for saunas. I need them to survive in the Pacific Northwest.

  7. This made me laugh.
    I guess you are from the USA, yes?
    Here in Europe we tend to think of the human body as a fairly natural thing, given that most of us have one in varying states of disrepair, and the US nipple phobia is a source of amazement.
    I guess we are all different and, as the French say, Vive la différence!

    Thank you for following Sound Bite Fiction.

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