I am reposting this piece I wrote for my original Blogspot version of this blog. At the time, we still lived near Stuttgart. We have since left there, and moved to Wiesbaden, where the one spa I’ve been to is completely textile free. Unfortunately, we haven’t been since before COVID struck. I miss it. Anyway, this post is from June 25, 2018, and appears as/is.
The featured photo is one I took in Sweden in June 2019, when we stayed at a wonderful hotel before we picked up our Volvo from the factory. That pool jutted out from the building about 23 stories up. I could see through the glass floor the parking lot below. It was not textile-free, as Swedes don’t go in for nudity like the Germans do. But, for obvious reasons, I don’t have any photos of the textile free facilities we’ve frequented.
Yesterday, Bill and I went to the Mineraltherme, which is a spa not far from where we live. The Mineraltherme is not like a day spa. You don’t go there for pedicures, manicures, or facials, although they do offer massages. Basically, it’s a complex that has a bunch of pools of varying temperatures, saunas, steam rooms, and lounges.
I love going to spas, but Bill is not really a fan. He doesn’t like to be seen in his bathing suit. He especially dislikes the “textile free” areas, which require everyone to be nude. I mean, yes, you can wear a robe or a towel when you’re sitting on a lounger. In fact, the staff prefers it that way. But when you’re in the sauna, steam room, or pool, you have to lose your bathing suit. Bill is bashful about going naked, but we both admit that once you do it, it’s no big deal… Or is it?
Yesterday, I wrote about our visit to the spa on my travel blog. That piece was mostly about lunch and how annoyed I was that there were grade school aged kids in the textile free area. I mean, I know it’s Europe and people are freer about their naked bodies here. I guess it just surprises me that people want their kids looking at some of the junk on display down there. And it also surprises me that the people who are hanging out in the spa want rugrats running around while they’re trying to catch some rays.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I saw one guy with a large metal ring hanging off the end of his junk. I saw it even though the guy was trying to conceal the jewelry on his family jewels. Bill and I were sitting at the foot baths, which isn’t far from the turnstile where one enters the textile free area. It’s six euros to come in and that allows you to frolic in the buff to your heart’s content. So we’re sitting there, soaking our feet, wrapped in our bathrobes and enjoying the lingering effects of wine.
A tall man passed by. He had a towel wrapped around his middle, but it didn’t quite cover everything. As he passed, I could see his schlong. I was about to avert my eyes when I noticed a large shiny object at the end of his penis. I could see that it was a thick, heavy, silver colored hoop. It kind of looked like a very wide banded wedding ring. I cringed and wondered if it hurt to wear it as he casually strolled outside. Then I wondered how much it had hurt to have that part of his body pierced.
Then I turned away and noticed three young kids milling around. I was under the impression that people under 18 weren’t allowed in that area, but it turns out they can be there with adults. It suddenly occurred to me that in the United States, people would be having a conniption about kids hanging around adults in the nude. It was just one of those odd cultural moments, I guess. I didn’t see any Germans acting inappropriately, other than the few who were making out in the pool. I did, however, see a few American teens acting inappropriately.
There were three young guys next to us in the pool. They were Americans, two of whom spoke fluent Spanish. At first, I wondered if they were in the Army. They looked like they could be old enough to enlist… just barely. But then I realized that two of them had hair that was too long and one guy was a bit too heavy. The heavy guy was covered in ink and was going around squirting water with his hands like an oyster. He had his hands together, fingers laced, and would close them to force water through. I began to suspect these guys were military dependents. The only other time I’ve ever seen anyone do the “oyster squirt” at a pool is on military installations. The heavy set guy appeared to be the ring leader of the three. He was talking about bringing a date to the textile free area of the Mineraltherme. I kind of wondered what his mother might think about that.
The Mineraltherme is located very close to Panzer Kaserne, which is one of the US military installations in the area. One of the reasons I had kind of hoped Bill wouldn’t want to go to Panzer yesterday is because you never know who you might run into. I don’t think a lot of Americans use the Mineraltherme, but enough do that you might find yourself looking at your husband’s boss’s junk… or that of your stairwell neighbor’s. There are other spas in the area that aren’t so frequented by Americans. However, the Mineraltherme is slightly better for American sensibilities, since there are areas where you wear your bathing suit. Germany does have a lot of spas that aren’t all textile free, but there are some where bathing suits are pretty much outlawed. Americans are kind of leery of that. I’ll admit I was too, at first. But I think I’m probably a natural nudist. I find skinny dipping kind of liberating.
Because I write a somewhat popular blog, I do kind of worry that I might be spotted in the buff by someone who’s read my stuff. It’s happened before. Last year, we went to the annual Weindorf, which is an event held to celebrate the area’s many locally produced wines. Someone came up to me and said, “You’re Jenny, aren’t you?” Sure enough, it was someone who follows my travel blog. It stands to reason that I could be sitting in the textile free area buck naked and someone will come over to ask me about my blog. I guess that’s not such a big deal, except for the naked part. I mean, I know I often bare my soul on my blog, but baring my body might be more than I, or anyone else, can stand. The lovely thing about Germans, though, is that they truly don’t care what you look like under your clothes. If you hang out in certain areas, you’re liable to find out, whether you want to or not. (ETA in 2022: My blog is no longer popular for a lot of reasons. I’m happy about that, in part, because of what I wrote in this paragraph.)
After awhile, I got tired of listening to the English and Spanish yammering of the young lads who were thinking of bringing a date to the Mineraltherme. Bill and I emerged from the pool and went into a sauna. Saunas are a serious thing here. There’s a whole culture and etiquette practiced. We went in and sat down… and Bill forgot to arrange his towel so that his bare feet weren’t on the wooden bench. I noticed a few disapproving glares from Germans and discreetly whispered to him to fix his towel, which he did. I don’t usually like sitting in saunas, but I will admit that it felt good yesterday. Ten minutes later, we emerged from the sauna, I took a quick shower, and then there was this wonderful rush of endorphins that came over me like a comfortable blanket. I smiled. I’m sure it was a beatific smile, though I can’t say for certain it was. That feeling is why I come to the spa… And with that, our visit was done.
Later, I got Bill to use his foot to work some out some of the knots in my lower back. Because I sit on my can a lot, I always have sore back muscles. He doesn’t really like doing that, but he’ll indulge me because although it hurts when he presses, afterwards I get a rush of pleasure. Pressure against sore muscles feels great. I guess it’s because all the crap trapped in the muscle fibers is forced out as blood rushes into the tissue. Someday, I will invest in a massage chair so Bill won’t have to use his feet on my back anymore. And maybe someday we’ll have our own pool, so we can go naked without having to see Prince Albert piercings or listen to teenagers talk about molesting their dates… I can dream, can’t I?