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OTHER ITA SITES:
Sauna Etiquette: The Dos and the Don'ts
You walk into a sauna ready to enjoy yourself when you suddenly hear what sounds like something from a horror movie. The loud breathing you hear over your shoulder has you frightened to turn around because you’re afraid that what you will see is some unearthly creature with red glowing eyes and big teeth. But after a few seconds of hesitation and mental reasoning that there is no such thing as monsters, you turn around to find that it is your uncle Bob got to the sauna before you did. What is worse is that not only is he breathing like he just ran a marathon, but he isn’t wearing a towel. And you just told yourself that there are no such things as monsters.
Uncle Bob is the perfect example as to what not to do in a sauna. It is true that the United States doesn’t exactly have a set of sauna rules like in European saunas, but many times it is just common sense for the sake of yourself and for the sake of those around you. In other words, a sauna is an excellent place for you to become your own worst enemy. If you notice that everyone in the sauna leaves when you arrive, then you know there is an issue.
If you find that everyone is running from you when you arrive at the sauna or you are hearing huffs and puffs of aggravation while you’re there, maybe it is time to evaluate your sauna etiquette. Below are 10 things you should do and shouldn’t do to get you started:
- Do take a shower before going into the sauna. That way if you’re already sweaty or you’ve been in a pool with heavy chlorine, there’s no strange smell. Showering also minimizes germs and bacteria.
- Don’t breathe loudly. Loud breathing is not a pleasant sound for those wishing to relax. Imagine someone breathing hard in your ear while you’re trying to enjoy yourself.
- Do wear a towel. As with uncle Bob, many may find nothing wrong with being naked in a sauna. There are no rules that say not to, but a towel should be worn at all times for the sake of others. It is okay to not have shame, but others may not find it so appealing.
- Don’t talk loud. Keep it to a low whisper if you must talk. Others in the sauna may not want to hear about the bad date you had last night.
- Do stay in for as long as you’re comfortable. You don’t want to have a “who can stay in the longest” contest. This could result in some really annoying noises and others being concerned with whether or not you’re overdoing it. This can make the environment unpleasant for them.
- Don’t use the sauna as a “hook up” place if you have a romantic interest in one of those in the sauna with you. This can make the sauna experience unpleasant for that person and those around you.
- Do read the rules posted outside of the sauna before going in. This is the fool-proof way of having a pleasant experience.
- Don’t moan and groan even though the sauna is pleasant. This could be frightening to others.
- Do mind your own business and do not stare at others in the sauna. This could be quite uncomfortable.
- Don’t burst out laughing if told something funny. This could scare others in the sauna.
Follow these ten etiquette tips and you will be able to enjoy the sauna experience to its fullest without compromising the relaxation of those around you. As for uncle Bob, he is a different story.
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Travel Part B