The naked spa

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So we’ve lived in Southern California a little more than three years. For, oh, 1 1/2 of those, I’ve been hearing about the splendor of the naked spa.

The naked spa, according to the wife, is a place where honey flows and hummingbirds hum and the world is at peace. There’s joy and contentment and a blissful sense of awesomeness that permeates the entirety of being.

OK, that’s an exaggeration. But for a good period now, she has been raving about this place where the massages are amazing, the pools are warm, the floors are spotless and everyone walks around naked.

Hence, “The naked spa.”

The wife has taken seemingly everyone to the naked spa. Friends. Relatives. Hell, she’s taken my mother twice. Which means my mom and wife have spent naked time together.

Lalalalalalalalalalalalalala. I can’t hear this. I can’t hear this. Lalalalalalalalalalala. Can’t hear. Can’t hear. Can’t hear.

I digress.

Tonight, after keeping my distance, I finally visited the naked spa. I checked in, I put my shoes in a locker, I put my clothes in another locker. And I was walking around, naked. Men and women are separated at the naked spa, so there’s nothing weird in that regard. Basically, after stripping down I entered this large room with three pools—one hot, one medium, one cool. There was a sauna, a spray area, a handful of chairs.

Oh, and dicks.


And lots.

And lots.

Of dicks.

It’s weird. I’ve spent two decades interviewing half-naked and/or fully naked athletes, and I’ve truly never paid much attention to anatomy. There’s a job to do, and I’m there to do it.

In the naked spa, however, I couldn’t stop noticing. It’s just kinda jarring. Full nudity. Everywhere. At one point I was in a pool, wading naked, and this guy was lounging feet away, his penis pointed my direction. Then I turn—another guy in a chair, penis also aimed toward my head. A couple of men held towels over their groins, trying to be all casual but clearly uncomfortable with the scene. Most, though, were full 11 fingers.

I’m sure it would have been normal had my life been spent in myriad nude environments. But I started thinking about it: I’ve been going to a gym for two decades, and I always change at home. I’ve played on myriad sports teams, but even in college (I ran a single year of track and cross country at Delaware) you arrived in your uniform. There just haven’t been all that many opportunities to see non-family members naked. I think some people are brought up comfortably around nudity, and others aren’t. I suppose I wasn’t.

So to suddenly be surrounded … well, it wasn’t my favorite night.

Maybe next time.