If you’re of the adventurous type, Valentine’s Day is a great chance to try something a little daring with your partner / lover / spouse. While there’s always a place to go skinny-dipping, I thought I’d look at some of the weirder things you can do around the world while in your birthday suit. Some fellow travel bloggers had some ideas as well…
Korean jimjilbang – steam and hot water, anyone?
These are not for the faint of heart. On one level, everyone around you seems to know what to do, how to do it… and of course, they’re totally comfortable being nude around strangers. Get past the first time, however, and you’ll probably find yourself looking forward to your next time
Also spelled jjimjilbang, these are basically day spas with public baths and saunas. Pay an admission fee to get in, store your stuff in a locker, bring (or buy) some toiletries, then take a shower before jumping in a bath. This is a cardinal rule, by the way – the baths are there for enjoyment, not getting clean.
Nude beach – don’t forget the sunscreen!
At the Naturist village (Le Cap D’Agde Village Naturiste) in Agde, France, it’s more ‘clothing optional’ and less ‘nudity required’. At first blush this ‘village’ is anything but – it feels more like a built-up resort area with a hotel. Between the sexy disco and lingerie stores are plenty of condos.
Time to let the inhibitions fly free! As you’d expect most places have specific rules in place, while a few unwritten rules are universal no matter where you go. Find your way in, and consider getting undressed by the entrance – there’s a set of lockers right by the entrance as seen above. Clothing store and lingerie, leather handcuffs and so on. No maps inside the complex, as it’s much more geared towards resort stayers – at 300-800 € a week, depending on the season. Day passes get 95% of the fun for 1% of the price.
Beaten by herbs and oiled up – for your health!
By Olga María Czarkowski at Dreamsinheels.com.
Traveling the world totally gives you a complete sense of freedom and hopefully takes you out of your comfort zone. Visiting a different country, you are braver than you might be at home. This is true for me.
I am usually not comfortable naked in front of strangers, but when I recently went to a local market in Quito, Ecuador, a unique opportunity presented itself by way of meeting a third generation healer named Rosa Mercedes. She, along with her ancestors, heal with herbs, cleanse negativity and bad vibes, and will even “read” the herbs used throughout the process.
As I stood in front of her, practically nude (only underwear), she started by hitting me hard from head to toe with the herbs (warning: you get a little red at the beginning). Next she oiled my body and showered me with rose petals. Ironically, she focused on my legs and even knew that I had some type of a condition there. She also mentioned insights regarding my personality, life and future. Everything was so accurate, I was astonished. It’s freaky, but not scary. Finally, she customizes a potion for you with final instructions. The entire experience filled me with a peace that I still feel, months later. Definitely a superb, once in a lifetime experience…and worth getting naked for!
Skinny-dipping in a private Hawaiian lagoon
From Bret Love and Mary Gabbett at greenglobaltravel.com.
We’d only been together as a couple 3 months when I whisked Mary away for our first big adventure– an all-expenses-paid trip exploring the island of Hawai’i. It was an incredible week– snorkeling with sea turtles, watching the sunset from above the clouds on the summit of Mauna Kea and watching lava boiling the water as it entered the ocean. But one of the most memorable highlights was the days we spent literally doing nothing in our own little slice of paradise, called “Shangri-La.” Located in the Puna district just south of Hilo, this privately-owned rental property was like something out of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. There were four Bali-style cottages, an outdoor shower and hot tub. But our favorite feature was the ocean-fed private lagoon, which was filled with tropical fish, naturally heated by volcanic activity, and had a hut in the center featuring a King Sized bed and bamboo blinds. For two days we wore as little clothing as possible, savoring our time relaxing in tropical bliss and jumping in the lagoon when we got hot from tanning in the over-water hammock. I’m fairly certain the construction guys working on the neighbor’s house got an eyeful over the privacy fence, but we were (and still are, 7 years later) too in love to care!
Getting scrubbed down at an Moroccan hammam
From Taylor Record at www.oncewereyoungtravel.com.
Facedown in a lukewarm pool of used bathwater and dead skin, I questioned the therapeutic benefits of the experience. Wasn’t a trip to the spa supposed to be a luxury reserved for bachelorette parties and breakups?
Well, turns out a Moroccan hammam is not just any day spa. Rather than an occasional splurge, they are actually quite simple facilities where families, friends, and neighbors come to bathe and connect with one another. Soaped up children wail, sisters catch up, and teenage girls (moody in all cultures) sulk in one pretty amazing communal bath.
Entering our first hammam in Essaouira, we stripped down and split off into the gender-separated bathing facilities with bathing supplies in tow (rubber mat, scrubbing gloves, oils). Inside heavy doors was a steam-filled room with tiled benches and water basins for bucket baths. It was a fascinating experience in Moroccan culture, pre-massage! But having my head crushed to the floor while my extremities were scrubbed down with an abrasive glove made a cultural exchange feel more like self defense. With each completed body part, she celebrated the impressive quantities of dead skin she had scrubbed off with my friends. “Wow!” she exclaimed. It had been 24 years since my last hammam, after all.
And strangely enough, I doubt I’ll ever go that long without a hammam trip again.
Making money while performing burlesque
From Alice Teacake at teacaketravels.com.
Going to a Feminist Festival is obviously going to bring up some interesting sights, experiences and connections but I never thought it would lead me to taking my clothes off at a gay burlesque festival. What can I say? I grab life by the balls and if someone shows you how to be the sexiest vixen you can be during a burlesque taster class; roads can lead to this kind of empowering act! And strip off my clothes I certainly did. In fact, I got so good at it that it started to become regular work and I earnt some good dough from it. Travelling around Asia consistently, the work is sporadic as some countries are certainly less conservative than others BUT my god, what a thrill and wild time it is when I get the chance. Give me a set of heels and venue near you and I’ll be wiggling around on stage in no time.
Enjoying (?) a Japanese onsen
From Paula and Gordon of Contented Traveller.
Getting Naked in an Onsen is a rite of passage when you come to Japan. Onsens in the hotels are quite mild and designed with tourists in mind. The onsens in the villages, however, are first and foremost for the villagers and mostly are built on natural geothermal hot springs. This is the case in Nozawa Onsen where we go skiing. Therefore, they are hot, as in very hot. In Nozawa Onsen the villagers are relatively strict in making sure that you follow the etiquette. The onsens are segregated for males and females if that helps. I know that the women of the village are a tough crowd, and if you get it wrong, you get the crossed arms.
Despite the fact that I have had many onsen I still occasionally get the crossed arms, generally for trying to put a little more cold water in. The men are a little more liberal in the rules, but there is possibly a reason for this. Gordon tells me that he has seen many men buckle under the pressure as their testicles hit the boiling water.
Here is a tip that will help you enormously when you have your first onsen. Don’t worry about getting naked, worry about how hot it is. Slide in and do not move one muscle. It is the movement that causes the nerve ending to scream out in horror. If you are a man, you will now be getting tears in your eyes thinking about this.
Nude at a private villa in Bali
From Stefan and Sebastien at nomadicboys.com.
We love skinny dipping and getting our kit off and our travels in Asia last year brought a few opportunities for it.
One memory was getting drunk with a group of friends then going for a midnight naked dip on Sunrise Beach in Koh Lipe island in Thailand. But the real nude fun happened in Bali.
We stayed in a private villa in Seminyak where we had the entire area to ourselves, swimming pool included. Just being able to walk around with your wanger hanging out with no care in the world and no one to worry about is extremely liberating.
Bali also has a male only “clothing’s optional” hotel called Spartacvs (the v is deliberate – not a typo). These guys take it to the next level… Ideal for nudists though, but a bit beyond our comfort zone!
From sauna to snow in seconds
From Kim-Ling at http://travel-ling.com.
Arriving into Kakslauttanen Igloo Village in Finland our driver suggested to us all, “If you want to be as crazy as the Finnish, sit in the sauna until you cannot handle the heat any longer, then run outside and roll in the snow naked”. Well, apparently we are as crazy as the Finns! Being somewhat modest (or embarrassed!), we waited for the perfect hour to give the Finnish Sauna a go; one when we could be certain no one else was around. I quickly stripped down and headed to the 80°C room, with nothing but a towel protecting my body and my ego.
Sweating out all of the toxins and nerves, I waited for my perfect moment to quickly run and dive into the snow. The scariest part was actually making sure not to slip on the way out, and rendering myself unconscious, as I’m sure that would be a sight! Headfirst, I dived into the snow. Oh what a feeling! I rolled around in the snow like an awkward snow angel, covering myself with the soft, cold powder. Laughing and feeling completely unabashed, liberated and refreshed, I headed back for round two. I never would have thought I could have that much fun naked, well… you know what I mean…
Stories welcomed in the comments!