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Friday, 30 December 2011

Healthy things to do naked no 2 - SAUNA (and how not to die or get pregnant in one)

After writing this blog for about 3 years now (can you believe it? what happened to my life?) It has occurred to me that despite living in Estonia for most of the time I haven't written a single thing about Saunas. And looking at the readership here, most of you didn't have a sauna today.

Well...where to start telling you, dear Sauna heathen, about Sauna? In Finland, Estonia, and Russia it of course competes with drinking vodka as the national sport. (Often the two are mixed, which I must warn, ends in carnage and getting total strangers pregnant)

In the Baltics, Sauna is taken very seriously - In 2010 the World Sauna Championship, held in Finland since 1999 had to be stopped indefinately - the Russian competitor died and the Finn (who won by default since the other finalist died) ended up in hospital. I'd heard on the grapevine the Russian, actually was drugged up to the eyeballs so couldn't feel the 110 degree C heat burning the inside of his lungs.

but all in all, a real Sauna, especially a Smoke sauna (read the link to find out all about this weird sounding but great feeling way of Sauna) or at worst a real wood fired sauna (much softer heat) can be a great and healthy thing, and afterwords you feel like you've just been born (your skin is clean, I don't mean that you start believe what you see on Fox news)

A few things you must be aware of, if you're a foreigner in these parts and decide to join some local people for a sauna

1. It is hot. Usually about 80-90 degrees Celcius. When water is poured on you feel hotter of course as thats the air temperature (which is almost boiling point) The water opens your pores and lets you sweat out the toxins so use it - even in lame American saunas that are 60degrees and say 'don't pour water on' As usual Americans totally miss the point. (Soon you'll be telling me you support Mitt Romney for Gods sake)

2. Everyone will be naked. Yes, believe it or not, 5 naked guys huddled in a small box sweating together does not have to be a gay orgy. And don't worry, Asian guy, that you may have a tiny wiener - really, no one cares about it. Apart from you, sitting there in the closet, there is only one gay guy in all Estonia and he lives in London, if thats some reassurance. If you do wear boxer shorts, you will be seen for the total dickwad that you are, so just brave it as it cleans you out better.

3. People often have Sauna when blind drunk. This also may be an issue for some western people. but if your sharing a sauna with fat horny Finnish girls, then believe me, its a Godsend. And beer, when poured on the sauna makes a lovely smell. Of course all health benefits from the sauna are negated from this, and its actually quite dangerous from a dehydration point of view so make sure if you do get drunk in there, keep some water handy. Just close your eyes when the Finnish ladies hands go wandering.

4. After the sauna, you should either roll in the snow, jump in a freezing river/sea/lake or at least have a cold shower. This washes the crap off of you, closes up your pores, and thats what makes your skin all smooth to touch. If you don't do this, you will come out in spots and be one of those ignorant douchebags who 'hates sauna' because you didn't have the courage to do it properly (jumping naked into snow takes balls/vodka first time but really its fine) After the snow, don't stay in the cold for too long though as your body temp will drop quickly in minus 20.

5. If you are having sauna with total strangers, and they know you are a foreigner (just as i did two hours ago on Baltic_Queen (ironically named since as i said, there are no gays left in Estonia) They will likely try to get into a silent macho 'pouring water on' match - they'll keep pouring water which makes it burning hot, to see if the 'pussy foreigner' can handle when it gets over 100 degrees. Well, man, don't let me tell you what to do, Estonian guys hate you anyway since if you are there you are stealing their women (even accidentally) but if you do have some self respect, hang in there and they may even grunt some appreciation and buy you a Saku Beer if you last it out.

6. Dont have sex in the sauna. Its too hot, and its a silly idea. And condoms don't work so well. Especially with those drunk Finnish girls - afterwards you will see them in the light and know i'm right.

And on that note, I see that its now almost the end of the year. This month I bizzarely got a record number of hits on this blog, so....thanks a lot guys, keep comments and suggestions coming, i do appreciate it. funny thing is i was looking at the hits and the highest is one random post about falling in love with prostitutes....

anyway when it comes, Happy New Year!


  1. You didn't mention that for foriegners, the most useful thing for having a sauna in your apartment - is for drying your clothes after you have washed them. Same reason for having an excercise bike in your room in the 80's - for hanging clothes on.

  2. True. i used to just leave a little space to sit