A few years ago a semi traditional Korean Bathouse closed in Sydney for renovations and two years later it reopened partially for a few months then closed again apparently due to money problems. A while ago a lot of people I know were happy to hear that a successful local TV producer and his boyfriend were looking for new premises and were going to open a beautiful new version. They were due to open early in the year but due to development application delays that didn’t happen. A month or so ago they posted an update on their facebook page saying they were falling short on fund raising for the project with a deadline looming to start development before the whole process had to start again. Sadly, that deadline has now passed and the money wasn’t raised. The latest statement, which you can read here, says that they are still determined to build Sydney the beautiful space for communal bathing and relaxation that I think Sydney needs.

I’m a little scared that times have changed and society is a little too prudish now. I could be wrong and I hope that I am. Sydney still has several nude beaches and there are plenty of us that are comfortable being nude with friends, strangers or alone. Whether there are enough of us to sustain a commercial venture like this, I don’t know. What I do know is that communal bathing has been around since man first walked upright and it’s only in the last couple of hundred years that things have changed. I would probably narrow it down even further to the last thirty for society to really get prudish.

Open showers only really started disappearing in the last 15 years in gyms here and you don’t have to go much further back, say 30 or 40 years to find places like YMCA almost enforcing nude swimming for men. Personally, I think a lot of people would be less troubled with body image if we were all exposed to a little more nudity.