On a rainy Monday in Berlin I found myself looking for things to do that didn’t involve walking in the rain. I’d expressed an interest in going to a non-gay sauna and my host suggested Vabali Spa. Two trains and a tram later I found the place and what a place it is. After going to a sauna in Cologne I knew to expect lots of nakedness from both sexes but this place was slightly different.

In German saunas you have a ritual called an Aufgus. This is where an attendant comes in and in a specific way increases the heat and fans the hot air around. In the Cologne sauna the attendants did that in their uniforms. At Vabali the attendants (all very good looking young men) performed the ritual in a cotton wrap loincloth kind of thing. Then you would see them, after working up quite a sweat, showering and using the plunge pools with everyone else, completely naked.

Can you imagine a job where it’s normal for you to get naked and for your colleagues to get naked and no one bats an eyelid? That is the wonder of Germany. My friend Thomas told me that sadly some gyms have started putting in shower cubicles and some guys are doing the stupid towel dance to get changed and preserve their modesty.

I for one, believe that everyone should go to a German sauna and experience true communal nudity. There is nothing quite like it. Sadly I couldn’t take any photos. It would have been worth it.