Friday, January 20, 2006

A world of saunas

Dear Marc, did you know there are sauna rafts in Sweden? You can rent your own floating sauna and tuff around the beautiful archipelago of Stockholm. Load up with beer and barbecue and enjoy the starry sky above. What could be better?

Now that we're on the topic of saunas, let me show you a few pictures from the fascinating world of sauna ads. Many homes here have their own saunas. We like to sweat, naked, in the company of others. The sauna-selling market is big and profitable. But everything has its price. For the sauna sellers it is this tricky question: How do you picture naked, sweaty people without offending anyone?

The result is interesting. Take the picture above. Two naked men, engaged in conversation, wrapped in mist. They're almost there. A mirage of sauna pleasures.

Here's another one:

This one is tasteful, don't you think? The sauna lover is decent in terry cloth, leaning against wood, perhaps about to be gazing out at the lovely Nordic summer night. But why is she holding a brush of leaves? I'm telling you the truth now: it's there so she can spank herself. Ask any Scandinavian. Beating yourself up with leaves is tradition. Birchleaves are preferrable as they make for the best spanking. I don't know if this is a flagellant remnant of ancient times. Perhaps they bear witness of a time when you had to pay in Christian pain for the pagan pleasure of a great sauna.
What do I know?

Here's what that looks like, from a different sauna retailer:

Must go. Tomorrow perhaps we can discuss the wonderful world of home spas? Lots of pictures of jolly, middleaged people with drinks all around them.



Eebs said...

I feel far more cultured now.

smy said...

Ack! flagellation? really? apparently, really. you provided pictures. Do people really hit themselves hard in mainstream sauna use, or is it more of a skin-stimulant kind of thing? How could these two things have been combined? I wonder if saunas and flagellation are linked somehow by the bubonic plague--combining "healthful" sweating and penance into one, foolproof cure for body and soul. However, the entire reason this idea occurred to me may be because I just saw The Seventh Seal, and there is a lot of plague and flagellation in that movie. yikes. also a lot of incense, which reminds me of saunas, i guess. mist, all occludes vision.
-michelle, a lover of your fabulous blog

-e said...

I think if you ask a hardcore sauna Finn, he'll tell you the spanking is invigorating, that it helps circulation, that it's purifying. But I've already told you my theory- that it's one of those masochistic religious rituals you hear about from time to time.

Besides, those green birch leaves look great against the blond wood.

Denise said...


brazil is like a sauna outside right now, but unfortunaly we need wear clothes. i would like to spank myself because is toooooooooo hot!!
love your blog