From Iceland — Sauna Enthusiasts Demand Right To Go Naked

Sauna Enthusiasts Demand Right To Go Naked

Published January 22, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Todtanis/Wikimedia Commons

Sauna-goers in Ísafjörður object to being compelled to keep their bathing suits on if they want to steam themselves, and have written an open letter to the mayor demanding changes.

In an open letter published by Westfjords news source Bæjarins bestu, the undersigned say that current rules forbidding going into a sauna naked are “a harsh insult to the cultural and social space of the sauna”. They contend that bathing suits are often filthy, teeming with bacteria, making wearing one in a steam-filled environment decidedly unhealthy for others.

They point that, in fact, going into a sauna in your swimsuit is often banned elsewhere in the world.

“In the sauna, shame is banished,” the letter reads in part. “No one confounds themselves any more than they did in the Garden of Eden; not the fat, skinny, hairy, hairless, legless, pimply, sweaty, dry or others. Just like the Garden, the sauna is a sanctuary where all men are holy.”

As such, the undersigned demand that Ísafjörður town council change current regulations to not only allow naked sauna-going, but to make it a rule that one must shed their bathing suit before entering the sauna altogether.

A response from town council is still pending.

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