Brit Joins German Gym – Finds Everyone Gets Naked There Too.

Original image description from the Deutsche F...

Workout done. Let’s get naked. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been living in Germany for almost two years. And in those two years I have seen more strangers’ penises and bottoms than I ever could have imagined.

That’s because life in Germany goes like this:

It’s summer! Let’s go down to the local lake! Get down to the local lake – oh look, there’s an old codger sunbathing with his willy out! And there’s another emerging from the lake, with all his bits on show! And wait! There’s another, changing out of his swimwear with all of his manhood dangling out! In England you would be arrested for this kind of behaviour. But in Germany? That’s just how they roll.

Or:

Let’s go to the local swimming pool! Get there to find that the changing rooms are just one big room. Mixed. No curtains. No dividers. Number of strangers’ penises I have seen now doubles in one go.

Then there was the time we went for a nice family swim only to find that it was naked sauna day and we were the only ones wearing any clothes.

Even when I was on the beach recently in Gozo, Malta – where nude or even topless sunbathing is banned – I ended up having a conversation with a German man whose willy was on show. He was wearing trunks but they were so small his manhood had manoevured its way out of there. Or maybe it was so used to being out on the beach it was like: “Hey, what’s going on? Why am I locked up? It’s so dark in here! Let me out!” And with that it found its usual freedom, pulled up a sunlounger and enjoyed the nice cool breeze.

Swimming trunks

Let me out!  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In short, there’s no avoiding cocks and bottoms in Bavaria, unless you always go out with a big black bag over your head.

So it’s no surprise that Germans get naked at the gym too. I joined a gym in Germany for the first time last week, and with that I took my German cock count up from 100 to 125.

Now don’t get me wrong. From what I have experienced so far, German gyms are amazing. Firstly, they are absolutely spotless. Secondly, when you walk in everyone using the gym turns and says hello to you. When you leave, you’re expected to say goodbye to everyone too. I think that’s really cute. Another difference is that as all Germans have OCD, you are expected to carry a little towel around the gym with you that must act as a barrier between your sweaty self and whatever equipment you are using at ALL times. Forget your little towel and expect to be on the receiving end of some scary German looks. Considering Germans are so frightened of germs, I’m surprised that they are called Germans and not Cleanmans or something like that.

After my very satisfying gym session I decided to pop into the sauna. In England most people wear their swimwear in the sauna even if it’s not a mixed one. That’s because we are prudes who would rather die than let anyone other than a very select few see us naked. However, my previous experiences of German saunas have taught me that wearing any clothes at all is not the done thing, whether it’s a mixed sauna or not.

Deutsch: Keltenthron Sauna

Don’t be fooled. The towels must come off. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

But what about a gym sauna? Surely it’s a bit awkward to get completely naked in front of that old bloke you just exchanged niceties with over the chest press machine? The one thing that got me through going naked in a German sauna once before was the fact I wouldn’t see any of the other people in it ever again. It’s a different story if you use the one at the new gym you’ve just joined.

Reily

After this we’re all going to get naked! Ja! Photo credit: Tulane Public Relations

Holding my towel close to my chest, I opened the door to the mixed sauna, and found a spot right next to the door. There was a man aged approximately in his sixties and two women around the same age already in there, all naked of course. From their conversation I gathered they all knew each other from the neighbourhood, and had probably seen each others bits and bobs on numerous occasions before. There was no awkwardness between them at all, and none of them seemed worried about having boobs down to their ankles, pot bellies, or pubes as long as their noses.

Floating sauna

At least it wasn’t a floating sauna. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, one of the women even got up and did a funny little dance in tune to whatever they were all chatting about, and the others laughed as her big, wobbly bits jangled about and almost knocked me in the face. After she left and everyone fell silent it was really hard to stiffle my massive internal giggles.

This time I decided to keep my towel on, much to the amazement of the other members They were all giving me rather strange looks that said: “Is your body covered in warts or something? Come on, get your kit off!” While I commend the Germans for having the guts to get naked in front of each other without a care in the world, it’s just one culture shock that I will never be able to comfortably adapt too. Especially down at the local gym and in front of men I don’t know.

Nudity will always be associated with sex in my eyes because sadly that’s the kind of society I grew up in. The society I’m more used to is also not as safe as in Bavaria. If a woman went nude in a mixed sauna back at home it would be a risk as unfortunately some might see it as an invitation. When you have been used to certain constraints for most of your life it is very hard to shrug them off when you move abroad and things are a lot different.

And on a less serious note I have yet to see a hottie in the sauna. Maybe I’ll change my mind about German saunas when I do. Until then, it’s just old men’s wrinklies all the way.

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10 thoughts on “Brit Joins German Gym – Finds Everyone Gets Naked There Too.

  1. Cleanmans! Hahaha!

    I’m yet to brave the German sauna. Naked people? Nooooo 😦

  2. Oh they love a bit of nudity, don’t they! I think it’s really quite healthy, their attitude to the naked body. I am Australian and we’re quite like the Brits and the Americans with our shame/embarrassment when it comes to nudity. I wrote this about the Australian weirdness about nudity:
    http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/real-life/are-australians-less-comfortable-naked-than-the-rest-of-the-world-20130830-2svhd.html

    • I met some Australians yesterday and we were discussing how they too are like the Brits when it comes to this sort of thing. Great article! I do think Germans’ attitudes towards their bodies are really healthy. They don’t seem as obsessed with perfection as us Brits are. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

  3. Being from America, and now living in Munich, I will also be keeping my clothes on. I admire your willingness to write about this subject, as I have yet to tackle a blog post about my experiences with public nudity in Germany. Thought this might give you a chuckle. Do you suppose it would encourage them to remain clothed? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/pacumageddon-testicle-eating-fish-_n_4017994.html

    • haha, that’s funny. Actually there was a case here where there was a bitey turtle (and once even a crocodile) said to be stalking lakes in Germany. That hasn’t put people off though!

  4. This post is hilarious. I love it! I have yet to ever experience any German nudity aside from my husband of course. 😉 I know I couldn’t do it. I could barely change at the gym in the states back when I actually used to work out. Pi can’t imagine sitting in there with people I’d see again but I do admire them!

    • Thanks! Yes it’s just too strange for me. This week I bumped into a woman from my son’s nursery and her husband there. I didn’t see them naked but imagine how weird it would be all being naked in the gym sauna together!

  5. I am right there with you about the nudity thing. My wife will go with her friends to the sauna and just get nude in front of them, I could never imagine going with some friends and then suddenly theres my buddies stuff just hanging out, I would be so uncomfortable. I get em-bare-ass-ed (pun intended) sometimes when I see full frontal nudity on German t.v. and think, “wow, that wouldn’t happen in the States” but to experience it first-hand, no way! I guess as a culture we Brits, Americans and Australians are just too shy to show off our sensitives 😉

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