Let’s talk a bit about the ins & outs of the etiquette in a German sauna, including the etiquette of being naked in a German sauna. ;-)
Don’t laugh, don’t giggle, don’t think I’m writing this for shock value. The German sauna experience — clothed or not — isn’t cheap and tawdry, it’s purely for health benefits.
The first thing you gotta do before settling into either a sauna or steamroom is shower, shower, shower.
Next, never let your skin touch the benches, always use a towel.
And while any one of you ladies might be sitting right next to a chippendales lad, it’s never polite to stare. The same holds true, of course, for you gentlemen sitting right next to a baywatch chick!
Oh, did I just gloss over the fact that men & women often share the same sauna? Nude? In North American culture, for instance, this is shocking, but not so in Deutschland.
Often a sauna will have same gender specific times throughout the day, so if you aren’t willing to go totally bare in front of the opposite-sex, check the schedule.
Some saunas will allow children, and if you’re gonna bring yours in to experience the “healing properties,” just make sure they keep the noise to a bare minimum.
Yeah, that’s about as easy to do as threading a needle with a limp spaghetti noodle. ;-)
Plus, leave your mobile phone outside. Besides the fact that a sauna’s climate is completely inappropriate for gadjets, no one wants to hear details about your sister’s nasty divorce or your best friend’s gastric bypass surgery. ;-)
Another no-no is either entering or leaving during the Aufguss, the “ceremonial” act of pouring water over the hot stones (times are posted). When all is said & done, it’s only right to applaude them for their efforts.
Just in case I’ve missed something, you’ll generally find a list of rules posted right outside the sauna doors.