The body and the Eros of the Earth
This is beautiful. Thanks!
I’m kind of surprised you never visited a naked hot spring living in Portland. They’re one of the things I miss so much about the West Coast- one of the geothermal gifts to make up for living in an earthquake zone. One of my very favorites, Breitenbush Hot Springs, is about an hour west of Salem, in the Cascades.
Or a K-spa. There’s a ton of those in LA, and a few around Seattle and Tacoma. Not sure about Portland.
The Puritan divide between the Anglo and Continental worlds is interesting. When I was in Bath, England, while you can no longer go in the famous Roman baths for safety reasons, there is a new spa you can visit that utilizes the thermal water. Sadly, not only is it small, crowded and deliberately uninspiring; bathing suits are required (this did not surprise me and frankly, with the close crowd nudity would have probably been a bit too much) and worst of all they cool the naturally hot spring water down to the temperature of tepid bathwater. I’m not sure if the English are too delicate to appreciate a good soak or what.
This was lovely.
Also, interesting what is "exotic" about Germany to an USian. I always thought the kinda staid attitude of Germans to nakedness was just part of the general unerotic attitude of German culture, lol. But I guess one can see it as a sane, refreshing attitude to the body as well!
Thank you for writing this. I needed to read it. On my own journey of healing deeply embedded and joy-stealing body shame, and resonate with this. ✨