Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time. Even now I'm comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it's because I'm German.
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Last month, on a listless Sunday in Berlin when it was too hot to do anything else, I made like the locals and took the S-Bahn to a lake on the city's southwest edge. On the train I did a bit of research on Strandbad Wannsee, the beach I was heading to. It sounded like a militia, but given the context, it probably wasn't. Perhaps it meant family-friendly? Not exactly. I'd heard about Germans' fondness for nudity, especially at its lakes, and particularly in the East. I knew immediately I was going to try it.
Last year, my husband Les called to say he needed to move to Berlin for work and asked me to join him. Fast forward two entire weeks, and we were living in Germany. A couple of months in to our new German life, Les suggested we go to a sauna.
If you have been to Germany, you know what I mean. Going to sauna means that you are going to see a lot of naked people. The most shocking thing for me at the beginning is: the sauna is mixed gender!