Adamski, a police officer in Berlin who investigates organized crime, first started going to a nudist camp at a lake outside Berlin after he met his wife, whose family owned a cabin there. One weekend, when he had just about gotten used to stripping in front of his in-laws, he bumped into the highest-ranking colonel in his precinct — who promptly challenged him to a game of table tennis. Adamski said as he prepared to join a triathlon where the swimming and running portions of the race were naked. Germans love to get naked. They have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years, when early naturists rebelled against the grime of industrialization and then the mass slaughter of World War I. Nearly years later, entire stretches of German waterfronts are designated as nudist beaches.
It was My vagabuddy Gene and I were heading for a Turkish bath. With tattered towel around my waist, I walked gingerly across slippery marble into a steamy world of shadowy Turks under Byzantine domes. I felt gawky After an awkward sit in the sauna, a muscular Turk, who doled out massages like cannery workers gut salmon, laid me onto a round marble slab. With a loud slap, he landed on me, his hands working as if kneading dough in a prison bakery. He smashed and stretched each of my tight muscles. Finally, like lobotomized Gumbys, we were led to marble thrones to be doused in hot water and scrubbed with coarse mittens. Dirt curled off of us in rolls. Finally, we emerged onto the streets of Istanbul, cleaner than we'd ever been.
She draws a round of applause from the crowd, a mix of sauna entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from Europe and Japan, along with a few North Americans. It is important, Ms Karkiainen continues, that both sexes sit nude in the sauna together. After all, political and business deals are often made in the swirling steam, and one would not want such an important venue of power to exclude men. It is hard to imagine such a speech being made by a politician anywhere outside Europe. Beginning in the late 19th century, ideas about freedom, equality, health, sexuality and public space came together to create a distinctly European enthusiasm for going unclothed. In Scandinavia the focus was the sauna. In Mediterranean countries it was the beach.