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on male bonding

Ajay's in his summer clip now, and looking very handsome thank you. His most prominent feature is now his ears; long and silky, there's more fur there than anywhere else on his body.

Last night I drove out to Sean's house. He lives a way out in the rural part of the county, and built himself an authentic Finnish sauna, and I was interested in trying it out. We had some sushi he made and a few beers, and then after digesting, climbed in. Dang, that was intense. He keeps it at 170 degrees, which is actually not so bad in dry heat, but when he poured water on the rocks to generate a shot of steam, it was really quite hard to sit there and let the endorphins wash through me.

The neatest part of it was just how keenly it made me feel my body, and how it was reacting to the heat and the sweat, and the contrast with the cold windy night outside when we took a break. Eventually the breaks have to come more and more often as one's body overheats, and that's the sign to stop. I'd be very nervous being in there alone... seems like one could pass out from the heat rather easily, and then be in very serious trouble.

I'd brought along a bottle of cask strength single malt highland scotch, which made perfect sipping while relaxing after the sauna--it's' 117 proof. I don't get much classic "male bonding" time, preferring women for my close friends since I usually relate better to them, but I have to say I really enjoyed hanging out there. Made me understand a little of what Robert Bly was writing about. More self-discovery, I guess.

Comments

( 2 comments — Comment )
jonroma
May. 12th, 2003 02:17 pm (UTC)
Saunas
I've come to enjoy saunas since the first time I experienced one at the age of 12 — I was visiting my second cousins in Sweden and, as is a fairly common practice over there, they had a sauna and shower stall in their basement.

The jury is out as to whether there's any medical benefits to saunas, but damn they do feel good. Having one's own authentic sauna at home would be nice, but at least there are sauna facilities on campus (at IMPE) that one can use when the mood hits.

Unfortunately, a lot of people spoil the dry heat by wearing wet bathing suits and, as you noted, that's a lot harder to take than the desert driness. As for the "falling asleep" part, I've never had a problem. I get really relaxed in the sauna but never groggy (which I do get at work when the office is too warm). I sleep best in a cold room.

After 45 minutes in the sauna (broken up by breaks, of course) and a nice long shower, I feel renewed and energized, as if I just started the day.
szasz
May. 12th, 2003 02:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Saunas
I wouldn't be worried about falling asleep so much as passing out from the heat.

The biggest kick I got out of the whole thing was the absurdity of standing around in Sean's back yard bareassed naked, pouring cold water over my head. :)
( 2 comments — Comment )

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