Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A New Level of Intimacy

Locker rooms are an experience in China. I used to swim at a local university, so I have become accustomed to the, let's call it "freedom" of Chinese women in these places. They have no qualms about walking around for long periods of time totally naked. They also, incidentally, find white foreigners' nakedness fascinating. This proves awkward. I'm used to being on display here, but not THAT much.

So I cover myself in ways that I'm sure they find strange and go about my business. But yesterday at a new pool I was a bit shocked to see a new level of freedom. This pool had massage tables in its locker room. When I was getting ready to leave, there was a woman lying on her back on the table, fully exposed. Her friend stood next to her in her underwear with a jar of something that she was rubbing liberally everywhere on the naked woman. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. This massage lasted through me changing and drying my hair and was still going strong when I left.

Honestly I think it's pretty healthy to just not care what people think of you and to be completely comfortable with your body. But this still leaves me shaking my head. I just can't imagine doing that with my friends, and I have great friends!

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